Elections, pseudo-leaders biggest threat: PREPAK-II
Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, October 09 2021: Placing more points before the people for discussion on the occasion of outfit's 44th Raising Day, Interim Council chairman of the proscribed PREPAK Aheiba Angom further said that land is equally essential in building a nation and taking up development works.

However, there is no concrete policy for use of the exceptionally fertile land of Kangleipak.

Peasants' leader Hijam Irabot did launch an intense movement for a change in land use policy but was not successful.

Majority of cultivable land of Kangleipak lies in the hands of the ministers, MLAs, top officials of government, illegal traders and smugglers and most farmers do not have their own land for cultivation and depend on other's land for agriculture.

Real owners have constructed various infrastructures on the fertile fields in the name of development in such a manner that no production can be made ever again from that fields.

Despite passing of legislation, such constructions cannot be stopped as most of the paddy field owners are the ones who can influence law makers and the legislators.

There is not enough power to use the hill land where the Land Revenue and Land Reforms Act, 1960 and Article 371C of Constitution of India stand as a big fence between the hills and valley.

This creates a hurdle in building unity and strength of the hills and valley as hill and valley people think differently.

Thus, factional mindset comes to the fore and disables inclusive growth and building united efforts to face any challenge, the chairman said.

According to Aheiba Angom, economy of Manipur has worsened as the pristine environment has been constantly spoiled in the name of development and improvement of economy.

This has caused loss of the unique identity of the indigenous communities, raising the question as to how long the Kanglei people would be able to survive preserving their own identity.

It's not possible for a state to advance without development.

However, the hidden aggression by Hindustan (India) into political, social and economic health of the state must be carefully looked into.

Looking at the history of the economy of this land, since the early days till the period of independence, agricultural products of Kanglei pak used to be not only sufficient for its people but also exported to the neighbouring countries.

But since the Loktak Project was commissioned in 1983, the Ithai Barrage water submerged 83,450 hectares of paddy fields compelling the people to depend on others for food.

This has not only severely affected the economy but also given adverse impact on the social and political conditions, leaving the unity and integrity of the state in a chaotic situation.

The Loktak Project is nothing but a great loss for Kangleipak.

The revenue collected from the sale of electricity generated by the Project before 2014 was just Rs 21 crore annually whereas the amount of income that could be collected from the agricultural produce from the vast land that had been submerged by the Project is nearly Rs 100 crore.

Now, it is very clear that the one and only objective of Hindustan to set up Loktak Project was to destroy the self sustaining economy of Kangleipak and turn it into a captive market for good.

The question that arises here is how the so-called leaders/elected representatives of the state granted permission for taking up the Project without properly discussing the consequences in advance.

To the farmers, exchanging their fields with electricity is not justifiable.

That step ruined the economy of the farmers and the environment.

The only purpose of the Project was to pluck off the stomach of the people and turn them into beggars while strengthening the colonial rule.

Unable to bear any longer the pains in terms of the destruction caused to the economy and environment by the artificial inundation resulting from the Ithai Barrage, people of the affected areas have been demanding for a long time in a democratic manner to decommission the Project.

But 'Hindustan' has been suppressing the people's legitimate demand.

Unless and until the people take the issue ahead at the earliest, people's economic and ethnic identity will be lost.

The most precious object of the people is to keep the erstwhile sense of patriotism intact, Aheiba Angom said.

He recounted that people used to survive only on the products grown in the soil of the land.

Once people used to keep their eyes on the fields as they lived on the crops grown in the fields, but now since all the means to survive have been wiped out, attention has been drawn toward the commodities being brought in on the highways.

According to Aheiba Angom, arrival of train and highway development are not for the benefit of the Kanglei people but just to create facility for draining out resources of Kangleipak into Hindustan.

All the development works being taken up are meant for their own benefits.

The most important factors necessary for making a free nation are people and land.

When people exist, land inust exist too.

Without land, people cannot exist.

Yet when there are people, land may naturally exist in due course.

(To Be Continued) .

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