Migrant Crisis: What drives the anti-Bills movement
- Part 1 -

Somorendro Khwairakpam *

ILP : Public meeting at Churachandpur public ground and Sit-in Protest across Churachandpur :: September 4 2015.
ILP : Public meeting at Churachandpur public ground on September 4 2015 :: Pix - Deepak Oinam

Amid apprehension being caused by the framework accord between the GOI-NSCN (IM) and while the weak state Government, passing unanimously the three bills demanded by the people is giving a breathtaking break, to spell out a dictating ideology upon all the majority of the people, the elected Government and Governance, the representatives, the unanimous decisions of the state assembly and all just letting innocent individuals sacrifice lives instead of making self aware of things by proper and appropriate expert consulting and suggesting the representatives for either review or clarification by and through experts and to push democracy and your rights like anything and to any direction as wished only defines one's state of mind and living.

True, the lucrative Governance sector being always plagued by rampant graftism- the major organic crisis of capitalism, insurgent violence, lack of responsibilities and appropriate administrative regulations which deter in-depth observers also always threatens to fuel all those communal ideologies and it pushes Manipur deeper into turmoil.

After a long pause, though had been the one to write most on Manipuri Revolution and Manipur's most topical issues, I would liberally take the opportunity to give now an analysis to the mixed situation of Manipur being treated under Marxist critical principles taking all players into an acid test.

The issue that arises out of the current mixed Manipuri situation experiencing possible apprehension caused by the GOI-NSCN (IM) framework accord and opposition of some sections of people to the recently passed Government bills of Manipur exactly bears a secret agendum and the initial anti-bills protest at Jiribam by Bangladeshi Bengalis and others and that of Moreh clearly had told everyone that it was a migrant issue. And the state of being in continuity also amounts to the plight of migrants which has got a base coupled with "the issue of Nagasisation" in the making.

What are happening at Churachandpur, Moreh, Senapati and Jiribam against the ILP issue and its consequent three Government bills aiming at protection of indigenous people that got 100% vote of the state assembly clearly informs everyone that they are purely and totally the migrant crisis. It is only that the crisis has considerably attained a support of biological brethren and Naga polity that aims at breaking up Manipur by pushing tribalism for Nagasisation though it knows that it would have to fight the southern tribes and some minorities in the final.

Global experiences on migrants and refugees:

We need to look at the global picture of migrant and refugee crisis to deal with this very issue confronting indigenous people –interested-bills. We are today witnessing international and continental crisis talks on migrants and refugees across the globe and the unprecedented influx of migrants has now been the greatest ever problem and challenge for all the continents. Germany has claimed that migrants flooding into the European Union could be the bloc's greatest ever challenge in its history.

Regarding the crisis, German authorities have warned as the European Union scrambles to hold emergency talks on the migrant crisis. Several eastern European countries like Poland, Hungary, Czech and Slovakia still reject the idea of accepting a share of migrants. On that, Germany has objected to out-vote and overrule stressing, "It just cannot be that Germany, Sweden, Austria and Italy carry the burden alone".

In the backdrop of economic crises etc while the crisis has become the top emergency for all countries like Hungary, Austria, the Organisation of Islamic Co-Operation member states, India, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, China, Burma, countries like the wealthy Gulf states are being reluctant to take in or back the people fleeing the conflict zones. However, countries like Austria, Hungary and others seeking to resolve the migrant crisis despite their admittance of thousand of migrants have expressed their stand just as a 'temporary measure'.

At the time, when the plight of migrants has shot to limelight due to the ongoing migrant crisis across the Globe, India ,through a notification of the Home Ministry to regularize the entry and stay of the minority migrants from Pakistan and Bangladesh, seems to have done its part to come to the aid and it is while the Registrar General of India is currently updating the NRC of 1950 in Assam to make a database of all India citizens living in the state aiming at identifying illegal migrants living in the state before they are deported and while more than 1.75 lacs of migrants are under trial in the state alone. It is while Brus- repatriation in Mizoram, Rohingya Muslims' crisis occurs in Burma and others that this issue of migrants has scaled such a height in Manipur threatening the indigenous people even with support of their original recently left homes such as Mizoram and Burma and their brethren.

Sharing attitude:

Taking all entities and non-entities acted upon the recent bills episode as stakeholders and issues and non-issues into an acid test treatment, I do also take the liberty to sort out who are entities and issues and who are not and share my attitude with everyone.

First, for an understanding, the Govt. of India is clearly undertaking identification of illegal migrants in Assam updating the NRC of 1950 as the cut off base year. Long back, Manipur Govt. also agreed to make 1951 as the cut off base year to sort out foreigners and others. Accordingly, the Government of Manipur has passed the three bills to protect its indigenous people defining Manipuris and non-Manipuris or migrants/foreigners based on 1951.

The GOI has also clearly ensured the other state people that Naga accord will not touch their territories. Even after seeing all these clear things, other people or states like the Kukis in the world or Nagas and states like Mizoram, Nagaland and their civil society organizations opposing the Manipur bills and supporting their biological brethren in Manipur or other states is a clear sign of interfering into the affairs and rights of others and it is contravention to international customs.

Why should one encroach the right of others to decide their business within their state or country? Does Mizoram allow outsiders or any Manipuri or Naga in Mizoram to enjoy the same right as what a Mizo or Lushai has here in Manipur even after a stay of more than a half century? It is also true that the Chin-Kuki-Mizo people who recently entered into Manipur in the last 50/60 years were due to the political–conflict and economic hardship in Burma and Mizoram under military regime and insurgent violence respectively.

Also, the reason that compels the Nepalis and Bangladeshis to flee their homes was known to everyone that it was due to the political and economic crises that also put the countries into a boil in the last few decades.

My big question to these Govt. or states is why don't they ever try to take their people back if they act like concerned about their biological brethren? Leaving aside their long history of being one in Mizoram or Burma, why do you act like being concerned about your people taking their short history of only a few decades' stay in other's state?

The indigenous Manipuris also feels the plight of nationalism same to that of the indigenous communities in other countries that stoke rising nationalism portraying the migrants as dangerous whose foreign culture and religion could overwhelm the cherished traditional ways.

To be continued...

* Somorendro Khwairakpam wrote this article for Hueiyen Lanpao
The writer is Executive President of Manipur Action Group/ Global Action on Manipur working for International opinion and solidarity with Manipur.
This article was posted on October 13 2015.

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