TODAY -

Muivah's visit : Political agenda, opposition, consequences

Dr N Somorendro Singh *



Th Muivah, the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isac-Muivah) (NSCN(IM) leader is the most famous living insurgent/rebel leader. He has travelled and lived in many cities of the world with warm welcome including Indian Government against whom NSCN(IM) led by him had fought violently for decades. Ironically the same powerful rebel leader is not able to visit his birthplace in Ukhrul, Manipur. How humiliating and frustrating for Muivah at the unexpected developments. Every sensible person will feel sympathy for him. One can easily understand why he is determined to visit his birth place in Manipur.

Muivah was born, lived and had his early education in Manipur. Hence, no one can deny his right to visit his birth place, Manipur after fighting Indian security forces and living in foreign cities for over 40 years. Birth place is where one's life begins and home is where one belongs. So everyone in Manipur including Honourable Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, please join me to extend a WARM WELCOME to Th Muivah on his home coming.

Muivah's home coming as NSCN(IM) leader is causing opposition and problems. As NSCN(IM) leader Muivah is seen as a divider of peaceful coexistence of communities, threat to unity and entity of Manipur, responsible for criminal acts and human rights violations by the people and Government in Manipur. People are angry because of his and NSCN(IM)'s political agenda and their past crimes specially "uncivilized communal actions".

Muivah should not be shocked if he recalls what NSCN(IM) under his leadership has done to Manipur and her people. So let us together make an honest attempt to find ways to reduce or end his and our frustration as the causes are largely not due to natural calamities or external forces but our own creations.

First some knowledge of Manipur is necessary which he and NSCN(IM) may not like to hear or falsely propagate to the world for their own purposes. Unlike Nagaland or any other region of the world, Manipur is like mini-India with various communities living together with no restriction of people coming to or going out of Manipur. Besides historically evolved political entity for centuries, Manipur is the traditional home of Meiteis, Manipuri Muslims, Nagas and Kuki-Chin people with close socio-cultural, economic, political and emotional ties. Manipur was not created, is not owned by centre or NSCN(IM) but it belongs to people of Manipur who will decide by their own future. So Manipur is not a commodity to be sold or to be bargained for "peace" or face saving of few persons.

Historical, cultural and linguistic between two communities, Meitei and Tangkhul are well known. Muivah may not understand all the languages/dialects of Naga people but he can speak Manipuri language (the mother tongue of Meities and Manipuri Muslims). Such is the hard truth and irony of modern life. There is the story of Meitei and Tangkhul being brothers and the role of Naga in Lai Haraouba of Meitei continues from ancient times.

Former Chief Ministers late Yangmaso Shaiza and Rishang Keishing, the present Rajya Sabha MP and other political leaders, administrators and personalities are from Tangkhul community. History, culture, memories and people stand against the goal of NSCN(IM) led by Muivah who continuously attempt to destroy Manipur specially close relations between Meiteis and Tangkhuls only for political purposes.

Japanese Second World II forces wanted to give Manipur as gift to their Emperor after winning the war. Jawaharlal Nehru the widely traveled leader appreciated Manipur. Muivah who has seen the world will agree that Manipur is a beautiful place on earth. How his 'humiliation' at the hands of few orthodox Meiteis can become the basis for divisive politics and destroy his birth place Manipur? Gandhi was thrown out of the first class train cabin in South Africa and Ambekar was not allowed to attend school yet they worked hard to change the mindset of opponents. Living and accepting a socially diverse environment is a product of modern life. How long Muivah and NSCN(IM) will continue to pursue only for Nagas agenda, Nagaland for Christ or Greater Nagaland? In which world they are living and want to live?

The second major reason has been the past crimes, criminal activities, heavy extortion on vehicles on National Highway No 39 and communal and uncivilized acts by NSCN(IM) under his guidance in Manipur. Kuki people can not forget "ethnic cleansing/genocide" and their sufferings deliberately committed by NSCN(IM) in the 1990s. As history and science suggest humans migrated from one place to another and this trend continues even today. NSCN(IM) failed to drive out all the Kukis but succeeded in creating division as well sufferings to both Kukis and Naga people in Manipur.

The third reason is the anger and sufferings of the people of Manipur due to shortage of essential items artificially created by NSCN(IM) "instigated" economic blockade for more than one month. At present everything including oils, LPG, medicines and life saving drugs are in shortage and hospitals are facing crisis and schools have been closed in Manipur. The beneficiaries are the black marketers, shopkeepers and big businessmen. Why Muivah turned back only after killing of two youths and many injuries at Mao? Damage/burning of Government offices and growing communal passions, resignation drama of NSCN(IM) "controlled" 7 Independent MLAs are consequences of politics over his visit. Does not Muivah feel disturb and sad that even his own Naga people are also suffering and frustrated by his politics?

For only political reasons, Muivah and NSCN(IM) can ignore or delete the above facts and their inhuman crimes from their brains. How others will ignore or forget them or above facts? People of Manipur specially Naga people have suffered silently, directly or indirectly at the hands of NSCN(IM) for decades. What socialism, sovereignty and Greater Nagaland, Muivah and NSCN(IM) have been talking about when they have done nothing to improve conditions of their own people, Nagas? Perhaps he only knows of Jinnah becoming a ruler but was he aware of the consequences of partition of India on people and second class status of those Muslims who went and live in Pakistan?

Muivah and his friends spent most of their time in foreign cities yet continue to play havoc with the lives of people in Manipur specially Nagas. What is the constructive or progressive thing Muivah and NSCN(IM) have done for the people of Manipur? What they do with the hundreds of crores collected as "Nagaland Tax" from public, Governments and businessmen?

Muivah wants to visit Manipur at any cost despite the advice of his enemy No.1 cum friend Indian Government and Nagaland Cabinet to postpone his visit. The question arises, do Muivah and NSCN(IM) believe in democracy and democratic methods of resolving conflicts? Of course he and NSCN(IM) must have been offended by Manipur Cabinet's ban and opposition by political parties, protests by civil organizations in Manipur.

What about some introspection and see his and NSCN(IM)'s role and contribution in the present stand off? The present conflict and politics can not become fight between all Nagas (living in the world) and other communities in Manipur specially Meiteis despite propaganda and provocation by NSCN(IM). Because people are no more fools and do not like them to be used as political weapons. NSCN(IM) talks about the violation of Naga rights, peace and respect but do they care the same for others including Naga common people?

Due to above facts and reasons Muivah's visit to his birth place in Ukhrul, Manipur is opposed and going to be opposed. State Cabinet has reasons to believe that he and NSCN(IM) "instigated" to boycott Autonomous District Council Elections in hill districts which have not taken place for over 20 years and economic blockade. The month long anti-ceasefire agitation directed against Centre and NCSN(IM) by people of Manipur in 2001 which led to lose of 17 lives and destruction of public properties and Government buildings including State Assembly may still be fresh in the mind of Government leaders.

Centre has shown once again lack of sensitivity by completely ignoring democratic and federal principle by not consulting Manipur Government. Centre has made mockery of itself by changing its own decision. Centre must stop playing the role of a cunning and arrogant monkey distributing roti to fighting cats not to be given to them at all as in old Manipuri folktale.

Honourable P Chitambaram must realise his mistake first and then must learn how to talk politely to an elected head of Government in a democratic and federal system. He can be polite to a rebel leader as he and centre have been doing. Honourable Manipur Chief Minister and his Cabinet as elected representatives of the people and representing their will must resign in protest in case of not honouring their decision by the Centre in future.

Time has come for Muivah and NSCN(IM) leaders to change their stubborn ways for their own sake in the old age. If Muivah and his friends can reduce the present agony of the people of Manipur and assure peaceful coexistence and mutual benefits for all, their own frustration present and future will be automatically reduced. They must ask to themselves what they have done for Nagas who have been used and misused for decades. World has changed and why not Muivah and NSCN(IM) changed their rigidity for their own sake if not for others?

It is high time that Muivah and NSCN(IM) realise that the major sources of their frustration are their own unrealistic goals, inhuman methods and themselves. Sensitivity to others' concerns, restraining emotions and desire for peaceful coexistence are necessary conditions for normalising the situation by all concerned individuals, organisations and Governments. How long people will tolerate Muivah and NSCN(IM)'s obstinate ways, Centre's arrogant methods, selfish politics and communal statements of the Governments, politicians and organisations in both Manipur and Nagaland? Let people, peace and progress be the focus not politics.




* Dr N Somorendro Singh wrote this article for The Sangai Express. This article was webcasted on May 16th, 2010.

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