TODAY -

A costly peace deal

Dr Ingudam Yaipharemba *



With the signing of a peace agreement between GOI and NSCN (IM) on August 3, 2015, an atmosphere of uncertainty and apprehension is looming over Assam, Arunachal and Manipur in particular.

One party is very much joyful regarding the ending of a decade long political talk; however the neighbouring states are quite nervous that the agreement will be harmful to their territory and political interests.

So far, as seen from the apprehension of many state governments and CSO’s, the peace agreement is proving to be more exciting than expected and planned. Before the full-fledged agreement ever sees light, a cloud of fear, distrust is already alarming many. It will be doubtful to decide how much the agreement will be harmful or not in terms of safeguarding state interests and values of those that may be presumed fragmented.

Time and again, Manipur faced the similar circumstances and this time, it is more intense as the final Accord is supposed to be final and nearby.

Every hotshot indirectly concerns with the deal is putting their own statement to appease their agenda and position. Manipur government, irrespective of political parties and positions has already taken a unanimous decision to protect state integrity and thwart off any planned to disturb geopolitical values in Assembly session.

Even prominent valley based CSO’s representatives are rushing to Delhi to show their uneasiness of the agreement. The lobbying is intense to solidify the position.

There are two possibilities of active CSO’s involvement in meeting with the top brass; they desire to express the displeasure of any decision on the territorial integrity of Manipur and the other may be the dissatisfaction with the state governmental will and action in pursuing the sentimental issue.

Many people feels the Peace Agreement to be turning out more as Uncertain Agreement; so as to please one party; it is upsetting three more neighbouring states?

Where is the logic? Certainly the Centre is playing framework diplomacy among the northeast state to cool down the decades long insurgency activities.

What worries the most is the tactical decision of bringing peace might fuel more fire amongst the people and spinoff an ethnic distrust among. The ‘Carrot and Stick’ policy is long gone and the digital and transparency age is dominating today’s political scenario. Keeping secret will not be a good idea nowadays. It will neither do any good nor keep Manipur silent and comfortable.

May be the agreement agreed is just a blank page, although many things can be filled in the empty space. It is just the question of when. If the Accord be successful a clear understanding among Delhi and different stakeholders is highly necessary. The hush-hush manner and secrecy involved in winding the agreement will prove to be costlier in long term causing more damage than reconciling.

In northeast India many small ethnic communities are demanding for a separate state, either in Assam, Manipur or in Nagaland. Kukis, Bodos, Karbi, Chakma, etc. are demanding a separate homeland from the present boundary. Saying yes to one ethnic community by altering the boundaries will be like opening a Pandora’s Box.

It will create a defragment political situation when others will put similar demands. The nervousness of the Accord is so much that a team of Manipur based CSO’s rush to Delhi to express their grievances.

The team submitted memorandum to different leaders of political organisations to support their cause. Inside the Manipur Government, the opposition is targeting the ruling party on the undisclosed agreement despite of many repeated assurances from the ruling. The Opposition is still rocking the boat at Assembly session.

What is needed or could be a small step in mutual understanding is a series of significant confidence building measures among different stakeholders and the Government of India. Counting the meeting with the Manipur state intellectual and Delhi some days back is a welcome step to understand the geopolitical and historical episodes of Manipur.

So do a similar act must be done with other intellectual of the neighbouring states.


* Dr Ingudam Yaipharemba wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was posted on December 30, 2017.


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