TODAY -

Towards a final Framework Agreement

Dr L Krishnamangol Singh *



It is now commonly recognised that the undisclosed Framework Agreement has been signed by the hands concealed. That is to say, the people cannot see the Agreement till today. It would not be wrong to set out that the hands are concealed because the said agreement has not be made public till today inspite of various demands from all circles/segments of the society. One basis justification is that it (the agreement) may have serious implications of the security of governance in the states of the North eastern region (i.e. the problem of protecting the peoples of Northeastern states).

As the agreement has been concealed, it is obvious that there is now much room/ large room for revision and re -revision of the agreement model to serve the interests of the peoples in the North Eastern states again , it is likely that the next party (i.e. the NSCN-IM) will agreed to the social equilibrium of the offer curve extended or supplied to them by the Government of India in order to subserve there (NSCN-IM) interests and avoid all sorts of conflicts between or among different communities in the Northeastern states particularly Manipur, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh etc.

In fact this unanimous decision cannot be poor mans adjustment in so far as the latter (i.e. the NSCN -IM) seems to have grand design to capture power and prestige in the name of Naga Integration, a term which is contradictory while considering that the every state is in a political entity in the federal structure of the country (India) under the Indian Constitution.

However, the present political trends and (political) development have clearly revealed that the Government of India is now trying hard for transformation and development of the national economy, focusing on the Northeastern states. But, there is always suspicion in the mind of the people as it may affect the people and state of Manipur in different ways and at different levels. It is therefore, necessary on the part of the centre to clear the doubts of the peoples in the North eastern states.

Again, it is likely that the classical use of the term, "transformation" will be relevant if it can address the interests of all sections of the society and also the interest of all states in the North eastern region . Thus the present article makes to brieftly re-examine the roles of the superstructure that seeks to grapple with the critical issues of socio economic changes in the context of framework agreement.

To begin with, it can be pointed out that the state is the highest form of superstructure that assures/takes the role of ruling class in any political , economic and social system Infact, a superstructure may be good or bad according to the mode of production or system of on relations in the social structure (of the society) .

Thus, in a welfare state which is also now interpreted as welfare of the people, the government tries to change the obsolete mode of production or social relation in a more better way/or in an efficient way in order to promote allround development of the people in the states In fact, the focus of developmen is now concentrated on the twin developments of the "peoples" and the "state". Thus, the government needs to play a crucial role in achievng rapid economic and social development in the country or in any state.

This is because the state is the most important part of the superstructure. And, there are also different forms of superstructure, such as political, legal, ideological (i.e. the various ideas or thoughts), religious and the influential institutions or organisation In fact all constructive ideas and institutions, such as political legal social etc. constitute the superstructure of the nation or the state. Thus, there are different views and institutions which form the superstructure in any society And, it is can also be pointed that the state or the government is the highest form of superstructure.

In fact, the superstructure is not a static concept And, it can be changed in a better direction or system according to the changes in ideas and institutions. Thus if there is change in the economic base (i.e the change in mode of production or social relationship in production with any dominant class), there can be change in the form of superstructure.

In fact, there can be a new or better superstructure in the socio economic and political system Nontheless, all elemens or components of superstructure will be under the state, which is the highest or the most important part of the superstructure . In this sense the state as a superstructure is another integrate part of sovereigny, which, according to professor Ashok Rudra, cannot be parcialised (into pieces). This logically imples that sovereignty of a nation is the whole entity or body of the nation, enshrined in the Indian constitution, which cannot be shared between the two parties or among some parties.

And, all elements or components/institutions of the superstructure will function under the sovereignty which is the supreme power of the nation. Thus, the sharing of sovereignty will tantamount to the disintegration of sovereignty of the nation or recolonisation of the nation by a new political class. It appears that this aspect in recognised by the Government of India. In fact, the states in India are already integrated and the forces of disintegration are political questions which are not attempted here.

However, it can be emphasised that any policy of integration or decentralision (i.e. autonomy) need not affect the various forms or elements/components of superstructure or power structure of the states, particularly in the Northeastern region of India. In fact, every state needs to be entrusted with the responsibility develop her own state without violating the principle of common objective of integreted development of the Northeastern region/states.

Thus a new form of superstructure of changes and development of various components/elements of the superstructure of a state need not affect the superstructures in other neighbouring states. Again, the formation of superstructures separately take place within the nation in different states. It would, therefore, be conflicting to cross any element of superstructure (i.e.the power structure of the state) over other state or states without the consent of the peoples and state.

In fact, in a federal system like India, the centre need not follow a false paradigm of development to destroy or destabilise the sanctity of superstructure in any state. Thus, in the light of above discussions, we shall briefly set out or evolve the roles of superstructure of state (s) in promoting peace and development, particulary in the Northeastern states of India, in the context of any undiscovered agreement or unexpected agreement signed or unsigned.

In the first place, it is necessary to grape all social, political and economic challenges as a whole that is now a taking place in the Northeastern states of the country. In the particular context of Manipur. it has been repeatedly emphasised and confirmed that Manipur was an independent kingdom. And, it was also an independent country. Thus, with the merger of Manipur with Indian Union, she beccame a part and parcel of the Indian Union (First as Union Territory and later as a full fledged state) .

In fact, Manipur plays a crucial role in building up the country (i.e Indian nation) Therefore, the territorial integrity of Manipur with the Indian Union need not be disturbed or destabilised in the name of any agreement as the state (Manipur) still enjoys the status of a separate political entity within the framework of Indian constitution (i.e within the political framework of Indian Union).

Second, it can also be emphasized that the people of Manipur will not agree to follow the system (now known as model) of "city state" of Plato and Aristotle (student of Plato) as it lacked all principles and qualitites of good life. In fact all "slaves within the slave states" that prevailed in different parts of the world in the ancient civilisations like Roman Empire, United states of America, Russia etc have been liberated freed. And what we need today is the development of the totality of cities or totality expansion of cities without any disturbance and barrier within the boundary of Manipur. This aspect requires further elaboration which is not attempted here due to the limited space.

Third, it can also be emphasised that all nations and states including different cities and towns should seek to reap the benefits of open economy or globalised economies rather than the protected narrow economy, which will have limited size of the market and limited political and economic circle that will severely affect the economic development of any nation, state, city etc. Therefore, the entire northeastern states need to be properly integrated both horizontally and vertically (i.e to generate forward and backward linkages) in terms of new model of open economy with proper national and state regulation that will also go a long way in consistently building up the national development (of India) and northeastern states including Manipur.

Fourth, another pertinent question relates to the harmful effects of the open system of the society, economy and perhaps the state as a whole. It is now well known that proper protection of the boundary of the country and state through deployment of armies and para military forces is extremely necessary. But within the same nation (i.e India) the factors of production are freely mobile as per the Indian constitution However, the state has the right to manage the movement of the factors.

But, the creation of a new Independent city just like the city of Rome within the state of Manipur will be like claiming for a city (polis) state created by Plato. In fact, in all democratic countries like India, the existence of slave state or city state within the slave states is no more in existence due to the verious reasons already known to all Again, the manorial system (i.e from the 4th century upto 14th and perhaps the beginning of the 15th century) had been completely declined and abolished Thus, there is no protected system or closed system in agricultural fields or systems due to the implementaion of land reform measures during the Post-Independence period in India including Manipur.

Again, there are institutional and technological barriers in a closed the agrarian economy. In fact, some technical protections are necessary. But, the political boundary as an independent state will defenitely affect the already existing state or the polity.

Therefore, it is necessary on the part of the government for proper and effective management of the common property resources (CPRs) including lands both in the hill and valley areas of Manipur. Again, the prevailing psychology and socio-economic conditions of the peoples in the North-eastern states call for re-examination of the theory and policies of property rights that can be applied to in both the hill and valley areas of Manipur in the context of any nudged agreement or without any agreement.

In fact, a separate commission will be required to examine the critical issues of property rights concerning the common property resources (CPRs) that exist both in the hill and valley areas of Manipur and make proper/effective recommendations to the government of Manipur in order to help in addressing the social, economic, political and other issues concerning the framework agreement. While the issues are very vast and perhaps they may not be able to cover in this limited article, the following brief model of solution may be set out in order to address the nudged agreement or framework agreement that may be signed or may not be signed proper/competent authority within framework of the Indian Constitution.

In the following discussion, in the first place, it can be emphasised that any kind of agreement need and disturb or affect not only the boundary or territorial integrity but also the administration and the political ruling of Manipur in terms of both horizontal or vertical governance without the consent of the people of Government of Manipur.

Second, in different Northeastern states including where there are different to communities, there can be different matrix of participatory development institutions. But, one community per se cannot claim a separate or independent authority above the state or state government as it is likely emerge a new political class that will challenge the already established superstructure of Manipur. In fact, in a new welfare state or developmentalist state, all participatory institutions (i.e development participation from the buttom) need to function under a strong or effective government.

Thus, any community cannot claim the model of independent states And, exclusion principle cannot be applied to other communities or class. What is immediately required is the creation of new institutions of participatory development that can create large-scale externalitites of benefits and development which can be enjoyed by all the communities or different groups of peoples in Manipur.

For instance, the creation of public good based on public choice need not be for one particular community or group only. Thus, the path to developmnet in Manipur needs to be in the form of integrated model with proper decentralisation under the state government In fact, the castewise development will lead to chaos and to disintegration of the state and government. Thus what is immediately required is the establishment of a full pledged participatory department of the state in order to open for opportunities for participatory development in Manipur.

Third, in the context of the framework agreement, it can be pointed out that the Indian constitution provides adequate provisions for safeguard and promotion of the Indian states. In fact, the Indian constitution provides different powers and functions for promotion, protection and overall development of the states. To cite an example, "public order" is within the ambit of the state List (List II) as per the Indian Constitution (Article 246 under Seventh Schedule).

Again, land, that is to say, rights in or over land and other related matters is within the state list as for the same Article (i.e 246) of the Indian Constitution. Alhough the Indian Parliament has the power to enact and amend the laws the state enjoys specific powers end functions under the state list (i.e List II) of the Indian constitution. Thus, the crucial role of the Centre is to promote and protect the interest of different states in India. Infact, the states need to be competitive and comparative without rivals within the Indian Union.

Thus, to solve the problems of peace in the Northeastern states it can be pointed out that the Centre can establish inter-state institution for integrated development at the governmental level with the centre (government of India) at the apex or at the top for overall development of the Northeastern states.

As there are different internatinal organisations, groups, conferences, forums, agencies etc. it can be suggested that the Centre may now try for establishing or initiating a new mechanism for insituting a new system like "the principles of common but with different responsibilities. for the Northeastern states in order to promote the different Northeastern states without affecting the superstructures or state authorities of the different states in Northeastern region.

In fact, this new participative institution can be a top-down and buttom-up model or system. And the government can create a people's sector in the new system or institution in which all stakeholders or any type of organisations need to be invited for participation in a democratic way. Thus, the Centre and states can now encourage or open a concept of "people sector" in which all underground organisations can lay down their arms and play constructive roles in building up the nation and the states, particularly the North-eastern states where the underground organisations are endemic for a long time.

Finally, it be emphasised that the demand for NSCN-IM need not affect the neighbouring states in any way. And it also, it need not affect the territorial integrity and peoples of the neighbouring states like Manipur, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh etc.

In fact, we are happy to note that Central and state governments, including Manipur are aware of these critical issues and policies.


* Dr L Krishnamangol Singh wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was posted on February 01, 2018.


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