TODAY -

Dark patches on glorious path
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: August 22 2015 -



Indeed, it is quite disturbing and we fear if the ongoing mass movement has started deviating from its right course.

It is good that the momentum of the movement is still very much alive but how the movement has been localised and taken into the hands of each group of protesters is a matter of serious concern.

How could one justify attacking doctors, medical staff and ambulances?

Water supply is one essential service but two water tanker drivers were physically assaulted for defying bandh, another unannounced localised bandh.

Then there was this report of snatching a scooter, more precisely a Honda Activa, by a bandh supporter. On August 16, one woman Pradhan suffered severe injuries after supporters of another localised bandh attacked the vehicle in which she was travelling.

The Pradhan and some other people were bringing a sick man to JNIMS but the bandh supporters did not bother to raise a single question before attacking the vehicle and its occupants.

Since the last three/four days, such disturbing reports have been trickling in regularly in the newsroom.

Perhaps, it may be a pressure tactics. Localised bandhs, dharnas, mass rallies and hunger strikes have been continuing relentlessly although JCILPS and the State Government have sealed an agreement.

Literally, the Government is cornered and it has little room to manoeuvre except for giving in to the popular demand.

This is in fact a moral victory for the masses achieved through prolonged, extensive and collective struggle.

Yes, we are on the threshold of victory as far as getting a Bill passed by the Manipur Legislative Assembly for protection of indigenous people is concerned.

Whether the Governor gives his assent or withholds it or sends it to the Government of India is another matter.

We have come thus far and we cannot afford losing sight of the ultimate goal.

Indeed, this journey of mass protest movement is a glorious one but we are afraid that the final path is smirched with dark patches.

A movement of such scale cannot be localised and left to everyone who chooses to command their own platoons of protesters.

The vanguards of the mass protest movement should ensure that it is moving on the right course and that different groups of protesters are not pulling it in different directions, either wittingly or unwittingly.

The ultimate goal is in sight and the vanguards cannot dither at this stage.

Targeting doctors and staff has all the potential to pull away all the medical fraternity from the popular movement.

Likewise, targeting sick people and their escorts can rob away sympathy and support of a large section of people.

No doubt, the movement must continue until its objective is achieved but one cannot let it drift in such localised, unorganised manner.

When bandh supporters have started targeting people associated with medical and essential services, one would like to ask whether the movement is perfectly on its right course.

So much energy and time have been spent to bring the movement up to this stage.

Stray and unmindful actions of some supporters of localised bandhs should not let it botched.

After all bandhs, general strikes, mass rallies, hunger strikes et al are only means to achieve something, not the end.

People are already suffering a lot. Please donít harass them unnecessarily, anymore.

At least, please spare those people associated with essential services. One needs no reminder.

Vast majority of the people support the ongoing movement and they are also taking active part in their own capacities.

Then why should we antagonise each other by subjecting one another to unnecessary harassment?



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