TODAY -

Deep divide between different communities : The idea of a Manipuri
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: October 22 2015 -



The divide is deep, very deep.

Time for all to acknowledge this instead of trying to camouflage the truth with some high sounding slogan.

As things stand today there is nothing at all to suggest that something is fine in the relationship between the three major communities of Manipur-the Meiteis, the Nagas and the Kukis.

The three Bills passed by the State Legislative Assembly on August 31 this year may be the immediate factor for the present situation but it stands that this would not have come about if there was something right in the relationship amongst the three major communities in the State.

Long before Churachandpur erupted in protest and long before the other hill districts rose in opposition against the three Bills, the valley was in turmoil for days with protesters taking to the street and demanding the enforcement of the Inner Line Permit System or some other legislation to keep a check on the large scale incursion of non-local people into the soil of Manipur.

Protecting the indigenous people is the rationale behind the call sounded to restrict the inflow of non-local people into Manipur while on the other hand, the hill districts, particularly Churachandpur, are primarily against the cut off base of 1951 as the year to identify who is an indigenous settler of Manipur.

Arguments have been flying thick and fast and while the two sides have been ostensibly championing the cause of the people they claim to represent, no thought seems to have been given to the relationship between the different communities.

Can the valley area really exist without the hills and can the hills really exist without the valley area ?

The answer should be obvious to all but yet no one seems to have given any thought to this.

There are many Meiteis, many Nagas, many Kukis and people from other communities here but tough to find anyone who is a Manipuri.

This should raise the question of why the idea or the identity of a Manipuri has failed to catch the fancy of numerous people.

To think that it is only the Meiteis who have not hesitated to identify themselves as Manipuris and herein lies the question of why the idea of a Manipuri has failed to seep into the consciousness of the other communities.

A serious question it is and something which should be taken up with the seriousness it deserves.

Numerous sub-tribes in Nagaland, but ultimately everyone identify themselves as a Naga there.

It is the same thing with the Mizos in Mizoram as well as the Arunachalis in Arunachal Pradesh.

Something is basically wrong and the present trouble that Manipur is passing through right now may be attributed to the failure to make the term Manipuri inclusive.

A question which should be the concern of everyone here.



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