TODAY -

Fresh ultimatum and bodies lying in state : The Manipuri identity
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: December 04 2015 -



Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown and clearly Chief Minister O Ibobi must be feeling the heat from all quarters.

At Churachandpur the bodies of the nine people killed during the massive protest on August 31 and September 1 against the three Bills passed by the State Legislative Assembly are still lying in state and on the other hand the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS) has already served December 15 as the deadline to implement the agreement reached with the Government.

The stand of the JCILPS is clear, if the agreement is not translated into action within the deadline served then an intense agitation would be launched from December 16.

On the other hand, there is nothing to suggest that the protest against the three Bills has waned in the hill districts, particularly in Churachandpur district.

Tough to say how the State Government will respond to the deadline served by the JCILPS, but this must have started giving headaches to the Chief Minister and his men and surely no one would want to be in the shoes of the Chief Minister.

So are the valley areas going to relive the days of protest witnessed before the three Bills were passed on August 31 ?

How does the State Government intend to tackle the extremely contentious issue ?

Difficult to say, but the days ahead could certainly be stormy.

Importantly have the people learnt any lesson from the days of protest in the valley area ?

Why has situation come to such a pass that what one group of people demand is seen to be directly infringing on the interest of another group of people ?

A clear case of distrust and mutual animosity.

As repeated many times in this column, there are Meiteis, Nagas and Kukis amongst the indigenous people of Manipur, but hardly any Manipuri.

This is not identity politics, but there must be a reason why everyone is more keen in asserting their identity along community affiliation and not according to the State of Manipur and herein lies the biggest challenge before the people.

Time to acknowledge that the divide amongst the people is indeed deep and this is the first point which should be addressed to work out mutual understanding. The days of pretence is over.

Acknowledge that nothing much is right in the relationships amongst the people and accordingly try to find out where common meeting points can be reached.

As the majority community in the State, the Meiteis should take the lead of reaching out and trying to understand the differences amongst the different communities in the State.

The State Government too must come to the point that for too long it has been identified along with a community and this is a cause for concern.

This has been underlined many times earlier and the latest call for separate administrations for the hill people should drive home this point.

In a way this also says something about the failure of the Government to take all the people along.



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