TODAY -

Passage and cycle of violence
- Hueiyen Lanpao Editorial :: September 02 2015 -



Though the passage of the three Bills by the Government in its efforts to protect the indigenous people of Manipur had a smooth sail on the floor of the Manipur Legislative Assembly, the bills may now run into rough weathers if the feelings of tribal communities in the State are not assuaged.

Tribal organisations in the State had raised certain objections to the contents of The Protection of Manipur Peoples (PMP) Bill, 2015 and The Manipur Land Revenues and Land Reforms (MLR&R) (7th Amendment) Bill 2015 on the definition of “Manipur People” as per Clause 2 (b) of the first Bill.

The Zomi Council had pointed out that many citizens will be left out of the ambit of the definition of Manipur People - “Persons of Manipur whose names are in the National Register of Citizens 1951, Census Report 1951 and Village Directory of 1951 and their descendants who have contributed collective social, cultural and economic life of Manipur.”

The council argued that the three criteria were untenable as many people must have been left out during the period specified.

No Government machinery would have reached every “nook and corner” of the State as remote hill areas were “non-motorable” at that time.

Therefore, the ZC contended that the definition was against the provisions of the Citizenship Act of 1955.

Despite the argument put forth, the Government has assured that the Bills passed recently will not harm or infringe upon the interests of the hill people. However, the Government is yet to convince those who have raised the banner of dissent.

The current spate of tension in the hills would have been kept at bay if the Government had taken adequate measures to invite all stakeholders so as to clarify all doubts of the people of the hill areas with regard to the bills meant for the protection of the indigenous communities of the Manipur.

Taking any steps forward now to lessen the tempo of the strident protests would be too little and too late.

With the damage already caused, the best way the State Government can redeem itself from the chasm of turmoil is to keep appealing for calm.

Enough should be done to salvage the confidence of the leaders from the hill districts and if there are any thorny issues at hand, the Government should provide a platform where all doubts could be cleared.

Till then, any forms of fire-fighting would be rendered meaningless in the oft repeated cycle of violence.



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