TODAY -

15 hours shut down in the hills : Time for reality check
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: March 15 2016 -



15 hours shut down to mark the 200th day of the protest lodged against the three Bills passed by the State Assembly on August 31, 2015.

This is the call rung out by the Churachandpur JAC and the United Naga Council (UNC) has followed suit in the name of ‘tribal solidarity.’

This is one part of the story revolving around the attempt made by the State Government to check the inflow of non-local people into the soil of Manipur.

As an off shoot of the protest against the three Bills, Keishamthong Assembly Constituency MLA L Ibomcha has asserted that there is no question of withdrawing the FIR lodged against the Chief Minister of Nagaland, TR Zeliang for his reported statement delivered during the Lui-Ngai-Ni festival at Ukhrul on February 16.

On the other hand, the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS) has more than indicated that they are ready to launch a series of movement to put the pressure on the State Government to get the three Bills passed by the Centre.

Maybe this threat may see the light of day once the ongoing Class X and Class XII board examinations and the upcoming Yaoshang festival are over.

Other than this, UNC has also announced that the proposed ‘coffin rally’ (the coffin to denote the nine bodies which are lying in state at Churachandpur) will be held any day after the 15 hours total bandh.

The coming days will again test Manipur and while protest is nothing new in this part of the world, it will do good for everyone to mull over the community to community divide that has arisen along the way.

At the moment the protest is against the three Bills, but the deep divide that these three Bills have spawned definitely points to the fact that nothing is right between different communities.

UNC and the Churachandpur JAC are today talking about tribal solidarity but remember this solidarity will vanish once the demand to upgrade Sadar Hills to the status of a district is raised vocally.

Also good for everyone to remember that the slogans coined to denote the close ties between the hill people and valley dwellers will evaporate in the face of the demand raised for separate administrations for the hills and valley.

Nothing seems to be right and this should more than say that the different approaches adopted by different organisations to bridge the gap between the hill and valley people have all fallen short.

Serves no purpose in finger pointing but there is the growing need for social leaders of different communities to sit down together and see how the wrongs can be put right.

A sincere approach is what is needed and it may be for the good of everyone to honestly study where and how things went wrong.

Also opportune to study whether any of the ills of the past are still being practised or not.

Time for a reality check and perhaps the first thing needed is to forsake the hollow slogans.



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