TODAY -

C Doungel right on target Drafting a new Bill
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: August 08 2016 -



Right on so many points. That is the observation of former Minister and veteran political leader C Doungel.

The former Minister was bang on target in stating that putting the base year of defining indigenous people of the land at 1951 was not at all practical as there is no National Register of Citizens (NRC) of 1951.

An RTI application submitted by a social worker seeking the NRC of 1951 should testify the observation of the former Minister.

Moreover, as he pointed out, the status of Meiteis who came to Manipur from Bangladesh after 1949 too should be taken into consideration while drafting any Bill to identify the non-local people.

Wonder whether these thoughts have crossed the mind of the Government or not.

It is also important to ask whether the veteran political leader had posed this question to the Government or not.

Whatever the case it is, an important observation has been made and for the sake of the people and the land, the Government should take due note of it.

On the Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms (7th Amendment) Bill, 2015, C Doungel was again on target when he observed that a clause, ‘this Bill applies only to the areas covered by the Principal Act’ should have been inserted.

Such a clause would have meant that the new Bill will be applicable only in the area where the MLR and LR Act is in force, which is the valley area.

In the face of the strong demand raised by the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS) that a new Bill be introduced in the forthcoming Assembly session, the State Government seems to be seriously working towards drafting a new Bill.

As things stand today, the people have been given to understand that the new Bill will be introduced in the coming Assembly session and is being prepared in consultation with Constitutional experts.

This is fine for what is stake here is the future of the land and the people.

Taking into account the reality, the sharp divide that the three Bills gave rise to when they were passed in the Assembly on August 31 last year, the task before the Government is clear.

What is needed is not only a Bill which can keep a check on the large scale influx of non-local people into the State but also a Bill which will not sow the seeds of divide.

It is this which the Government should keep in mind while drafting the new Bill.

On the other hand, the people too should realise that what is being demanded is a legal mechanism which will protect the interest of the indigenous people.

This plain fact should not be lost on anyone.



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