Manipulating emotions not the way forward
- Imphal Times Editorial :: December 29 2016 -
The immediate future of the state, more specifically the path which the tensive social and communal emotions will take is hinged on the outcome of the closed door discussion of the UNC which is underway at present.
While the resolutions of the consultation are still within the realm of speculation, going by earlier statements made by the party, one might hazard a guess.
Despite repeated requests and appeals from all quarters and sections of the population including various valley based Naga organisation to lift the blockade which just went on to show the extent of distress and inconvenience caused by the protracted restrictions to the common people cutting across communal and ethnic lines, the indefinite economic blockades still continues to deteriorate the economic and humanitarian challenges posed by the demonetization move announced by the Modi Government on November 8.
While some of the concerns raised by the UNC might have credited deliberation, the means with which the attempt to force their demand has increasingly become apparent of a vindictive and communal undertone as the pressure to rake up their concerns have fallen on the common people and no on the government.
Moreover, using the lifelines of the state to vent their displeasures is nothing new, and despite repeated attempts to choke the entire state and hold the people of Manipur to ransom thereby treating the whole population as a collateral damage on innumerable counts earlier, the only significant achievement of such divisive forces has been to drive the communal wedge further.
A political issue needs a political solution and no amount of justification or rationalizing for such deeds will lessen the stigma such socially caustic actions rightfully deserves.
It must be mentioned here that even when numerous valley based organizations and groups spontaneously started carrying out “counter-blockades’ in parts of the valley as a reaction to the protracted action of the UNC against the people of the state, responsible CSOs approached and managed to pacify them, and is still trying to contain the rising anger and disappointments over the adamant attitude by those still threatening to strangle the life out of the people in the state.
The state of Manipur belongs to Manipuris, and this concept of plurality needs to be embraced and respected if any individual or group wants to be a part of the experience.
Insidious attempts to fragment the fragile yet colourful social fabric have never been tolerated in the past and the sentiment will continue to be the guiding force for all Manipuris.
Faith and beliefs are very personal concepts which need to be respected and tolerated. To manipulate the sentiment of others on lines of religion and ethnicity is but sowing the seed of turmoil and chaos.
If the intrinsic goal of the UNC is such, then perhaps their objective has been fulfilled.
And yet in this ever broadening global village where the overriding objective of the collective is progress and inclusive development, mindsets of exclusivity will never find a lasting place, for change is inevitable and it is time to focus on the future which has a place for everyone of us who can tolerate, respect and relate with another whose beliefs and faith might differ from ours.
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