TODAY -

No meeting point visible as yet : Pulling in opposite directions
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: August 29 2016 -



No meeting point visible as yet.

Nearly one year down the line and it is more than clear that the Churachandpur JAC and the JCILPS are yet to see eye to eye.

Caught in the middle is the State Government, with the JCILPS piling on the pressure to pass a Bill in the upcoming session of the State Assembly while the Churachandpur JAC has lined up a series of programmes ahead of August 31, the date when the State Assembly passed the three Bills last year.

Already the Churachandpur JAC has come out with the list of things to be done in the next few days starting with a total shutdown at Churachandpur from midnight of August 28 till 12 noon the next day.

This will be followed by a unity rally of the tribals to be led by the Thadou Women’s Association, general headquarters.

On the same day, that is August 29, a silent rally will be staged by womenfolk of Churachandpur followed by candle lighting at all the homes of the tribals.

August 30 will again see a total shutdown at Churachandpur till 12 noon and a public rally from Churachandpur college campus at 10 am the same day.

Another protest march has also been lined up from Singngat to Churachandpur covering a total of 34 kms followed by candle lighting at 6.30 pm.

A torch rally has also been lined up and release of flying lanterns.

A total shutdown of all institutions and establishments in all tribal areas has also been called on August 31 and all the tribals have been urged to comply as a sign of respect to the nine people killed during the protest after the State Assembly passed the three Bills last year.

Significantly August 31 has been christened Tribal Unity Day with the main function to centre around this slogan.

The JCILPS on the other hand has not spelt out in detail what it intends to do in the next couple of days, but to be sure the pressure will be on the Government to finalise a Bill.

Significantly the JCILPS has vetoed the idea of changing the base year from 1951 to 1972 and herein perhaps lies the biggest challenge before the Government.

How things will proceed from here is tough to say but Manipur can certainly gear up for some tumultuous days ahead.

The most crucial aspect however does not seem to have been given much thought.

As things stand today, it is not clear whether Delhi will give the nod to the fresh Bill which will presumably be passed when the Assembly meets in September.

Yet despite this, a number of opinion has been already been passed and made public with some sticking to the stand that if the new Bill contains any point that may be seen as anti-tribal it will be opposed tooth and nail.

In the tug of war between the two diametrically opposing voices, the real issue, which is to save the indigenous people from the incessant influx of non-local people into the soil of Manipur seems to have evaporated.

As noted earlier in this column, why not explore the idea of preparing a Bill which will be enforced only in the valley area, for remember the hills are Constitutionally protected ?



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