TODAY -

Dialogue with UNC; ILP demand : Issues before the BJP Govt
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: July 21 2017 -



Next round of tripartite talks between the UNC, State Government and the Centre scheduled on July 22.

Students storming Raj Bhavan demanding a Constitutional mechanism to regulate the inflow of non-local people into the State.

Clearly the task before the State Government is laid out.

How it goes about dealing with the two immediate issues remains to be seen, but the work ahead is already laid out.

Good that the NPF is part and parcel of the BJP led coalition Government but no one knows how long this honeymoon will last given the political situation at Nagaland with the NPF severing all ties with the BJP and this must be already weighing on the minds of Chief Minister N Biren and the State BJP leaders.

What however will not be decided by political developments in the neighbouring States is the demand raised by students under the aegis of Kangleipak Studentsí Association and while there has been a lull in the demand to implement the Inner Line Permit System or a similar mechanism to regulate the inflow of non-local people into the State, it may just be the proverbial lull before the storm.

A look back at the stormy days of 2015 and early part of 2016 will leave no one in doubt of the intensity of the movement back then to demand a Constitutional mechanism to check the inflow of non-local people.

This is something which would not have blown over the head of Chief Minister N Biren and perhaps the best next step would be to study how to avoid a recurrence of the days gone by.

If 2016 will be remembered for the decision of the then Congress Government to create seven new districts and which led to the imposition of the record breaking economic blockade by the UNC, then 2015 will certainly be remembered for the days of street protests in Imphal to demand a mechanism to check the entry of non-local people into the State.

There is no guarantee that the State will not see a repeat of the last two years.

This possibility is that much stronger if the BJP led Government takes a wrong step.

This is where it needs to use the good reach of its partners in the Government and see how to utilise their services.

The goodwill that the NPF enjoys with the UNC and other Naga civil society organisations can definitely be put to good use while engaging with the UNC on the district creation issue.

The BJP may also use the office of the NPP while preparing any Bill to restrict the influx of non-local people into the State.

At the same time the BJP led Government may also study the possibility of preparing a Bill that may be applicable only to the valley for it is the valley which does not have any Constitutional safeguards from the influx of non-local people.

The bodies spearheading the ILP movement may also study why Manipur continues to be such an attractive place for non-local people.

Why canít the local people take up the vocations which are currently being occupied by the non-locals ?

Dignity of labour and this is something which needs to be drilled into the consciousness of the local people for in not willing to take up any work which entails physical efforts, the local people end up creating a vacuum and when a vacuum is created it is but natural for others to rush in and fill the vacuum.

This is a point which should be seriously studied by all concerned.



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