TODAY -

Shut down in hills, Unity Day in valley :: Reflecting sharp polarisation
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: June 20 2017 -



A clear reflection of the sharp polarisation between the people of the hills and the valley.

And nothing brought this out more clearly than on June 18, when the valley areas of Manipur observed the Great June, Unity Day at Kekrupat and the United Naga Council imposed a 12 hour total shut down in the Naga areas.

This despite the fact that the BJP led Government has been reaching out to the hill districts and is supping with the Naga People’s Front in the coalition Government.

This should be a reminder to all that despite the new found camaraderie between different sections of the people some contentious points still remain to be addressed.

True the 12 hour total shut down in the Naga areas was not called against anyone or any institution, but why pick June 18 as the day to express support to the ongoing peace process between the Government of India and the NSCN (IM), is a natural question that follows.

In picking June 18 to highlight their case, the UNC is laying down some very audible points and this is something which would not have missed the eyes and ears of the State Government and the Central intelligence agencies.

The divide is indeed deep and while the job of politically addressing the issue may be left to the policy framers of the State and the country, it would be in the fitness of things for everyone to address this deep divide.

As things stand today, enough has already been said on the deep divide and without explicitly going into the reasons why this is the case today, it would be right for all to see how to march ahead as one people.

And it is here that all, especially the valley people should ask why many of the hill people refuse to identify themselves with the political entity called Manipur.

This is a fact and refusing to accept this fact would amount to refusing the reality.

Why is it that numerous Naga students from Manipur do not identify themselves with Manipur student organisations outside the State ?

It is the same case with the Kuki students too. The only community which identity themselves as Manipuris are inevitably the Meiteis and this is a point which should be studied with all the seriousness it deserves for this moves much beyond names and reflects people’s identity with the place they come from.

In a way the refusal to identify oneself with the place of one’s birth questions the idea of Manipur as a geo-political reality.

It is this which came out in its full glory during the Great June Uprising, Unity Day observance at Kekrupat in Imphal and the 12 hours total shut down in the Naga areas called by the United Naga Council.

It will be interesting to see how the BJP led Government in Imphal and New Delhi proceed to resolve the trust deficit between different sections of the people in Manipur.

As stated earlier, a lot will depend on the people to people contact.



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