TODAY -

Addressing gap between hills and valley : Need to take all on board
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: March 27 2018 -



Gap between hills and valley addressed to a large extent.

A big achievement this is and yes the BJP led Government should take credit for this.

It is no longer ‘the communal Government of Manipur’ to many of the hill based organisations, particularly the United Naga Council and this is something very significant.

Remember the reception that former Chief Minister O Ibobi received when he went to Ukhrul to inaugurate the district hospital there some years back or the ‘welcome to Nagalim’ banner that greeted the former Chief Minister at Senapati.

For all practical purposes such receptions have now become part of history and here is hoping that the State does not see a repeat of the earlier ugly episodes.

Chief Minister N Biren certainly seems to have reached out to the hill people and this can only be good for Manipur and idea of Manipur as a geo-political reality.

Now that the Government has succeeded in reaching out to the hills, the same question may be asked to the numerous civil society organisations, whose writ runs largely in the valley.

Have any efforts been made to reach out to the hill based organisations on issues which really concern the natives of the land ?

Here it is important to note that the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS) had announced some time back that a good number of Naga civil society organisations including the UNC have backed the demand to have a mechanism that will regulate the inflow of non-local people into the State.

This is extremely important for remember how Churachandpur went up in flames when the Assembly passed three Bills on August 31, 2015.

Anti-tribal Bills, was the tag given to the three Bills by all the hill based organisations back then and while it is still unclear on how the three Bills were against the interest of the tribals, what should not be forgotten is the fact that the hills are Constitutionally protected.

It is the valley that needs some sort of a protection from the large scale influx of non-locals into the State.

This fact should not blow over the head of anyone.

It is again precisely because of this fact that The Sangai Express had on more than one occasion suggested a Bill only for the valley area.

Now that the UNC and other Naga CSOs have backed the demand of the JCILPS, it remains to be seen how it reaches out to the Churachandpur JAC that was formed after the Assembly passed the three Bills in 2015.

Efforts must be underway to reach out to the Churachandpur JAC and other civil society organisations based there and the need to take everyone along cannot be overlooked.

The Government has succeeded in reaching out to the hills and it is right that CSOs based in the valley and the hills reach out to each other and jointly tackle issues which are crucially important to the local people.

Take everyone along, should be the call of all concerned.

This is important for the brief lull now should not lead anyone to believe that the demand for a mechanism to regulate the entry of non-locals into the State has been dropped.



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