TODAY -

Bill to regulate inflow of non-locals : Need to learn from 2015
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: May 07 2018 -



The lessons from 2015 must not be forgotten.

More than sure that the BJP led Government must be aware of this, but yet at the same time it is important to remind all concerned that Manipur cannot afford to have a repeat of 2015, after the State Assembly passed the three Bills on August 31, 2015.

What happened back then must still be fresh in the minds of the people and the grieving family members of those killed in the Churachandpur protest cannot have forgotten the ugly fall out.

With Chief Minister N Biren Singh announcing that a Bill to regulate the inflow of non-locals into the State will be tabled in the next Assembly session, the question that may be asked is, have the people been taken into confidence ?

Or what steps will be taken up to ensure that all sections of the people are taken into confidence while preparing the Bill ?

The JCILPS is no doubt at the forefront demanding a Bill to regulate the inflow of non-locals into the State, but it is important to ensure that any Bill which is passed is accepted by all sections of the people and not only the JCILPS.

Moreover has the JCILPS been able to get in touch with the Churachandpur JAC, now that the matter has been discussed with the UNC some time back ?

If not yet, then when does it intend to sit down with the Churachandpur JAC and talk things over as the issue concerns the interest of all communities in Manipur ?

The Churachandpur JAC too need to come out and state what they found so objectionable in the three Bills passed in 2015 so that the same is not repeated now.

The bottomline is, an issue which should have united the people did not do so back in 2015 and hence Manipur cannot afford to see a repeat of the past.

Other than ensuring that the new Bill does not pitch the people against each other, the BJP led Government too must make sure that it is acceptable to all and does not go the way of the earlier Bills.

This is where it will need to discuss the matter with legal luminaries.

At the same time it is also important to send out the message that the Bill is about protecting the interest of the indigenous people of Manipur and is not aimed against outsiders or non-locals.

This calls for a united approach between the Government and the CSOs, particularly the JCILPS.

Any wrong message to non-local people will not be good for the people of Manipur and this is a truism which cannot be swept under the carpet.

At the same time it is also important to question why Manipur continues to draw such a large number of non-locals into the State.

This is a question which has been repeatedly asked in this column but unfortunate it is that no one seems to have given this any importance.

As long as vacuums are created, it is but natural that others will rush in to fill that vacuum and this is exactly what has been going on in Manipur for decades.

With the locals not willing to take up manual labour, it is the non-locals who arrive to provide the service.

A look at any of the localities in Imphal will suffice this.

Moreover the locals also need to be more courteous and come to the realisation that the customer is the king and brusquely addressing them will not attract customers.

Serious thoughts should be given to these points.



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