TODAY -

Focus now on October 31 : Rally and bandh
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: October 29 2018 -



The focus will now be on the October 31 rally.

This is understandable given that the August 3, 2015 Framework Agreement continues to haunt the collective psyche of the people, more so with the highly secretive nature of the pact.

To be sure the focus on the October 31 rally will be not only from those who identify themselves with a united Manipur but also by those who stand on the other side of the Lim divide.

This is best exemplified by the decision of the United Naga Council (UNC), to impose a 12 hour bandh in all the Naga inhabited areas on October 31, obviously in a move to counter the stand of the United Committee, Manipur.

The message is clear. So while the proposed rally will ring out the message that people will not tolerate any move to dilute the understanding of Manipur as a geo-political entity, the proposed bandh will ring out the message that they stand by the idea of a Greater Lim or an agreement that will mean something for the Nagas, even at the cost of Manipur.

This is where the stand of the two organisations run along parallel lines with no meeting point.

A final pact will however have to be inked, and the interesting question is whether New Delhi will be able to walk the tight rope and ink a final deal without upsetting those who are on either side of the Lim divide.

Difficult it will be, for the two opposing stands are well known to all.

The final pact is yet to be inked, but it is clear that already people on either side have started rolling up their sleeves to face any eventuality and the decision to impose the bandh on the day the rally is being planned stands testimony to this line of thinking.

The October 31 rally and the 12 hours bandh may just be the precursor of things to come as each passing day means taking one step closer to the final deal or agreement.

In between October 31 and the final pact, anything can happen and this is where it becomes important for all to ensure that passions are not unnecessarily stoked.

Care should also be taken to ensure that all demands or stand points are directed only at New Delhi and not against each other.

This is where it becomes necessary for civil society organisations on either side of the Lim divide to ensure that they do not blow off their lid and come out with statements that may be seen as provocative to the other side.

The media too need to be extra cautious while covering any statements or press programmes on the said topic for what is beamed and written can have a big impact on the psyche of the people.

This is not to say that events connected to the ongoing peace talks should not be covered but the need to exercise caution cannot be over emphasised here.

The stake here is Manipur and the people.

And perhaps the first test for the people will come on October 31 when the rally and the bandh are observed simultaneously.

The rally and bandh may be on opposite sides but this does not mean that they need to be on a collision course. Let the two be held peacefully sans any provocation on others.

After October 31 then what, is the question that follows and if the past is any indication, then one can expect to see more such stand being vocalised on either side of the Lim divide.



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