TODAY -

Govt. needs to look back in the past if have strong will to introduce ILPS
- Imphal Times Editorial :: April 27 2018 -



Chief Minister N. Biren Singh’s announcement to introduce an ILPS like Bill in the upcoming state legislative Assembly session, while delivering speech on Khongjom Day is a good gesture.

However, the past incidents should be kept in mind if the Bill is introduced as the matter is a very sensitive issue which has the tendency to spark mass agitation.

The unenviable credit for the unfolding social and political circumstances leading to the decision to withdraw the much maligned Manipur Regulation on Visitors, Tenants and Migrant Workers’ Bill 2015 (MRVTMW Bill) by the state Government after drawing much flak from every quarter of the society as well as the violent protest after 3 ILPS Bills were introduced on August 31 ,2015 , had spark unprecedented protest resulting unfortunate loss of many lives with many more agitators subjected to police excesses must undoubtedly go to the state government.

And yet, the present fallout had already been prophesied at the outset when much furor was raised even as the government raised the subject.

Had the state government have the temerity to discuss the matter with every single stakeholder or representatives thereof and effected any rectifications or modifications as needed, things would definitely have been a lot more pleasant and satisfying.

It is easier said than done, and worse still, old habits die hard- or in this particular instance - old habits proved to be the defining factor in every decision or resolution ever made by the state government.

Politics have always been about numbers, but the state government have literally taken things a bit too far when it introduced the MRVTMW Bill or the 3 ILPS related Bills due to its sheer majority in the house despite a vehement and justified protest from all spheres of the population including a number of opposition members of the state assembly.

Perhaps those at the helm of power failed to realize that the number of representatives present in state the assembly is not the ultimate number which needs to be coerced or influenced for things to happen, but that they are mere representatives of the public who outnumbers them in excess of a thousand to one ratio.

Like the two serious event , if the ILPS like Bill which the Chief Minister announced to introduce in the next assembly session without consulting the stakeholders, the public will once more felt cheated of the trust they imposed on their representatives, and the consequence will be spontaneous decision of the enraged public to take their grievances and demands to their doorsteps.

Now that the milk has been spilled, it is the perfect, and possibly the final opportunity for the state government to make things right and reclaim for itself some of the credibility and respect which have taken a deep plunge.

It goes without saying that the opinions and suggestions of every section of the society need to be sought and analysed in detail.

It must, however have the political will and determination to resist any unwarranted pressure, and must convey its intent to the public in no uncertain terms.

It would be interesting to keep a close watch on the unfolding of events.

And while every eye and ear will be tuned in to the developments, one can only hope and pray that lessons have been learnt, and that the tantalizing wait for the elusive peace will finally be over.



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