TODAY -

Ahead of October 31 rally : Manipur is a reality !
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: October 20 2018 -



By all accounts, the proposed October 31 rally seems set to be a huge affair.

With many civil society organisations including the All Manipur Muslim Development Committee (AMMDC), Chanura Lamchinglel Kangleipak (CLK) and the Young Voluntary Organisation (YVO) pledging support to the proposed rally, one can expect numerous voluntary organisations going on a mobilisation drive ahead of the proposed rally.

Also interesting to note that all major political parties in the State have agreed to extend co-operation to the proposed rally with the BJP just falling shy of outrightly giving an assurance, but qualifying it with the rider that they need to consult the matter with the party president first.

Not very clear whether the party president meant the State unit president, K Bhabananda or the National party president Amit Shah.

Whatever it is, the rally seems poised to be a big one and even as voices are raised to protect the interests of the State if and when the final agreement is inked between the NSCN (IM) and the Government of India, the right thing would be to question oneself why situation has come to such a pass that a group ostensibly representing a community has raised the voice of cutting ties with Manipur.

There could be many reasons for this, but the fact stands that such a stand has been raised and this is sharply reflected in the point that not all are ready to identify themselves with Manipur.

This is the reason why Tangkhuls from Ukhrul and Kamjong districts of Manipur, Poumais, Maos and Marams from Senapati district, Zeliangrongs from Tamenglong district identify themselves with students from Nagaland in Naga student unions in any part of the country where students from the North East throng, most notably Delhi University.

Again it is along this line again why questions are raised when a Manipur bandh is imposed by any group which are identified with the Meiteis as to why it should be termed as Manipur when it does not have any effect in the hill districts.

Refusing to identify oneself with Manipur and this goes a long way in underlining where Manipur stands in the consciousness of quite a large number of hill people.

This is a fact and there cannot be two ways about it, but the more important is to question why this is so.

There could be many approaches to tackle this poser, but it is more than obvious that this is not a recent development.

In fact this reality predates the ceasefire agreement between the NSCN (IM) and the Government of India back in 1997 and it is more than obvious that the seeds of breaking away from Manipur were sown a long time back.

It is this which the NSCN (IM) leadership had foreseen or had started working towards.

And this is where the far sightedness of the leadership of the outfit should be noted, whether one agrees with their agenda or not.

It is this ghost which today has come to haunt the collective psyche of the people who identify themselves with Manipur as a socio-political reality.

That Manipur existed as a distinct political reality is a fact which cannot be disputed under any circumstances.

It also stands that the Tangkhuls of Ukhrul, the Zeliangrongs of Tamenglong and the Poumais of Senapati share a commonality with the Meiteis of Manipur much more than they do with the Angamis, Lothas, and Aos of Nagaland.

This is a fact which will stand the test of time and this is the spirit behind the proposed October 31 rally.



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