TODAY -

From Pandey to now : State Govt CMs call against bandh
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: September 27 2018 -



From Pandey versus the university community it has now turned into a stand off between the university community and the State Government.

This is best exemplified by the midnight raid at MU campus in the dead of the night some days back, the continuing confrontation between college students and State police in the last few days capped off with the 48 hours bandh imposed by a number of student organisations, including AMSU, DESAM, MSF, KSA, SUK and AIMS.

On the other hand the bandh call has been soundly rejected by the tribal students, led by ATSUM, KSO Ghqs, ANSAM and TSA.

While the stand of the tribal students is understandable, one wonders whether explicitly stating that the bandh will not be supported in the hill areas is timely and logical.

If one goes by incidents in the past, any bandh call raised by any of the said six student organisations invariably had little effect in the hill districts and there is no reason to believe that this time would be any different.

Herein lies the question of where lies the importance of announcing that the bandh call will not be supported in the hill areas ?

In the same way any bandh or agitation called by ATSUM, ANSAM or KSO has had little impact in the valley area and therefore there was never the need to say that the line of action proposed by these student organisations will not be backed or endorsed in the valley area.

The point is, it makes no sense to publicly state such a stand at this point of time.

Rest assured the bandh call will not have much impact at the hill areas and practically there is no need to announce that the bandh call will not be supported in the hill areas.

That Chief Minister N Biren has taken the bandh call seriously can be vouched from the manner he went live on All India Radio and explained the stand of the Government.

How well the announcement of the Chief Minister went down with the public is yet to be known, but N Biren has certainly delivered a significant point and this is something which all must ponder over for the sake of the land and MU in particular.

Apart from the Chief Minister going live on air, the manner in which the State Government has announced that office attendance is compulsory for all Government employees during the bandh hours is another pointer to how serious the State Government is over the bandh call.

True such a notification or whip before a bandh is normal, but there is something serious in the notification issued this time, which cannot be verbalised but which can be felt significantly.

And there are reasons to believe that the State Government has taken a serious view over the bandh call.

Apart from the Chief Minister going live on air, the notification issued by the Chief Secretary asking all employees to be present in office during the bandh period, remember the BJP led Government came to power riding on the slogan of Bandh Free Manipur.

The important question is, will the 48 hours bandh make the case of the students any stronger or will it give more leverage to the State Government to crack down on the agitation, underlining the point that the MU issue has gone from Pandey versus the university community to State Government versus the university community.

The losers here are the students and Manipur, the place.



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