TODAY -

From 'ahead of final pact' to CAB : A case of double whammy
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: November 19 2019 -



A double whammy it is. Even as the State has been living in a state of high tension ahead of the final pact between the NSCN (IM) and the Government of India and Ďalertí sit-in protests have been defining the State, especially Imphal and the adjoining districts, came the information that the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) has been listed in the items of business for the Winter session of Parliament which is currently underway.

The Manipur People Against CAB (MANPAC) has already lined up a series of protests, starting with the mass protest at the historic Khwairamband Keithel, bringing back memories of the days when womenfolk halted the night at the same spot in the early part of this year to protest against any move to enact the Bill.

Early part of 2019 and cut to the present and there is every indication that Manipur will see a replay of the protests that literally paralysed the State for days.

So from the series of protests against anything that would compromise with the interests of Manipur in the final pact to be inked with the NSCN (IM) any day soon, Manipur is today again caught in the dust set to be kicked up by the CAB.

Even as this is being written, the 18 hours bandh called by MANPAC has already come into force and the natural question is, what after the bandh ?

What other forms of protest can the people expect ?

Will there be another series of mass mobilisation to tell the Centre that the doors of the North East, particularly Manipur, cannot be simply opened to outsiders ?

The interesting point is, the CAB is set to come into force even as there is still the cry that a mechanism be put in place to regulate the inflow of non-locals into the State, a movement spearheaded by the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System.

This is where the spirit behind the demand that the inflow of non-locals be regulated stand to be defeated.

On the other hand, it is not surprising that the BJP led Government at New Delhi is intent on re-introducing CAB and enacting it this time.

No surprises here and this is where the BJP may be said to have been very forthright.

No beating around the bush and as a political party it had the conviction to announce that CAB would be re-introduced and enacted if the BJP were voted back to power.

This was before the Lok Sabha polls with Amit Shah announcing the same at Assam, during a poll campaign.

Despite the strong protest put up against the move of the Centre to enact CAB at the beginning of this year, the voters of the Inner Parliamentary Constituency went ahead and voted in favour of the BJP candidate.

Nothing wrong here, but this is where questions ought to be raised on where the people stand on CAB now.

Wasnít the very act of voting for the BJP candidate a sort of an endorsement given to the CAB ?

This is a question which only the people themselves can answer but this is a question which they should ask themselves from within.

Protest against CAB despite the assurance given that it would be brought back but nonetheless back the candidate of the BJP and this would be something like the right hand not knowing what its left hand is doing.

CAB and the pending final pact with the NSCN (IM) and surely the days ahead can be stormy but yet at the same time this should be the right moment for all to search their souls.



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