TODAY -

Suspending mobile data services : Key board activists
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: August 08, 2022 -



In a way it is comical.

Suddenly one sees a deep divide spawned by the ADC Bill of 2021 prepared by the Hill Areas Committee and what probably takes the cake is the fact that probably 90 peccent of those who have come out vocally for or against the course of action pursued by the All Tribal Students' Union, Manipur would not have the faintest idea of what the ADC Bill 2021 is all about.

But never mind this bare fact and what one sees is a number of self proclaimed champions of tribal rights and an equally self proclaimed group of people whose grouse is why people should be made to suffer in any protest against the Government.

Both sides may have their own merits and while there should be nothing wrong in taking a stand, trouble starts when the issue is viewed and sought to be portrayed as one that pits one group of people against the other.

Ultimately it is not so much the content of the Bill which is at the core of the seeming stand off, for no one seems to know what it portends but more about taking a stand of 'Us against Them'.

This is what is comical and at the same time disturbing as well.

The Government may have its own reason for keeping the Bill in cold storage or in trying to brush it aside for remember Manipur is not free from the long shadow of different homeland demands and ATSUM on the other hand sees it as an attempt to ride rough shod over the rights of the tribal people.

This itself is disturbing enough but making things more dicey is the propensity of quite a large number of people to jump into the fray and give vent to their thoughts.

This is what was most visible in the statuses shared by many such 'concerned' group of people on their Facebook accounts.

Other social media sites too could have been used in the same way and it would help for everyone to try and understand why the Government should decide that internet should be suspended for some days to let people cool off.

Not the first time that Manipur has faced such a situation and it will not be the last either, for the fact stands that there are too many smart alecs and key board activists who think they are doing something good for the cause they believe in by uploading incendiary remarks and statements which can only twist the real picture and create rooms for misunderstanding.

The very fact that mobile data services have been suspended should say something profound about how one writes and rants about have the potential to make things more problematic.

This is how the Government sees it and while there may be different takes on how the Government views this, the fact stands that there is still nothing right with the relationship between people belonging to different communities and groups.

This is what is worrying and says something profound about where people stand on sensitive issues.

An issue which should ideally be one between the State Government and a group of people mobilised by a student body called All Tribal Students' Union, Manipur is today threatening to pitch one group of people against the other and this says something profound about the people.

This brings one to the question of why the Government at Imphal should always be identified with one particular community.

It was not so long back that the Government of Manipur was condescendingly tagged as the 'communal/so called Government' and perhaps this tag continues to stick even though it may not be so pronouncedly proclaimed as earlier.

Let better sense prevail.

ATSUM too should take extra care to ensure that their grievances or protest against the Government should not in any way put the people in trouble and economic blockade means hitting the people who live in the valley areas of the State.

It is not the suited, booted class of people who stand to suffer but the common people and this is a fact which should not blow over the heads of a responsible student body.

In targeting the Government care should be taken to ensure that it is not reduced to an exercise of letting one section of people suffer.



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