TODAY -

The call for ADC Bill, NRC : Studying the whys
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: August 02, 2022 -



Table the ADC Bill in the ongoing session of the Assembly.

This is the All Tribal Students' Union, Manipur setting an ultimatum to the Government with the rider that if this is not done, then they would be constrained to launch a series of agitation.

Discuss the preparation of the National Register of Citizens with 1951 as the base year, to help weed out or identify the non-indigenous folks, or rather treat all those who arrived at Manipur after 1951 as aliens, meaning people who are not indigenous to the land.

This is from the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System. Both sides have their own merit but the matter of greater importance is whether the BJP led Government at Imphal sees the logic behind the calls raised.

Moreover is it politically prudent to take a call on such sensitive issues, is a question that may well be gripping the Government.

This is where it would be interesting to see how things pan out in the coming days, that is before the current session of the Assembly winds up on August 5.

The point raised by ATSUM sounds absolutely logical in the backdrop of the point that Article 371 C of the Constitution of India read with the Manipur Legislative Assembly (Hill Areas Committee) Orders of 1972 provides a scheme for separate administration of the hill areas of Manipur through the Hill Areas Committee for executive and legislative affairs on scheduled subject.

That this point has been raised in the backdrop of the Greater Lim banner raised by the NSCN (IM) and the Autonomy demand raised by the Kuki armed groups under the SoO pact could just be one reason why there could be something more than meets the eye.

And in between there is the stand that the status-of Manipur as a geo-political reality should not be compromised at any cost and clearly the task ahead can be anything but smooth and easy.

Weeding out or identifying the folks who entered Manipur after 1951 may also just prove to be as dicey.

The JCILPS is. convinced that the 1951 record is still there for the Government to set it as the base year, while the Government has deemed it better to set 1961 as the base year.

The interesting point is the Government has not explained why it has decided to set 1961 as the base year and not 1951.

Perhaps it may help if the reason could be spelt out or has the same been conveyed to the JCILPS? Manipur would definitely want to know.

One can understand the pressure on the Government for the issues if not addressed to on time and satisfactorily can take a bigger turn and no one would want that.

What if the United Naga Council and the Kuki Inpi, Manipur too join the call raised by ATSUM ?

Chief Minister N Biren may have a trusted ally in the Naga People's Front but it is not certain how far they can go to placate the ATSUM boys.

How about the call from the JCILPS to discuss and implement the National Record of Citizens with 1951 as the base year?

What should not be forgotten is the fact that all these issues have been raised with a reason and while the Government must have studied what the reasons could be what is important is to see how it goes about dealing with the points raised.

It should also not be forgotten that the call for the NRC has gained more traction following the ugly stand off over Mount Koubru and more recently over Mount Thangjing.

Central to the call for the NRC is to ensure that the interests of the indigenous people are not compromised and the identity of places from which they draw their folklores and history are not tampered with.

Not easy it is going to be to deal with the sensitive issues that have been raised, but these are points which are staring the Government at the moment and to a certain extent the political acumen of the Chief Minister will be tested according to how these points are treated and dealt with.

Happenings outside the Assembly can certainly add that extra dose of interests to what happens inside the sanctum sanctorum of the Assembly.



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