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E-Pao! Opinions - Fall In Love All Over Again

Fall In Love All Over Again
By: Hopson Sapam*


I went with a friend of mine at Priya Cinema,Vashant Vihar some time back for a movie. The movie, which I planed to watch, was "WALKING TALL" with my favourite WWE star 'The Rock' on the lead but she insisted on "TROY". The show timing was favouring her choice too. I told her that I have seen "Troy" but not "Walking Tall". She was too adamant for her choice of the movie. She even told me that she had checked the movie earlier and wouldn't mind going a second trip. After a few blah blahs, I finally agreed on one condition that she should treat me at Mcdonald's after the movie and that was the deal.

"TROY" is a very interesting movie not only with amazing visual effects and enthralling sound effects but also with majestic manners of the characters and inspiring scripts along with dignified dialogues. Prince Hector's (played by Eric Bana) speech "honour the gods, love your wife, and defend your country" is something I have started relating to of late.

This morning when I open my newspaper I found "Home Minister's talk with the Manipuri agitators fail". The very fact of sitting face to face, of course is admirable and both sides should be applauded for starting at least. So what?? it concluded with something unpleasant and very expected.

Lately I seem to be watching a fair bit of politics between the Union Government and the agitators in Manipur, while Ibobi government painfully swallow the fact of being 'nung anigi marakta ha oiba' . Whom to blame?? Nah!! No one buddy. But who are suffering? Yes Buddy!! We are suffering.

If my old 'Abok' is to be believed (just spoke to her over my cell phone some days back), I can't imagine the prices of daily commodities and vegetables like potatoes and onions soaring sky high in Manipur. She was complaining about why life has become so difficult, so meaningless back home in Manipur. And I honestly felt pity for her but I cannot help.

Frankly and fearlessly speaking, we the people of Manipur are caught between a demon and a deep sea. No matter how hard the rights activist and local organizations pressed on demanding the removal of Armed forces Special Power Act 1958 (AFSPA), the union government will never come to term for the removal of this act on the present context and developments. Our struggle can be called a 'Hero's Effort' if we happen to know the result which may not be in our favour.

This morning I am concerned about how little we agitators know about our own position of demanding the removal of this AFSPA from our state. Sometimes it seems to me, we are not sure. We have agreed to talk- but do we know what our aim and strategy is? Or are we simply talking for the sake of it.

One thing is crystal clear of the Central government. They know what they want and they have a plan of how to go about it. To put it simply, their aim is to get as much of this act no matter who used it or misused it. That's certainly the implication of any strategy that entails compromise. Their message is that we are prepared to pay our share of the price for a solution. The challenge to my 'sanaleibak' Manipur is : Are You??

My problem starts here when I ask myself: what is the Manipur's aim at these talks with Central government. A stinking feeling in me says that we are only talking for the sake of it. If I am not wrong, this suggests that the talks are simply buying time and that could be dangerous.

The more their willingness to compromise becomes known - even if not fully believed - the more our insistence on the status quo will suggest a hard line position. For if we are talking simply to keep up appearances then it wont be long before the world starts to suspect that we will only accept a solution on our own terms.

While I welcome and appreciate the meeting between the two groups, of Apunba Lup and Manmohan Singh Government I have my own fears and doubts. The failure of the talk is one important reason why the euphoria of this meeting is slowly and steadily disappearing. So, my dear Home Minister and fellow agitators please don't let something so beautiful and so lovely die so soon. I don't know whether there will be no agreement on how to take the issue further, I hope not but I am not sure.

I am not holding a banner for Indian Government but today -may be not forever - fellow Manipuris should accept the need for adjustment, perhaps even compromise. Someone has to bell the cat and this is where our problems start all over again. The only proposal here is that the other party is far behind us. I am not asking to step down and receive them but let us wait for them to come up to our pace and walk side by side.

Dear agitators and lovely Minister please open the gate and lets talk. Please don't make the topic only on your interest. Everyone is suffering only because of the stubbornness that we created for each other. A new day will soon be there if only we open our hearts, and I am sure that we shall overcome some very fine day.

This road is long and winding but don't give up, don't lose faith, a silver lining is out there somewhere. Are you listening Mr. Home Minister and do you my dear fellow Manipuri agitators? Lets give peace a chance. We have had enough. Lets work out at least lets a make a try.


Hopson Sapam writes regularly to e-pao.net.
He can be contacted at prince_hobs@rediffmail.com



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