TODAY -

E-Pao! Opinion - Troubles In The Northeast: A Sufferer's Musings

Troubles In The Northeast: A Sufferer's Musings
P.M. Soibam

The other day when I read the statements of the leaders of the NSCN (IM), I wondered how they could claim "maturity on the part of both sides (Indian side and theirs)" and at the same time make statements that point quite to the contrary. To cut it short, the people of the Northeast (NE) would like Mr. Muivah and Mr. Swu - or for that matter, all the self-styled saviors of people in the region - to ruminate all over again on their purposes and it's relevance to the need of the region's deprived people. It is understandable they will have a hoard of personal, political and other compulsions to overcome. However they can do it if they consider themselves mature and responsible enough and if they are genuinely dedicated to the cause of the so-called Naga people or any community.

Often the Naga and the Bodo leaders have harped on the Meitei and the Assamese chauvinism to fan innocentpeople's emotion. Yes, chauvinism is definitely there. But the question is: is it a problem with the Meiteis or the Assamese only? If people are educated enough with their reasoning capacity intact, they would not find it very hard to see that it is a basic human tendency to have some sort of superiority complex (read chauvinism) vis--vis people belonging to a minority group - racial, religious, linguistic or regional. The bitter truth is that minorities have always had to adjust with the majority, rather than the vice versa, and to suffer. And people who enjoy majority somewhere by virtue of some identity suffer the fate of minority somewhere else because their identity differs from that of the majority there. There should be no dearth of examples of these.

In Europe and USA, people of Indian origin are treated as second-class citizens. [In India, these same NRIs are accorded "super citizenship'!] Hindi people have an arrogance complex over non-Hindi people in India. In the NE, the Assamese are the proud majority and in Manipur, the Meiteis. But the Meiteis are in pathetic minority when it comes to India as a whole, and they suffer the fate of minority elsewhere in India.

The fact remains at the most basic level that all organisms are forced to be selfish in their struggle for survival. In the struggle the weak spots of a particular individual or group comes handy for another. What we need today is a realization on the part of both the majority and the minority so people's ways of thinking and social norms are liberalized and everyone enjoys justice and equality. In fact, the process has already been underway in the NE. An example of this slowly but certainly maturing 'social integration' is the increasing incidence and acceptance of inter-ethnic marriages amongst the people. True, it is has not taken place at a pace expected from the common racial origin, culture and even the predicament that people of the region share.

The stumbling blocks have ranged from vested interests, within and without, to the chauvinistic attitudes of some sections. Moreover, in sharp contrast to what one would expect from the high literacy rate in the region, people's approach to things has always been characterized by marked traditional tribalism and reservations that have only hindered the march towards development and a higher level of civilization. It is a misnomer to call the Meiteis as non-tribal. Many aspects of their culture and attitudes still say they are an ancient tribe, too. Their embrace of Hinduism does not necessarily make them non-tribal. At an age when we should concentrate on projecting ourselves as one and making our leverage strong enough to have a say in decision making regarding planning and distribution of developmental and other projects, and strive for common progress, it is utter senselessness to divert our attention toward counter productive exclusivism and internecine conflicts. Not a single ethnic community can survive in isolation in today's world.

We should not forget that we are a democracy where a group's share of the pie is proportional to its numerical strength. Exclusivism is too ancient a concept to even make a mention of. Those who favor such idea of segregation need to know that our maturity as a race would be judged by how well we can accommodate each other's views and remain as a cohesive unit. No ethnic community should have or demand exclusive rights to any part of the region. The Imphal valley of Manipur belongs to and is inhabited by all groups of Manipuris - the Kukis, the Nagas, the Meitei Pangals(Muslims) and Meiteis. By the same token, the hills - though reserved for the scheduled tribes under the Indian Constitution - belongs to all Manipuris although the non-tribal status of the Meiteis has made the hills inaccessible to them as far as settlement is concerned. When one goes back to the history, it will be clear that all communities prospered together in harmony, and that Manipur had a much larger area before the brute British took to political gerrymandering and made a mess of everything just as they did everywhere. Or imagine the condition of the region when, besides the Nagas, the Meiteis start demanding formation of a Greater Kangleipak, with the unification of all Meitei-inhabited areas of Assam, Bangladesh and Tripura and return of the Kabo valley, now in Myanmar.

The Kabo valley is the strip of land extending from the present eastern border of Manipur upto the Irawadi River in Myanmar. It was leased to the then Burma by British Manipur and legally, it still belonged to Manipur. When the British left Manipur and India. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, on insistence from the then President of Burma (now Myanmar) - his close friend, gave the final touch by formalizing the secession of the valley to the Burmese without any consultation whatsoever with the Manipuri people. This and the unhappy incidents that preceded the merger of Manipur to the Indian Union are still topics being brought up time and again to whip up anti-Indian sentiments in the people of the state. The Kukis are also already demanding their homeland and very recently the Mizoram Chief Minister, Mr. Zoram Thanga has raised a call for the formation of Greater Mizoram - and has joined the mad bandwagon of the people who have lost their sense and reason. [By the way, it would be wrong to expect less weird resolutions from the Bangkok Congregation of such paranoids, one year back.]

Likewise all other small ethnic groups can also start demanding their separate lands. Then, what we can see at the end of the tunnel is a chaotic mess where we would all be pulling each other and the society down the ladder of civilization. Forget any progress, we would all be heading for anarchy together.

Let us suppose the so-called Greater Nagaland is formed. How is it going to be different for the Nagas from the present arrangement? We know the Nagas comprise of numerous small and a few comparatively larger tribes with different languages and sub-cultures, which have no more similarity with other Naga tribes than with any other tribes like the Kukis. They use Assamese, Manipuri or English for communication among different tribes. There is still some controversy among the Nagas themselves on whether some tribes (for example Tangkhul) belong to the Naga group or not. So, where is the guarantee that Greater Nagaland(or the present Nagaland, if their logic were to be strictly adhered to!) would not be fragmented up into smaller pieces for different tribes at yet another point of time later. The smaller tribes would surely complain of bullying by the larger ones. When the Naga tribes cannot live in harmony with other tribes and ethnic groups, it holds to reason that no one can rule out a repetition of those fratricidal killings and barbaric bloodshed of the 90's.

The gist is that exclusivism is not the solution. Can we trust the learned thinkers among our Naga brethren to speak up? Their silence would only be interpreted as a tacit support to the misleading cause of the self-serving pseudo-leaders. Sincere leaders would never fan the flame of misunderstanding among people. Nobody stands to gain from the situation where all ethnic groups in the region are at loggerheads with each other.

I'd like to request the Central leaders also not to add fuel to the fire by repeating the mistake of taking ill-informed decisions without involving all communities in the deliberations. If the "saviors of people" are genuinely serious about their concern for people's welfare, they should come forward for causes much better than militancy. First of all, all militant organizations should be disbanded. People have already had enough of them. Militancy - or revolutionary movement, a favorite euphemism for the militants - has till now done the people nothing good, other than abetting foolhardy infighting and bloodshed putting the economy into disarray, reversing the progress of the developmental activities and turning the clock of civilization backwards. The politicians have given such endeavors of these elements more than just a big hand in many ways. Ultimately it is the civilian population who gets caught up in the crossfire among the militants, politicians, and security forces (due to mistrust or misunderstanding!)

We can no longer afford to continue this downward trend, if we have to catch up with the rest of the county and the civilization. Please wake the people before it is too late. We should build bridges between different ethnic groups. Please help them learn from and reconcile to the past mistakes and the blunders of each other. After all we have the same fate and future. We should not give the vested interests an opportunity to exploit people's ignorance. We should stand united in the march towards a better NE and a better India of tomorrow.

I would like to appeal to the intellectuals of all communities who are still in possession of their mental faculties to do their bit in this direction. We should stand the wind of madness. We should extinguish the wild fire lest it should wreak irreparable havoc. And, together we can do it. Let good sense and judgment prevail upon our mind. We in the NE can set an example of the true modern civilization by building a liberal broad-based cosmopolitan society.


* The author of this piece is a student of Medicine who has deliberated many a thoughts on the recent happenings in the North Eastern Region of India. Here he has put forward an opinion or thought wherein he has proposed an immediate end to the current negative trends and build a positive one. He can be contacted at pmsoibam_80@yahoo.co.in

* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Tripartite Talk: GOI/GOM/UNC :: Gallery
  • Governor's Cup Fencing :: Gallery
  • 13 Aug @Kangla & BT Park :: Gallery
  • Bruce Dickinson: "son-rise" of Iron Maiden
  • Biren should learn from Mamata Banerjee
  • The globe is in your fist
  • AR I-Day festivities with Myanmar army
  • AR celebrates 71st Independence day
  • Unconstitutionality of TR Government
  • Stadium upgrade for I-League
  • NE film festival in Delhi from Aug 18
  • Myanmarese advised to follow traffic rules
  • The human torch and AFSPA
  • The real taste of Independence Day
  • Mission XI football @ Andro :: Gallery
  • Krishna Janma @ Mahabali :: Gallery
  • Blood Donation for 13 August:: Gallery
  • Mahabali Temple , Imphal :: 360 ° View
  • Graphic & plastic arts of Zeliangrong #3
  • Silence :: Poem
  • Sport Univ: Promises kept but corruption?
  • Job requirements at SKY Hospital
  • Jobs @ National Informatics Centre (NIC)
  • I-Day Celebration at BJP State Office
  • Celebrations amid militant boycott call
  • 3 Manipur terrorists arrested in Delhi
  • NSCN/GPRN condemns raid
  • NSCN-K signing hinges on cross-border..
  • Meira Rally on Patriots' Day #1 :: Gallery
  • Patriots' Day @ Kolkata :: Gallery
  • 26th NAMA Convention Report, Houston, TX
  • Forming Plurals in Manipuri Language
  • Mammography and frequently ask question
  • Indo-Naga Talks 2017 :: News Timeline
  • NPF Office Bearers reaffirm support
  • DAN Co-ordination Meeting Resolutions
  • India and China: From rivalry to enmity
  • For better tomorrows
  • Security forces round up NSCN (IM) cadres
  • Survey 'finds' jumbos in Manipur
  • Kirti Chakra for brave major
  • President medal for IPS officer- Robin Hibu
  • 13 August @Hicham Yaichampat :: Gallery
  • Achingliu, Haokhulan, Hiyaichenbi: eMing
  • Patriots' Day @ Hojai, Assam :: Gallery
  • Protest: malpractices of MPSC :: Gallery
  • On MPSC scam & people defending it
  • 126th Patriots' Day observed in Delhi
  • 126th Patriots' Day observed in Hojai
  • Lajong U-12 to represent India in BRICS
  • Learn something from 2015 experience
  • The district creation headache
  • State Thang-Ta Competition :: Gallery
  • Search operation [Aug 12] :: Gallery
  • 13 August Patriots' Day : Read all about it
  • Thangal General : The Patriot
  • Proxy examination and Wrong politics
  • Women should not live in fear ....
  • Summer Thoughts :: Poem
  • NPF Youth serve Ultimatum to Rio
  • A slap on the face of Christianity
  • U-Morok @ Shirarakhong :: Gallery
  • Dangers of 'Trial by Media' & the MPSC
  • Is Culture of insensible activism taking root
  • Meiteilon never been Tibeto-Burman
  • Mechanized threshing of foodgrains #2
  • ZSUB Foundation Day, Fresher's Meeting
  • Sadar Hills District Demand: News Timeline
  • Breaking the barrier
  • Natural Body Building #3 :: Gallery
  • National Handloom Day @ GHY :: Gallery
  • Chirom Indira shine in hearts of NE Weavers
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand : Timeline
  • Investigate killings as ordered by SC
  • MSTC CMD met with CM of Manipur
  • Conspiracy behind the toppling game
  • Armed groups attack..a human right abuse
  • Drawing Competition at Khengjoi, Chandel
  • Govt firm on protecting indigenous people
  • Suspension of Operation term extended
  • Rs 100 cr allotted to study NE floods
  • Save the indigenous people cry : Valley..
  • A matter need to ponder
  • Earthen wares of Ningthemcha Karong
  • Indigenous Wrestling @ SPT #2 :: Gallery
  • Awunching Biodiversity Park #3 :: 360 ° View
  • XXVIII State Thang-Ta Competition 2017
  • India's HLPF review of SDGs & Manipur
  • Robotics as career options
  • International Day of Indigenous People
  • Rejoinder Issued By Shurhozelie Liezietsu
  • Hard facts of political crisis (Nagaland)
  • Viewing through one's community
  • Darkening shadows of doubt
  • Ziumi village, Maram Landscape:: Gallery
  • Inter School Handball Tournament :: Gallery
  • The Proud Bamboo Tree :: Folk Tale
  • Populated Attitudes :: Poem
  • Marijuana, Mahadev and Maneka
  • Notice for MSc Biochemistry Admissions
  • The Killing Fields :: News Timeline
  • Assam edition of NE India Fashion Week
  • Being different from Cong Govt
  • Cracking down on fraudulence
  • Hanuba-hanubi paan thaba :: Funga Wari
  • ... All The Flowers Gone? #1 :: Gallery
  • Need to bust racket running inside MPSC
  • Will PM Modi betray Assam in No ST, no rest
  • State Level Essay Writing Competition
  • RIST Condolence Function at MU
  • When we stumble and fall
  • Customer Care Executive @ basicP, Imphal
  • Petition for Disqualification of 10 MLAs
  • Cracking down on fraudulence
  • Rape of small newspaper
  • Landscape of Ukhrul District #2:: Gallery
  • Jhulon Nupi Pala Phamsak :: Gallery
  • TR is CM by technicality sans Legality
  • One Day in Heaven :: Poem
  • Libraries Vs Google: Are we heading there
  • ..for electrical distribution rearrangement
  • Lessons to learn from CCpur: public hygiene
  • Angaoba Film Scenes #1 :: eRang
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • The dawn of cricket in Manipur
  • Lumbini Leikolda Shat-houba Leirang
  • Workshop on MU Reservations held
  • Job posting at C-DAC Silchar
  • Lafikul murdered to stir communal tension
  • Wayward rules of law
  • Indigenous Wrestling @ SPT #1 :: Gallery
  • Tourist Watch Tower, Khongjom #4 :: 360 °
  • Admission for B.Ed at Manipur University
  • The Evening Blues :: Poem
  • A village called Nbena :: Book Review
  • Employment Generating Hands on Skill
  • Unnatural death of Sainik School student
  • Condemns killing of KNO/KNLF leader
  • AR conducts Pre Recruitment Training
  • Makeshift sheds at Lamphel
  • For a clean future generation
  • Mr Maipak Body Building #2:: Gallery
  • CM referring to ST Comm is ultra vires
  • VIP culture out, VVVIP culture in
  • Be an unchained raindrop :: Poem
  • Holistic education : Trends & challenges
  • Jobs - Going Officers Pamjei
  • Providing Various Health Benefit Plans
  • larification to Tokheho's recollections
  • SoO groups in the news for wrong reasons
  • Confession
  • Nongbrang, bank of Thoubal River :: Gallery
  • Pukpha Fest @Tamenglong :: Gallery
  • Binalakshmi Nepram at UN, NYC : 1 Aug
  • Free Computer Course by KEN @ Imphal
  • Where is the justice in mob justice
  • Ishu : Feature Film in Assamese :: Review
  • Flood: State efforts are too little too late
  • Crisis within NPF unfortunate : KG Kenye
  • decision-making body of NPF resolve: 2 Aug
  • NPF Legislature Party Statement : 2 Aug
  • ..honoring martyrs by raising Tri-colour
  • ..strong Opposition: Cong MLA striving hard
  • Battle Of Khongjom & Manipuris in 1891 #3
  • Khongjom War Memorial #2 :: 360 ° View
  • Oops! They've Done It Again!
  • Photography: Career through lenses
  • Mega Marathon Manipur : Download Form
  • Chemical Ecology: Info for college/Univs
  • Jobs - Nursing Aides in Singapore
  • NPF responds to MLAs' demand
  • Overlooking one's own Cabinet decision
  • Potential of our state
  • Drinking joints in a dry State : Liquor tragedy
  • Landscape of Manipur #7: Wallpaper
  • Singcha Wayawon opening #2:: Gallery
  • Meetei bears more tribal characters ...
  • The slumbering Beauty :: Poem
  • Selected to Global Shapers Imphal Hub
  • NPF Legislature Party Meeting on 31st July
  • Indo Myanmar Post Level Meeting at Onzia
  • Notice: Employment Exchange Imphal East
  • The unintended windfall
  • Singcha Wuya Won (flower) #2:: Gallery
  • Hepatitis C is upto 95 pc curable
  • Sit-in-Demand : ST Demand Committee
  • Police na maheiroi singda kahenba..
  • Manung Kangjeibung, Kangla :: 360 ° View
  • My visit to Shri Lanka #4
  • 1st Mao Market day @Nagamapal:: Gallery
  • ILP : Students protest [27 July] :: Gallery
  • Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon #2 :: Gallery
  • Nomination for State Journalist Awards
  • Rare historical stone inscription #1
  • Singcha Wayawon opening #1:: Gallery
  • Huidrom Kirankr- Fellowhsip for Thang-Ta
  • Ethoi Oinam (Actress) #2 :: eRang Photos
  • Echum Lairembi, Khurkhul #3:: Gallery
  • Tapta :: Funga Wari
  • Nungbi Khullen, Ukhrul #1 :: Gallery
  • NH-102 (Maram road) landslide :: Gallery
  • Featured Photo for 2017 #3 :: Gallery
  • Landslide at Jiribam Highway #2 :: Gallery
  • Tribute to Sapam Robinhood #2 :: Gallery
  • Lai Khong Chingba @Thangjing #4
  • Manipur Sangai Festival 2016 #5 : Ooba
  • SPONSORED ADS