TODAY -

Draft proposal of a new Bill : Walking the tight rope
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: July 27 2015 -



Draft proposal of a new Bill in a few days time. That is if what the Drafting Committee had to say is anything to go by.

The big question is whether the Bill will find acceptance with the people, the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System and very importantly with the Government of India.

The task before the Drafting Committee and the State Government is by no means easy.

Try to please the people, particularly those who have been agitating for a legislation to restrict the entry of non-local people and at the same time ensure that it does not go against the Constitution.

How the Drafting Committee manages to walk the tightrope will be significant.

It is only right that everyone also come around to the idea that the State Government will be really pressed hard to draft a Bill that does not violate the basic tenets of the Constitution of the country as well as does not send out the wrong signal to the powers that be in New Delhi while seeking not to displease anyone here.

Herein arises the question of how effectively the State Government has been able to ring out the ‘uncertain future’ of the local people in the face of the large scale influx of non-local people to Delhi.

The Inner Line Permit System is in force in States like Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland and how effective has this legislation been in checking the entry of outsiders into these States must be known to all.

It has worked in some States, most notably in Mizoram while it has not been that effective in Nagaland.

Why this is so must again be very clear to all the people in Manipur.

The worrying part however is the plain fact that no one seems to have given much thought on why Manipur continues to attract so many non-local people.

Many times it has been pointed out in this column but there is nothing much to suggest that the people in general have taken this seriously.

It is a good thing that the Drafting Committee has reached out to legal luminaries of the State to help out in drafting the Bill.

It is also good to learn that the State Government has taken note of the points laid down by the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System.

How the Drafting Committee and the State Government go about putting the aspirations of the people in ink is something that has to be waited.

Yet again it also needs to be kept in mind that it is absolutely necessary to ensure that whatever is prepared here finds takers in Delhi.

Or else the question of large scale influx of non-local people will continue to be remain unaddressed.

It is here that the people too need to come around to the idea that to a large extent they are also responsible for making Manipur such a desired destination to the numerous non-local workers.

If there is a vacuum here, then be sure there will be many who will willingly fill up the vacuum. And this is what has been happening in Manipur for decades.

To be sure let there be a legislation to protect the interest of the local people such as a ban on the sale of land to non-local people yet at the same time, the people in general too should realise that it makes no sense to expect others to come here and do the manual work.

The Government and the people need to go together and share ideas. The future of the land is surely the responsibility of everyone.



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