TODAY -

Framework to the real agreement : Understanding the anxiety
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: August 10 2015 -



There are reasons why there is an air of anxiety whenever the Government of India talks about inking a deal with the NSCN (IM).

Not that the people of Manipur are against any agreement between the IM faction of the NSCN and the Government of India, but when the agreement is seen as posing a threat to the existence of Manipur as a socio-political reality, then this is where the problem arises.

This is a reality and important for Delhi to take note.

As Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam has on more than one occasion made it known, solving one issue or problem should not give rise to another set of problems and this observation should be taken note of by everyone concerned.

And this makes sense too for it serves no purpose at all if a deal with the NSCN (IM) is going to give birth to numerous other issues which will undoubtedly besiege Manipur and probably Arunachal Pradesh and Assam too.

Summer of 2001 or the days after June 14, 2001 is an example that comes to mind, but it is significant to note that just a few days after the ceasefire agreement between the NSCN (IM) and the Government was inked on August 1, 1997, the All Manipur United Clubs Organisation (AMUCO) organised the integrity rally on August 4, the same year.

Not an exercise in futility as just four years down the line, after the integrity rally, the Government of India inserted the words ‘Without territorial limits’ in the ceasefire agreement with the NSCN (IM).

What happened after the Bangkok Declaration of June 14, 2001 is there for everyone to remember for intrinsic in the geographical extension of the ceasefire pact was the demand to integrate all Naga inhabited areas of the North East States under one administrative unit.

June 18, 2001 is today not just another date in the calendar for it was on this date that Manipur demonstrated to everyone where the people stood vis-a-vis any attempt to carve out its territory.

More than 10 years down the line and the Government of India certainly seems to have come around to the idea that it serves no purpose to compromise with the territory of any State to work out a solution with the NSCN (IM).

As things stand today, the August 3, 2015 declaration seems to be a framework for the final peace accord to be inked.

The Government of India too has taken care to ring out the message that the territorial boundaries of the neighbouring States of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Manipur will not be tampered in any manner.

At best the framework is nothing much more than the preamble of the agreement that is waiting to be inked, but the anxiety is still running high in Manipur.

An indication that there just does not seem to be any trust between the people here and the Government of India.

Moreover it is also significant to note that Delhi did not deem it fit to take the North Eastern States of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Manipur into confidence while drafting or working out the framework of the talk.

This is what the Governments of the three States have taken serious note of. Tough to believe that any solution inked with the NSCN (IM) will not affect Manipur in one way or the other.

Territory may not be disturbed, but does this mean that any other agreement will be fine ?

No easy answer here for ultimately it will all depend on how Manipur stands affected.

The sooner the details of the framework are brought to the public domain the better it would be for everyone.



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