TODAY -

Glimmer of hope
- Hueiyen Lanpao Editorial :: August 28 2015 -



The seven-point agreement signed between the Government of Manipur and the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS) has at last brought a glimmer of hope to the people who have been seeking implementation of a regulation to curb unabated flow of migrants into Manipur.

Following the agreement, the Manipur Legislative Assembly is all set for a two-day emergency session on August 28 and August 31 where three Bills related to the agreement will be tabled, debated and passed.

The three Bills - The Protection of Manipur People’s Bill 2015; The Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms (7th Amendment) Bill 2015 and Manipur Shops and Establishments Bill (2nd Amendment Bill) 2015 have to be tabled in order to fulfil all the points suggested and demanded by the JCILPS.

The preamble to the August 25 agreement in many ways have recognised the core of the political content inherent in the ILPS demand in the State. It has taken note of the fact that as per the 2011 census, the population of the State is 28.56 lakhs approximately.

The density of population of Manipur as per 2011 census was 128 per sq km against 103 per sq km of 2001 census. The population growth rate of Manipur is found to be higher than that of India.

In the last one decade and half, there has been massive unaccounted flow of migrants into Manipur. This has necessitated the demand for enactment of law like the ILPS as the same has also been implemented in some neighbouring States.

As the agreement suggests, the Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms (7th Amendment) Bill 2015 and Manipur Shops and Establishments Bill (2nd Amendment Bill) 2015 are aimed at arming the State in protecting and safeguarding the interest of the indigenous peoples of the State.

While the Government has agreed to incorporate all the five key points demanded by JCILPS, it has also agreed to bring in experts selected by JCILPS for giving a final shape to the rules to be provided by the Protection of Manipur Peoples Bill, 2015 when it becomes an Act.

However, the sixth point says that State Government has agreed to urge the Government of India to enact any other appropriate/necessary Acts and Rules which may be beyond the purview of the State Government for the protection of people of Manipur.

The possible subtext one can read from this agreement is the acceptance of the fact that the Government of India is the final arbitrator to burning issues of the Northeast region irrespective of federal principles.

While assessing the agreement, one should also be wary of the nuances embedded in the contradictions of development mantra shaped for the people of Manipur by New Delhi vis-ŕ-vis the actual need for assorted labour force for mega infrastructural projects.



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