TODAY -

In the news for all the wrong reasons : Ugly stand off at Gwaltabi
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: May 04 2015 -



The stand off at Gwaltabi was ugly. Tension is still running high and nothing much to suggest that normalcy will return any time.

Or maybe normalcy will return but the worrying point is the tinder like situation in which the people of Manipur have had to live for decades.

Who started it ? No easy answer here and it will not serve any purpose either for both sides must be hell bent on pointing the accusing finger at each other.

No one was killed but there was a madness in the manner in which the people went for each other.

Numerous houses ransacked and at least five people injured in the stand off.

That the stand off had the tendency to assume a communal clash should underline the sense of urgency to resolve the matter.

Needless to say the media too had a tough time in reporting the story for a mistake here and there had the potential to give it a totally communal tone.

Fortunately the media in Manipur understood the gravity of the situation and desisted from crass sensationalism and just reported what had happened without giving any room for communal interpretation.

It is this important point which the public should learn to appreciate and reciprocate accordingly.

The bandh was called by the All Tribal Chiefs’ Forum pursuing a number of demand and any attempt to give it a communal tone should be desisted with vigour.

No guarantee why some trouble makers will not try to communalise the issue.

The media has done its job and it is only right that the people too chip in and defuse any situation which may give it a communal overtone.

Already a number of civil society organisations too have jumped in and urged everyone to give peace a chance and not let the situation go out of hand. This is something which should be acknowledged.

Perhaps the All Tribal Chiefs’ Forum may intervene and try to bring the two groups of people to an understanding.

This will make the demands of the Forum all that more credible. The State Government has already intervened and while it is trying to resolve the matter, the Chief Minister and his men should make it a point to convey the message that they are not partisan.

Take no sides but try to resolve the issue. This is what the situation demands. Take the matter with the seriousness it deserves.

It would also do the State a whole lot of good for the people to come to the point that they are literally sitting on a keg of gun powder.

How such a situation came to roost is best left to the chroniclers of events, but care should be taken to ensure that trouble makers are kept at bay.

The last that Manipur needs right now are some trouble makers who will not hesitate to play off one community against the other, just to serve their immediate goals.

And everyone knows how such a situation will serve the interest of some of these trouble makers.

Today it is Gwaltabi and if care is not exercised then there is no guarantee why this will not spread to other parts of the State.

This is not pressing the alarm button, but sensitising everyone to the reality that all it will take is for some trouble makers to spread nonsense and pit one set of people against the other.



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