TODAY -

Of fragmentation, fear and polity
- Hueiyen Lanpao Editorial :: October 03 2015 -



Tracing the historical claims for political autonomy, many organisations in India’s Northeast have justified certain means and had even contended that there is nothing wrong in demanding right to self-determination.

Despite the strident claims and amidst the campaign against armed political violence, the Northeast region of India is till caught in a political turmoil.

Prolonged militarization of the region has resulted in numerous other issues rendering certain debates meaningless leading to grim possibility of experiencing actual democratic contests and challenges.

In a State like Manipur, there seems to be an encompassing fear based on the perceived consequences of the collective already ripped apart.

Earlier, it was the hills and valley divide. This was followed by an ethnic strife between two major conglomerations of tribes in the hills. In the valley, there was a conflict between two communities based on religious demarcation.

With the overall pressure of assertions, the idea of a collective or even the very conception of people has not been able to either rejuvenate the body politics or head for a redefinition.

Rather, the choices of the people have been determined by the instrumental understanding fulfilling certain projected objectives not in tune with consensus building.

Fragmentation of society is hitting north as there seems to be no common platform where the interests of the people irrespective of ethnic divide could address respective positions.

A failure to take into account the circumstances under which the idea of citizenship has been defined by modern Nation States played truant in areas most necessarily required.

The individual’s relationship with State structure has been reduced to the core conception of the territory only. Emphasis given to people’s consent and feeling of belonging to a nation have been given a go-by.

Hence, it is pertinent that the concept of the people and the idea of citizenship should be critically revisited as the notion of the self has also been fragmented by multiple cores.

There is a need to re-emphasise the moral boundaries surrounding the social and the political structures.

While doing so, one has to remember that these boundaries have to transcend imagined boundaries and it is only through this that the struggle for real autonomy can be attained with certain meaning.

This calls for finding answer to another question on whether or not one is demanding universal rights or defending localised autonomy.



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