TODAY -

Frustrated call for 'self rule' : Fantastical and mischievous
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: November 18 2023 -



A case of frustration or a case of cocking a snook at the Government and at the understanding of Manipur.

The answer will lie somewhere in between but it is clear that it is in pursuit of the grand dream of a Zalengam or the call raised for a Separate Administration. Nothing unexpected but this still does not absolve either Imphal or Delhi of their utter failure to rein in the trouble makers.

Other than the grandiose agenda of a Zaiengam, the declaration of 'self rule' is nothing but aimed at fomenting more trouble, the seeds of which were sown way back on May 3 at Churachandpur.

The Sangai Express has been consistent in its stand that it was the first match stick that was struck at Torbung and later at Churachandpur that ignited the bioody clash which has so far claimed 180 lives or so and which has razed many houses to the ground, besides displacing thousands.

And the comically christened Indigenous Tribal Leaders' Forum, and Committee on Tribal Unity, have more than demonstrated that they are ready to prolong the misery of the people even longer.

Living up to the magnificently coined slogan 'Solution First, Peace Later'.

The very call for 'self rule' complete with a Chief Minister of the Kuki-Zo folks is taking one step ahead of the earlier call for a separate Chief Secretary and Director General of Police and if things were not so serious and did not rest on the tale of deaths, displacements and many missing, such a cail would have elicited loud guffaws from everyone.

Manipur, meaning the people who stand by the idea of this place as a distinct geo-political reality, would best be placed not to be provoked by this demand but this should not mean that the State Government can and should brush it aside with a wave of the hand.

The call for self rule is illegal, the State Government has maintained, but should it just stop there is the question that follows.

What course of action is the State Government planning to take up as such a demand, however preposterous it may sound, has been raised and a declaration to this effect has been issued?

Not that The Sangai Express expects to see any answer to the poser raised here, but let it be clear, Manipur has been taken for granted for too long and such things does not cast the Government at Imphal in good light.

It could also be a case of ITLF and CoTU emboldened by the fact that the BJP as a political party has utterly failed to take up any action against its seven MLAs who are among the 10 MLAs to have raised the call for a separate administration.

This is not what is expected of a Government which is known to never hesitate in pointing fingers at the Congress for any ills and for chest thumping exercise at any opportunity.

Manipur can expect to see more such fantabulous demands coming from the fabulously fertile minds of some elements and the key is to be prepared.

The question is how well prepared is the Government and the people ?

This question should be understood in the backdrop of the fact that even after more than 6 months of the clash continuing, there is still not a single organisation which has emerged to speak and act on behalf of the people.

Like it or not but the fact stands that while Churachandpur has the ITLF and Kangpokpi has CoTU, Manipur does not seem to have one united, single entity speaking and acting on behalf of all that the place stands for.

The first step towards coming anywhere near understanding this question would be to acknowledge that there are just too many, each proclaiming that they are here on behalf of the people.

Time was when doctors and nurses were stopped and asked to take a longer detour on their way to hospital to treat the sick and injured, thereby throwing the understanding of taking a stand to protect the interests of Manipur and her people to the dustbin.

Apart from doctors and health workers, media persons also had to face severe inconveniences, especially while going' back home late in the night.

Point is, the challenge before Manipur should be understood and the best start should be to acknowledge that the fight is being taken up on different levels.

And inconveniencing others certainly cannot be part of the battle.



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