TODAY -

Solution first, peace later slogan : Politics over dead bodies
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: November 30 2023 -



Politics of hate. Politics of lies and more lies.

Politics of playing the minority card.

Politics of churning out endless reams of victim stories.

Politics of trying to give a religious twist to the conflict.

Politics over dead bodies.

The politics spawned by the six months conflict between the Kukis and Meiteis is mind boggling and it is this which has led the Supreme Court appointed panel to give the inputs that pressure is being mounted on the next of kins of those killed in the conflict not to claim the bodies and perform the last rites.

A classic case of politics of the lowest order being played out over the mortal remains to score a political point or two and the aborted move by the Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum earlier to conduct a mass burial at Torbung testifies this.

Definitely a move to assert the ‘ancestral land’ claim over a place, while Delhi has on more than one occasion attributed the ongoing clash to illegal immigrants from across the border.

Just a day after Union Home Minister Amit Shah informed Parliament that illegal immigration is a prominent factor in the ongoing clash Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted that what needs to be said has been said by his Home Minister.

Union Foreign Minister S Jaishanker backed this to the hilt in informing an international audience some time later in pointing an accusing finger at the infiltration from across the border for the ongoing clash.

Selectively turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to the words that have come from leaders who matter in New Delhi and yet at the same time urging the Centre to act on their behalf and the politics of filth that has been dished out and fed to the unsuspecting people is palpable.

It remains to be seen how the State Government responds to the directive of the Supreme Court of India to ensure a dignified burial of the unclaimed bodies lying at different mortuaries in Imphal and the adjoining valley area, but it should not be forgotten that only the desperate can and will stoop to the level of playing politics over the mortal remains of anyone.

It should also say something profound that the pressure mounted on family members not to claim the dead bodies comes close on the heels of the slogan coined by the Committee on Tribal Unity (CoTU) and ITLF ‘Solution before peace.’

Everyone knows what the solution means, the seeds of which were sown when the first match stick was struck at Torbung and Churachandpur after the Tribal Solidarity March of May 3.

And to think that the finger of accusation should be pointed at Manipur should underline the fact that the violence was ignited with a clear agenda in mind.

Imphal and the adjoining valley districts retaliated only late in the evening of May 3 and The Sangai Express has already recalled how a former Kuki MLA visited the office of this newspaper in the evening of May 3, underscoring the fact that the retaliation came only late in the evening at Imphal.

It is on the basis of the false narratives and lies that the call for a Separate Administration has been raised and it is purportedly to give more teeth to this demand that rallies were held at some places on November 29.

It is this politics of lies and deceits that should be defeated at all cost and this is where Manipur would need to study whether the fight for truth is being taken in the right direction or not.

To come anywhere near this, it is important for everyone to acknowledge that the ‘war’ is being fought at different levels and different fields.

This is where it becomes clear that no one has the sole prerogative to lay claim that they are the only ones defending the idea of Manipur.

From the trader managing a store, the truck driver bringing in the needed daily necessities of life, the doctors, nurses and health workers attending to the need of the people, the entrepreneurs creating jobs for the youngsters, to the media persons who bring the much needed information to the people, the teachers, everyone is chipping in to safeguard the identity of Manipur as a distinct socio-political reality.

The attempt to disfigure the existence of Manipur should be clear to all and it is this realisation that is the need of the hour.

This is not the time to throw one’s weight amongst the very set of people who have the same agenda of protecting the idea of Manipur.



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