TODAY -

What is the way forward ? Looking beyond the clash
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: December 02 2023 -



What is the way forward ?

This question should be read and understood beyond the ongoing clash between the Meiteis and the Kuki-Zos and look back at the past to understand why the idea of Manipur as a distinct geo-political reality seems to have meaning only to the Meiteis.

A deep, serious and sincere inward look is what is needed and being the major community in Manipur, the first step towards this should fall on the Meiteis.

That the spirit and understanding of Ching-Tam Amattani should be more than mere sloganeering is a must and if there is a lesson to be learnt from the ongoing clash, then it is to recognise and respect why there is something called indigenous and why the question of indigeneity should mean so much to the indigenes of the land.

This can and should be the starting block to start selling the idea of the place as the home of the indigenes, people who are umbilically tied to the soil of the land and hence respect its soil, its forests, its rivers, its water and the very air which they breathe.

There are reputable scholars, people who have earned a name for themselves in the public sphere who can and should take the lead in taking the ties that bind the people of the land to a higher level and it is time for them to come out and start walking the talk.

The Government should also move with the need of the hour and acknowledge the fact that the failure to respect the land and her people is one prime cause for the ongoing clash, which has already claimed close to 200 human lives, made many disappear and rendered thousands refugees in their own ancestral land. Land for which the forefathers laid down their lives.

The double standard and hypocrisy should go, for it is this which has driven the dividing nail between the indigenes of the land.

The Government, the different CSOs from either side, the very people themselves can perhaps study and see what steps may be taken up to promote more people to people contact, encourage more socialisation and promote trade between the different communities.

Manipur has bled enough arising from the misunderstanding between the sons of the soil and the ongoing clash should open the eyes of everyone to the growing need to promote more understanding.

Common objectives may be studied and pursued together.

The past should be more than enough lesson for the indigenes of the land to realise that infighting amongst them can only benefit others and Manipur has more than enough evidence to underline this point.

The question at the moment is whether any meaningful move has been initiated to reach out to the Nagas who have understandably struck a neutral stand so far.

Already Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga is reported to have announced that he would try and reach out to the Nagas to help resolve the crisis and one wonders whether the Government at Imphal has realised the importance of such an announcement.

Reaching out, this is a point which The Sangai Express has already touched upon briefly in an earlier commentary here, and the need still stands and will stand in the days to come.

No doubt there may be differences over the understanding of Manipur, but no differences can be too tough to resolve over some meaningful talks.

This is where the Government, the CSOs from either side, the social leaders who have a say in the affairs of the people and the common people need to think out ways on how a meeting point may be worked out.

Think out of the box may perhaps be the call of the hour and the present situation demands that all must work with a vision, a vision that concerns the future of the people and the land which they hold dear.

There is no indication that the ongoing clash will be resolved anytime soon and no one seems to know what steps to take to put the State on the path of normalcy.

Friends and allies, this is what Manipur needs and apart from reaching out to the indigenes of the land, Manipur should know who its allies and foes are.

Delhi has on more than one occasion pointed at the foreign hands and it is up to Imphal to take up from this and adopt different strategies to help safeguard the interests of Manipur and her people.

The longer the clash continues the more it will adversely affect the indigenes of the land and Manipur and this is where one should understand who stands to gain from prolonging the state of unrest and clashes in different parts of the State.



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