TODAY -

A 'silly' option to end crisis
- The People's Chronicle Editorial :: January 30, 2024 -



WITH the violent conflict that has been going on between the people of Kuki-Chin and Meitei/Meetei communities in the tiny state of Manipur since May 3 last year going to complete nine full months with no sign of any solution in sight; it seems the common men and women of the two warring communities, who had been sharing the ups and downs of life without any complaint until they were thrown into a situation they had never asked for, are slowly realising the futility of the current conflict that has turned into a serious humanitarian crisis affecting one and all.

Apart from the perceptible changes one could notice in the tone and words used in articulating their opinions on the ongoing crisis by people on both sides of the clash divide in their video clips posted on social media platforms, leaked recordings of private conservation between "erstwhile" Kuki-Chin and Meitei/Meetei friends, who have now been unfortunately pitted against each other by some unscrupulous elements for their own vested interest, clearly show their inability to comprehend how the situation has come to such a pass.

Earlier, most of the videos shared on social media platforms by any Tom, Dick and Harry were full of expletives, that are unprintable here, and were intended just to demean one another without any rhyme or reason, but today there is an element of playfulness and leg pulling each other even in uttering vulgar words.

Most importantly, by addressing each other as "brethren" in the videos posted on social media even if it is for cautioning of dire consequences against crossing each other's territory, the armed people on both sides of the clash divide, who are guarding their respective villages from being attacked, have shown that the bonds of fraternity still exist among the people of different communities who have made Manipur their home.

All these are indications that there is still hope and not everything has been lost or consumed in the fire of communal hatred ignited by some people who are trying to tear apart the social fabric.

Regardless of their position and stand in the current conflict, the yearning for peace and return of normalcy in the hearts of people of all communities living in the strife-torn state is even stronger than the communal fire that is being fanned all around.

This is a fact that the state government as well as other agencies, which are trying to initiate dialogues with leaders of the two warring communities for bringing a solution to the ongoing humanitarian crisis should keep in mind.

Even if the mutual love and respect that still exist among the common men and women of Kuki-Chin and Meitei/Meetei communities, whose daily struggle for eking out livelihood has been thrown into total chaos since the bloody clashes erupted on May 3 last year but could not speak up or do anything, is not a strong enough rallying point that could be considered; the "erstwhile" Kuki-Chin and Meitei/Meetei friends, who have been forced to become foes and train their guns on each other for causes they may not necessarily subscribe to, but are still united in their anger over what they perceived as injustice and bereavement that could never be compensated in any form could very well be taken on board in finding a common ground for initiating a dialogue.

These "erstwhile" Kuki-Chin and Meitei/Meetei friends, who have been forced to turn foes and train their guns on each other due to circumstance which is beyond their control, are like the dying embers from which one could rekindle fire to light up a cold dark room and keep it warmer once again.

However silly it may sound; it is an option that should not be overlooked in the effort of finding ways to initiate dialogue to put an end the nearly nine-month long humanitarian crisis in Manipur.



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