TODAY -

Coming close to understanding of anarchy : Emergence of power centres
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: February 29, 2024 -



Things cannot get worse than this and as is widely held and believed, the real character of a people comes to the fore at the time of a crisis and this is perhaps the right time to ask whether what one is witnessing is the emergence of the true character of Manipur or to be more precise the character of the Meiteis.

One need not go back to the distant past but take stock of the ugly developments in Imphal in the last couple of days to understand this.

In the evening of February 23 a powerful explosion ripped across the office of a student body, injuring two with one later succumbing to his injuries.

Following this, select and identified offices of civil society organisations were attacked and set on fire, apart from severely assaulting a young man staying on rent near or at the premises of one of the offices.

The Imphal based media, both print and electronic shut down for two days, on February 25 and 26, unable to bear the pressure mounted on them in the battle for legitimacy and turf between two powerful groups and as if to say that this is not enough, a police officer of the rank of Additional SP was abducted from his own house on February 27 evening.

Apart from the assault and abduction of the police officer, at least four cars were vandalised and in the melee that followed three civilians who happened to be in the vicinity of the officer’s residence received bullet injuries.

The tragedy that is being scripted seems almost ready to start writing the epitaph of the great Meitei community in Manipur.

Painful is too mild an expression to put into words that must be felt by all right thinking citizens of the land.

Compounding the sense of tragedy is the fact that all these ugly developments have come at this point of time, even as the clash between the Meiteis and the Kukis seems set to continue, as it has for over 9 months now.

Even as the whole country and everyone in Manipur seems glued to the ethnic clash that started from the evening of May 3, 2023, no one seems to know the exact figure of the number of deaths as well as the number of missing persons.

No one also knows the exact number of houses that have been bulldozed and flattened to the ground at Churachandpur, Moreh, Kangpokpi and damaged in some areas of Imphal.

This also stands true on the number of people taking refuge at the different relief centres set up across the length and breadth of the State.

No one, much less the Government, seems to have any idea when the internally displaced people can return to the place they once called home and it is amid this reality that the ugly incidents mentioned above have been staged so nonchalantly.

Amid the madness and the near total anarchy it would be apt to question what the State Government has been doing all this while.

The attack at the office of the student body inside DM University is a case in point.

When was the prohibitory order imposed at the said office of the student body lifted ?

An answer to this should be forthcoming or if the prohibitory order was still in force then were any cops put on duty at the said campus ?

Time was when police personnel could be seen on duty at the said office campus of the student body and one wonders whether the explosion took place despite the presence of the cops on duty.

The chaos, the madness, the lawlessness, the near anarchic state that has come to define Imphal today is primarily due to the vacuum created and when such vacuums exist it is but natural for power players of different hues and colour to emerge and fill the void.

This is what Manipur is witnessing right now and this reality has begun to take a toll on the people.

What suggestions and proposals has the Security Advisor to the Government of Manipur put forward to deal with the emerging ugly scenario ?

These are questions that should be raised, for caught in the middle of all the muscle flexing exercises are the people, a people who have been intimidated to such a level that they have preferred to toe the line of ‘silence being the greater part of valour.’

Imphal needs to get its act together and the people and all those concerned too should reciprocate and acknowledge that this is not the time for muscle flexing amongst the people but gear up to face any eventuality that could pose a threat to the understanding of Manipur.



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