TODAY -

Learn to look 10/20/30 years hence :: Wanted : Visionary leaders
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: May 22, 2024 -



Resolving the ongoing ethnic clash between the Meiteis and the Kuki-Zos should obviously be on top of the agenda of the Government, but yet at the same time it has increasingly become important for Manipur to have leaders who can look 10/20/30 or even 50 years ahead and accordingly take up the needed steps now.

It is the failure to look into the future that Manipur today finds herself neck deep in all sorts of problems and troubles.

Missing the bus is a three word term that may be used to aptly describe the Manipur of today.

Look at the reality around and the answer should be clear.

When the Nagas raised the banner of the continuous influx in the hills and served quit notices in the early part of the 1990s and which inevitably led to the Naga-Kuki clash, Manipur or rather the Meiteis failed to note the danger of unchecked influx and today it is now a case Thangjing metamorphosing into Thangting.

Or look at the claims over Mount Koubru, a place deemed to be an abode of worship for the Meiteis, an annual ritual which is practised to this day.

Look at the names of places which have been changed to give them an ethnic identity plumb in the heart of Imphal.

It was only recently that Imphal woke up to this dangerously unhealthy practise and issued an official notification that no place can be christened as one pleases.

Steps which ought to have been taken decades back.

Looking back, the writings on the wall were clear but it is just that no Meitei leader or Meitei organisation had the far sightedness to look at what situation could be like 10 or 20 or 30 years down the line.

A classic case was the refusal of the State Government and the machin tongba personalities from amongst the Meiteis who refused to let the Meiteis be included in the Scheduled Tribe list of the Constitution.

Long before the idea of Nagalim was vocalised, the process of grouping the Naga folks under a single banner had been given shape and perhaps this is the primary reason why no Naga student from Manipur identified themselves with the Manipur student organisations in any of the major cities of the country which has a sizeable number of students from Manipur.

It was more or less the same with the Kuki students, who preferred to align themselves with their own kindred and kith under the nomenclature of Kuki Students Organisation or KSO.

It was the same when the SoO pact was inked with the Kuki armed groups and which the State Government was made to become a signatory in 2008.

Imphal held back before the pact became a tripartite agreement, having been in force earlier between the Government of India and the Kuki armed groups in 2005.

The point is, Imphal failed to convince New Delhi of the impending threat and danger in inking a peace pact with outfits which have never, ever trained their guns on the security forces.

The State Government did reject, but it was farsightedness at work when the population strength of certain villages in Purul, Mao-Maram and Paomata sub-divisions of Senapati district saw an abnormal growth.

This was detected in the 2001 Census, with the abnormal figure continuing to haunt even in the 2011 Census.

Leaving aside the opposition from the State Government, Imphal should have noted that here is a mind with a far sighted vision at work.

A spike in population would have meant an increase in the number of reserved Assembly seats when the next Delimitation exercise is held.

This is where Manipur or rather the Meiteis need far sighted leaders who can look to the future and accordingly act.

The War on Drugs campaign is far sighted, no doubt about that, for it is aimed at highlighting not only the extent and power of drug money, the vast scale deforestation, but also draw a link between the burgeoning drug trade and illegal immigration from across the border, and it is here that it becomes important to stress that far sightedness comes with the needed follow up steps.

If there is a campaign against drugs, why have no ring leaders been arrested and their identities spelt out to the public so far ?

As repeatedly asserted here, the couriers arrested on the Imphal-Moreh line or the dingy bylanes of Imphal are at best drug pushers, the small fishes.

Who are those financing the drug trade ?

Who are those financing the poppy cultivations ?

No answer so far.



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