TODAY -

Needed steps for normalcy to return : Important steps to note
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: January 25, 2024 -



Things do not look good at all.

Everyone knows this, but the question of greater importance is whether things will get worse than what it is already or whether Manipur will get to see better days with the passage of time.

No easy answer at the moment, but these are questions which must have haunted the psyche of everyone who stands by the understanding of Manipur as a distinct geo-political reality.

Many may see the January 24 meeting at Kangla with 36 Meitei MLAs in full attendance, plus two MPs, including the Rajya Sabha MP, as the starting point towards a new beginning, but much will depend on how New Delhi responds to the charter of points put up.

This is where Manipur would need to play its card well and while the points agreed and to which the Meitei MLAs have appended their signatures have already been put up before the three member officials deputed by the Union Home Ministry, it still remains to be seen how Delhi responds.

This is where Imphal would need to put on its best political foot forward, try and see how it can take forward the stand of the people from a position of strength and in the process ring out the message this is the best route towards putting Manipur on the road to normalcy.

The interests of Manipur - this is what should be guarded and promoted at all cost and any idea or proposal that can and will erode the understanding of Manipur should not be entertained at all.

The conflict has raged on for over 8 months and for the place and her people to start walking the road to normalcy certain points should be given primacy.

This is where the suggestions put forward by the right wing print magazine and news portal Swarajya should give an insight on what is worth exploring and accordingly take up steps to soothe the wounds of Manipur.

Update the National Register of Citizens with the base year at 1951, a point which has already been submitted to the Central team on the day of their arrival on January 22.

Such a move can and should go a long in addressing the demand to weed out illegal immigrants from Manipur and a look at the newly established settlements, the abnormal spike in the number of population of the Kuki-Chin community which in turn has led to an increase in the number of legislators they get to send to the State Assembly should underline the need for NRC.

The call to update the NRC should also be seen in conjunction with the demand raised to delist the Kukis from the Scheduled Tribe list of the Constitution of India.

The representation to the Central team as well as the points of agreement reached during the Kangla meeting on January 24 did not specifically say anything about including the Meiteis in the ST list of the Constitution, but this is a demand which has caught the imagination of the Meitei people and not without reason.

This is another point which has been prominently raised in Swarajya.

It should be clear to New Delhi and the people in general that the tension seen at Churachandpur and other Kuki dominated places such as Moreh and Kangpokpi was seen and understood as a stand off between the people of Churachandpur and the State Government.

Never was it read or understood along the line of Meitei versus Kuki in Imphal and the valley districts.

It was only when Meitei houses were identified, targeted and razed to the ground at Torbung and later at Churachandpur that Imphal and the valley districts reacted violently.

This is a reality which should not be lost on the political mandarins at New Delhi.

The demand that the Suspension of Operation pact with the Kuki militants be abrogated should be seen with the merit it deserves.

The narrative of volunteers defending their villages was a lie from the very beginning and the series of attacks launched on the State security personnel at Moreh from the end of December till the first many days of January 2024 should more than underline the involvement of well trained militants.

Time for Delhi to act.

Abrogate SoO, update the NRC and while these are points for New Delhi to act on, for Imphal it is imperative that the sought after report to include the Meiteis in the ST list be forwarded.



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