TODAY -

Not the time to take political mileage : Take everyone along
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: February 13, 2024 -



This is not the time to take political dividends out of the crisis besetting Manipur for the last 9 months yet at the same time it should also be questioned how closely is the BJP led Government working with all MLAs, irrespective of their political affiliations to take Manipur on the path of normalcy.

This is a question which only Chief Minister N Biren and his men can answer but the significance of this poser is significant, especially given the finger of accusation pointed by Congress MLA K Ranjit on February 11.

Sugnu Assembly Constituency was probably among the last Constituencies to be hit by the violence, save for the Naga dominated districts, and this is where it becomes important to question whether ‘violence was allowed’ to envelop this Constituency due to the indifference of the Government.

Rewind to the early days of the conflict, that is the days before May 28 of 2023 and one can still remember the all community meeting held at the initiative of the said MLA and how violence engulfed Sugnu on May 28 and not before.

This means Sugnu remained somewhat an island of peace and normalcy till May 27, that is a full 24 days after violence erupted at Torbung, Churachandpur, Kangpokpi, Moreh and which soon spread to Imphal and the valley districts, particularly at the fringe areas where Meiteis and the Kukis used to live cheek by jowl.

Sugnu definitely fulfils after the understanding of a place where Meiteis, Kukis and people of other communities live together and it was in keeping this reality this in mind that MLA K Ranjit organised a meeting of community leaders before violence hit the place on May 28.

From May 3 to May 27, Sugnu remained free of the mayhem witnessed in other parts of the State, save for the Naga dominated districts, and if one goes by what the MLA has had to say then the Government could and should have done something on the ground to keep the situation under check.

This is where the importance of taking everyone along becomes important and hence the question on whether the Chief Minister has tried to reach out to all MLAs, irrespective of the political party they belong to.

As noted at the opening line of this commentary, this is not the time to take political mileage out of the conflict and this is certainly not the time to mark out people’s representatives on the basis of the political party they belong to.

Manipur and her people are central to it all and any inputs or suggestions to serve the interests of the place and her people should be welcomed.

More importantly the Chief Minister needs to show that his office and his mind are open to suggestions, irrespective of from where it has come.

How many times have all political parties meeting been organised after Manipur went up in flames in the evening of May 3, 2023 ?

This is not just a run of the mill question, but a point which should be studied and considered with the merit it deserves.

As representatives of the people, aren’t all the MLAs equally important to discuss what steps should be taken up to deal with the situation ?

Has the Government ever given a thought on reaching out to the community which has remained neutral all this while-the Nagas and see what role they may play to bring the two feuding parties to the negotiating table ?

Or is the Government under the impression that a solution can be brought about sans dialogue ?

All questions at the moment for which no answer is also expected, but something should be done and the first and most important step should be to take all political parties, all elected members and representatives of all communities, particularly the community which has remained neutral all this while, into confidence.

Tell, ‘look Manipur needs you. The people need your suggestions and inputs. The Government is ready to listen to every suggestions offered’.

This is one step that ought to have been taken up long back, but so far there is nothing to indicate that the Government has done anything to reach out to every section of the population and this is saying something a lot.

The silence of the Prime Minister is loud and it says so many things and the silence is the vacuum which the State Government should rise and try to fill up.

The doors of the Government should always be kept open for any suggestions and inputs and it is important that everyone is taken along.

Not the time for petty politicking.

Now is the time to bat for Manipur and her people.



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