TODAY -

Reality demands a resolution : It cannot go on like this
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: March 04, 2024 -



The ground reality demands it and Manipur also demands it.

This is not the time to identify political parties on the basis of where they sit inside the Assembly, whether on the Opposition bench or on the Treasury bench, but for all to strike a common stand and present a united face to the people.

Whether any attempts have been made towards this end or not is best known to the political parties themselves, but it is significant to note that the Congress walked out of the Assembly on March 1, the day the House reaffirmed its earlier stand to update the National Register of Citizens.

The Congress has its reason for lodging such a protest and it is best left to the people to decide whether their mode of protest was in line with the need of the time to address the many issues besieging the State or not, but the very fact that the single largest Opposition party decided to walk out should also jolt the BJP to the fact that this is the time to take everyone along.

Or if the Kangla Meepham of January 24 is a subject not desirable to be discussed on the floor of the Assembly, the same could have been explained to the Congress. Whatever the case it may be, it certainly did not paint the two political parties in any good light.

There is also food for thought in the points raised by Sugnu Assembly Constituency MLA K Ranjit of the Congress, who pulled no punches in asserting that the Chief Minister did not deem it fit to even pick up the phone and inquire how situation was like at Sugnu, a place which has been hit hard by the ongoing clash.

Sugnu AC was amongst the first Constituencies in the State to form a peace committee, the members of who were drawn from different communities and while Manipur went up in flames on May 3, 2023, evening, a sense of peace and normalcy reigned at Sugnu till May 27.

And the credit for this should go to MLA K Ranjit, who wasted no time in reaching out to different communities.

It was only on May 28 that violence engulfed Sugnu AC and readers and the people of Manipur will know how it became a sort of an epicentre of the violence for quite a number of days.

In fact today Sugnu AC stands as one of the most hard hit Assembly Constituencies and MLA K Ranjit has every reason to feel being let down by the Government.

One does not expect a direct answer to come from the Government on the points raised by the Congress MLA, but it is significant to note that there are misgivings between some legislators and the Chief Minister and this cannot be good for Manipur as a whole.

The challenges before Manipur are many.

The ongoing clash between the Kukis and the Meiteis obviously tops the list but there are also other issues which the State Government will need to deal with.

The emergence of different power players and power centres is one such reality.

This is where the moderates, those who are able to see beyond the immediate and study where Manipur may find itself four or five years down the line need to start raising their thoughts and suggestions.

Given the dicey situation at the moment, this will seem too far fetched but how long can Manipur afford to continue like this ?

Apart from the need to raise the voice of sanity under the knowledge that the longer the situation is allowed to continue it is Manipur which will lose out more in the long run, it is the Government here at Imphal which should start exploring ways to start the process of talking things over with both sides.

This is where the announcement of the Chief Minister that due process has been initiated for a dialogue sounds encouraging.

Letting Nungba AC MLA and Chairperson of the Hills Area Committee of the Assembly D Gangmei get in touch with folks on either side of the clash divide to create a conducive atmosphere to sit down and talk things over is perhaps one of the better news that Manipur has heard in a long, long time.

Apart from this, efforts may also be made to get in touch with voluntary organisations such as the United Naga Council, the Naga People’s Organisation of Senapati, Tangkhul Naga Long of Ukhrul, Chandel Naga People Organisation etc and urge them to take up some proactive roles to set the ball rolling for a dialogue.

As noted, Manipur cannot afford to continue like this and maybe New Delhi may step in and see what more it can do to defuse the situation.



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