TODAY -

Stateís response vis-a-vis Manipur crisis
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: February 01, 2024 -



Barely 24 hours after Chief Minister N Biren made another bold statement asking the people to entrust the responsibility of protecting the Stateís unity and integrity to the government, two young lives were cut short at Kadangband.

Since May 2023, fierce battles have been going on in different areas of the state between two forces; one determined to break up Manipur to create an exclusive political domain of Kuki-Zo people and the other committed to uphold and protect the integrity of Manipur at all costs.

In the course of the nine months old fighting, hundreds of people, mostly youth have been killed, thousands of houses burnt down and tens of thousands rendered homeless.

The violence is fierce and widespread but the Government of India has not yet bothered to make any meaningful intervention. As some scholars pointed out the present crisis is an outcome of deception orchestrated by the Kuki-Chin militants that goes back in time.

Meiteiís ST demand was used as a camouflage to conceal the real agenda of the infamous May 3, 2023 rally, which is creation of a separate and exclusive political unit for the Kuki-Zo people out of the pluralistic and inclusive Manipur.

However, several national media houses fell trap to this false narrative that the Meiteiís demand for ST tag triggered the violence. This illogical blame does not carry an iota of truth given that the demand is absolutely within the constitutional framework of India.

Moreover, as indicated above, the issue has been pending with Manipur government for the last ten years.

Add to it, every community has a legitimate political right to demand something constitutional.

The Meiteiís demand for ST status has very little to do with the widespread violence.

It is for the dream of exclusive Kuki-Zo homeland that guns have been booming across the state for the last nine months and hundreds of people killed.

No doubt, the sounds of guns and bombs are loud and persistent but New Delhi has been maintaining a deafening silence till date.

To many, the complete silence of the Prime Minister has turned out to be a complex political riddle.

At the same time, it sends out a very clear message of both apathy and sheer indifference to the suffering of lakhs of people.

People are dying every day and anarchy has become the order of the day. A situation of complete lawlessness has engulfed the society since the past nine months.

With the combatants showing no sign of ceasing their offensive, Manipur has been pushed into a state of war. Although there is an elected government, complete lawlessness has become the order of the day.

In some districts like Churachandpur and Kangpokpi, the writs of Kuki militant groups have become the ultimate authority whereas the stateís authority is openly defied and trampled upon.

As pointed out repeatedly, the state has failed miserably to protect the lives and properties of citizens.

If the inconsistence, if not contradiction, seen in the statements of the Chief Minister and the Security Advisor are any indication, the state has become a confused lot.

The Chief Minister has asserted not once but several times that the ongoing violence is a war between the state and anti-state forces but the state has not yet initiated any decisive action.

Whatever the state (New Delhi and Imphal) has done so far to address the violent crisis besieging the State are too little and too ineffective to make any change.

The state needs to take up some decisive actions urgently to stop the violence and neutralise all the threats to the integrity of Manipur otherwise it will lose all its legitimacy sooner than later.



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