TODAY -

The silence continues, the clash continues : Sinking into the abyss
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: February 28, 2024 -



The clash between the Meiteis and the Kukis continues.

The silence of the Prime Minister continues.

And Manipur continues to sink deeper and deeper into the abyss of confusion, madness and lawlessness with everyone under the impression that anyone with the necessary muscle and gun power can cock a snook at the law.

This is the pit and one wonders if such a situation would have been allowed in any other State of the country.

The fallout is there for all to see.

It is chaos everywhere and as usual it is the media again which has been placed at the firing range of different power players, forcing the print and local electronic media to shut shop for two days.

Not the first time that the media in Manipur has been caught in such a situation and there is nothing to suggest that such a thing would not happen in the coming days.

This at a time when the Imphal based media has been increasingly dubbed a Meitei media with the Editors’ Guild of India leading the way.

Obviously there is no magic mantra to resolve the situation and put Manipur on the track of normalcy, but the least that everyone concerned, particularly the different power players, can do is not to make matters worse by throwing their weight around and expecting everyone to toe their line.

Ideally the energy of all concerned should be focused on how to neutralise the forces which are hellbent on compromising with the idea of Manipur but when one’s ego and one’s personal inclination and likes and dislikes are allowed to ride over the more pressing issues facing the people and the land, the script is ready to drive one more nail into the understanding of Manipur as a distinct geo-political reality.

Remember the demand for a Separate Administration raised by the 10 Kuki-Zo MLAs still stands and now is actually the time for all concerned to pool their thoughts together and work out strategies to meet the challenge ahead.

The SoO pact is set to be reviewed and possibly extended when the term of the agreement ends on February 29, and with the growing demand that the pact should be abrogated, the focus of all concerned should be on the pact.

However when the game of one upmanship, stooping to the level of even claiming a precious life, continues, then rest assured Manipur is witnessing the scripting of a tale which can mark the beginning of the end of the place.

There seems to be a method behind the madness that has engulfed Manipur since the evening of May 3, 2023, and this should inevitably raise the question of what the State Government has been doing in the last 10 months.

The task at hand is tough and as observed earlier here, one does not expect a magic formula to resolve the situation.

It is however important for the Government to take cognizance of the fact that apart from resolving the ongoing clash between the Meiteis and the Kukis, equal attention will also have to be paid to let the rule of law prevail.

With the emergence of different power players all over the State, no one seems to know who exactly is calling the shot.

This is what is scary and has given a big push to what is generally understood as anarchy.

Manipur will have to work doubly hard to ensure that its credibility is not erased and the emergence of different power players, each with its own set of agenda coupled with muscle and gun power, will first have to be acknowledged.

It is only after the reality is acknowledged that corrective measures can be taken up, but the question is whether the State Government will have the sincerity and the political gumption to acknowledge the reality.

For too long the law has been hijacked and it is time for the Government to convey the message that it is there to govern.

And obviously governing or governance is something far removed from the understanding of tough talks and hot air.

Acknowledge the reality. Mark the emergence of different power players and take steps not to leave any vacuum in governance, for it is only when such vacuums are created that forces will emerge to fill up the vacuum.

This is what Manipur is witnessing presently.

Manipur definitely deserves something better than what is being dished out almost on a daily basis, since May 3 last year.



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