Conflicting voices over ILPS demand Deep hill-valley divide


48 hours total shutdown in Churachandpur. United Naga Council (UNC) on record stating that it will oppose any move to bet the three Bills enacted. Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System to carry on agitation, despite the State Government announcing that an all political party team will leave for Delhi to get the three Bills passed. Clearly things are not looking good for Manipur. Why is it that an issue, such as protecting the interest of the indigenous people of the State, should divide the people so sharply ? Difficult to say but in more than one way this is a clear reflection of the deep distrust amongst the three major communities of the State, the Meiteis/Meeteis, the Nagas and the Kukis. Difficult to say when such a divide crept in but the divide can be easily seen in the diametrically opposing stands that the people have taken. Again it is not only on the ILP issue where the people seem to be pitched against each other, but on other issues which have rocked the State from time to time. A clear reflection of the trust deficit amongst the different communities and this is what is worrying. A sure shot indication that there is no such thing as meaningful people to people contact between the different communities and more than right that people from all the communities start questioning why this is so.
This has been in vogue from years now, but high time to study why some organisations have dubbed the Congress Government here as ‘communal’. And by being dubbed as communal, it is more than clear that the State Government is seen as representing the interest of the Meiteis/Meeteis. However it is again true that in branding anyone or any entity as communal, one is also expressing a communal mindset. The reality is no one seems to be looking beyond the interest of one’s community and this is the biggest tragedy besetting the State. So while there are many Meiteis/Meeteis, Kukis, Nagas etc, there is hardly anyone who is a Manipuri. Who is a true Manipuri ? Why is it that it is only the Meiteis/Meeteis who are identified as Manipuris ? Is the term Manipuri exclusive in the sense that it is meant to portray only one community ? Why has the idea of a Manipur refused to make an impression on the communities which have been living here for ages ? No easy answers here and in many ways and it says something profound that an issue which should have brought the people together is today threatening to tear them apart.


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