ILPS, IPM, ST movements are complimentary


What exactly we want? We want to protect & preserve our people, our land, our identity, our culture and also bring about peace and prosperity for all. ILPS (Inner Line Permit System) movement is meant for the protection of our own people from the intrusion of outsiders and to get ourselves insulated from the infringement of outside elements on our land and resources, culture and identity etc. Indigenous people’s movement (IPM) is about reviving and preserving our age old culture, beliefs and practices, language and script etc. And ST (Scheduled Tribe) demand is for empowerment, upliftment, equality (egalitarian) and integration of the people.
I think these movements are not antagonistic to one another. These movements can go on at tandem. There is no contradiction at all. But there may be some minor differences and conflict of interest among the leaders of these wonderful democratic movements. In the larger interest of the people they should come over their differences and work hand in hand. Superficially it seems that these movements are for different causes but in reality the goal and destination is more or less the same. A slightly propound understanding of the issues will certainly make us realize that the movements are on the similar lines and on similar paradigm.
The instinct of our people is extremely strong. They will surely sense it by now that all these movements are for their protection, preservation, promotion, peace-full existence and prosperity. Let us not divide the people on the basis of our ideological differences. Let us stand by the common good of the masses. There are innumerable ideas on earth than intellectuals can imagine. But the most powerful ideas are those ideas which are accepted and supported by the people. I believe all our movements pertaining to ILPS, IPM and ST are getting popular acceptance. I also believe that in a democracy the vox populi always prevails. “A democracy’s ability to peacefully resolve conflicts is greatest when those conflicts arise between so called interest groups…when the conflicts are primarily economic in nature. But there are other kinds of non-economic conflicts that are far more intractable, having to do with issues like inherited social status and nationality, that democracy is not particularly good at resolving”(Francis Fukuyama). However if the people and their elected government are willing to resolve crucial issues, they certainly can do so. Even the most difficult questions of self-determination were settled democratically in mature democracies; we have seen it in the case of Quebec, 1995 (Canada) and Scotland, 2014(UK).
I do not understand a general system of domination exercised by one element or one group over another, whose effects traverse the entire body social, it seems to me that first what needs to be understood is the multiplicity of relations of force that are immanent to the domain wherein they are exercised and that are constitutive of its organization; the game that through incessant struggle and confrontation transforms them, reinforces them, inverts them; the supports these relations of force find in each other, so as to form a chain or system….These are the words of Michel Foucault. It seems relevant to us in the present scenario.
For ILPS Bill there were some technical flaws in terms of constitutionality and legality (as indicated at the time of inception). The spirit and intent of the Bill was understandable. But the legislative competence of the State Assembly for passing such a Bill is doubtful. That might be the reason why the Bill is still not an Act. If we really want to have a law, without doing politics and without blaming one another, both the Congress and BJP leaders must come together and sort it out. Presidential assent is not President’s endorsement but that of Ministry of Home Affairs.
Remember SC, ST, OBC, GEN etc., is a peculiar Indian phenomenon and the rest of the world does not take cognizance of it. Being in the General category or OBC or SC or ST list we are not going to gain or lose our prestige and pride, position and status. It is simply a mechanical mechanism to redress certain anomalies in the societies. Don’t take it otherwise other than enjoying the privileges. It is merely a temporary Constitutional arrangement; but only wise man like Ambedker could foresee and worked out in favor of his people. Its expiry date is extended every ten years. But how long? So take a plunge and grab your share.
Good news is that six communities from Assam are about to enter the ST list including Tai Ahoms. These days ST tag is no more defamatory rather salutary. Let the people decide and demand in a peaceful way unlike the way the Jats did in Haryana and the Patels did in Gujarat (that too only for OBC).
One Prof in a challenging tone told me that why don’t you ask for the privileges and protection without the ST tag? You people will never get ST tag. I retorted back by saying, we don’t mind getting all the privileges and protection without the tag; but as of now there is no other option and any other dispensation. During a bank robbery a daring man asked for change from one of the robbers and to our surprise one of the robbers gave the change. The moral of the story is that keep asking, who knows you may get it.
I always believe in the common sense of the common people; even if they don’t listen to me I shall move on with the invincible thought of Tagore “ekla cholo re”.


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