Two diametrically opposing stand; will Delhi give the assent ?


Will the Centre give assent to the demand that the three Bills passed on August 31 last year be enacted ? This question is important in the backdrop of the two diametrically opposite stands adopted by the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS) and the Churachandpur JAC. The divide spawned by the three Bills is there for all to see and backing the Churachandpur JAC are other hill based groups such as the United Naga Council. 48 hours total shutdown in the hill areas against the decision of the all political parties to send a delegation to New Delhi to impress upon the Centre to convert the three Bills into Acts and now a 38 hour bandh underway at Imphal and the valley districts to pile the pressure on the State Government to get the three Bills enacted. As things stand today, Delhi is the focal point and hence the question of whether the Centre will enact the three Bills or not. If Delhi refuses then what ? If it agrees then what ? Either way more stormy days can be expected and it is disheartening to note that not much thought seems to have been given on how the Centre may respond to the three Bills. The cut off year to define a person as indigenous or not is the 1951 National Register of Citizens. This seems to be the contentious point but an RTI application filed by a social activist some time back revealed that the State Government does not have the record of NRC, 1951. If this is the case then how does the State Government hope to work this out ?
For the record, even Assam had to reset the base year from 1951 to 1971 as there is no NRC record of 1951. The unfortunate part is, the question of whether the State Government has the NRC record of 1951 or not has not been discussed thoroughly and what one sees today is the contrasting stand point adopted by the Churachandpur JAC and the JCILPS. Moreover why didn’t the State Government do their homework and studied whether the 1951 NRC record is with them or not ? All indications that not enough homework seems to have been done so far, despite the loss of precious lives. The 48 hours bandh in the hill districts is over and the 38 hours bandh in Imphal and the valley areas is in progress. Nothing much to suggest that a meeting point will be worked out in the near future and Manipur can certainly expect to see more stormy days ahead. On the other hand, the argument that the valley dwellers, that is the Meiteis need some sort of a Constitutional safeguard is on firm ground. Remember, whether there is Inner Line Permit System or not the hills are already Constitutionally protected as no non-tribals can settle there permanently. No wonder protection of land is important to the idea of the movement for ILPS and this is a point which ought to be discussed amongst all the indigenous people of the land.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here