Contrasting voices from the hills and valley The tug of war continues


There can be no winner here. But everyone seems blind to this. Or prefer to be blind and this is where the tragedy lies. So while the pro-ILPS campaign or agitation continues in the valley area of the State, the hill based organisations, particularly the Churachandpur JAC continue to be staunchly against the three Bills passed by the State Assembly on August 31 last year. The question is whether the hill based organisations will agree if a new Bill or Bills are prepared by the State Government to stop the influx of non-local people into the State. Also important to ask whether the valley based organisations particularly the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS) will agree to a new Bill or Bills. As things stand today, the tug of war continues and it is clear that there can be no winner, until and unless both parties on either side of the Bills divide sit down and talk things over. So far no one has seen any efforts being made to sit down and talk things over. Surprising it is to see the State Government maintaining a stoic silence at this critical juncture. Why not make efforts to reach out to both parties and take the lead in bringing the two sides to the negotiating table ? This will go a long way in bringing understanding on the issue at hand.
The stand off continues and while the two sides seem set to pursue their own course of agenda, no one seems to have given a thought to the future of the youngsters. Let them grow up in a climate of mutual distrust ? Lest anyone forgets, whatever course of action is taken up now is done so for the future and it makes absolutely no sense to barter away the future of the youngsters while pursuing a course of action today. It is this reality which is scary and Manipur has been caught in such a state for decades. The coming days can be anything but comfortable for the people and time for everyone to start thinking why this should be so. An issue which should have brought the people together has today pulled them apart so drastically that calls for separate administrations for the hill people have been raised. The trust deficit is glaringly real. Coming back to what has been said, let the Government play the middle man and see how the two sides can be brought to the negotiating table. Let some broad minded people also come forward and initiate steps to resolve the matter across the table. The vicious circle has to end.


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