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Anti-interests of the local people Sowing more seeds of divide

To protect the interests of the indigenous people of the land. This is the foundation on which the demand to implement the Inner Line Permit System or a similar mechanism has been raised. The question is how faithfully close is the movement to this principle ? Apart from the deep divide that the three Bills have spawned, resulting in the death of nine protesters in Churachandpur, after the three Bills were passed in the State Assembly on August 31 last year, today it is threatening to further divide the people with the Kuki Students’ Organisation (KSO) first urging all concerned not to force tribal students to take part in the pro-ILPS movement. This was followed by the All Tribal Students’ Union, Manipur (ATSUM) alleging that a tribal girl student was assaulted for refusing to take part in the pro-ILPS protest on July 25. Already a friend of the girl who was allegedly assaulted has posted the case on Facebook detailing the incident and most likely this post will go viral soon. Apart from physically assaulting her the student was also subjected to verbal abuse and this is a shame. To be sure news of the alleged incident has spread fast and it has reached young students from Manipur studying outside the State. Not healthy at all for the State and the people.
Why has situation come to such a pass ? The suspicion amongst the local people should be addressed to on a priority basis. The demand is to protect the interest of the local people but in the process it should be clear that it has only succeeded in sowing the seeds of divide. Unfortunate it is but true that today everything is viewed through the prism of community divide. No easy solution here but this is no reason why efforts should not be taken up to clear the misunderstandings. For one chauvinism should be discarded, for Manipur certainly cannot afford to have Meitei/Meetei chauvinists, Naga chauvinists and Kuki chauvinists. Time for more people to people contact and also time to discard the antiquated slogans. First admit that there is a sense of deep distrust amongst all the different communities and then look for ways to address this. Moreover why should anyone be forced to take part in any protest ? Who gave them the mentality that if anyone (a tribal girl in this case)  refuses to take part in the pro-ILPS protest, he or she can be assaulted and verbally abused ? The school authority too should be questioned on why such an incident was ‘allowed’ to take place.



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