Bizandoo: Eigya, your praja is anxious about CAB (the Citizen Amendment Bill 2016), they are on the streets, they are asking whether it will be passed?
Maharaj: Bizandoo, I am with my praja, whether I continue in my Gaddi or not, I stand with them.
Bizandoo :Hujur , that is okay , that is your patriotic spirit and commitment to your people.
Maharaj :Bizandoo, I really don’t understand , if it becomes law what are the possible repercussions on us and on our land ?
Bizandoo :Eigya , this is a prejudice , we still invite Whites to come to our land and do whatever they want to do; and abhor blacks and browns; it is pure a colonial hangover, Whites may be economically affluent but certainly not intellectually, but still we behave like inferiors to them, people don’t know that many of them have become beggars in Eastern Europe, Greece, etc.
Maharaj : Bizandoo, don’t divert the issue , this Bill, if it becomes an Act , how will it affect Manipur? why outsiders would want to come to our land ? Why people are so comfortable here? Once they come they never want to go back.
Bizandoo : Eigya , our land is so beautiful, climatically so wonderful, people are so friendly, vegetation is so great and varied, everything is tasty including our native brew; it is comparable to the world’s greatest brews, and above all we are extremely gullible and easily exploitable.
Maharaj : Bizandoo, give me a straight answer, what are the possible consequences of this law ?
Bizandoo : Hujur , people from Pakistan and Afghanistan will not come to our land; yes Bangladeshi Hindus, Christians, Jains, Buddhists, Sikhs and Parsis may come to take advantage of this contemplated law; there is a remote possibility of Meitei Hindus from Bangladesh coming back to us; Sikhs may like to go to Punjab, Jains to Rajasthan/Gujarat, Buddhists and Parsis may choose Maharashtra. As a matter of fact, this law is particularly meant for dealing with the illegal migrants or the people who fled from the neighboring countries because of religious persecution; rather to legalize them (Assam); an unfinished agenda of partition.
Maharaj : Considering the humongous apprehension of our people, our political agent in Dilli is trying his level best either to block or dilute the Bill for our safety; but we really don’t know what is going to happen? That is the biggest enigma. Only a few days are left, let us pray.
Bizandoo :Hujur, our prayer should also include for not taking the ordinance route.
Maharaj: Last time when we met the in-Charge of the Bill, he assured us that the interest of the people of Manipur and Northeast will be safeguarded. In that very meeting I also requested to clear our People’s Bill.
Bizandoo: Hujur, I feel that Dilli has some reservations about our People’s Bill; they might be thinking that similar laws from other parts may be quite detrimental for all. At the same time the deadline of 1951 is unrealistic because of paucity of records; inner line permit system of the colonial era goes against the spirit of unity and integration; perhaps the mainstream leaders may not be comfortable even with the existing inner line permit system of 3 NE states.
Maharaj : The Second-in-command knows everything, perhaps he is more concerned about the broader national interest, he might be thinking that such parochial protection may lead to opening the pandora’s box throughout .
Bizandoo : I have an idea Sirji. Can we ask the Centre to declare our land a Protected area where no outsider is allowed to settle down permanently or buy land; such rights are reserved only for the native tribes.
Our contention may be based on the premise that we were three brothers Nagas, Meiteis and Kukis, all were tribes as early as 1935; after 1950 Meiteis are treated as non-tribal and that is why the valley (habitat of the Meiteis) has been wide open to all and sundry; proper protection is required for the valley otherwise we will have the same fate as Tripuris (minority in his own home land).
Maharaj : You mean to say that the Manipur valley must be equally protected as the hills under either 6th or 5th Schedule of the Constitution .
Bizandoo : Exactly Your Highness, for doing that the valley people should be declared as a tribe . This is the right time to assert and bargain . Dilli is also eager to find a way out which is politically prudent and Constitutionally viable. Eigya, may I book the ticket for Dilli ?