Silhouetting ‘State’ is a paramount difficulty these days. We were taught in the schools and colleges that a ‘State’ (Country) must have a defined territory; it should have a population; it must be independent & sovereign and it ought to have a government, so on and so forth. We have another kind of ‘state’ which exists within a ‘State’. State with capital letter ‘S’ represents a Country (a nation); whereas the ‘state’ with a small letter ‘s’ stands for a smaller territorial entity somewhat autonomous within a ‘State’.
On this premise Manipur was a State (since circa 33 AD till 1891), remained a semi-State under the British Rule or Paramountcy (1891 to 1947), again became an independent State (1947 to 1949) and now it is a state within the Indian State (after its merger in 1949) . The territorial and the demographic sanctity of the then Manipur of 1949 must be maintained for all times to come. It sounds logical, ethical and politically correct.
The Nagas (which includes the Naga state) are also right when they say that their larger common identity, culture, habitat, etc., must be preserved, protected and promoted. But the crucial question is whether this can be done without compromising the interest of other states and people. We are in a catch 22 situation or rather we are in a Chakravihu; only an impartial and judicious intervention can save us .
Today the children of the 21st century are really repulsive with these age old ideas of State & state. They rather incline towards States which stands for the United States (of America). Perhaps they think that they will get more cyber stuff, friendly netizens, AI prospects etc., in the land of Trump.
The government of India has the power and authority to create more states, to shrink the size of the existing states or to increase the size , to incorporate even foreign land as states as part of the Union. This power of the Federal/Union Government triggers apprehension in the minds of the people who are living in the fringes and facing fluid political propositions in the backdrop of the protracted Naga peace talks.
Manipur is not only for Meiteis or Nagas or Kukis. Manipur is for those who live there from time immemorial and for those who are born and brought up there. Kuki-Chin group might have joined the Meitei-Naga confluence much later; they are now an indispensible part of the Manipuri society. Today Manipuri society consists of many 36 ethnic groups including the Pangans (Manipuri Muslims).
Some people want greater Nagaland (Nagalim) , some prefer Eastern Nagaland, Some desire Southern Nagaland, some think of Kuki-chin state, Some dream of a greater Mizoram, Some insist to safeguard the existing overall interest of Manipur or Assam or Arrunachal; a few instigate for an united NE like the ‘Brachin’ (land and people between Brahmaputra and Chindwin) type. As a matter of fact we are still in the quagmire of the 18 century concepts and ideas. Very regressive ! Very unfortunate !
Today we need to change the syllabus of our children particularly of political science which talks about State or state or Independence or Sovereignty etc. These are out-dated notions and not in conformity with the changing time. Those who had studied political science & theory in the 40’s or 50’s are trying to decide the future and destiny of the generation X who are more loyal to Multinationals, Mobile, Mother-earth, and more inclined to AI and Aliens.
Still I respect all the State/state lovers. I also regard all those who are running around to safeguard the interest of the State/states. But with due respect to all the State /state creatures, I humbly declare that I no longer believe in these narrow concepts. I believe in humanity; I believe in one people; I long for a world, single global citizenship, one planet & one earthling. Notions like State (Country), states, empire, colonies, territories, provinces, boundaries, communities, classes, castes, groups or tribes etc create complications. We are a family, one race (human) and we live together in a small planet called Earth. It sounds like as if I am trying for the Novel Peace Prize.
Nobel Foundation must start a new award for promoting ‘incredible novel ideas’, if they can afford to do so. And the first prize must be given to Stephen Hawking for his prediction that the human race will come to an end within a few hundred years. The subsequent prize may be awarded to me for predicting a Stateless world within the same period. I must not be prosecuted for promoting Communism which talks of a Stateless – classless society (the States will wither away etc.), because my idea is based on “one planet one human race” not on Marx.
Any ways, “HAPPY NEW YEAR” to all believers and non believers of State and states.