Studying the sense of optimism Feel good factor from UNC


The sense of optimism is infectious and deliciously so. As president of the United Naga Council, Kho John must know something on the likely outcome of the ongoing peace process between the Government of India and the NSCN (IM) and his observation ‘Solution will not harm Meitei-Naga relation’ is refreshing and veers away from the earlier hawkish stand adopted on either side of the Lim divide. Let this wisdom guide everyone, for ultimately no one can refute the fact that Meiteis and Nagas will have to live together. Is this also a tacit admission that the territorial integrity of Manipur will not be affected as an outcome of the ongoing peace process ? Not more than a question at the moment, but this is nonetheless significant for remember the June 18 uproar of 2001. If territory is intact then what would be given to the NSCN (IM) as an outcome of the final pact ? This again is not much more than a question but some points have already been highlighted and that is no attempts should be made to dilute the understanding of Manipur as a geo-political reality. Intrinsic in this observation is there should be no dual system of administration, wherein some parts come under the State Government while another part comes under direct control or administration of New Delhi. So what is the acceptable line ? Again not more than a question for the standard line has been ‘A solution is welcome but it should not affect the interest of Manipur in any way.’ Yet on the other hand, it stands that something will have to be given to the NSCN (IM) after all these years of political negotiation.
The important question is, how much can one move beyond ‘territorial integrity versus Greater Lim,’ ‘Manipur as a geo-political reality versus Autonomy for the Naga inhabited areas’ stand ? This is where one needs to have an open mind and move accordingly. The ceasefire agreement between the NSCN (IM) and the Government of India is now more than twenty years old and surely conditions should have undergone some changes and all need to move according to the changing times. What was relevant back in 1997 may no longer hold true in 2019 and what was not relevant back in 1997 may have gained immense relevance in 2019. This is the reality and the observation of Kho John may be seen along this line-that is keeping pace with the changing times. No boundaries for business and economy, is another observation from the UNC president and nothing can be more relevant than this. Economy is today central to politics of any sort more particularly in the people to people contact and it is along this line why there is the universal observation that the world is today a global village. Economy-this is what is driving different communities and different countries and there is no reason why this cannot be so in the inter-community relationships of the people of Manipur and elsewhere in the region. A final solution may be inked anytime and this is where all need to keep an open mind for ultimately the people will have to live together. This is what can be surmised from the observation of the UNC president.

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