After a date with Amit Shah:
Time for serious introspection
The 18 member COCOMI team have had a date with Union Home Minister Amit Shah and talked things over but what is new ? Nothing much substantial, if one goes by the report that has been received so far. Instead, COCOMI has lined up a meeting with the public on November 29 to take a decision on the future course of action to be followed. And as expected no written assurance from the Home Minister. Verbal assurance it is and one only hopes that the stand of the people and Manipur was effectively conveyed to the Union Home Minister and the Centre responds accordingly when the final deal is inked with the NSCN (IM) any day soon. One positive point however is the report that Chief Minister N Biren himself was present during the meeting with the Union Home Minister and this is something which should not blow over the heads of anyone. Time for all concerned to admit that the people and the Government need to walk together for remember what is at stake here is Manipur and no one has any sole monopoly over the interests of the place and the people. Time for the CSOs and the State Government to work together and any sort of agitation that may follow must be understood within the context of doing something for the sake of the land. It must not be seen as a stand against the State Government. And the State Government too must reciprocate accordingly and understand that Manipur is central to the series of sit-in protests that have been held all over the place and are likely to continue in the coming days. This is also the right time for COCOMI to come to the understanding that they cannot be seen to be working in two minds, best exemplified by their flip flop stand on the question of boycotting or not boycotting the ongoing Sangai Festival.
Written assurance from the Home Minister. Blow hot and blow cold on the question of boycotting Sangai Festival. One can understand the hard line that COCOMI may have felt constrained to adopt but it is also equally important to ensure that its public image does not get a beating. A glance at the social media sites must have opened the eyes of COCOMI that its image took a severe beating from the public over its flip flop stand on the question of boycotting and not boycotting Sangai Festival. To the keen observer its insistence on a written assurance from the Home Minister that the interests of Manipur would not be compromised too could have sounded juvenile. Now that the 18 member team of COCOMI themselves could not get a written assurance, it should be the wake up call to all that not everything will fall in line with what one wants. It is also important to note that the ongoing political dialogue between the NSCN (IM) and the Government of India is at the Prime Minister level and the Union Home Minister is nowhere in sight, though he may be kept in the loop. This is an important point that must not be lost on anyone and in the days ahead, let wise counsel prevail. Let everyone, especially those heading the movement come to the point that the public cannot and should not be taken for granted. Perhaps the public meeting lined up on November 29 is in line with this thought.