We are one
Maulana Abdur Rahman
The subject and theme of this article is to spread the oneness of the human race and to further send a message of peaceful co-existence and cooperation to my brethren in all the believers of all the faiths of Manipur State. God, the Almighty, also teaches us to seek refuse in the God of humanity in all the affairs that affect us all. Today we the people of Manipur have a common affair or problem in our State that affects all of us. The prickly problem is known to each and every one of us in the state without saying. So, let us first seek and pray to God to grant us with success. We, as a body, require addressing it immediately and otherwise we will miss the train.
Let our approach be by peaceful and constitutionally permissible means so as not to cause any infringement of law as well as human rights here and there. Let us also tone-down ourselves so as not to hurt the sentiments of even the disgruntle ones among us if any.
The state of Manipur, though small in size, has issues that beset all of us. One such issue under our nose is the integrity of the state vis-a-vis the impending Naga Peace Talk. It is paramount in that if neglected not only our future may become bleak and gloomy but also may become a spark that if neglected will catch our houses on fire. This may cause unrest to the younger generations which we have enough of it and we don’t want it to happen again. The Manipuri parents over the years have already been maar khaya (beaten) in the hands of our misguided children. It’s enough and enough of it now. Ours is a storehouse of young talents that can crake the nut in both the national and international arenas. They have been showing the day and will show. We need not reiterate it. They have full of energy. If that energy is not channelized timely towards the right direction for useful purposes, we are afraid the steam engine may lose its head and become useless.
The people of Manipur, particularly the Valley’s, are now shaking in the balance on the issue of Naga peace talk between the NSCN (I/M) and the Government of India (GOI). The apprehension makes all of us nervous as it is likely to cause the state amputated and disabled. The Valley’s old and young citizens, men and women all distressed, are on the roads in the sun and rain in gloomy faces as the deal has assumed a secret agenda as alleged. Strikes, lockouts, bandhs, total shut down and what not have become order of the day. All activities are stone-still. The impending Sangai Festival, the pride of Manipur, may turn a dismal performance this year. The prices of essential commodities has sky rocketed. The essential services have become erroneous.
Manipur is a hilly state. If it is divided into the small patch of valley (10%) as Valley and the bulk one (90%) as Hill into distinct entities it is nothing but a kind of divide and rule for the central government. Demographic Division will make the state a mockery. It’s question of time only, with the Peace Talk coming to a close, now the gape may become wider and it is likely that the patch of valley will become a lone entity of Manipur to make the situation graver. Pray God let it not happen.
Instead of dividing the state like this, central government, may declare the state as an entity – a Hilly State so that all the inhabitants become tribes and that can douse the heart burnings here and there. Nagas,Kukis, Meiteis, Pangals, Vaipheis, Paites, Kabuis and what not as such shall automatically be integrated into a mainstream of tribes in the state for all purposes. Any deviation may be chaotic and state will drift into the sea. We appeal the Nagas, for that matter all the tribes, not to do any harm to the state’s integrity and instead remain as a respectable member of the family. Since very long past we have been flowers in the same garden. Let us not uproot them and make it dry without flowers. When contacted with some Naga friends of Mao and Tangkhul they maintained that they have been waiting for the outcome of the agreement yet to be signed between the Parties. They refuse to talk further. Its eleven hour. Now we cannot do anything on the matter except speculating ourselves whether to see a status quo or a nightmare. We appeal to the better nature or conscience of the Nagas, and other contending tribes to think twice for a status quo or against any untoward adverse situation. We are afraid lest the agreement might overturn the table. We appeal to Nagas against any worst adversity.
Protestors from all cross section of the society in the valley may not do anything by words and gestures’ that is likely to cause any hurt to the sentiments of any community or adversary nor to cause any damage or harm to the government and private properties anywhere. The sky will not fall so sudden. Even in worst adversity we shall not loss our heart. If required, we,in our skeleton, will eat grass and fight to the end otherwise we have no face to show to our progenies.
In the ongoing winter session of Parliament, the ruling BJP government in Manipur can put up a strong debate to undo any adverse resolution. May the central government wakes up or thinks twice that racial, religious, and geographical discrimination of the general populations in the state are stopped for all time to come. Let us deal and redress every problem on the ground of HUMANITY and for that we say in one voice “WE ARE ONE, OUR GOD IS ONE, OUR STATE IS ONE”.
Last but not the least; it is unpredictable what the insurgent groups of NE may decide whether to go for or against after knowing the result of the final agreement. If the agreement is favourable it is well and good. Otherwise the consequence is understandable (the ramification would be immense). They may come out of their barrack and resort to arms struggle. Then the table is likely overturned.
A prayer: O! God. The Creator of the Universe. The God of humanity. We seek refuge to Thee, from the Satan, from worldly sorrows, from extremes of tyrants, from evil-doers, from extremes of governance, from doing any harm to the state, from our enemies overt and covert, from falling our state to any adversity, from falling apart our tribes.
The writer is a Rtd IPS