Now that Centre has said yes to ILP;
Understanding the crux
The interesting question now is, did the Centre suddenly hear the long standing voice of the people that the influx of non-locals into the State of Manipur be regulated or did it come under the impression that some sort of a mechanism is needed to shield the State after the doors are flung wide open to Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs and Christians who have fled Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh and taken shelter in India ? No two answers would be similar but significant to note that the demand to regulate the influx of non-locals or outsiders to the State of Manipur has been there for long and this is where one need to understand the demand beyond the street protests but see how some senior citizens of the land had thrown their weight behind the call to regulate the inflow of outsiders into the State. The Sangai Express has had its say on the matter numerous times and while backing the call for a legislation to regulate the inflow of non-locals, it had also called out for the need to stop creating labour vacuums. The Centre has now agreed to enforce the Inner Line Permit System in the State, to shield the land and the people from the possible onslaught once the door is flung open courtesy the Citizenship Amendment Bill, and this is where the contributions of those who quietly worked away from the limelight but chipped in with thought provoking contributions need to be acknowledged. It was the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS) which led the way and earlier it was FREINDS which raised the cry that the population of non-locals has started to outnumber the locals in many areas of the State.
As pointed out earlier here, it is also important to acknowledge those who stayed away from the limelight but nevertheless contributed their mite in highlighting the need to regulate the inflow of non-locals into Manipur. Drawing a beautiful analogy, the Association of Premier State College Seniors, Manipur, a group of retired Professors, likened the frightening situation in the State to that of a ‘small boat ferrying more passengers than the carrying capacity permits.’ A boat or a bus or an aeroplane has the capacity to carry a certain number of passengers and overloading them would spell catastrophe for everyone concerned, was the precise point that the APSCS sought to deliver and this is a valid point that will stand the test of time. ILPS will be enforced in the State any day now, but the intrinsic meaning of the observation made by the retired Professors should be applicable to all situations and much will depend on how seriously this is taken to gauge how society progresses. Regulating the inflow of non-locals should be understood in its correct perspective and that is Manipur cannot afford to have more than it can support and this should be central to the idea behind enforcing ILPS. Now that the Centre has agreed to the long standing demand that a protective mechanism be enforced for the State, let the people also reciprocate and come to the point that there is the pressing need to nullify the ‘pull factor’ of Manipur and the best way to go about this is for the locals to engage themselves in the labour hitherto identified as the domain of non-locals.