Protect non-locals in Dimapur call
The labour market
Not exactly a stand against the Inner Line Permit System, but questions the validity of such an Act and this is something which must have been taken note of by the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System. The petition filed by a BJP leader before the Supreme Court of India seeking protection of non-Nagas in Dimapur after ILP was extended to the commercial capital of Nagaland is interesting in the sense that it has come at a time when the State Government is awaiting the Centre’s response to the Manipur People Bill, passed by the State Assembly following the intense pressure mounted by the JCILPS. This is where the rationale behind demanding a mechanism to check the influx of non-locals need to be highlighted effectively. Manipur is a small place, a very small place and to draw an analogy, there is only so much that a vessel can carry. In case the vessel is overcrowded or is forced to carry more passengers than it can then it is bound to capsize. This is the reality in the case of Manipur and a district like Dimapur in Nagaland and hence the need to regulate the inflow of non-locals. It is not a ban on the entry of anyone, but regulating their entry and nothing amiss should be read into this. It is the apprehension that large scale influx of non-locals can displace the natives from their place of birth that should be recognised and appreciated. And this is what can happen in a place like Manipur. Safety and security of non-locals may be a matter of concern, but then this should not only be viewed through the prism of the ILP or any mechanism to regulate the entry of non-locals to a place like Manipur.
The need to have a mechanism to regulate the large scale inflow of non-locals into Manipur has been felt for long and it is the JCILPS which has been spearheading the movement to apply the pressure on the Government for the last many years. The three Bills which were passed by the State Assembly in 2015 have been turned down by the Centre and it did ignite large scale protest at Churachandpur which led to the death of a number of protesters. The bodies laid in state for two years before the present BJP led Government was able to defuse the crisis and brought about an amicable settlement. Thankfully history was not repeated when the BJP led Government passed the Manipur People Bill in the State Assembly and is now awaiting an answer from the Centre. The interesting point is whether what has happened at Dimapur may influence how the Centre may respond to the stand of the State Government. Early days yet, but what has happened must have been take note of by the JCILPS and all those who stand by the call that a mechanism be put in place to check the influx of non-locals into the State. At the same time, it is also important for the local people to seriously question why Manipur continues to attract so many. Have efforts been sincerely taken up not to create vacuums in the job market ? And by job market here one means labour market. Are the locals ready to take up works which have been rendered by the non-locals all these years ? A serious question which all should address to sincerely.