Over the past few years Manipur had seen some sort of relief from Economic Blockage, Indefinite Bandh, Strike and Dharna that were carried out in different forms. Ever since coalition parties the BJP and NPP formed Government in March 2017, somehow it managed to calm down all these forms of protest that the State has long been witnessing and therefore, to a certain extent it came as a relief to the people as whole.
Notwithstanding of all these, since the last two years, the people of Manipur are redefining the definition of "Peace", as reflected from the way the ruling Govt took its decision in the recent past while making policies and this is what the people experience on a daily basis. The Govt and law enforcement agencies should strengthen their own means of combating violence without fear and favour.
The common thirst of the Govt and all the three communities :
Talking about peace, the State lacks certain things in creating it. As a well known fact, that the three major communities in the State-The Kuki, Naga and Meitei, have to liver together in harmony and this is something the Government should consider as their utmost priority. Otherwise, our knowledge, ability, power and understanding ways of living would have no impact; furthermore there would neither be space to settle differences within the three communities. Govt should, therefore, take responsibility of all actions raised by a particular community or two or more communities without any excuse.
Yes, the thirst for everyone can be quenched, however difficult it may be, by using a simple tool- consultation and participation. Observing from the past three-years that the State had faced with several untoward incidents, we can say that it is due to the failure and the absence of effective consultation with their respective representatives/stakeholders and the lack of participation from all sides. Govt should not commit further blunder in upholding their Constitutional duties and err while settling differences between different communities using the two mentioned tools. Also, it is more important to underline the fact that people's Govt shouldn't work to infringe over one community’s fundamental rights.
No doubt, peaceful co-existence is our right. Not all of our wants can be accomplished. In fact, wrongly and falsely claiming of properties and possessions are only a reflection of ignorance and an invitation for violence and communal tension. It is therefore, irrespective of who we are, imperative that we all need to strive to come to a common solution to sort -out all sorts of dissents and misunderstandings. More so, violence and confrontationist stand should be shunned for the sake of peace for it only harm all of us.
We, the Kuki, Naga and Meitei should all give up greed and hatred. The language of peace should be made to speak and overreacting with sharp objects and tools towards another community shouldn't be tolerated at any cost. The recent past incidents of violences have taught us enough and now is time to call for peaceful co-existence to all communities.
The role of Government and non- Govt bodies
Considering the current situation in Manipur, it is shameful to see people bleeding and injured during the protest of their rights. It is more shameful for the concerned authorities to add to the tense situation by their inaction. These things happen when there is failure of communication and negligence. Attempt should be made to bridge the gap of communication between the people.
The government has a long way to go to make the State more peaceful. It has to take firm decisions so that the common people can find peace. They should reach out to the grass root level also and conduct drives to build peace. It should also find a space where more people can be engaged to bring harmony in the State. They should promote healthy environment by creating employment, poverty elevation, building infrastructure such as road, PHC to nurturing youth of the State. Govt should refrain from being a biased umpire. They should provide equal goals and ensure equity regardless of communities with respect to their rights.
Besides, the police who are selflessly doing their jobs to control every outrages and untoward incidents, should conduct their work ethically. Non Govt body like NGOs, CSOs, student bodies etc, should work closely with the Govt to help common people live peacefully. Awareness should be widely spread to educate the general public and media could be the potential contributer to this.
It is unfortunate to know over the past two few years that lives of many have been destroyed for want of justices. Today, nothing has changed much and in future too, history could repeat itself if concerned authorities remain the same and public continues their greed centric line of thoughts. The current Haraothel incident is an exemple of the State to prove their efficiency without hurting the sentiment of anyone; and ensure justice to all parties. The challenge ahead of the Govt should be supported by the public in order that amicable solution be arrived at earliest.
Therefore, it is time to put the true meaning of peace into action; live with it so as to avoid creating a communal tension. What if similar like Haraothel continues, will the people benefit out of it? Shouldn't Govt be responsible? Is the Govt serious about building a peaceful State ? If so, let peace be seen within all districts of the State ! Period
The writer can be reached at : [email protected]
Views expressed are personal