Fourth delimitation in Manipur: An impact analysis

    12-Jun-2020
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Prof RK Narendra Singh
Contd from prev issue
Since the Foreigners’ Permit System was abolished in the state on November 18, 1950, it lifted all the barricades to immigrants and in-migrants. In 1980s the contentious Anti Foreigners issue was erupted and consequence upon a 16 clauses draft agreement was signed on August 5, 1980 but the Government never implemented the agreement such as detection and deportation of foreigners.Again,in 1994s, same agitation was erupted then at last, the second memorandum of agreement was made on November 9, 1994. Still government never full filled its promise in letter and spirit in spite of public uproar.One of the article entitled “Impact of NRC Updation (Assam) on Manipur: A dynamics of migration”which was published in Kangla Lanpung 2018; XII(I) have cited that the number of migrants who already entered in the state since 1951 to 2001 was 785,376. It was estimated under certain assumption that the growth rate of Manipur has followed the growth rate of gold standard (world). The figure was 398,199 when the growth rate of Manipur has followed the national growth rate (India). Whatsoever and whosoever the figure may be, huge number of migrants were included in the Census 2001 is quite loud and clear. Without eliminating those migrants, the outcome of the purposed Delimitation base on Census 2001 figure might be null and void.
Another legitimate argument is the dreadful law and order situations still hovering in the state. For instance, the Disturbed Area Status under the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) has been imposed since September 8, 1980 till date. It implies that the state still faces a serious security issues. So why should the Government of India has issued a Notification dated on February 28, 2020 leading to initiate delimitation excises in Manipur which is fully contradict to the Delimitation Order, 2008 through which the Commission has completed the delimitation exercise in the entire country except in these four northeastern states including Manipur on the grown of security issues.Thus, the purposed initiative is hasty and inappropriate ones.
Conclusion:
The fact and circumstances arrived in the article it may be concluded that the impugned Order  No.  S.O.  903 (E) dated, February 28, 2020 published by Ministry of Law and Justice that had cancelled its earlier notifications which deferred delimitation in Assam, Nagaland, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh due to security issues, saying the exercise could be carried out “now” as the previous circumstances cease to exist should be made revoke through appropriate constitutional means, probably through legal intervention. The Commission is a powerful and independent body and thus once delimitation process is start and complete whose orders cannot be challenged in any Courts of Law.Only option left is to defer the exercise on the line of 84th Amendment, that not to have delimitation of constituencies till the first Census after 2026 through legal intervention. The same legal help has already been taken up in Assam.
There are enough evidences and circumstances to keep aside the impugned Order and eventually defer the exercise till the publication of Census 2031.The main ingredient of delimitation is Census data that has attributed with lot of imperfect components. For instance Census report 2001of Manipur is too old and its report is fragmented and incorrect ones. It included a huge number of migrants that should be excluded first before delimitation. Significant variation of growth patterns among the communities are witnessed in the Census 2001 and therefore entitlement assembly seats could not be maintained equilibrium position among the diverse communities that might be threatening to the harmony and integrity of the state. Thus,it indirectly indicates not suitable in the present juncture.This time is also not ripped enough in terms of law and order situation to conduct such mega exercise in the state.
To end with it is a wakeup call that through the purposed 4th Delimitation, entitlement assembly seats for UR might be losing 4 out of existing 40 seats. The present population trend continues then by the 5th Delimitation base on Census 2031, UR again might be losing another 4 seats: 3 go to ST and 1 goes to SC.This is not a healthy sign that would make chaos and anarchy among the various communities settled peacefully since time immemorial. To prevent the outburst of such social disorder, a proper and effective long term planning is highly call for that would maintain uniform growth pattern through uniform performance of Family Welfare Program, and through other Socio-Economic and Development programs. In short, the state needs a sustainable population policy immediately otherwise it might be obsolete. It is not an easy task but might only be turned into reality through the in-depth research outcomes of the Manipur State Population Commission (MSPC).
Need of the hour is to challenge the impugned Order through Courts of Law immediately and secondly, to make commission of MSPC at the earliest.
References:
1.    Census of India.  Census Report 1991, Manipur
2.    Census of India. Provisional Census  Report 2001, Manipur
3.    Census of India. Final Census  Report 2001, Manipur
4.    Directorate of Eco. & Stat. Statistical Hand Book of Manipur. 2017
5.    Narendra RK. Impact of NRC updation (Assam) on Manipur : a dynamics of migration. Kangla lanpung  2018; XII(I): 6-50.
6.    Outlook. SC issues notices to Centre, Assam om ple against delimitation process based on 2001 census. May 27, 2020.
7.    Parliament of India. Available fromURL:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parliament_of_India
8.    PTI. Delimitation commission for Jammu and Kashmir, Assam, Manipur, Arunachal, Nagaland formed. Mar 6, 2020. Available fromURL:https://m.economictimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/delimitation-commission-for-jammu-and-kashmir-assam-manipur-arunachal-nagaland-formed/articleshow/74518745.cms
9.    SC WP (C) No. 454 0f 2020: Brelitha Marak & Ors Vs UoI & Ors
10.    Tariq Bhat. Delimitation commission for J&K, Assam, Manipur, Arunachal, Nagaland formed. The WEEK, March 07, 2020. Available fromURL:https://www.theweek.in/news/india/2020/03/07/delimitation-commission-for-jk-assam-manipur-arunachal-nagaland-formed.html
11.    V.K. Varma. Delimitation in India, Methodological Issues. Economic & Political Weekly, 2006. Available fromURL:https://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/10603/193715/7/chapter%205.pdf
12.    Wikipedia. Delimitation Commission of India.Available fromURL:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delimitation_Commission_of_India
13.    2007(2) GLT 577: MPCC & Ors. Vs. UoI

The author of the article is a Renowned Demographer, and HOD of Biostatistics, RIMS, Imphal.