Lapses in ILPS: Complete let-down

A large number of policies, programmes and regulations which sound quite impressive and promising on paper may turn out to be totally hollow and useless if there are lapses when it comes to the implementation part.  Inner Line Permit System which was introduced in the State after years of mass struggle is unfortunately heading in the same direction if the large number of non-local people pulled up by JCILPS for not possessing valid ILP passes is any indication. What is the use of introducing ILPS in the State if non-local people and non-permanent residents of the State are allowed unrestricted entry and unregulated stay within the State for as long as they like. The authorities seemed to have forgotten the basic objective of introducing the ILPS in the State. The indigenous people of the land struggled for years sustaining heavy casualties in the process in pursuit of the collective demand for establishment of a regulatory mechanism to check unrestrained influx of non-local people into the State. The Government   of India finally granted the collective demand in December 2019 but two years down the line, the State Government has failed miserably in enforcing the regulatory mechanism. How do non-local people come into the State without ILP passes? Does the Government have any mechanism to pull up non-local people who do not renew their ILP passes and have been outstaying the passes? The Government and the law enforcing agencies are answerable to these questions. Otherwise the Inner Liner Permit System introduced in Manipur just two years back is as good as dead. The authorities must understand that the indigenous people’s collective demand for ILPS was driven by a common threat perception and this threat perception was not imaginary.  Over the years migration from mainland India to the North East region including is assuming astronomical proportion and the character of influx. That was why a large number of indigenous people including students struggled for years for introduction of a mechanism which can effectively check this influx.
When migration transforms into exodus and influx between the place of origin and the destination, the process breeds an inherent threat perception. The degree of threats perceived by the host depends on variance in many factors such as race, culture, relative population size, customs, economic insecurity etc. Permanent settlement means loss of land and resources for good which otherwise should be available to the natives. Not only land and natural resources, job opportunities (for natives) become fewer and fewer with the growth of immigrant population.  And this is exactly what is happening in Manipur today. Threats posed by large scale influx are not restricted to economic concerns alone. Identity, culture, customs and traditions are the other realms where the threats of alien population are felt in no lesser degree. With the population of immigrants growing year after year, threat perception has reached a simmering point in the entire region. Apart from completely dominating the labour market as well as the commerce of the State, immigrants are steadily infiltrating into the socio-political domain of the indigenous people. Already, there is a sizeable population of non-local people in the State. Native people heaved a sigh of relief when the ILPS was introduced in the State but the relief is destined to be quite short as testified by the large number of non-local people pulled up by JCILPS for not possessing valid ILP passes. These lapses on the part of the law enforcing agencies is a complete let down of the very spirit of ILPS and betrayal of the people’s collective struggle. Now it’s time for the civil society, particularly the youth to question the effectiveness of ILPS implemented in the State.