Wanted : A far sighted leader Reaping the fruits of the past
Wanted : A far sighted leader, a personality who is able to see or visualise how Manipur and her people would or should be like 10/20/30 or even 50 years down the line and all should understand why the present has prompted this observation. The present day Manipur, where some section has even gathered the gumption to question her existence as a socio-political reality, has even gone to the extent of asserting that when Manipur merged with India it was only the valley area which went to India and the list may be endless. All these points have come today to haunt the existence of Manipur due in large part, to the failure of the forefathers to visualise how the place would be like two or three of even five decades later. The reality today is there are many forces threatening to tear apart the idea of Manipur and now is the time for all to pool their heads together and work with a vision. It is this muddled mindset which dimmed the vision of the people to identify who should/can be friends or allies instead of teaming with forces which today are inimical to Manipur. The crucial question is whether any steps have been taken up to right the errors of the past. Go back to history, study what happened ten/twenty/thirty/forty/fifty and even hundreds of years back and it should leave no one in doubt that the seeds of the many critical issues besieging Manipur today were sown by the leaders of those days, whose vision did not stretch beyond the immediate. There is a lesson that the leadership of Manipur ought to imbibe from Thuingaleng Muivah, whether one likes his philosophy or not. Looking back it is more than clear that the idea of a Greater Lim or Nagalim was sown a long time back, much before the ceasefire pact was signed in 1997. No one cared to study the larger point of why no Naga student from Manipur ever identified or were members of the Manipur student organisations in say, Delhi, Kolkata, Pune, Bangalore, Chandigarh etc. Why have no Naga students from Manipur ever become leaders of any pan Manipur student bodies in Manipur ? These are questions which should have been raised a long time back.
The fact, however is, the Meiteis and the Nagas of Manipur are indigenous to the land that is called Manipur today. This is precisely the reason why it is surprising to see that no leader has so far emerged to take this point to the next level. Political differences there are, but these differences can never sever the indigeneity of either people. It is from this that the strength of the people should be drawn, but unfortunate it is that so far there has been no visionary leader who has been able to capitalise on this. Caught up as the people are with their daily existence and coping with the challenges of the time, it is important that people are able to identify the pretenders and set them apart from the genuine. A deeper and more profound understanding of the term ‘son of the soil’ is what is needed at this point of time. A Manipur identity-this what is needed now, when different forces are trying to tear apart the idea of Manipur. And the best way to start this should be the presence of a leader who can visualise how Manipur should be like, say ten or twenty years hence. It is also extremely important to identify and weed out those who have been consistently trying to hijack and distort the history of the land with their false and concocted narratives and in the process pitch one group against the other. Manipur has had enough of such elements and now is the time to deal with them fittingly.