Understanding the ‘misunderstanding’ Lies and more lies
It was on May 12 that the ten Kuki-Zo MLAs, including seven from the ruling BJP raised the Separate Administration call. This was 9 days after violence erupted in all its ugliness at Churachandpur on May 3, following the fantastically christened Tribal Solidarity March organised by the All Tribal Students’ Union, Manipur. Ten Kuki-Zo MLAs appended their signature to the demand including the 7 from the BJP. To remind the readers, the 10 Kuki Zo MLAs are Saitu AC MLA Haokholet Kipgen (Independent), Tipaimukh AC MLA Ngursanglur Sanate (BJP), Saikul AC MLA Kimneo Hangshing (KPA), Tengnoupal AC MLA Letpao Haokip (BJP), Churachandpur AC MLA LM Khaute (elected on JD-U ticket but switched side to BJP), Henglep AC MLA Letzamang Haokip (BJP), Singhat AC MLA Chinlunthang (KPA), Saikot AC MLA Paolienlal Haokip (BJP), Kangpokpi AC MLA Nemcha Kipgen (BJP) and Thanlon AC MLA Vungjagin Valte (BJP). Making the Separate Administration call all that more interesting is the fact that two of the BJP MLAs are in the Council of Ministers in the persons of Letpao Haokip and Nemcha Kipgen. The feather in the cap is obviously another fact that none of these MLAs including the two Ministers have resigned and they continue to enjoy the perks and benefits of being MLAs of the Manipur State Legislative Assembly. Not very close on the heels of the Separate Administration demand on May 12 was the ludicrous demand raised for a separate Chief Secretary and DGP for the hills or the Kuki dominated districts on August 17. Memoranda to this effect, meaning the call for a Separate Administration and separate CS and DGP have been submitted to the office of the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister as well as all other related Union Ministries at New Delhi. Cut to Manipur and ever since the Separate Administration call was raised, it has become a rallying point for people on either side of the clash divide. If it is against such a demand that the Meiteis have rallied together, the Nagas under the United Naga Council had sounded a word of caution not to intrude into the ancestral land of the Nagas and The Sangai Express does not need to spell out the areas to which the UNC was alluding to. This point must have also been very clear to the Kuki-Zo MLAs as well as the Kuki people. This however has not meant that the people on the side of the Separate Administration call are ready to learn from facts and history. Instead what one sees are the deftly manoeuvred strategies adopted to distort history and present concocted stories to the outside world as exemplified by the intrusion at Thangjing hill range. This is besides the attempt being made to edit and distort history on social media such as Wikipedia and Twitter now X.
Even as tech savvy, well informed and educated young men and women around the world are at work to nullify and defeat the false stories being peddled in pursuit of a Separate Administration, came the bombshell of a declaration from none other than the State unit president of the BJP A Sharda Devi on October 20. ‘Misunderstanding gave rise to SA demand’ was the line she maintained while addressing the media at the BJP office at Nityaipat Chuthek. Misunderstanding is the understanding behind the demand for Separate Administration to the State BJP president and nothing can get more farcical than this. However the matter is critical to the understanding of Manipur as a geo-political reality and if the State BJP president is under the impression that the Separate Administration demand is due to a misunderstanding then one would like to question what that misunderstanding could be. Or is the State BJP under the impression that the people of Manipur can be fooled and made to look like fools in front of everyone ? Answers are needed at this point of time. If it was at all due to a misunderstanding then what stopped her from spelling out what that misunderstanding is all about ? Manipur certainly wants an answer to this. This is not the time to play jokes on anyone and certainly not the time to dismiss the Separate Administration call with a wave of the ‘misunderstanding’ alibi.