Different understanding of normalcyThe call for NRC
Normalcy. This is what everyone, starting from the Government to the man on the street, want but ask anyone under what parameters should the understanding of normalcy come and the answer could be anyone’s guess. Go to any of the relief centres spread across the State, ask any inmate and their understanding of normalcy could be something very different from the perception of the powers that be. Go to the frontline, the village volunteers and their understanding of normalcy could again be something very different. The people on either side of the clash divide could also have diametrically opposing understanding of normalcy. The different understanding and perception of normalcy should not come as too big a surprise for what one is dealing with here is a case of a people who have seen it, lived it and suffered it for the last five months and this is where it becomes important for the fly by night operatives not to foist their understanding of normalcy on the people. One here is talking about a people whose houses have been burnt and levelled to the ground. A people whose parents, elders, brothers, sisters, friends and even fellow humans have been killed in the most dastardly manner and to them normalcy will mean something much different from what it may mean to a people who may have just read about the mayhem or who may just parachute in here and file a story or two. So what could be the understanding of normalcy that would be acceptable to the people ? No easy answer, and while the Kukis have already come out and announced the ‘Separate Administration’ model with the explanation that they cannot live with the Meiteis anymore, Manipur is yet to vocalise their intent in such clear cut terms. National Register of Citizens, driving out or neutralising narco-terrorism, reining in the SoO cadres are some points which have emerged but the critical question is where New Delhi stands on either of the demands or conditions put up so far ? None of the demands go against the spirit of the Constitution but yet at the same time no straight answer has come from New Delhi, though Manipur went up in flames more than 150 days back. The Suspension of Operation pact is the driving force behind the Separate Administration call and this is where one is left wondering why Imphal has not capitalised on the charges framed by the National Investigation Agency against an accused, Seiminlun Gangte. It is from the strength drawn from the chargesheet of the NIA that Chief Minister N Biren has gone on record to claim that the battle is one between the Nation and cross border terrorism, with the terrorists operating from Myanmar and Bangladesh.
Build on the chargesheet framed by the NIA and call for the abrogation of the SoO pact. Pile on the pressure at the Government level and once the abrogation demand or point is realised, it would automatically make the Separate Administration call redundant. Chief Minister N Biren must be listening to good counsels from his Man Fridays, and this is one such good counsel which may seriously be looked into. Other than this, the State Government may also approach the Centre with renewed thrust to enforce the NRC with a base year that is mutually acceptable. Work towards this and the Government would have taken one significant step towards restoring normalcy, in so far as the interest of the entity called Manipur is concerned. The task ahead is difficult, no doubt about that and it should also be clear to all, particularly the Government that Imphal and the valley districts may erupt in protest anytime once and when the fate of the over 20 missing persons come to be known. This is about gearing up for the days yet to come, but these are issues which should be anticipated. To make the uncertainty more manageable, it is important for the Government to work at its best level to retrieve the bodies of Hijam Linthongambi and Phijam Hemanjit. This in fact should be there at the top priority of the Government.