Tasks before the Government Stop creating the vacuum
The tasks before the Government at Imphal must be clear. And certainly extending the ban on the internet which has been in force since the evening of May 3 cannot be one of that. There certainly is no statistics to prove that snapping internet connectivity has in any way helped in taking Manipur to the path of normalcy. If this was the case then Manipur would have been back to normal long back. The Government will certainly need to look beyond the obvious and acknowledge the fact that it is not internet connectivity that has pushed Manipur to its worst ever ethnic conflict. Looking to Delhi to respond positively to the situation is again another fallacy that Imphal would need to step out of and acknowledge that the situation can only be addressed by the people, led by the Government at Imphal, and not by a third party. So what is it that should be done ? No easy answer here, but it should be clear to the people that it would definitely not help the people and the cause of Manipur to strike any position that may go against its interest in the long run. Gather as many friends as possible along the way and admit the fact that while those calling for a separate administration have the obvious but ‘unstated support’ of the MNF led Mizoram Government, no other Government in the North Eastern region has come out to openly speak out against the proposal to dismember the idea of Manipur. This is the reality and one has to also acknowledge the fact that the stand off between the Meiteis and the Kukis is being scripted on numerous fronts. This is all the more reason why the contributions of each and every individual in the effort to protect the sanctity of Manipur should be acknowledged. Patriotism cannot be the sole prerogative of anyone and such line of thinking can be dangerous to the very idea of Manipur. This is also not the time to throw one’s weight around. The crucial point is, a huge vacuum has been created and the Government at Imphal is felt more by the continuous extension of the ban on the internet, while no one knows what steps have been taken up to better the situation. Manipur is at a very critical phase of her existence and with no indication that the call for a separate administration has been or will be watered down, it should be acknowledged that Manipur needs as many friends as possible. The only point of concern is, no one seems to be working towards this.
Nothing looks right for Manipur at the moment. With the Government not demonstrating that it is here to uphold the rule of law, what one sees is the emergence of numerous power centres, each asserting their presence and might amongst the people. Ironic it is but it is this climate which will only work to the advantage of those who stand against the idea of a Manipur. Has any serious thought been given to this ? Doubtful. The fact however is Manipur cannot afford to continue like this. The energy of the people should be on how to neutralise the forces which have emerged to pose a threat to the continued existence of Manipur. And no one can claim exclusive monopoply over the idea of defending the existence of Manipur. This is a point which has already been touched upon and only a sincere look inward will give the answer. The challenges before Manipur are many. At the moment the biggest challenge is obviously the demand to bifurcate the understanding of Manipur in the form of the call for a separate administration. Throwing one’s weight around and expecting all to toe a particular line of thinking, asserting one’s power via the use of threats and intimidations comes nowhere near fighting the attempt to bifurcate Manipur. The nemesis should be clear to everyone. It is not the office goer attending to his or her work in office, it is not the daily wage earner who may be out to keep the kitchen hearth burning and certainly not the shopkeeper. It should say something profound that the time calls for such a line of thought to be aired.