An open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi
I belong to hitherto a peaceful State of Manipur. As a peace loving and law-abiding citizen of India, being proclaimed as the largest democracy in the world, I would like to draw your immediate attention to the turmoil and grave situation Manipur is facing today in the midst of public outcry that stepmotherly treatment is being meted out by different sections of the society cutting across religious and community lines.
In light of Central Government’s indifferent attitude clearly reflected on the ground where an elected Government’s hand is being tied, State security forces being made a sheer powerless force and the list is long.
Rampant accusations are made and dissatisfaction is high that enough Central forces are not deployed at trouble zones and instead confined to capital city only, that due to SoO those Central forces especially Assam Rifles were rendered powerless to retaliate to provocations and firing with clear example being one Assam Rifles Jawan succumbing to injury. Emotions are running high and sense of hopelessness runs high in the minds of common masses due to Central Government’s indifferent attitude towards finding a tangible and immediate solution to the present turmoil in the State today.
The present crisis finds its root back to the illegitimate and unholy dreams of Kuki militants from neighbouring Myanmar backed by drug cartels and cadres under SoO and antisocial elements in hill district of creating a separate Kuki administrative zone first free from administration of elected Government of the State of Manipur under Indian Constitution and then sow the seed for an independent Nation comprising parts of Myanmar, Kuki dominated hill districts of Manipur and neighbouring Mizoram.
Accusations are rife of militants burning down houses, ambush, injuring and killing security personnel, terrorizing of people along with Kuki terrorists from neighbouring Myanmar. Clear example being large scale deforestation of forest lands for plantation of poppy plants coupled with large scale seizure of drugs and peddlers daily and in parts of mainland India where the origin finds it root in the State.
Multifaceted ill-designed nefarious agenda was set in motion long back with implementation of large scale influx of illegal immigrants through porous border from neighbouring Myanmar with sole motive to change the sociopolitical demography of the State, to create illegitimate vote banks, to make their nefarious ends meet.
Many innocent lives are lost, properties worth crores were damaged, many were rendered homeless, left to the brink of starvation, but still the Central Government failed to fathom the agony and misery that people are facing here. A sense of anger is prevailing here with questions like--if this militant-manufactured, artificial calamity ought to happen in mainland India, would mainland politicians’ attitude be the same as of now, would the attitude of the mainland print and electronic media be the same if it happens in States that have sizeable MPs and say in Parliament ? Aren’t we citizens of India ? Questions are being raised as to whether this the price we have to pay for being part of this great Nation we cherish or the price we have to pay for echoing “National Anthem” in our heart ? Sentiments are running high and sense of anger, disgrace and neglect is making waves in the minds and hearts of many.
Today, our identity as a Manipuri under the geographical boundary and political setup of Manipur State is at stake and at crossroad. Demand for separate administration crafted by those terrorists and supported willingly or unwillingly, voluntary or involuntary by 10 elected MLAs mixed with illegitimate demands of those illegal Kuki immigrants from Myanmar and some black sheep from within the community and from a neighbouring State with ulterior motive and never-to-be fulfilled dream of a separate Nation has shaken the foundation of our identity and our geopolitical boundaries resulting in violence, arson, and loss of lives of innocent civilians.
Even more amusing and ironic of the fate is that so far no disciplinary action has been initiated against those MLAs who took oath under the Constitution of the country and openly revolting against the CM. This will set wrong precedence and more importantly fingers are being raised as to whether they are immune to disqualification and isn’t it tantamount to flagrant endorsement of those separatists’ unconstitutional agenda to create division among different sections of our society and disturb the boundaries of the State and more importantly gross violation of the Constitution.
It’s imperative and necessary to draw your kind attention that clear and ample evidences were scattered around the table that Suspension of Operation or the infamous (SoO) lost its credibility in toto and under the umbrella of agreement, there are clear instances of what can be rightly termed as an external aggression by these terrorists supported by local elements and time to abrogate the SoO and protect the boundaries and lives of innocent citizens.
Acknowledgement by Advisor to the CM, Mr Kuldiep Singh that sizable number of militant cadres and arms under SoO were missing from the designated camps is clear proof that militants had trampled the SoO ground rules and therefore the truce pact stands null and void and stands expired and irrelevant. Situation in the valley has returned to normal but on the contrary situation in hill districts is still volatile and lawless where the SoO terrorists continue to burn down houses and properties belonging to the Meitei community, provoking the Meiteis and shift the blame to the valley people of instigating and lingering the violence, the testimony of which is found in local newspapers and eyewitness’ accounts and their actual experiences where the Central forces especially Assam Rifles being accused of remaining mute spectators and accusations of even supporting those militants indirectly.
Protection of our existing boundaries, enforcement of NRC to protect indigenous people, deportation of illegal terrorists from neighbouring Myanmar, strict warning to States against interfering in internal affairs of their neighbouring States, peaceful return of displaced people to their respective places of residences, strict enforcement and adherence to law of the land are few wishes of the common masses of the State.
Last but not the least, Prime Minister Sir, please shift your attention to our State and strengthen our belief once again, more than before in this moment of peril, to justice. Make us feel we are not indispensable but we are equal citizens of this country and instil a true sense of pride in singing the National anthem of in our hearts. Please strengthen our belief in this hour of need.
K. Shiva Singh, Keishampat, Imphal