Let the issue be very clear to all It is not Tribals Vs Meiteis
Let it be very clear or else the issue can only take on an even bigger dimension and it would be more ugly than it is for everyone in Manipur. The stand off or clash or mayhem is not a confrontation between the Tribals and the Meiteis. It is a clash between the Meiteis and an ethnic community which happen to belong to the Scheduled Tribe list of the Constitution of India. To equate the present crisis as a clash between the Meiteis and the Tribals would be missing the trees for the woods and this is where care should be taken to ensure that no room for misinterpretation is given. This is where care should be taken to ensure that the stand off between the two communities does not get reduced to a clash between one community and the whole group of people who come under the tribal tag. Attempts to portray the present clash and give it a totally lop sided interpretation by terming it as a clash between the Meiteis and the Tribals is visible and this what should not be allowed to happen at any cost. Nip this attempt in the bud is the call to everyone concerned, particularly the State Government and this call is being sounded with a reason. It is only when the conflicting parties are clearly identified and acknowledged that rapprochement steps can be taken up. Interpret it in the wrong light and any attempt to walk the path of reconciliation would be that much tougher. All should be aware of the ploy that may be used by either side to play the victim card and nothing can be more mischievous than this. To get a better understanding of the present turmoil one will need to go back to the day when the Tribal Solidarity March was organised. This is where question ought to be raised on why trouble erupted at Churachandpur and not at say Ukhrul or Senapati where the people too took a sharp stand against the demand raised that the Meiteis be included in the Scheduled Tribe list of the Constitution. Why did the people of Ukhrul and Senapati not take the violent path, though the said March or Rally was also organised at the two places with heavy participation. It is also significant to note that trouble soon spread to Kangpokpi and Moreh and the question is why no trouble broke out at the other hill districts. Was the agenda of the Solidarity Rally only the ST demand or did it include other agenda which were not spelt out to garner support and sympathy from the other tribal groups ? This is a question which only the All Tribal Students’ Union, Manipur (ATSUM) can answer.
Who were the miscreants who set on fire the Anglo Kuki War Gate at Leisan village ? Significant to note that the Anglo Kuki War Gate is situated about 7.3 Kms from Chura-chandpur town where the mass rally was held. The question is who would have approached the Anglo Kuki War Gate when a highly charged solidarity rally was underway at Churachandpur ? Moreover how did the rallyists march all the way up to Torbung which located 11.2 Kms away from Churachandpur town ? This is a question which had been raised earlier and herein arises the question of why and how the rallyists were allowed to march well beyond the periphery of Churachandpur town. Some points just do not add up. The present situation is ugly, very ugly and that it has spread beyond Manipur to other places such as Delhi and the report that some students/persons have been detained/arrested over the same issue at Shillong is what has made the matter all that more disturbing. Time for the State Government to keep its doors open and see if an approach can be worked out to bring an understanding between the two sides and the sooner this is done the better it would be. Manipur is in the news and as in the past this time too it is for all the wrong reasons. And the understanding of Manipur may also undergo a drastic change in the coming days. This is what is deeply disturbing.