Before the inflection point in our society !

Lt Gen Konsam Himalay Singh, Army Veteran
On my superannuation in 2017 after nearly 40 years in the military, I was happy to see a changed atmosphere of hope and aspirations among all groups of people in the State. The youth of the State no longer hesitated to  hard work for a living. Unlike the days of 1980s-2000s, I observed a sense of stability in the society and clarity of purpose in the eyes of the youth at the individual level despite deficiencies in the governance issues at various levels for long. The recent violence of 03 May saddened me no end.  
The news of the cold blooded murder of Sepoy Serto Kom of Defence Security Corps, Leimakhong,  who was kidnapped from his house during leave and killed on 17 September  is  yet another example of mindless and wanton act of cowardice. Having donned military uniform for over 55 years , I believe that any attack of such kind on a soldier  by anyone is a very serious issue for the State. All lives matter. Many such sad incidents of   innocent lives being killed in the ongoing violence in Manipur have already placed our society in a self-destructive path since May 03. We have lived through many more unbelievable and unthinkable levels of violence/atrocities which are borne out of hatred and revenge. I suspect that the present level of fear and hopelessness and its impact on our society may already be spiralling  us towards the bottom of an endless pit.  
Many politicians, administrators, and civil society members throughout the State, claim to be working towards what they believe is right. However, there appears to be no light at the end of the tunnel till date. The innocent and motivated youths are also knowingly or unknowingly  being drawn towards what they believe is “sacrifice” for the  “Ima Leibak”, an idea  which inspires many youths. Misdirected proliferation and misuse of these otherwise lofty ideals could also be a beginning of uncharted social issues. I also believe that most State and Central agencies, are under very difficult and challenging times. At the end it is the public in every corner, be it in the hills or the valley, that bears the brunt of any conflict of this nature where events have overtaken the real issues. I am reminded of a quote by Donna Tartt which may be relevant here;- “ SOMETIMES WE WANT WHAT WE WANT EVEN IF IT IS GOING TO KILL US”. Are we in the Inflection Point of our society ?
Everyone  I speak with in recent times, express their keen desire to see the end of  the violence as soon as possible. Everyone seem to be yearning for peace and to get on with life. It is heart-breaking to see the displaced families, sadder still to hear the young lives lost , ALL for what ? The more violence the society is subjected to the more the long arm of the coercive laws may come sooner or later.
Notwithstanding the fact that most of the violence and weapons of all kinds are available and grossly being used/directed against each other are in AFSPA areas, the Indian State, under extremely volatile situation may also consider to  bring coercive laws in the 19 police station areas and other measures as  the last hope to bring peace. I do believe that the implications of a prolonged conflict in the region on the overall National security perspective  are not lost on the policy makers. I only hope that matters don’t go worse by unintended actions of all concerned. Any imposition of harsher laws will only  bring greater miseries to more and more common people.
What then is blocking us from achieving a decent level of living in peace and prosperity ? How is that we are  in such a state of hopelessness for so long ? Who is holding the society to ransom ? Who actually are setting the agendas ? Diversity of ideas adds to democratic rights of freedom, but when one group of people assume that theirs is the only way, that will be the end of the beginning of any way forward.
This is where the confusion begins. Rightly or wrongly, many point fingers at various State authorities, the security establishment, the armed groups on both sides, the narco trade, the endless supplies of weapons, the media, hidden agendas and so on and indeed everyone blames the other  except themselves. Rumours, false and fake news/narratives from unexpected quarters have already added and  charted a hopeless future for us. In my view, THE REAL CULPRITS ARE–SUSPICIONS OF THE INTENTIONS AND ACTIONS OF THE OTHER,  REAL OR IMAGINARY;  ASPIRATIONS, HOPES AND CLAIMS FROM VARIOUS QUARTERS AND FEAR OF THE FUTURE OF THEIR RESPECTIVE GROUPS. Hence, the two sides must sit down together.
I do believe that in such situations it can best be tackled by a slow beginning towards building trusts with very practical issues at the table to begin with. Look for the convergence that have kept our State together in spite of many challenges this long in our history. After all, the world is full of example of bitter enemies becoming closest allies. As they say in geo-politics there are no permanent friends nor permanent enemies, there are only permanent interests.
Our interests (both the parties in conflict as well) and that of the future generations lie in bringing relative peace and tranquility as early as possible. Remember that it is a long and hard way ahead for each one of us. The immediate and important issues could be progressed simultaneously. These issues  such as, disarming the groups on both sides, the return of displaced people, illegal blocking of highways must be addressed in tandem as early as possible. Issues such as war on drugs, illegal immigrations, Constitutional review of the demands like ST demand, Constitutional protection of all groups/devolution of power are time consuming processes.
We can only hope  for initial  assurances and commitments on all these important issues only by coming to the table before any concrete actions materialize. The question is-Who will bell the cat ? Who will bring the parties to the table ?
I  suspect  that  the cat is actually waiting for the parties  to bell with practical tunes with a futuristic vision for all under the law.Now that the meeting point between the parties seem distant, powers that be in Delhi could be in a position to facilitate or even use other means to convince the parties to sit for a dialogue.