Let the rule of law prevail Show there is a Govt in place

The price of war. Or will it justifiably come under the understanding of the ‘price of war ?’ The answer could depend on who is answering the poser, but be clear that Yairipok Keithel shut shop and staged a massive sit-in protest against what they say is unbearable extortion or monetary demand under the aegis of the All Yairipok Dukandar Association (AYDA) on May 16. May not be related, but extremely significant to note that on the same day Yairipok Keithel shut shop, the All Kongba Road United Clubs’ Organisation (AKRUCO) issued a decree that a ban has been imposed on the movement or otherwise of all armed men in Kongba area from the evening of May 16. For over a year or 12 months or 365 days, the people of Manipur have been reeling under extreme hardship and when civilians come together under the flag of an organisation to stage a protest or issue a decree then one may well question, where is the Government ? Or is it a case of the suffering of the people reflecting the gradual delegi- timisation of the State Government ? Only the Government can answer this, but isn’t it clear that instead of approaching the Government to help them, Yairipok Keithel and Kongba decided to air their grievances openly in full public view and this should say so many things. It is not still not clear how seriously the Government has taken the ‘shut shop’ protest at Yairipok Keithel and the ‘no armed person’ decree at Kongba but there are certain points which cannot be dismissed. The shop keepers of Yairipok have preferred to break ‘the silence’ and come out in the open to protest what they say is unbearable extortion or ‘donation drive’ while Kongba has openly said a big no to muscle flexing exercises by some elements. Clear that this goes against the understanding of the line, ‘Laan Matamni, Khra Waminnakhishi’ and the very fact that two localities have come out to openly state their stand is the unsaid but loud message that they do not see approaching the Government for help as something feasible or practical. This is where one may raise the question, what is the State Government doing ? The rule of law, this is what any Government worth its salt would raise as its calling card, but there is nothing much on the ground to suggest that the rule of law is there. Just recall what has been happening in the last more than 365 days and Manipur has been going from one stage of lawlessness to the next. Even after more than one year, no Meitei would feel safe to take the Imphal-Dimapur road and proceed beyond Sekmai. The ghost of May 3, 2023 is playing itself out in all its different avatars and the more one goes into it, the more frightening it becomes.
Imphal has to wake up. Empower the police and let it do its job. Tell the people that the State Government is the first place they should approach if they are under threats from any quarter. And for this to become a reality, the need to show that there is a Government in place becomes paramount. This is not asking for too much and it would be a tragedy if the people are made to believe that they committed a blunder in voting the BJP to power during the 2022 Assembly elections. Save for the Right wing media, the so called Left leaning, liberal media have been taking pot shots at everything that Manipur stands for after the place went up in flames in the evening of May 3, 2023 and to add to the woes of the people is a Government which has preferred to look the other way when the people are being battered left, right and centre by the different power players who all come under different names and styles. This is not what  governance should be about and this is definitely not what the people expected when they exercised their franchise rights in 2022 for the Assembly. Imphal should buck up. Till date the BJP led Government here has not been able to convince the Prime Minister to say anything on the ethnic clash that has crossed the one year mark. Till date no effort to talk things over the table and bring a negotiated settlement can be seen. But the least that is expected is to see the rule of law prevail. This should not be asking for too much.