Today’s mass rally organised by the United Committee Manipur (UCM) participated by around thousands and thousands of people here in the heart of Imphal city is another indication to the central leadership that there will be no differences among the people of the state when it comes to the issue of the Territorial integrity of the state. The issue of the territorial integrity is a sentimental issue; everyone remembers that 22 lives have been sacrificed in June 2001 when the people felt that the peace talk between the NSCN-IM and the Government of India had signed extension of the cease fire without territorial limit. The inclusion of the 3 words “Without Territorial Limit” is a direct indication for segregation of the state of Manipur into two as per the desire of the NSCN-IM. Because every Manipuris including the Meitei, meetei, naga, Kuki, Pangal and other tribes knew that the extension of the cease fire to the territory of Manipuri is a direct indication for granting any demand put up by the NSCN-IM.
That was years back. The situation changes after the signing of the Frame Work Agreement on August 3, 2015. Narendra Modi led government assurance to the NSCN-IM to settle their issue is another big threat to the people of the state who wanted to keep the state intact.
Even as the state government is also led by the BJP, it is left in a helpless position as any objection to the central government issue may be a troublesome for the Chief Minister. And a support by the Chief Minister himself to this rally may mean biasness towards his people. As the people supporting the demand of the NSCN-IM is also his people under his government administration.
Chief Minister N. Biren Singh now seems to be caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. Against the proposed rally the United Naga Council had also called a total shut down in all the hill district of the state. Almost all major Hill district head quarters including the Senapati and Ukhrul district remain shut during the UCM rally.
Thankfully, today falls the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhai Patel and the state government is organizing a Run for the Nation.
N. Biren Singh joined politics after June 18 uprising . he had time and again promised for protection of the territorial integrity of the state. It is now upto him on how he will tackle the situation which seems like diving the state into two.
The Chief Minister’s yesterday’s visit to Senapati and Teamenglong district is indeed significant as his government position showed neutrality towards any community. His magic words – of building trust between hill and plain people with action and not with lip service ahead of both the UCM Rally and the UNC total shut down somehow left aside the two body as some groups set up by vested interested people and not by all the people of the state.
The UCM rally, the UNC total Shut down and the government sponsored unity run to commemorate the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhai Patel co-incidentally save N. Biren Singh. It is now upto him on how he will deal with this issue keeping intact the integrity of the state.
Luck seems to favour the Chief Minister, but anger and intolerance may ruin him. If those surrounding him suggested good advice and if the bureaucrats are serious to turn into action what he is planning to do, his government may continue for more years.