Home » Bridging the alienation – Modi’s romance with NE states

Bridging the alienation – Modi’s romance with NE states

by Rinku Khumukcham
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi led NDA government at present is facing multiple criticisms from many intellectuals and political parties having different ideology, particularly in the mainland Hindi belt area. Perhaps he is the only Prime Minister of the country who received so much criticism from people of the mainland states. 
After India became a republic in 1950, criticism and anger to almost all the Prime Ministers until the Narendra Modi led government replaced the regime in 2014 were from states like Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur, Nagaland, Assam, and Meghalaya. No Prime Minister who had ruled the nation had ever taken the issues in these states before 2014. Perhaps it will be no wrong to say that Narendra Modi is the one and only Prime Minister of the country who felt that a strong India need to make the people of the North-Eastern states of India as citizens of an integral part of India. There may be differences of opinions among the people in the way that BJP led government under Narendra Modi work out to make sure that people of Manipur, Nagaland, and Assam abrogated the idea of alienation. But the kind initiative towards North-Eastern states indicated Modi led NDA government’s romance with this part of the country which was later joined in the Indian Union. And for that Modi government understand that a permanent solution with armed rebel groups waging war against the government of India demanding restoration of its sovereignty is a major task needed. 
It may be perhaps for this reason that the Modi government had started discussing bringing peace through dialogue with the armed rebel group of the region. Picking up Chief Minister of Mizoram Zoram Thanga, a one time leader of the armed rebel group the MNF, which have years of experience is perhaps the right choice. And many including journalists, scholars, political analysts, etc. appreciated terming Zoram Thanga as the only person who is qualified for such a negotiation. 
The period from 1950 to 1970 was different. There were full of frustration among various learned youths of the region. The period from the 1970s to 1980 was also different. North-Eastern states particularly the state of Manipur face the worst time. Civilians faced the most inconvenient time as the then government of India utilized their military might in the name of suppressing the armed rebel groups. Controversial AFSPA, that empowered the Indian military to shoot on mere suspicion which is still on at various part of NE states still angered and aggravated the feeling of alienation among the people. When the Modi government talk about one nation, one constitution and one law, the people in this part is still not enjoying the kind of freedom provided under the Constitution of India at other part of the states as AFSPA still enforce in this part and such actions were not enforced at any other state which is even more affected than the state of Manipur due to Maoist and Naxal movement. 
It is appreciating that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had shown his government desire of bringing an end to the rebel movement, but how could it be when nothing that could be trusted by the rebel group has been taken up. Zoram Thanga may have had full of experiences but a peace initiative for Manipur, in particular, needs another mechanism. 
Series of meetings, seminars, workshops need to be conducted to find a way for the roads ahead by inviting all sections of people. It will be the peoples appealed that the rebel groups will only respond positively. The context of Manipur is different, it cannot be treated similarly to NSCN-IM, MNF or the Bodo rebel which recently signed an agreement with the government to join the mainstream.
This could have been done easily if the current situations of anguished among the scholars have been sorted out by streamlining the Manipur University. Narendra Modi’s love and admiration to Manipur and NE states will be acknowledged by all if he interferes the serious wrongs that have been going on at Manipur University. 
Everyone knows education is the backbone of the society and the society moves towards the direction with the kind of wisdom that gets through education. Manipur University is an asset of the country that may help to solve complex social issues as the institution is the temple of education for a better society. 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s romance with the state of Manipur will not be completed had he not taken up any measures to heal the wound that the University is suffering now. It would be not a good memory of the next generation to remember Prime Minister Narendra Modi  by the future generation to be a Prime Minister who had left the ails in Manipur University by placing the university under an administrator for over two years. Perhaps the longest ever interim VC appointed across the country..


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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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