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Dividing Manipur; the game player

by Rinku Khumukcham
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Manipur today is entering the most crucial stage. After 18 years of diplomatic tie with the mainland India, NSCN-IM which has been engineering to carve out portion of territories from three states of North Eastern region to form a separate state or in their words a sovereign nation has already moved a step ahead to towards their goal by signing the so called “framework agreement” on August 3 this year. To the leaders of the NSCN-IM, the agreement is not less than an accord to find a lasting solution to the vex Naga problem. Nagaland base media had quoted time and again the speech of NSCN-IM supremo Th. Muivah saying that the NSCN-IM still stands for sovereignty of the Naga People. This statement is something which is beyond the constitution of the India but many including the Indian interlocutor RN Ravi who had visited the capital city of Manipur two days back had refused to make any comment on this. NSCN-IM’s main hurdle is the genocidal mission conducted towards the Kuki People, at which over 900 Kuki brothers and sisters were slaughter to death during early 90s. The case is still pending and yet to be acknowledged by the Indian government. None of the Kuki victims who were slaughtered mercilessly have ever been delivered justice till today. Another main problem at which the largest and the strongest outfit of the region (claimed by India) is the series of objection from various underground outfits from the Nagaland state.  Yet the outfit with its long experience has now been successful to the aged old game of consolidating the tribal peoples’ civil society leaders of the state even though it is yet to complete its plan inside the state of Nagaland.
Surprisingly the outfit also managed to build healthy relations with the Chief Ministers of both Mizoram and Nagaland. As for Nagaland it seems that the Chief Minister TR Zeliang has no problem, as Mr. Ravi, the interlocutor himself had written many a time that they are the proxy government of the NSCN-IM.
The ILP factor, demanded by the people of the state mostly by the Meitei for protection of all the ethnic indigenous people of the state seems to a boon as it gives the major players an opportunity to play with the sentiments of the tribal people who had never understand the content of the 3 Bills passed by the state Assembly. It is a common knowledge for almost all internet savvy people of the state that the Bills has nothing to interfere the interest the tribal people Rights of the state but it would rather strengthen in protecting their identity of all ethnic indigenous people of the state including the Kukis, the Nagas, the Meiteis and other small tribal. As of the Gorkha community, they are also part of Manipur except for those who had entered the state lately, i.e. after 1951 or later, history still stands as the fact that Gorkha people too had taken major role in fighting the war against British colonial ruler. Among the 5 people hung to death by the Britishers in 1891 along with Maharaja Bir Tikendrajit and Thangal general one is of Gorkha origin.
On the other hand about those few Bangali and some more Nepali who has been settling in parts of Thoubal District’s Serou there is a status provided to them. Those who take refuge and settle here during the time of Indo – Bangladsh war cannot be simply driven out as they are protected within a political understanding. Now the civil society organizations leaders in churachandpur need to ponder upon on why the intensity of agitation for the passing of the 3 government Bills which also ensured the protection of those living in Churachandpur are going beyond the limits. The later additional demand for separate administration is not different from the demand initiated by NSCN-IM who is claiming to struggle for a separate sovereign Naga Nation.
It is an open secret that the KNO  and some of the rebel group presently ensuing peace talk with the government of India and Manipur had been well motivated and there has been understanding between these group and the NSCN-IM to separate there land among themselves by carving out portion from the territory of Manipur.
Legally as late Prof.N. Sanajaoba, the legal expert had pointed out that no force can disintegrate the territorial boundary of the state, India government can never distort the boundary of the state. But it seems like that there is an urgent need to distort the territory of the state to modify the 2000 years of history of this erstwhile kingdom. This is well understood by the India government and the NSCN-IM.
If the unity of the Manipuri people had been distorted and if the Meitei were left the lone players, then the legal perspective about the protection of the land may be change. And the government will be empowered to do anything that they desire. NSCN-IM may have its reason to play with the kind of politics that they are playing right these day, but it is still wonder why the Kuki people and other communities have to allow the game played by this organization when they know that it is plan to move one more step of the NSCN-IM in reaching their goal after the signing of the so called ‘framework agreement”. 

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