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Has the PM been misinformed on Manipur?

by Editorial Team
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Has the PM been misinformed on Manipur?

Two days after Manipur MP Dr. Angomcha Bimol Akoijam delivered his fiery midnight speech in the Lok Sabha, where he challenged the Prime Minister to speak up on Manipur, PM Narendra Modi finally addressed the ongoing crisis during his speech in the Rajya Sabha. While PM Modi’s remarks were intended to assure the nation of the government’s efforts, they raised more questions than they answered, leaving many to wonder whether the Prime Minister has been misinformed or is simply out of touch with the ground realities in Manipur.
In a speech that lasted nearly two hours, PM Modi devoted a mere five minutes to the situation in Manipur. This brief mention marks only the second time he has publicly addressed the violent crisis since it erupted last year. During his remarks, he acknowledged the crisis but emphasized the efforts being made by both the central and state governments to restore peace and stability.
“More than 11,000 FIRs have been filed, and over 500 people have been arrested. Violence is getting curbed, and we can hope for peace,” he said. He also noted that essential services, including schools, hospitals, and exam schedules, are functioning normally.
However, PM Modi’s assurances ring hollow for many who are directly affected by the ongoing violence. The Prime Minister’s assertion that “normalcy” has returned to Manipur is questionable at best. While he highlighted the number of FIRs filed and arrests made, these figures do not necessarily translate into a genuine sense of security and stability for the people of Manipur. The crisis is far from over, and the daily lives of many residents are still marred by fear and uncertainty.
Moreover, PM Modi’s speech glossed over the critical failures of the state government in handling the situation. The inability to protect citizens and maintain order has been a glaring issue, yet it received scant attention in the Prime Minister’s address. Instead, he focused on portraying the efforts of the central government in a positive light, urging that “we have to go beyond politics and bring peace and stability.” While this sentiment is admirable, it fails to acknowledge the state’s shortcomings and the urgent need for a more robust and effective response.
PM Modi also chose to politicize the issue by criticizing the opposition, particularly the Congress party, for their handling of similar crises in the past.
“Congress should remember the ten times of presidential rule. It has not happened this time. Many politicians are attempting to take political advantage. In 1993, similar incidents happened and lasted for five years. We need to address this carefully by understanding history,” he remarked.
This deflection to historical incidents does little to address the immediate needs and concerns of the people currently suffering in Manipur. It also raises the alarming question: Is the government prepared for a prolonged crisis, and is it acceptable to take five years to resolve this issue, as it did in the past?
The strength and capability of the state should have evolved significantly since 1993. The expectation is that both the central and state governments can address such crises more efficiently and effectively in today’s context. However, the Prime Minister’s remarks suggest a troubling complacency, implying that a drawn-out resolution may be inevitable.
What PM Modi’s speech ultimately reveals is a disconnect between the government’s narrative and the lived experiences of those in Manipur. While the Prime Minister spoke of history and efforts to bring peace, his words lacked the urgency and comprehensive strategy needed to address the crisis meaningfully. The people of Manipur deserve more than just fleeting mentions in long speeches; they need concrete actions and tangible results.

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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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