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Imagining a nation – Manipur is the only option, Avakarar

by Rinku Khumukcham
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Every person has differences of opinion either in some way or other. Even husband and wife sometimes quarrel over differences and misunderstanding to the extent of sabotaging their lives. Divorce, secrete bigamy, polygamy etc. are the causes of misunderstanding between spouses. Quarrel, fight over differences of opinions and misunderstanding happen mostly between blood brothers. Neighbours engage to furious fight just for encroaching inches of land. And this happened from a very long time back and is still happening in human society.
When a small family grows into a bigger one with more brothers and sisters, each member gets separated as their families grow. They start living in separate houses. The increase in the number of families leads to formation of a society and each family then starts getting separate entity in the society. When the society grows, they start contacting similar larger family of similar interest, then comes similar practice of living under a common cause. Sometimes, there are people in the society or the larger society , where actually they come from. When it grows, the concept of nation building comes.
The state of Manipur, today, has a distinctive history of thousands and thousands of years. And this so called distinctive history of the erstwhile nation was formed by accumulation of various unique histories of many ethnic people settled together in the same society living under a common cause.
The erstwhile nation, which is known as Manipur – an Indian state of today was a nation of many communities living under the same roof. The need of that time was perhaps the reason for living together. And if one goes to the concept of Nation as interpreted by Benedic Anderson, the Manipur Nation of post 1947 till 1949 until it merged to the Union of India was a nation of ‘imagine community.
Manipur, then, was a nation of imagined political community and imagined as both inherently limited and sovereign – an answer probably given by Benedict Anderson if asked to define the then erstwhile nation call Manipur.
The present fiasco that has been haunting the state after a group called NSCN-IM had started hypnotizing the imagine communities of the state. The process of building another nation by implanting divisive theory among the various communities which have been living together since time immemorial, was short. It only began from early 80s. Building a nation by bifurcating the communities living under an imagined political entity within short span of 30 years will be another big history and will surprise the historians.
Manipur, perhaps, can be considered a lucky erstwhile nation as it is now a state in India which joined the Indian nation by signing an agreement called the merger agreement in 1949 at Shillong. Manipur is termed as ‘lucky’ as the world knows that the administrators of the country (India) are perhaps the best in India. A diplomat took only few minutes to defend the country by giving befitting reply to the Prime Minister of Pakistan. A National Security Advisor of the country took just few months to make the country follow a single constitution by abrogating the Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir, if the government running the country have supported. And when it comes to the North East India, a top bureaucrat officer of the country took just 3 years to find a solution for ending the decade-old issue arisen due to armed struggle by NSCN-IM. All knows the solution can be brought anytime whether it is accepted by the NSCN-IM or not.
The experiment and perhaps the zeal of the collective leadership of the NSCN-IM to separate the so called Naga they accumulated under an unimaginative perception is the fall out of the differences between major ethnic groups of the erstwhile country. The misunderstanding had brought so much hatred to the communities of the erstwhile nations and has lasted for almost 30 years. Now it is time that the collective leadership of NSCN-IM realizes the fact that the misunderstanding could be resolved and as the Supremo of the NSCN-IM now is left out from the purview of the original Nagas of Nagaland. He should now come back to stitch his relationships with his own people here in the state of Manipur, a once upon a time Asiatic nation. What Muivah should understand is that his dream of the sovereign country, with a separate flag  and a constitution can only be fulfilled if he realizes that his dream lies in Manipur and his only brothers are the different communities of Manipur. A stitch in time saves nine – the saying still stands true and it is still not late for Avakarar to return for reconciliation.

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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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