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International Human Rights Day – An irony for Manipur

by Aribam Bishwajit
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International Human Rights Day – An irony for Manipur

Celebrating International Human Rights Day to commemorate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations on December 10, 1948 to which India is a party in this trouble-prone state of Manipur, is an irony.
The Indian border state of Manipur, which has been reeling under serious crisis since its controversial merger with the Indian Union, is finally in a catastrophic state after the May 3 violence, which still continues today. The theme for the celebration of International Human Rights Day this year is –Freedom, Equality, and Justice for All.” But for the people of Manipur, where is the ‘Freedom’—where is that freedom for movement inside its own state, where is that freedom to speak and express, where is the freedom to work for survival for the common people? Equality seems like a joke in this land. Some opportunists have controlled even the thought processes of the common people, left them aside, and failed and unimplemented the government’s programme for improving the lives of the common people. Where is that equality when the indigenous ethnic people who have co-existed since time immemorial were divided by fueling enmity? Talking about Justice for All will be a laughing stock for the world when justice is still denied to those who were tortured and killed in their custody, violating Article 3 of the Geneva Convention. Where is justice for the over 60000 displaced people whose houses and properties were destroyed, vandalised, and burned? And where is that justice for the children who are victims of this violence that cannot be resolved even after 7 months?
No one will deny the fact that, in this trouble-prone state of Manipur, the life and property of almost every common citizen are under threat. Sad tales of internally displaced people fill the air, where women and children are deprived of their basic needs, where over 60000 people are living refugees in their own land, and where there is no dearth for killings of young and innocent people in the presence of over 1 lakh Central armed police in addition to the already deployed security agencies.
The present condition in Manipur showed that the Union government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the present government under Chief Minister N. Biren Singh and their team do not consider the ethnic indigenous people of Manipur as humans. The way this double-engineered government directed the Security Forces to remain mute spectators when people were first divided and started killing each other shows that Manipuris common ethnic people are no less than ‘Animals’. For their inaction to find any solution to end this conflict without hurting the sentiments of any community, there should certainly be some hidden reasons. This is not speculation, but a reality.
When people are treated like animals in a circus, what is the significance of celebrating Human Rights Day? But then, when the member countries of the United Nations started taking the present crisis in the Indian border state with extreme seriousness and doing the needful by pressing the BJP-led government of India to ensure protection of the human rights of the people, it will be significant to celebrate International Human Rights Day by the people of Manipur.

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