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The ‘Trust’ factor

Almost an hour long talks between the 18 members delegate of the COCOMI with the Union Home Minister Amit Shah in the presence of some other Union government authority and the State government representatives including the Chief Minister N. Biren Singh on November 24, followed by the assurances given by the Home Minister to the COCOMI, should have been enough to relieve the people of the state on the apprehension about probable interference to the interest of Manipur while bringing a final solution to the vex NSCN-IM issue. To be précis the same assurance was given to the Chief Minister N. Biren Singh and the political parties delegations who had met Union Home Minister in the regard time and again. In fact, an assurance by a Prime Minister or the Union Home Minister or the Chief Minister of Manipur should have been enough to calm the people of the state from any kind of fear psychosis lingering to the mind of the people of the state.
But then the trust deficit stands as a big hurdle to calm the people of this state. There is reason for those in the BJP and its supporters to believe on what their leaders had assured as they have seen then keeping their words but to the people the assurances fails to find a place to either believe it or not. It was not the credibility of the present BJP but it was the bitter instances of those in the highest post of the country had committed. If one remember, it was on June 13 of 2001 that the then Union Defence Minister George Fernandez, while speaking to a gathering at GM Hall here in Imphal announced that, no agreement that the people of the state opposed including extension of cease fire between the government of India and NSCN-IM beyond the state of Nagaland will be signed. It was on the next day, i.e.  on June 14, 2001, after the then Defence Minister had left Imphal, the then interlocutor of that time Mr. Padmabhaya , signed the agreement with the leadership of the NSCN-IM by adding three words to the extension of the cease fire –”without territorial limit”, which was against the assurance of the then Defence Minister of India a day before. The result of adding the three words that the defence minister assured to exclude it from the agreement , had burnt the entire state of Manipur. The world witnessed burning of the state legislative Assembly, along with many government quarters and offices of political parties. The tears still wet mothers, widows and son and daughters of 18 people who died during the bloodiest uprising for protection of the territorial and political boundary of the state. Left with no choice the then government had removed the 3 words “without territorial limits” from the agreement on July 27 of that year.
It is a fact that unlike other Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah combo led government is a little different. Since they started running the country most of the words promised by them have been seen fulfilled, no matter they get votes or not during election, they always stand with what they had promised to the people. The first term of Narendra Modi led NDA government witnessed many outdated law being scrapped after he announced that outdated laws will be scrapped while delivering speech at Medison Square garden. However, for reason best known, AFSPA is still not scrapped.
So the point wanted to draw the attention of the government is that if they really want the people to have trust in the government to believe in whatever announce or declare by the Prime Minister or Home Minister or the Chief Minister, let it be converted into action, leaving aside the political gain.
Manipur have been a more peaceful state today if the so called promises have been fulfilled. Now one way to calm the people and to restore the peaceful coexistence in the state is to let everything known to the public. Settling the issue of NSCN-IM and legislation or a clause to safeguard the people of the NE from the impact of CAB is what people of the entire North east region have desired. Whatever agreed and whatever the NSCN-IM demanded should be made public and it is perfect time. Besides, the invitation for consultation in connection with CAB by the Union Ministry to stakeholders of Manipur is a good beginning. But again the Home Minister should not simply listen and let go the stakeholders of Manipur. Instead fulfilled the demand put up by the Manipur’s stakeholders like the MANPAC.
 The trust deficit between the common people and the Political leaders running the country should be bridged this time.

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 15+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents. Rinku can be contacted at [email protected] 

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