Season of discontent: This time it is about ‘territory’

Written By: / Editorial / Wednesday, 22 June 2022 17:21

As if on cue, the eternal dance of confusion and confrontations which has come to embody the unrequited simmering social turmoil of the state have once again started without missing a beat. It is that time of the year again, and despite assurances of stability and uninterrupted progress, the elusive peace has ditched the state yet again. The increasing chaos and unsettling developments which, thanks to bureaucratic and policy goof-ups, have turned the present state into a theatre for protestations and demonstrations for discontents ranging from threat perceptions to the territorial integrity, educational atmosphere, identity of the inclusive society and personal liberties amongst others.
This time it is about the Territory of Manipur. Perhaps for the first time, the N. Biren Singh administration faces wrath from civil society organizations over its inaction to the Indo Myanmar Border issue. The United Committee Manipur (UCM) has been submitting memorandum after memorandum to resolve the disputed border issue between Myanmar and India in Manipur side. For years, the CSOs of Manipur has been drawing the attention of both central and state government over the encroachment of India’s territory in Manipur region by the Myanmar government. But the silence of both the Center and State government has left with no choice to the CSOs but to launch agitation. It is all about the love for motherland, many had sacrificed, and many more will sacrifice.
People of Manipur had experienced loosing of Kabaw valley soon after the erstwhile nation was merged to the Indian Union (in 1952). Time and again, the government had been told that the ongoing border fencing is losing Manipur’s territories. Many people including state government representatives as well as representatives of political parties have visited the Indo Myanmar border area and found that the border fencing is done around 1 to 5 km inside the Indian territories. It is worth mentioning that only few government officials having less knowledge of the pillar have visited the area.
For the disgruntled and dissatisfied organizations, groups or individuals, without going into the severity of the perceived problems or issues, resorting to disruptive measures to force the government’s hands should be the last option rather than the beginning, as in a land-locked and geographically challenged state as ours compounded by the diverse ethnic communities with different and sometimes diametrically differing views and outlooks, catering to the needs and aspirations to the satisfaction of one and sundry would be practically improbable.
The most pertinent question is: rather than putting efforts to solve the myriad issues after damages have been done, should not the state government take up proactive measures to ensure that a system is put in place to tackle issues which have the potential to snowball into social catastrophe before things get out of hand? The tragic irony here is that for effectively nipping the social troubles in the bud, the state government has to have a sensitive hand on the social pulse, and judging by the current social developments, it has missed more than a few beats. The present social perception of the state government is one which started out as a decisive and well-meaning lot but one which has been compromised by the system which have been the ultimate victor for so long.
The aspirations of the people of the state when they set out to vote the previous party out of power during the last general election was for a radical change which would enable them to have a greater say and witness more transparency in governance and administration. A little more than a year down the line, the hopes, heightened by a blitzkrieg of promises and assurances at the beginning, have all but vanished.
Hope however springs eternal. It is not too late to try and salvage what is left of the pride and dignity with which the present state government started off and take informed and staunch resolutions taking into consideration the welfare and progress of the state in its entirety. It should be brave enough to weather the political and ideological pressures from within and without.

About the Author

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 25+ 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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