By JN Lai
Delhi has shown a gesture that AFSPA can be lifted by the State Government of Manipur and Assam if they desire to do so. How it canbe construed?
Make a temporary human rights pulsate to the international communities to enable to get India a Permanent Member seat in the UN Security Council.
The BJP government in Delhi wants to showcase their goof feeling to the electorates.
Extend Confidence Building Measures to CORCOM and concerned stakeholders of the armed conflict of the two states.
Add another bargaining dimension to the complex context of NSCN-IMpeace talk.
Minimize the unpredictable Chinese influence on the political armed organizations (PAO) of the two states.
Although the things are not sure of – it may be a pertinent point towards the long standing questions like: –Has New Delhi,(being the bigger stake holder of conflict in the North East India) shown meaningful and sincere response to the political armed organizations in the region? Does the situation demand a conducive atmosphere and Confidence Building Measures towards initiating productive dialogue? Why there fails Collaborative Approach to enjoy the win-win experiences?
Nowadays many think the narrative about armed conflict of Manipur and NE is becoming less relevant, for it is looking forward to violence free and economically wellbeing direction. However, this is a usual fact that if roots are not properly dealt the offshoots will sprout now and again.
In regard to the armed conflict situation in Manipur and NE there are dynamics and concerns floating over and going undercurrent.
Too big is India to acknowledge fairly the torment of North Easterners and attend adequately the woes of the others. India has already got galore of haywire of system for their own in the mainland. The disability is too big to reset the legislation, executive and judiciary in places. Hence, realizing the fact of mammoth limitations of India, it will be a rational move for NE to initiate something to mitigate the reality bites from the mainland.
It looks very visible that New Delhi has been waiting for some sort of natural death of the political armed movement to be happened sooner or later. However it is very likely that waiting games may not be fulfilled so wishfully, maybe because of patriotic retention among Manipuri bloods, and seen, unseen forces of China and others. Even the form of movement may migrate from armed struggle to democratic endeavor.
Armed groups may also be waiting for domestic crumbling of India on her own in terms of splitting her territory into three or more or political paralysis triggered by Hindu fundamentalism, colossal corruption, indigent governance, corporate game, etc. (Although the recent Modi-wave is working at some extent so some changes are on the horizon in fixing Hindu nation.)
Political Armed Organizations might have well visualized India – How her might is, what she intends to, and certainly have experienced the amount of her commitment and quality in handling peace and justice. Likewise India dissects the weaknesses and strengths of the PAOs. More or less she is familiar with the psychology, what the organizations combating for, which organizations want what, how easy and difficult to deal with.
In the light of the above equations – What about an architecture towards an alternative resolution though sounds rhetoric and ambitious?
1. A unification of the (principal) Political Armed Oppositions of North East India by investing all their resources, drives and sincerity towards giving birth to a new (Nation) State sharing negotiable configuration with the Republic of India.
2. The other NE states which have low intensity of armed conflict or absent of PAOs will also be invited to. Those have not joined at the inception may be considered later. Thus, it will capacitate a desired inclusiveness of the communities of NE and even beyond. [Necessarily all the present seven/eight states may not be part of.]
3. The name of the new State may be called the United Peoples Land of Indo Myanmar - UPLIM or New Sub-Himalayan Land - NESHLAND or Western Southeast Asia - WESEA.
4. In order to legislate for and govern the UPLIM/NESHLAND/WESEA, and to practice a good socialism, and to deliver fundamental rights of life, liberty, equality and dignity to the peoples of the new State, there will be a Parliament that may be called Peoples House (PH). [The structure and modus operandi of the PH may be considered and derived from the other parliamentary practices of the world.]
5. Currency may be retained with the Republic of India with validating the Euro and US dollar in the region; Communication, Defense, External Affairs, Natural Resources may be negotiated towards a concurrent list; and the rest could be better in the PH affairs.
6. The key members or leaders of the PAOs, and from the other states where PAOs do not exist, political/social leaders will be member representatives in the Parliament/PH [whom may be called People Representative (PR)]
7.The modality of how and what numbers of PRs may be determined by considering various basis and will be settled democratically among PAOs in consultation with the NE communities/peoples by considering the optimum economic-political space of ethnic/indigenous minority. [Will Bodo, Karbi, Naga, Kuki, Meetei, etc., have one PR for each of them or will drop down to ancestral tribal communities and clans or will it based on the population ratio?]
8. The first five year tenure of the PRs may be reserved and compensated for the PAOs, afterwards PRs will be elected through universal franchise by their respective peoples/communities or otherwise.
9. The existing State Assemblies will remain, so do the participation of the MLAs in the UPLIM provincial governing activities in two houses setting. However it will be with the reformation of power division and functional sharing and in conjugation with PH structure. [It may minimize the outward dismay and eventual turbulent of the existing political personalities and parties.]
10. A wider candidature in the existing constituent assemblies election will be validated to accommodate the members and leaders of PAOs by migrating their organizations into electoral political parties or joining existing parties or floating new ones. Thus it may extend a meaningful participation in the governing activities for the new (Nation) State.
(The writer is an Assistant Professor at International College, University of Suwon, S. Korea)