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Kangla Episode: A New Chapter in Manipur Crisis

by Rinku Khumukcham
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Kangla Episode: A New Chapter in Manipur Crisis

Good for Manipur, but the sequence of events that took place at Kangla, in front of the Uttra Shanglen today, is a sign of failed governance by self-centric elected representatives.
Arambai Tenggol, a cultural organization, has finally turned into a militia after the authorities failed to respond to the attack by Chin Kuki Narco-Terrorists. Activities that are supposed to be handled by the elected representatives have had to be taken on by the common people, as Manipur’s land, culture, and identity are the priority. Since May 3, thousands of Meitei people have spent sleepless nights protecting their villages. Many people have now living in relief camps as refugees on their own state for over eight and a half months. The elected representatives, who are supposed to be at the forefront, have been rarely seen during this crisis. Till the recent crisis, they did not even think of sitting together to come up with a solution to end the violence. The news that we heard from the elected representatives have been only about protecting their positions and going to Delhi to seek the blessing of their masters. Understanding the mindset of the elected representatives, Arambai Tenggol finally compelled 40 MLAs, including some Ministers, to come together to take an oath in front of Uttra Shanglen in the name of Lainingthou Sanamahi and Leinngthou Pakhangba.
It has been a general understanding among the common public that since the beginning of the bloody conflict triggered by the Kuki Narco-Terrorists the lack of unity among the various groups inside the Meitei community is the reason for the failure of the state to resolve the issue. The fact of the matter is that when people across the state of Manipur are talking about the need to stand together under one unified command, the Ministers and MLAs, who should take the lead role, had always remain divided. There has never been a sitting of the ruling party’s MLAs to discuss the burning issues in the state. The ruling BJP MLAs have always ignored meeting with the opposition MLAs until the cultural organization were compelled to turn themselves into a militia and warned them of serious consequences if they failed to come to Kangla Utra Shanglen to take a pledge to protect Manipur unitedly.
Well, except for some, almost all MLAs and Ministers came at the exact time that Arambai Tenggol had stated. When the elected representatives, including the Ministers, entered the Kangla fort, the cadres of Arambai Tenggol did not allow the security escorts of the representatives. Even the PSOs of the MLAs and Ministers were forced to get out of the vehicle, allowing only the representatives and the driver inside Kangla. The presence of a large number of top police personnel assisted by the Central paramilitary forces was of no use, as the Tenggol cadres didn’t seem to care about their presence. There were reports of two MLAs being roughed up by Tenggol cadres for refusing to take their oaths.
The act against the unresponsive attitude of the elected representatives is laudable, but the aggressive attitudes of the Tenggol cadres were also equally unsatisfactory. The Tenggol did not allow journalists to enter the Kangla Fort, where they were making an important decision for the future of the state. Even during the state Assembly session, journalists are allowed to enter and cover the events so that people across the state do not know what decisions have been made during the meeting.
A much more worrying factor arising from today’s episode is that the MLAs and Ministers attended the call by Arambai Tenggol and took an oath under their supervision, showing that the so-called elected representatives are not efficient enough to remain in their positions. Today, Arambai Tenggol showed their love for the state of Manipur and acted at their own risk, allowing the elected representatives to act according to the will of the people. It is time for the people to decide whether these elected representatives deserve to continue with their positions or whether we need to elect new representatives whom we can respect.

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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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