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Loud promises and silent meetings

by Rinku Khumukcham
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Despite reports of sporadic gunfights and firing on peasants working in the fields along the fringes of the valley, the atmosphere seems to be one of restrained hope and relative calm. While it is still too early to say that the state is limping back to normalcy, there are various indications that we are heading towards the desirable direction for now, and one would only hope the lull continues long enough to chalk up feasible and pragmatic ways to bring about normalcy in the state and more importantly such flare-ups does not happen again.
And yet for lasting peace and understanding to return to the state it is imperative for the centre to intervene at the earliest with means and ways that are constitutionally applicable and enforceable so that legal venues will be pursued in cases of infringements and violations. Another factor that has been fomenting mistrust and suspicions making the efforts of bringing the state back to normalcy is the manner in which the central authorities and leaders are dealing with the protracted issue by summoning few individuals and groups to the national capital and holding discussions or talks and not disclosing even the gist of the meeting to the general public.
The very act of remaining silent on these meetings from both sides has raised more doubts and speculations rather than ease the tension of the general public, and combined with the prolonged ban on internet, have created an atmosphere of confusion and unrest which is still threatening to ignite into another violent outbreak. The ban on internet might be a necessary step to curtail the violent outbreak and stop the spread of false news when it started, but more than sixty-five days the state and central government seem to be unable to come up with options and alternatives to deal with the present crisis yet- an indication of how things are being managed and dealt with in the state.
A number of scholars and intellectuals have expressed the view that the solution to the present crisis and the means to ensure that such violent outbreaks never happen again in Manipur is to rectify various archaic laws and legislations brought forwards when the Constitution of the country was copied from that of its colonial masters- a necessary yet tough move the powers at the centre will hesitate to make especially for a miniscule and insignificant state such as ours for the perils of such a move far outweighs the benefits for those still in power. It will undoubtedly take a government with strength of character and clear conviction to right the wrong even if such a move will entail danger to their power and position as it will bring lasting peace and a sense of equality and fairness to everyone regardless of religion, ethnicity or faith. Perhaps the coming general election will point the way forwards as the general public has felt the pain bore the brunt of an indulgent and garrulous authority who are falling short on deliveries.

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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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