Home » Search for the elusive peace- difficulties and dangers

Search for the elusive peace- difficulties and dangers

by Rinku Khumukcham
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Sixty-three days and counting, and if the continuing trend is any indication, the present armed conflict in the state is set to drag on without an end in sight. And caught in the crossfire are thousands of innocent civilians who have to bear the brunt and live with the ordeal and the insecurities such armed conflicts inadvertently bring. What started as a spontaneous reaction to the looting, arson and indiscriminate killing of innocent Meitei/Meetei civilians by armed Chin-Kuki militants following a purported Peace rally at Churachandpur on May 3, the stage of conflict spread and has now engulfed the whole state and there are still sporadic incidents of gunfight in the peripheries of Imphal valley. The intensity might have waned as is evident from the increasing hours of relaxation of curfew in most places and the clamor for peace and a lasting solution to the present crisis is growing louder. And despite the unrelenting reports of armed Kuki militants attacking villages around the valley areas, the public still hopes for peace and normalcy to return so that we all can pick up whatever can be salvaged and go ahead with life. And when things are looking to be limping back to some semblance of peace, some inexplicable and unwanted incident would take the whole state back to turmoil and violent confusion. It is in the light of this emerging confounding trend that various organisations and individuals have started questioning the absence of a clear and logical plan of action both from the central as well as the state government and even the CSOs in the efforts to end the long drawn armed conflict and work out a process of dialogue and discussion to ensure no such tragedy repeat itself. Kangaroo courts and mob justice is increasingly becoming the norm rather than the exception and unfortunate stories of mistaken identities and false alarms are increasing by the day. The suspicion of a group of warmongers who is anathema to the prospect of peace returning to the state and are deliberately trying to stoke the conflict through confusion and misdirection is also slowly catching on, though the reason or logic behind their efforts is anybody’s guess. Perhaps the despicable practice of war profiteering is proving to be an irresistible lure despite the dangers such practice entails as has been witnessed in few instances even in the state.
Peace- enduring peace is the need of the hour in Manipur and while the concept may be more challenging to implement and more so in maintaining, there should not be any untried options and efforts left to achieve it, but there is the constant and ever present danger of a few elements who sees conflicts and confusions as an opportunity for wealth and power and the organisations and groups who are spearheading the efforts to restore peace and harmony in the state should weed out such elements if their efforts are to bear fruit. A structured, systematic and organized effort will make the ongoing struggle for peace and justice much smoother and easier. Emotions and impulses need to be kept in check and we all must work with our common goal always in sight. The visit of our concerned friends from Nagaland offering friendship, showing their commitment to end the escalating violence and expressing their empathy and solidarity with the people of Manipur is the much-needed shot in the arm and should go a long way in healing the society and ushering in peace.

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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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