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Talking the tension away

by IT Web Admin
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If anything about the state of Manipur can be said with any degree of certainty, it must be that its people, as individuals, posses an intrinsic ability to adapt and even overcome the elements that otherwise would have proven to be an obstacle- be it the case with games and sports, arts and craftsmanship, or even surviving the harsh and often inaccessible hilly terrains. But put these naturally endowed individuals who have honed and improved on the inherent traits of adaptation into a group, and things start to defy logic or expectations. Perhaps the ‘fight-or-flight’ mode which had been so deeply ingrained in our ancestors, and are largely responsible for the successful propagation of the different communities and tribes in this part of the country is still at play and is inadvertently creating a conflict situation between the personal instinct to react and the increasing social necessity to interact and conform to the ethos of the collective. Whatever the reason or explanation, there is no denying the fact that the people of Manipur still have much to learn when it comes to working or performing as a cohesive group. Factions and rival groups are an inconvenient reality, although they all profess the same ideologies and declare similar objectives. The present social tension that is escalating by the day is just another manifestation. The real danger, however, is not the conflict of the evolutionary instinct and the social obligations. The real danger is the deliberate ploy by a few unseen players to try and steer the current non-issue towards a concocted concern for ethnic diversity and challenges to the very survival of a few projected communities who are hitherto lapping up the benefits of the disadvantaged. The inconspicuous mentions and remarks on the developments regarding the ‘framework of agreement’ that was entered into between the Government of India and Muivah of NSCM (IM) during the protests demanding withdrawal of the three bills drafted and passed in the state assembly to safeguard the interests of the indigenous people of Manipur have made evidently clear the efforts to fuse the two matters despite the fact that they are distinctly unrelated entities.
So what could possibly be the solution that has been eluding the enlightened leaders of the people and champions of cultural identity of the state? Protracted violence and social disruptions does not seem to be having any desirable effect. Why is everybody shying away from the most obvious option which is worth a shot- a dialogue to resolve the issue and promote understanding. The time to keep to ourselves or huddle only with our kind is really and truly over. We need to reach out and engage others and build up an easy rapport where each one of us can air our concerns and grievances without inhibitions and hypocrisy. We need to respect, accept and share the diverse cultures, customs and traditions. It is only with understanding and acceptance that we can turn over a new chapter. It is time to stop shouting and start talking.            

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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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