Home » Unmet Demands and Lingering Tensions: Amit Shah’s Manipur Visit Falls Short of Expectations

Unmet Demands and Lingering Tensions: Amit Shah’s Manipur Visit Falls Short of Expectations

by Rinku Khumukcham
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When the announcement rang out that the esteemed Home Minister, Amit Shah, would grace the troubled land of Manipur in an effort to restore order and quell the ongoing conflict, a wave of anticipation swept through the hearts of the people. Those who toiled on digital platforms yearned for the restoration of internet connectivity, while the displaced yearned to return to the warmth of their homes. Business owners, burdened by the weight of economic stagnation, craved the resumption of their trade. In essence, what was sought by one and all was the return of normalcy, and it was from Mr. Shah that this much-desired state of affairs was expected.
Now, as the sun sets on his three-day voyage in Manipur, marked by numerous deliberations with lawmakers, civil society organizations, and a select few who bore the brunt of the ongoing clash, the results, if we may call them so, seem to hover in a realm between goodness and badness. The conflicting demands of the Meitei and Kuki communities remain unfulfilled, like fragile whispers lost amidst the clamor of chaos.
In addressing the root causes of the violence, the Union Home Minister attributed the heart-wrenching incidents that scarred the state to a judicial decision made by the High Court of Manipur. Yet, it is notable that he chose to remain reticent on the matter of revoking the Suspension of Operation with the Kuki militants, despite it being a principal demand of the Meitei communities. It cannot be overlooked that the Kuki militants have, in their rampage, mercilessly attacked innocent civilians and reduced thousands of homes to ashes. Nonetheless, Mr. Shah did emphasize that any violation of the Suspension of Operation agreement with the Kuki militants would be met with unwavering resolve. Moreover, he called upon those in possession of unlicensed weapons to surrender them to the nearest police station. However, skepticism lingers in the minds of the people, as they are yet to be convinced of their safety. Since the eruption of violence, the security forces have proven ineffective, and the specter of unrest continues to haunt the state.
Curiously absent from Mr. Shah’s discourse were the demands put forth by the ten Kuki MLAs regarding the establishment of a separate administration, a core aspiration of the Kuki community. In a veiled response to these demands, the Home Minister declared that the Union Government has always staunchly advocated for the territorial integrity of Manipur, a stance that remains unswerving. Judging from the outcome of his visit, the successful persuasion of both communities to renounce violence or negotiate their persisting demands through alternative channels is yet to manifest. It appears that the protests, be they borne out of violence or peace, will persist. However, in this dire situation, it falls upon every individual to abstain from resorting to violence in their pursuit of objectives. It is essential that we shift our focus towards what is right rather than who is right.
In the face of these trying times, a glimmer of hope must not be extinguished. It is a collective duty to uphold peace and harmony as we strive towards a future where all voices are heard and respected. For it is in the pursuit of unity and understanding that we shall reclaim the normalcy that eludes us, and together, we shall script a tale of reconciliation and progress.

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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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