Home » Voice of Imphal Times: To the leaders and the led

Voice of Imphal Times: To the leaders and the led

by Jeet Akoijam
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The uncontrolled communal flare up unfolding in the tiny state is one that can only be termed unfortunate, unnecessary and uncalled for. It is also the result of a series lapses and blunders on the part of the state administration in preparedness and foresight as history has proved that the buildup to the present situation has had similar unfortunate repercussions but those at the helm of power somehow failed to read the unmissable signs of the simmering undercurrents and failed so miserably in curbing it when it should have. Despite the show of intent and tall claims of being strict in its aims in dealing with antisocial elements challenging the peace and quiet of the society, little is seen being put into practice on ground till date. If the state government really believes that deploying of security forces and using of force and tear gas to disperse and quell the violence which is more a spontaneous reaction to the unchecked atrocities being reported from various places perpetrated by certain sections of the people, then the people of this state do really need a long, hard and honest look at alternatives immediately.
Diversity is nature’s secret weapon, though humans tend to forget it, almost always at their convenience or when such amnesia serves their personal purpose. A puritanical Mayflower mentality of binary existence as applied to communities or groups has created a crisis in civil society aggravated by considerations of cornering handouts and benefits. But no society in the present world can exist in singularity when it comes to communities, faith or religion for such an instinct will only prove regressive and counterproductive in the long run and will ultimately result in the extinction of that very community or society.
At this critical juncture there are two options our society as a whole can consider. The first being to trace our ancestries and confirm the first settlers of this land and therefore recognizing the claim of descendants of the original settlers and developing a feudalistic society. The second and the most practical option is to come to terms with the fact that we all will always be cohabiting this state and a level playing field will have to be created across communities and ethnicities by amending and modifying the present anomalies and inconsistencies in the land and revenue systems of the state.
Religions and beliefs are purely personal and should remain so. To instigate commotions and communal tensions is indeed an unfortunate reality and will remain so till such elements are removed and punitive measures are taken against them as per law, thereby putting the fear of law above their habit of playing the religious and communal card for personal benefits.
The present communal flare up has already claimed lives and destroyed properties which would be difficult to recover and reconcile with. But the state administrations have yet to learn their lessons and feel the pulse of the people. We need to learn to accept and embrace diversity, for the most part as an asset and not an anathema. We also need to realise that in a conflict situation both sides lose. The state government should act swiftly and with conviction if such unfortunate and unwanted incidents is to be averted in future.
A wall or fence cannot stop anyone from coming into the state, only a well conceived and executed policy and practice can ensure that. It is high time the state government stop the mollycoddling and start acting responsibly and firmly.

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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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