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Manipur Without Governance: Deepening and Widening the Inter-Ethnic Violence

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Manipur Without Governance: Deepening and Widening the Inter-Ethnic Violence

By – Amar Yumnam
Imphal, May 6:

On Saturday morning a good old friend of mine sent me this humour: “Just saw 3 people jogging outside and it inspired me to get up and close the blinds.” Well, it did inspire me as well to have a hearty laugh. But this hearty laugh did not last long for it inspired me to compare the decision to close the blinds to not see what is happening outside with the behaviour of the Government (whether Provincial or the Central) of avoiding any application of mind to resolve the more than a year-old inter-ethnic killings in Manipur. In the case of the friend closing the blinds, the happenings outside were positive events whereas in the case of the Government the happenings in Manipur are ones with very serious negative social, economic and political implications – these implications have both national and international political economic dimensions. These killings are exactly what Rousseau had said: “wars occur because there is nothing to prevent them.”
The Rousseau events in Manipur have occurred and continued because of the absence of willingness of application of mind by the Government and disappearance of any sign of governance. We know from the global experience of inter-ethnic conflicts that such occurrences could be because of the lapses in the capacity of the state to govern. In the case of Manipur, the scenario is absolutely the opposite. The Indian State has more than enough capability to bring the conflicts under control. One greatest social joke committed by the Government is the absence of any endeavour by the state to bring the conflict under control and carry the people forward towards co-existence. There are many jokes committed which almost ridicule the citizens. First, we keep hearing of two separated security forces functioning in the same area – one Central and another State.
Second, these two security forces would be working for purposes which may conflict and need not have any coordination. Third, in instances more than once, the media have reported of the Central Forces stating that they cannot indulge in stopping the inter-ethnic killings happening in front of them for they have no instruction from the higher authorities.
These establish beyond doubt that the Government of India does not have any time to think over and any intention to stop the inter-ethnic killings in Manipur. For her, it is: WHO CARES? For the Government at the Provincial Level, it cannot afford to think about the problem and apply the capacity of the state to evolve a policy framework for, like in the case of the Central Security Forces, it does not have directions from the higher authorities; by the way, the party in power is the same both at the Centre and the Province.
These must be the reasons why the head of the people of Manipur keep talking of very loose and uncoordinated actions instead of a structured approach to resolve the crisis. Now the questions which keep taxing our mind are: Why is it that the Government (Central and State) like the inter-ethnic killings in Manipur to continue? What are the outcomes the Government is expecting? What it wants to extract from these outcomes? It has become more compulsive for us to analyse and understand the mind of the Government on allowing the controllable conflict to continue without any attempt to control. This withdrawal from attempts to control could be explained if the killings were only of a week or so, but now it has exceeded more than a year. The different ethnic groups have celebrated the completion of a year of killings – thanks to the withdrawal of the state from addressing the issues – with slogans and agenda for collective commitment at the ethnic levels. These would necessarily deepen and widen the ethnic divide, serving the potential desire of the government.
Now we may try to think about the why and what questions on the behaviour of the Government we had raised in the preceding paragraph. While the driving spirit of the Government has been ONENESS in everything from people to religion. In a way unfulfilling this spirit, Manipur is marked by diversity within and marked differences from the driving spirit. This differential is visible in all indicators – geographic, demographic and religion. This goes even to the extent that the Hindu Meeteis/Meiteis follow a kind of Hinduism, which possesses uniquely qualitative and behavioural characteristics; this is violative of the Principle of One only. Further, the smallness in size – geographic and demographic – has not limited in the differential capability manifestations of the people in many fields; this is against the driving principle of the Government. Like these, there are quite a few differentials violative of the driving principle of the Government. So Manipur should not return to 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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