The North – Eastern territory of India is a geopolitical strategic region. It comprises eight states (Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura). It was curved out from originally Province of Assam of British India with the inclusion of Sikkim and the princely states of Manipur and Tripura. It has been termed as the ‘Land of eight sister’. The region covers an area of 261,179 square kilometers (101,201 square miles) with a population of 39 million as per census of India, 2011 of which 22,327 square kilometers and 2,570,390 populations are of Manipur. (Directorate, Census Operation, Government of Manipur).
The region is connected with five countries, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma(formerly Myanmar), China and Nepal i.e. by the 4500 kilometers(2,796 miles) of international border. It is populated by variegated groups of people. Migration of people from Bangladesh, Burma and Nepal to these areas was very common, and as such, we find people of Mongoloid strains in respect of their physical features, cultures, tradition, language, etc. the autochthones who settled in the hill tracts were subsequently identified and differentiated one from the other based on various historical process of stress and strains, communication difficulties to a great degree, had contributed to their being in isolation for a number of generations. Their adjustmental process, in course of time alienated some groups from the bigger ones, while the other found themselves in aligned or aggregate. Such alienation and alignment of different groups came to bear various ethnic appellations identifying themselves as distinct tribes. This is a common feature in many places, which is however, significant to this tract of land1.
It is true that they are not a permanent crystalline structure in the stage of historical and social development and all the time due to interaction and adjustment, these groups of people are found to accommodate themselves in different degrees to varied situation2. It is also expected that their society has less and less hierarchy in economic specialization. Thus, we find Bhowmick3, to have said,
“In course of travels and shifting for security, following clashes with other groups italic have been transformed to a considerable extent or blended according to the demands of the situation or circumstantial exigencies. As a result, present day culturesof these groups bear such mark of incorporative, into the coreof their cultural matrix”.
And, in order to be eligible for constitutional benefits which have been declared after independence, these groups have been capsulized as “weaker section” and listed separately as “scheduled”4. In this part of India, there are all together 160 Scheduled Tribes5 with identifiable characteristic and traits, distributed in different areas of this region6. Our country has 179 languages and 544 dialects according to Linguistic Survey of India. Out of this, 116 belonging to Tibeto-Chinese family group are found in this region and over 4007 distinct tribal and sub-tribal as well concentrated mainly in Assam, Manipur and Tripura. The entire region is inhabited by three8 distinct groups of people: the hill tribes, the plain tribes and non-tribal population of the plains. An in Manipur, there are more than 40(forty) tribes out of which 36(thirty-six) are recognized with as many dialects as there are tribes, if not more.
Furthermore, Gangte9 has maintained that it is true that the enchanting land known as the North-East region of India attracted waves of diverse racial groups through ages. It has come to stay as the confluence of the most colorful mosaic of ethnic, linguistic and cultural diversity10. The Culture and tradition of the people often overlap the manmade political unit of the region. Political loyalty mostly transcends the boundary of each political unit11.
These groups of people came to region at different periods of history some of them came in the prehistoric days and other came at different point of time in history. Thus, even though some of the belong to the same ethnic group, time – gap in the waves of migration between different groups contributed greatly to their present wide – range of divergence and multiplicity, ultimately resorted to a multiple cause for destabilizing political economic, ethnic and communal tensions in the region12. Moreover, at present, the swelling migrant population in the region has also loosened the grip of indigenous settler over their land, economy and sense of freedom.
Total area of Manipur is one and nine-tenths Valley and Hills. It is a state of economic backward but a land of nature bounty with natural resources of all kinds including human resources and a rich cultural heritages belonging to indigenous ethnic groups who have been living together in the State since time immemorial in particular. Yet, in spite of its vast natural resources and human potentialities it has ever produced from its own soil, the State and the citizens of different Stratas including weaker sections, backward classes and destitute children and women have remained underdeveloped and finding themselves with lagging behind all infrastructure facilities in all fronts. This might have happened for the failure of authorities to adequately harness and utilize resources available in a manner that can give sustainable to socio-economic development of the people as well as planning development of the State. A prolong negligence and lack of concrete initiatives for development over decades has now resulted in plaguing the State with manifold problems on various issues ranging from land dispute, administration conflict, ethnic issue and lack of effective governance in different parts of the State and even to drag a petty case unnecessarily on communal line whenever it is raised up. In addition, the ever increasing population without multiculturalism and lack of generating adequate employment and actualization of work culture and not to depend on others have also further worsened the complexities, thereby creating anarchy and chaotic in all walks of life, and with no sign of getting a relief from such critical issues in a near future are in fact do not bide for the socio-cultural transformation of all the weaker section is not in the tune of social reality13. Moreover, population in the lower stratum of society comprising mostly of distributes whose basic needs of food, shelter (due to displacement as a result of developments and construction of dams, project etc.) medical care, education etc. still remain unfulfilled. We all know the prevailing situation and emerging trend or shall we term as culture of drugs mafia and human trafficking inter alia. The population – largely illiterate, property less and jobless – lives through queer ways: parent selling or pleading their progeny for money, individuals selling their blood or organs, children of tender age working under dehumanizing and exploitative condition, is part of their life story.
Besides, the Government of India, following the legacy of British Colonial administration, in its Constitution (Scheduled Tribes, Part (State) Orders 1957) notified the Scheduled Tribe. List of Manipur as (I) Any Kuki Tribe (II) Any Naga Tribe and (III) Any Lushai Tribes without making any mention of ethnic names of the different tribes. This has again resulted in the polarization of the tribes into the Nagas and the Kukis, for the constitutional compulsion made the tribes to identify themselves as either the Naga or Kuki so that the could get the constitutional safeguard14.
Manipur, despite its different names such as the ‘Paradise on earth,’ ‘Switzerland of the East’ ‘Land of Jewels’ etc inhabited by different ethnic communities who are basically Mongoloids is now turning into a land of Self-inflicted mayhem, waywardness and confusion. People are of the utmost ethnic divides ranging from remote villagers to the urban elites, the weak and the mighty all live in a state of perpetual fear and uncertainty. Majority in community and tribe asserted its dominance over the areas of their stronghold whereas the minor communities, tribes needy and poors are hopelessly suppressed, marginalized, socially excluded and deprived of their natural rights in different ways. Political and budding young leaders stoke communal passion for their personal benefits and political exigencies. The spirit of honesty and belongingness to the land is hardly respected and is no longer considered as “Individual Interest” rather than “Common Interest” has completely overpowered the public psyche15.
Instead of having or adopting a right way of economically secured environment, people look for the easiest and shortest way of making money and most luxurious style of living without slightest concern of the fairness of the reasons and means they landed to and to bring to complete stop. The Manipur State Mental Health Authority in one of its reports in 2012 stated that about 50 percent of the population is suffering from depression due to law and order related problems16. The State like her neighbouring sister is also haunted by the severe degradation of environment, deforestation and displacement of people without proper rehabilitation and resettlement and their source of livelihood in the name of modern development projects such as the Loktak Project, Khuga Dam, Mapithel Dam, Khoupum Dam, etc. Thousands of settlers are homeless with no proper compensation, rehabilitation and resettlement even after so many years of completion of these projects. The real settlers and dwellers are displaced and deprived of their rights including to work, livelihood and food and never benefited from these multipurpose dams and projects except politicians, contractors, high ranking to petty officials of the concerned department of the Governments17. It is empirical fact that the contention of Rajiv Gandhi,
“Development is not about factories, dams and roads alone. Development is about people. The goal is material, cultural, and spiritual fulfillment for people. The human factor is of supreme value in development.”
II. Some of the key factors to extremity of Ethnic Clashes:
i) Administration:We find it for nobody to blame for the reasons unknown at present what is happening around us today. Indeed, the facet of the present society in terms of ideological differences and growing distrusts among different communities on various outstanding issues concerning general public welfare are nothing but it may be attributed to the legacy of past governance and absence of single administrative structure in the State; when traces it back the origin of administrative systems which were prevalent in the Hills and Valley before the State was merged with the Union of India in 1949. As such, this aged old hegemony of governance based on customary laws for devoid or oppressive to public administration, has still continued to influence the activities and lifestyle of the people within their communities even after democracy came into existence.
However, it may also be noted that while the State was already confronting with the issues of declaring the status of Sadar Hills and Jiribam Sub-division as full fledged Revenue District, there also arises a number of demands for creation of new Revenue District by clubbing together of some Sub-divisions in the hill areas in the name of administrative conveniences and developmental purposes. Some of these demands for creation of new districts include Phungyar Sub-division out of Ukhrul District, Tengnoupal Sub-division out of Chandel District, Tonjil Marin to be bifurcated from Tamenglong District18. All these demands have taken place in the hearts of all parties concerned resulting from lack of effective governance and timely intervention on many issues pertaining to local administration and socio-economic development of the local people on the part of Government.
It is, therefore, these barriers and divisions of man made between communities and individuals can only be removed from the face of the society as and when rule of democracy is effectively strengthened at grass root level with the help of all sections of the society, so that the sense of belongingness to one nation, one composite culture and identity consciousness of unity in diversity have been promoted and achieved in a long way19.
ii) Corruption offences: Prevailing of corruption has led to a certain degree of “privatization” of state and is steadily transforming social perception of a democratic state into a mercantilist state20. Most crusades against corruption in their nationwide manifestation under Jai PrakashNarain, Anna Hazare, Guru Baba Ramdev, Kejriwal, etc. led total revolution movement produced, dialectically starting with the imposition of a national emergency in 1975-7621 and that what we witnessed at present times major constitutional crisis. In the absence of authoritive indication of guilt or political honour, the folklore of corruption grows apace, causing considerable stain on the still fragile system of liberal democracy and illustrates, in the process, the high social cost of privileging investigation, prosecution and punishment for corruption offences22 to starting from Top to Down or vis-à-vis stimulates the more in social exclusions divisiveness. We need a positive law in order to secure basic human needs through judiciary as well for “have” and “have not” issue be solved first.
It is also considered imperative to frame a policy to eradicate corruption especially in an organized sector with a view to ensure that all officials from lower rank to higher ranking shall have to perform their duties compulsorily according to the assignment of works while rendering their services for the welfare of the public, and also it will help in making distribution of all kinds of beneficiaries and facilities under different schemes whether TPDS or PDS of the departments to have reached to all sections of the society, so that transparency and developments are maintained in the manner as desired by the public, thereby leaving no room to practice corruption by all walks of life.
III. Industry, Economy & Employment: The absence of any major industries in the region before and after independence has not only crippled the pace of growth and development but also it has failed to keep sustaining the economy and livelihood of the people23. The aged old practice of jhuming cultivation and agriculture alone which have contributed the main source of the State economy did not even meet the basic minimum requirement of life and existence. It may be mentioned that majority of the citizens are living below poverty line. The cost of living is rapidly increasing day by day but the economic condition of the masses is not improving. Hence, it would be a far cry to bring changes and transformations to the society without the help and support of the industry in the midst of globalized economy.
The Government of Manipur who habitually depends on contract funding, rarely contemplates beyond what is given by the Centre and hardly think about bringing development even within the level of their capacity and to depend on other. Whatever projects or developmental programmes initiated by the central government have also failed to achieve their stated objective owing to lack of sincerity and poor implementation by the state government24. It will be no wrong to say that in the absence of industrial, market and infrastructure, there is no defined occupation and profession except employment in the government sector that caters to around 15 % of the population only25. The rest of the source of livelihood is unorganized, seasonal, temporary and incidental that can be easily interrupted by bandhs, as change of climates, landslides and sudden breakdown of law and order26. And unfortunate hilly terrain, of course, one tenth area with fertile soil cannot meet the needs of the entire state, compounded with primitive methods of cultivation, lack of market and preserving its agricultural produce further aggravates its economy..
On top of that, it may also be mentioned that Tourism Department in the State should be provided with adequate fund of its own for development of tourism. As the western countries have received a lot of incomes from tourism. The Tourism Department in the State can boost the same source of income, since Manipur has a good number of beautiful scenaries and places which can be identified and developed as tourist spot, so that many tourists from outside and inside can be attracted to it. This policy of developing tourism in the State may be accorded priority as it will certainly help to boost the State economy in the term perspective term.27
IV.Infrastructure: Infrastructure is one of the most vital links in the growth chain that encapsulates roads, communication, power, marketing, banking, research and development, for sustainable society where every individuals have to grow without discrimination socio-economically and politically and there is possibility of collective glory.28 With the rise of democracy the necessity of enlarging the scope for individual advancement is being increasingly appreciated29.
Unfortunately, infrastructure has remained a highly deficit sector which has been considered a vital linkage to growth and development, of the poors, other needy peoples especially women due to lack of education on reproductive health, health and medical care, using and drinking water management, electricity, food safety, sanitation, balanced diet, mass awareness and environmental and bio-diversity and its consequences keeps them captured to illiteracy and poverty30. For that matter, economy is very important which can be earned due to control over economic access and power, it is examined through the distribution of economic power.
V.Provactive Role: The provactive role of elected representatives, public servants and the civil society is the foundation of every healthy society. Most of them lack dutifulness, dedicacy and devoutness. When these three branches of the society fail to move in its right direction, there starts the problem, it is bound to run into confusion, lawlessness and turmoil as we are presently experiencing instead of solving the problems it is completely opposite, as most of our elected members are incompetent in terms of education, skills and exposure31.
VI. Land Holding System: As we have known the system of landholding practiced among Hill settlers/communities of commonly known as Naga and Kuki, are non-feudal and feudal. The Naga villages have community clan and individual land wherein the individual tillers of the land have right of possession of the land inhabited32. Where as the Kukis, “Haosa” the master-tenant is autocratic and hereditary.Secondly, the Tribal Forest Act, 2006, though projected to reconcile the objectives of economic growth and environmental conservation is, obviously a threat in this era of neo-liberal globalization or LPG, to these tribes, especially women33 and children and the poorest of the poors, Thus, its significance is to increase more deprivation marginalization and social exclusion growing inequalities by developing also perhaps a gap between the hill settlers and others is increasing day by day34.
It is established fact that since the past the numerous tribal groups living in Manipur had been under the administration of their respective customary laws however, these often stand in the way of land reform. Of course, certain characteristics need to be restructured so as to the Kuki Chiefs be only titular. He should initiate towards brining education, healthcare, medicine, sanitation, electricity, food security, transport and communication and water (using as well as drinking) in his village as an imperative for becoming a welfare village35. To take initiative for harmonizing, the customary laws will be crucial in establishing a modern and scientific and land tenure system, thereby making way for conservation and sustainable forest and environment. Moreover, the absence of land registration or patta system in hill areas of Manipur has also adversely impacted people psyche without having any legal title or right to the land they are tilling or where they have been living for centuries or developing land. For instance, in Kuki society, the Village Haosa (Chief) has often dislodged the defacto land owners from their settlement. As a result the individual does not have a right or title to land, thereby the financial institutions, Banks are not willing to provide credit to them because they cannot prvide security. And, for that matter, let’s have our heads put together in considering the forthcoming of AHI and the already much spoken about Look/Act East Policy – horrible picture of the State of Manipur in general and Moreh town in particular36. No community, society, state and nation can achieve peace, stability and economic growth if at least half of the population is not empowered economically ab initio.
Thus, the institutions of Haosa (Chieftainship) should be retained instead of abolishing for it is pertinent to remember and know that since the inception of the Manipur Village Authority Act, 1956, tribals have been opposing to protect their cultural and traditional rights particularly the customary laws even till today can be noticed by their actions organized by the All tribal Chiefs Forum, Manipur (ATCF) and Committee on Protection of Tribal Areas, Manipur (COPTAM) are umbrella organizations37. (I) Tribal meet decides to oppose VA election. (II) Tribal leaders to oppose VA Polls.
The customary practice of land holding system in the hills particularly of that of Kuki, is also one of the important factors for its acute backwardness and also the cause of large scale migration of hill people to the urban areas38. As already cited above, the land system does not allow ownership of land by the common villagers as the entire land belongs to the village chief or community as a whole. If a proper assessment of land ownership in the hill areas of Manipur is carried out, around 70 percent of the hill dwellers would actually turn out to be landless villagers.
Further, it will be relevant that the hill people who constitute around 41.1 percent of the total population and sparsely occupying around 90 percent of the total level surface surrounding the entire valley of the State are disgruntled lots. They may be possessive of their vast hilly terrains which are actually neither sustainable for basic livelihood nor setting up industry. The traditional methods of cultivation are also not very yielding owing to deforestation, environment degradation, unfavorable, geographical location, etc. Instead of developing the hill areas, the politicians, government servants and slightly well-off hill people are human on moving to the urban areas thus leaving the poorer people in the hills behind39.
VII. Education: Education is the key to all-round developments has remained neglected for all the times. The provision of free and universal primary education to the children upto the age of 14 in the State is still a dream. Huge investments on education sector in order to facilitate for masses to get access to education with low cost and affordable is still an articulation of theory and paper work in the State. We all know that literacy has been identified as an important factor in individual emancipation. Indira Gandhi has emphatically maintained.
“ Education is a liberating force, and in our age, it is also a democratizing force, cutting across the barriers of castes and class , smoothing inequalities imposed by birth and other circumstances”.
Furthermore, as far as the education in Manipur is concerned, we need a structural change from the present Indian western education system because it is despite not world class40 as it is not character and man making education. This is the reason why it is failed in India. Educated ones have failed to create the systems to go with every aspects of life of everyone in this world. Swami Vivekananda’s philosophy of education41 also counters and challenges in the system by pointing out (i) lack of development of powers of concentration of mind and (ii) lack of holistic and long term vision i.e. lack of spirituality; because of two reasons42 (a) unabling mind for perfection, quality and excellence and (b) petty and narrow minded and the thoughts only of immediate gains instead of long term good.
It will be interesting to know what our constitutions Article 46 further instructs. Its embodies the concept of distributive justice, which connotes inter alia, the removal of economic inequalities and rectifying the justice resulting from dealings or transactions between unequal and in society43. In accomplishing justice, so that the legs of the triangle be removed completely as the first virtue of social institutions as truth is of system of thought44. A theory however, elegant and economical must be rejected or revised if it is unture, likewise law and institutions, no matter how efficient and well arranged must be removed or abolished if they are unture. Each person possesses an inviolability founded on justice that even the welfare of society as a whole cannot override. However, Singh45, contented that justice is generally divided into legal and social justices, legal justice concerns the punishment of wrongdoing and the compensation of inquiry through the creation and enforcement of a public set rules, whereas, social justice require equitable and just distribution of the social goods and evils or burden and benefits. Likewise, Miller46 says:
“Social justice concerns the distribution of benefits and burden throughout a society, as it results from major social institutions, property system, public organization, etc.”
It is found contrary to the same as some of the government acts/laws so enacted from time to time which intend to deal with various issues confronting the so called Scheduled Tribe communities has always lacked its credibility and sincerity in addressing the real issues. In this situation we found that not the greater number of Scheduled Tribes from the hills have no chance to get the opportunity to get access to the different schemes meant for upliftment and advancement due to lack of information, illiteracy and bad economic condition47. Thus, they do not reach the rural and remote massed – the socio- economically deprived ones in the hills. Here, the government in its manifestation requires an extensive prior consultation and deliberation with the concerned persons primarily to be affected and benefited with the measures so that the outcome is placed into acts/laws for enforcement before implementation into action.
However, one striking fact is that in the course of time and emerged situation, and the tribal middle class emerged consequently followed by elite groups have begun to constitute the top class and cream of the tribal population contended by Lal Dena48. At the same time, a host of theology oriented church leaders and the nouveau riche from among the business communities and contractors formed themselves into a powerful groups which cannot be easily reckoned with49, resulting disparity between the elite and rural masses has also wider then before50.
Proper education must be compulsory for every children. Education does not mean degree only. If means the transformation of mind in understanding issues at hand – the comely is facing. Education stabilizes roots of planning and achieving a sense of progress and development.
VIII Migrant Issue: The unabated inflow of migrants from Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal and neighbouring states and other parts of the country, perhaps due to invisible policies of the Government has made threats in every spheres of life of the indigeneous people of the state. If the present trend of influx of migrants is not checked, the natural hospitality of the local people has become an advantage for the migrants who are now controlling market and some politics51.(indirect deciding factor)
IX. Security Concerns (Law and Order): The freedom of democracy has always demanded or implied the imperative of peaceful living conditions. Investments on tourism sector as already mentioned and natural resources have remained unexplored for security reasons in the State. In fact, for security problems and concerns; investors or stakeholders would have preferred Manipur instead or other States in the North East.
X. Insecurity Issues: Apart from all sorts of insecurity prevailing in the State, crime against women has certain variation from other States, in fact, the highest in West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh54, that the most women suffer atrocities from the State and non-actors in the course of armed conflict and again sometimes the dimension of crime is also interestingly changed in the sense that some unidentified armed man or terrorist acting such activities of rape and other activities against women55. This phenomenon is also acute in the societies where the ethnic minority communities belong who are already deprived, marginalized and socially excluded though not highlighted and recorded. They are not able to come forward and have a say for they would be more tortured mentally and physically, thus, it will be the victimization of victims.
Now, such an environment also acts as an hindrance towards the upliftment so as to empowering in socio-economic and political spheres for women are predominantly majority in the Poor, Needy and Scheduled Tribe communities.
XI. Centre’s outlook: In spite of 65 years of freedom and independence, right from the historic event i.e. Merger of Manipur with the dominion of India in 1949 21 September, and placing of Manipur an earlier Kingdom into a Part – C category in 22nd January, 1950, then as a Territorial Council in 1956 and the Union Territory in 1963. Yet, the Centre has not changed its attitude of step-motherly treatment. The Central Government has not done anything concrete and substantial in development by formulating policy and performance transparently in true spirit for Manipur. There is no fair and equitable distribution of national wealth and resources. Whatever fund is allocated for development of the State, no matter, the lesser amount, it should be utilized properly, and it should not reach to the pockets of the ministers, middlemen, agents and bureaucrats etc. The riches and power are being concentrated in a few hands instead of needy and poor. People are frustrated, confused and demoralized. The political leaders are indulging in scams and scandal involving crores of rupees. At my Officers and Security Personals, etc. who are meant for law and order are found highly engaged in drug trafficking. At present, it is an emerging trend.
It should be ensured that a concrete steps are being taken up which will go in a long way in the advancement, upliftment of these groups in particular and development of the State in general.
XII. Displacement of people for construction of Dam: In 1950s, the Government of India initiated and under took the major and power projects of the Eastern India, viz, Hirakud in Orissa, Mayurakshi in Bengal and all Damodar Valley Hydro and thermal power projects which made the displacement of people in the upper regions, their unsettled future and the loss of forest and biodiversity of the submerged area as we have noticed in our State i.e., Loktak Project and Mapithel Dam. In this context, it will be pertinent to mention what Kurup56 maintains about the fallout from large dams.
“Despite substantial evidences assembled by the World Commission on Dams in the year 2000 about the problems that are created by dams exceeding a certain size, the thrust of our Government is to pursue construction of large dams as a preferred strategy for meeting the country’s irrigation and power needs. As on January 31st, 2006 the installed capacity of 254 hydro electric power stations constructed in the various parts of the country is 31754.45 MW. It is a common knowledge that this capacity can be achieved only at peak levels of water reservoirs. The reduction of power from 1994-2004 is around 31 Per Cent. The Govt of India plans to add 5040 MW in the year 2031-32. The fund requirement is estimated to the order of Rs. 30,000 crores every year as per present level for the generation component alone. Other fallouts are displacement of 0.67 million people each year and submergence of 1,00,000 hectares of land 40,000 hectares of forest land.”
XIII. Human Resource: Manipur is also yet to overcome the problems of dichotomy in its economy which are generally faced by underdeveloped and developing countries. There is acute shortage of manpower that possessing critical skills and abilities which are highly needed for a faster growth of economy on the one hand and surplus of unskilled labour for which there is a less demand in the job market. The State is already facing a serious challenge of human resource management in the last many years and now.
In keeping with the complexities, engrossing the State in the wake of challenges and constraints, it becomes imperative to evolve sound, efficient and effective management of human resources in the desired manner.
XIV. Electoral Politics (Political Immaturity): This sector is extremely localize although policies in generally connotes as a science of governance of state and preservation of its property and protections of its citizens and so on.The politicians in Manipur are more or less same with their colleagues in the North-East region, they are in fact hardly aware57 about the true role of a leader in a democratic set up of governance.People blindly contest election without having specific objective and obligation to the society. Government functions, conventionally without a layout development plan despite receiving hundreds of crores of rupees from the centre. In the hills, people voted on the basis of tribe, clan and dialect and in fact, on the direction of the various armed organisation58 thus, there is not election at all rather selection or appointment is replacing the essence of the said high value institution. There is no commitment, responsibility and accountability of any individual, no matter, the place or position belongs to. As far as the contest in election in Manipur is concerned at the moment, is in fact a kind of monetary investment (buying of voters and selling of voting right) and exposition of power and might of the rich, militant leaders especially in the hills and contractors whereby leaving no space for the social workers and honest people. Election is more of an entrepreneurship59 of few opportunists, wealthy and power hungry persons.
XV. Absence of every Community/Ethnic Representatives under Bicameral System: Parliament of India or some of the states like Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Jammu & Kashmir have adopted a bicameral system in the process of sending people representative in the houses of Parliament or State Assembly (VidhanSabha), this method of people representatives to the Parliament or State assembly may also be applicable to the State of Manipur or the whole North Eastern Region in consideration for the ethnic minority communities60 who are the extremely numerically less who are already deprived, marginalized and socially excluded people by suitably amending the People Representation Act, 1950 so as to provide an opportunity to weaker section of the people for them to get adequate representation in the assembly in order to bring equal footing of development in socio-economic and political security to all communities irrespective of what caste or religion they belong to the process of development.
Given the situation and in the context of Manipur or North East India, it may be pointed out to traces back the root causes of lack of development and lack of literacy and also others various issues like a insecurity in terms of socio – economic and political points of view in which the minority communities perhaps the marginal groups the numerically extremely less groups had conforted with them over the years may be attributed to the absence of their representatives in the Parliament or Assembly to highlight and present their issue before the Parliament of Assembly for remedial measure61.
To reiterate, it has been the ground reality that this numerically less or marginalized people have been suffering untold miseries such as deprivation of their rights in the hands of major communities by way of ignoring or neglecting their demand or their issues at least to the extent of listening to their voices62. Thus, their rights have been denied and deprived in different ways. As a matter of fact, authorities or civil societies are often talking about development after development to be brought to all citizens for their welfare in the State but it still remained as hollow space since no facilities of the Government or the implementation of development works have been done in their area due to lack of influence over the authorities of them63.
As rightly justifies above, it is most desirable for the minority communities to have their own representation in the Assembly so that they feel secured with the systems in the terms of governance, socio-economic and political security and implementation of developmental works, Manipur must have Bicameral system64.
XVI. Social Policy: We have already known that Manipur is a multi-ethnic, multi-linguistic and multi-religious state with diverse culture, prevalent among communities. Concept65 of “oneness”, “inclusiveness”, and practicing multiculturalism are completely absent from the mindset of the masses, instead, everyone is highly ethnocentric. “Ism” and “this is mine” are the contextualized ethics of every Manipurian66. It is time to formulate by framing a Policy to effectively regulated the social harmonization among the communities locally and vice versa, as a step to “breakthrough” the stereotype which is the essence of identity67 of any ethnic community. Let us celebrate ethnicities as a source of common strength instead of troubles and problems. Sensitization and conceptualization are equally important tools of multiculturalism subject to, defensing and guarding the rights of the minorities- poorest of the poors. Knowing, learning to understand and also paying utmost due regard to another language, food habits, customs, religion, etc are some of the devices to be adopted, apart from intermarriages, the space to communities promoting perpetual and sustainable peace in the State68. Therefore supporting multiculturalsim69 and to foster the same and translate into actions is perhaps the need of the hour.
III. Some of the perspective suggestions 70for remedial measures are as follows:
i) To frame an internal mechanism to bring harmonization of local administrations of different communities being practiced based on customary laws with the rules of democracy in order create a conductive atmosphere of establishing a good relationship of all communities in the State through public administration.
ii) To strengthen democracy at grass root level with a separate provision of funding pattern to local bodies must be framed so that flow of fund reaches to all destinations in time.
iii) To put pressure upon the Union Government to set up large and small scale industries both at State and district levels after identifying the site and availability of raw materials for the purposes of tapping natural resources and to avoid the burden of scarcity of resources. Besides, initiative also be taken up to approach local rich men to convince them to set up industry and factory as a joint propriety for grouping them together for generation of employment as well as making investment in a long term, so that local industry and factory may become an exporter of the local goods and services to other States of the country.
iv) Apart from improving the infrastructures of the existing offices, buildings and schools, to set up new infrastructure buildings where such basic amenities are urgently needed by the local people.
v) To make heavy investment of fund on education sector after proper assessment in terms of requirement of infrastructure buildings and student strengthen are carried out or to start privatization of education sector and handed over its management to local bodies on the basis of Public Private Partnership (PPP) in order to ensure effective management and productive of education in the hands of local people so that eradication of total illiteracy is achieved.
vi) A concerted efforts towards security issue must be chalked out by inviting all groups and masses in order to remove fear of mind and disturbances while rendering services for the welfare of the masses on issues related to security in the State.
vii) Implementation of development schemes and projects at various places shall be done based once approved item-wise to be carried out on phase-wise manner in the approved work programme of the 5th Year Plan, so that choose and pick up in the hands of authorities are avoided in the pursuit of equal footing development of all localities.
In present day world, a strong brain wave is sweeping across our universe and removing and eradicating any kind of barriers and divisions between nations and continents, and making it the world ‘flat’ and inclusive. Though, insecurities of all types, violence and corruption, due to deprivation marginalization and social exclusion continue to negate development which has been on planned processing. To take the state forward, it is high time for us to have a new strategy for governance, development and peace that hinges on political, social and cultural transformation. However, investment in human resource development towards creation of human capital would be crucial to achieving the desired objective without concerted efforts of the Government in collaboration with the civil society’s social organization, intellectuals, NGOs, media, etc in a long way. It cannot be left only to politicians and bureaucrats.Itis necessary with trans parent public and private participation and calls for a new initiative and leadership for development with a strong ethical content.
By : Dr. Priyadarshni M. Gangte,
Associate Prof. in History Dept& Co-ordinator
Human Rights & Duties Education Centre,
Damdei Christian College, Motbung, Manipur.
William Gurumayum, Sub-Editor of Imphal Times is a resident of Sagolband Salam Leikai. He has been with Imphal Times since beginning. A avid adventure lover, writes mostly travelogue.
Latest from William Gurumayum
- Assam Rifles Conducts Free Health Awareness Campaign
- Seminar Cum Awareness Programme On TDS Held
- Bamboo plantation can be an alternative to Jhum cultivation: Forest Minister Th. Shyamkumar
- AR Conducts Security Meet
- Oscar Winning Italian Film-Cinema Paradiso to be Screened with interaction session On June 16 At 5 Pm