Home » Keithel Ema – We do not trust the leaders of CAB protests, They made a U-turn and ran away

Keithel Ema – We do not trust the leaders of CAB protests, They made a U-turn and ran away

by Sh Ajit
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Citizenship Amendment Bill is, now, Citizenship Amendment Act. Earlier this year, people of Manipur and the whole of northeast fought tooth and nail against the passing of the bill. With the sudden implementation of ILP in Manipur, the government claims Manipur is safe from CAB and MANPAC, which was spearheading the anti-CAB protests, suspends the agitation. The movement in Manipur eventually slowed down while Assam and Tripura, especially, were still burning. However, the people of Manipur, especially the Keithel Emas, have a different take on the claims of the government, suspension of the protests, and slowing down of the movement. In a brief interaction with Keithel Emas, one said, “For the people, we will always participate with full support in any agitation be it organized by AMSU or MANPAC or COCOMI. We will face all, but we do not want the dirt. We do not trust all the leaders. Only the people are suffering. It’s only women participating in these agitations and women are also the ones suffering while the leaders made a U-turn and ran away.” The Ema expressed frustration over the leaders by further saying, “They had come to offer prayer to Keithel Lai before going for the meeting with Amit Shah, but they did not convey anything after returning. Why? We are suspicious of them if something is cooking. On top of that, they have not come to clarify it all, so we have lost all our trust on them.” Regarding the slowing down of the movement, another ema said, “At that time, people just took a sigh of relief because ILP was implemented and CAB was exempted, but it was not a decision taken after proper discussion in detail. Even we were not clear about it. Having said that, I do not think that the movement will stop, there is a possibility that it might start again.” Another ema said, “We do not want CAB at all. We are a bit happy for ILP implementation. The movement has not slowed down, there is a lot of anger inside.” As another perspective towards this sudden turn of events, one ema said, “The slow down happened after CM Biren announced ILP implementation and those who lacked knowledge of the entire situation backtracked, hoping that our demands will be met. He has been talking about it in various media outlets and some bought into it. But we want to continue the movement, we should not retreat. Another reason is also the absence of leaders, in spite of the anger and frustration inside of us all. We wonder why these sudden halts in a movement. Since there has been various breaks, it has demotivated us, making us think that it is not going to be fruitful. In one moment, they announce for bandh and in the next moment they call it off. The very fact that the leaders have gone into silence mode is making us wonder if they had compromised.” Speaking on the issue, another ema expressed, “We sat for the protests. We spent nights. The sudden slow down weakens our position and we do not want to slow down also. The youth should come to the front, educate and instruct us so that we can co-operate because we also have a family to manage. Those who were leading are also silent now.” When asked of this culture for an organisation to lead and no public uprising if not, one ema said, “It is a bit difficult for women to lead because many are uneducated. They know everything and they can lead, too, but they have to manage their families also. If explained everything in detail and shared all information with transparency, women can. Another ema said, “We just know how to write our names. We are uneducated about the details of the situation. MANPAC members used to visit us often, but after ILP implementation, they have not visited us once. It is because of their silence that the movement has slowed down. No one has explained to us the merits and demerits of ILP implementation and CAB, even if it has been exempted. They need to educate us, then we should all move forward together.” Another ema opined, “Having an organization is necessary. Just a few 5/10 of us cannot do what the leader of an organization can. If they say, students and emas will all come out. But this time, it was the MANPAC shutting down the movement after claiming to intensify it. If they had pressurized to move ahead at that time, the movement would have continued.”

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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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