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Time for trail separation?

by IT Web Admin
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The ensuing cacophony of claims and counter- claims regarding the three Bills passed by a special session of the Manipur Legislative Assembly on August 31 of this year namely the Protection of Manipur People’s Bill, 2015, Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms 7th Amendment Bill, 2015 and Manipur Shops and Establishments Second Amendment Bill, 2015, have raised more confusion and doubts on the minds of the people of the state rather than clear the air and pave the way for the protection and safety of the interests of the people of Manipur, as was meant to be. What is becoming clearer with each passing day, however, is the hitherto undeclared agenda of a few influential figures who have successfully mobilized a huge number of naïve individuals from the hill area to tweak and press for a system where their agenda remains secure. The most pertinent question at this crucial juncture of our social churning is the political agility and capability of the state government in bringing the opposing parties to sort out the differences in opinion and perspectives as also their interpretations and concerns of the bills, if that still remains feasible. Meanwhile, the demand for a separate administrative setup is gaining momentum amongst the people of the hills. Although unfortunate, the only other option is far more unsavoury and gruesome, and should be prevented at all cost, if things ever come to such a pass. Truth be told, meetei/Meitei and other non-tribal communities haven’t had any say in matters relating to land in the hill areas of the state for ages now, and any change in the present land holding pattern in the foreseeable future is unthinkable. What started as a form of resistance to the conceived notions of losing their monopoly and lopsided land-holding advantages spanning the entirety of Manipur has turned the tribals into separatists, playing the role of the discriminated and downtrodden to the hilt. But if everyone of us cared to delve a little deeper rather than merely echoing others, we would have realized that the very idea of a separate administration is fraught with hindrances and challenges we are perhaps not ready for. The plight of a large number of people who are presently leading a hard life of privation will be worsened further. Will the notions of deprivation and discrimination disappear with the achievement of their demand for a separate administrative setup? Perhaps a trial run, much like the trial separation of couples who are going through a rough marital patch might present the real solution to the vexed social problem that is threatening to blot out every other essential functions of the state administration and plunge Manipur into chaos and social paralysis. Such an arrangement will also hopefully reveal a lot more than the present leaders spearheading the separatist movement would care to divulge. It is when the target of ridicule and the object of excuse for one’s actions are removed, then the real cause of the ridicule and actions are revealed. Perhaps it is time to try the untrodden path. By the way, the most basic goal of a trial separation is to give the couple space and time in their relationship to decide on future action, particularly in saving the marriage etc., without undue influence from each other.      

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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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