The Manipur Langour And The Search For A Solution

Ladies and gentleman, welcome to Manipur - The Land of Jewel, The Switzerland of India, the exotic land where you could find the Loktak Lake, the Siroy Lily, the Sangai and so on. But please hold your breath; the next few moments would not be quite amiable. It is implorable as the people are miserable here and you will feel pity. However, go to the street and talk to anyone you would never find such hospitable people on the earth. As you begin chatting, the mysteries of this place will mortgaged your mind, there are lots of confusion and chaos but hopefully the people are so carefree.

Although our society does not have any expression of a cultured modern life or whatsoever, we don't seem to mind either. Experts view that we are in a web of conflicts, poor governance, ethnic confrontations, multiple tragedies and a complex social fabric. It could be ascertained to the fact that it is the backwardness of the region hampering all the comforts of a modern life. Here it is worth mentioning that we are not yearning for fast cars, jet planes, big trucks and other trendy gizmos, rather we could be well-contented in simple life but we don't want violence, corruption and living in inferno.

In the quest, it is quite apparent that our society is in a critical juncture of civilization. The other day, a senior journalist opined that insurgency arise due to underdevelopment in the region and the controversial Merger Agreement. The reason may vary from one person to another but the fact is that, whatever the condition may be, we have to move ahead along with the modern time. Unfortunately it is the inability to change the mindsets of our people that impede growth and development.

People are apical about our future. When you are locked inside a compartment, obviously you will see nothing and you have to crawl and scratch. Our bleakly maintained society is always on the verge of negative outbursts every now and then. Dear compatriots, we are not beasts and want to live our life with dignity. Whenever we demand our rights, the Government lays their authority as if we are begging for charity. The malady of maladministration is so profound that we need a radical and progressive movement. It is said that a State is an individual writ large. As such the development of a society depends upon its constituents i.e. the people.

The miserable facts of identity crisis, lack of political consciousness and fear and frustration out of subjugation have made our environment so deplorable. What is the significance of law in our State? Could anybody justify the existence of Government?

The Government has been declaring that the door is op-en to all the underground outfits for peaceful dialogues. Any steps or measures intended to resist the decadence of our society is appreciable, the only doubt is the sincerity of the authority existing legally or otherwise. Incidentally the proscribed UNLF responded that a direct popular consultation should be held in the form of plebiscite under the supervision of the UNO to end the imbroglio and which the Centre has outrightly rejected the proposal. Still, in a democracy the people have the supreme power to form or deform the Govt. In the meantime this type of Government could be criticized here likes Socrates and his students would have failed to. The Government should be coerced to give us an opportunity to express the consensus without any prejudices and preconceptions.

Besides the army and paramilitary forces must do away with their dominant approach. It may not be entirely their fault but violation of human rights and maltreatment have created a fear psychosis in the minds of the people who have been already rendered ignorant by the prevailing geo-economical and socio-political scenarios. Peace and development lies in the conscience of the people. Since the origin of State, man has been professing for an ideal condition, though in vain. But as mentioned above democracy is a well-known concept and denotes a form of Government in which the people have a share in the exercise of the sovereign powers of the state. Moreover change is the only permanent object in our universe. To be precise, the revolutionary movement needs popular consent, however there are bottlenecks in their activities for the simple reason that there are two many groups and also, the Indianisation of culture and tradition has worked in the Manipuri psyche that there are people who incriminate insurgency.

At the end of the day nothing seems worth consideration except to tolerate the existing scenario. Basically there is not solution to answer these social riddles. Again it should be noted that the development of a region depend upon the mindset of the people. To be or not to be, that is not the question but the apparent solution is the embodiment of justice, equality and fraternity which are nondescript in our society. Lastly freedom is not the absence of bondage but the feeling of being unbound even in bondage.

( This piece was written in 2004 for the Sangai Express)



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