News, blood, and politics

A thought ensuing the unfortunate Mao incident on May 6

Image: The Hindu
Take a look at some of the news headlines in the last 24 hours: Violence erupts ahead of Muivah's visit, 3 killed‎  (The Hindu); 'Muivah bent on breaking Manipur, we won't let him' (Hindustan Times); NPMHR, TNL flay Mao-Gate firing (Kangla Online); Tension grips Mao as 3 persons die in police firing (The Sangai Express); What next in Meetei-Naga relationship? (Morung Express); Naga bodies condemn Manipur police action (Nagaland Post); MPP blames MHA for trouble (Imphal Free Press).

The heat is on again and we are choking in the toxic fumes of ethno-nationalism. Of late, the situation in Manipur and Nagaland – lying in one of the awful conflict-ridden regions in the world – has turned from bad to worse. The reason – Thungaileng Muivah, the NSCN-IM's general secretary made vow to visit his birth place in Manipur.

In a battle of us and them, and which nobody wins, the stake is on the progress of the region and, more than anything else, on the posterity. Is this our destiny to be always in the wrong?

Now, the stake holders have taken the field whilst people watched with bated breath. The blame game is also kicked off; the conspiracy theories are being churned out with grating sounds and sordid stories are pouring through the grapevine.

NSCN and its predecessors ushered in the growth of Naga nationalism; but they have made a blunder. Things are even as long as they are fighting for their self-determination, no matter how much it is adverse to the Indian nation-building process for the simple reason that we are on the same boat. However, the speculation that every Naga-dominated area should be clubbed together is tantamount to meddling with other's affairs. Have they ever heard of the dictum – Dickhead, Mind Your Own Business?

Fact number one: the Nagas will remained as Nagas, without proper education and healthcare, economic growth plus socio-political mobility, even if they are integrated into Muivah's version of Nagalim. Fact number two: Muivah is a leader and he has led the people, in fact, misled with the pipe dream that people could see the light of modern world if they come together. There is no question of enmity in this issue. History should not be distorted to suit one's political agenda.

Statecraft is not comparable to attending Sunday mass together – something that the Meiteis are envious of as the only place they could be in league is the killing field. The lack of communication, the feeling of mutual exclusiveness and the abomination are quite evident in the sorry state we are in today.

This cannot simply be our fate. There should be somewhere we can be together. There could be a time when we should rather march forward to the tune of humanity, than stride along to the beat of a different drummer.       

Is the mainstream India taking foolish risks here? Besides, there is an alleged ploy – and it is also fairly questionable that they are playing a schismatic policy in the region. I'd blame New Delhi for ringing the hell's bell. Why did the government give the green signal to Muivah to visit his hometown without picking the the hostile parties' brain? It is not possible that they are unaware of the volatile situation in Imphal. The burning of state assembly in 2001 was just an indication. But why are these babus making the same mistake constantly?

I see four reasons: a) Manipur does not count in mainstream politics; b) the state is hopelessly backward that it can easily overlooked in these days of LPG and NPT ; c) the state can be spoon fed with subsidiary funds and be kept ever and always as a frontier state; d) they are longing to watch the final showdown between Meitei and Naga so that insurgency can be rooted out slowly and painfully.

The fourth reason is seemingly more hollow than Muivah's dream of Greater Nagalim.

Instead of making the region stand on its own feet, New Delhi has made them even more interdependent. The formation of Doner and NEC are supreme examples of their samaritanism, whilst concealing their diabolic mask.

Ultimately, I hate this thing called politics. Aristotle had created an eternal predicament in the proportion of a Greek tragedy when he theorised that we are political animal. I want to be apolitical now. But I don't think the tension in Manipur and Nagaland would ease off soon.

Let there be peace!



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