TODAY -

Editorial of the week

Ethnic interpretations
Courtesy: The Sangai Express 07th December, 2006



The angst of the people of Jiribam over the failure of the SPF Government to announce the upgradation of the sub-division to a full fledged revenue district is understandable and justified, if we may add.

However on the other side the catch-22 situation in which the Government finds itself in is also understandable and we emphatise with the Government on this point.

The situation is such that the issue of Jiribam cannot be studied or solved sans the simmering issue of Sadar Hills.

The demand to upgrade Sadar Hills to a full fledged revenue district has been there for long and at one point of time it was even decided that the upgradation of Sadar Hills to a district would be announced at the same time that Imphal was divided into Imphal East and West districts during the time of the Nipamacha Singh Government.

That this did not happen is there for all to see today and the reason why the Government had to side step the issue of Sadar Hills has been reported and analysed time and again.

As we see it today, one of the biggest tragedies besetting Manipur is the growing trend of interpreting everything along ethnic line.

Administrative and political decisions are invariably always influenced by the question of ethnic interest and this is a dangerous trend which can only lead to the loss of all the people of Manipur.

Creating districts or clubbing together two districts or marking out a zone etc, should always be driven by the need of administrative convenience and not some other factors like ethnic line.

This is not to say that ethnicity or protecting the interest of all ethnic groups should be sacrificed for the sake of administration or political decisions but it is important to ensure that governance and administration are strictly divested from ethnicity.

The biggest hurdle lying before Jiribam today is Sadar Hills.

It is a foregone conclusion that if Jiribam is upgraded to a full fledged revenue district at this point of time, then the ghost of Sadar Hills will come back to haunt not only the Government but also the entire people of Manipur by way of economic blockade and other forms of protest on NH-39.

What is the path the State Government should then take to solve the impasse over Sadar Hills and by extension Jiribam ?

For one it has become increasingly important for the State and its machineries to work out some policies which should clearly lay down that there is a division between administration and ethnic interest.

The State cannot be administered or governed along ethnic considerations but other factors such as administrative convenience, executing Government policies and programmes within the least possible time and least cost etc.

Jiribam definitely deserves to be upgraded to a revenue district and so is Sadar Hills. However the obstacle lying ahead is sensitive and needs to be dealt with in a matured manner.

On the other hand we would also like to reiterate our earlier appeal to the people of Jiribam to desist from violence which is nothing short of inflicting injuries on themselves.




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