TODAY -

Editorial of the week

Get Rich Quick Syndrome
Courtesy: The Sangai Express 03rd August, 2006



The cease fire between the NSCN (IM) and the Government of India has been extended by yet another year and perhaps it is only right for the Naga people and others to question, what are the fruits of the 9 year long truce pact ?

To be brutally frank one can say, nothing much, for the truth remains that fear still runs deep amongst the people even in places where the cease fire is officially enforced.

Development, which the Government and many others co-relate to peace is there only for the booted, suited class of the Naga people, for the deprived villagers continue to break their back eking out a living in the remote villages and have to survive for most part of the year on chilli chutney and salt as dishes at times accompanied by a dish of boiled vegetable.

On the other hand the fruits of the cease fire is starkly evident in the lifestyle of the rebel cadres and their leaders.

It is no longer a time for sleeping in the jungles and enduring the vagaries of nature but high class hotels and living in well built and well furnished residential houses.

It is no longer about trekking in the jungles but travelling in the most hip vehicle.

This is a part of the story of the fruits of the 9 long years of cease fire between the NSCN (IM) and the Government of India, but how about the situation in Manipur, where a number of armed outfits have launched the "liberation" movement for the past many years.

What are the fruits that the people have seen or experienced from these long years of armed conflict ?

This is a question that needs to be studied with all the seriousness it deserves for it can have a direct impact on the movement at some point of time if not immediately.

To the proponents of the armed movement, the fruit may be the end result that they are all striving for, but there are other fruits that may be seen as a product of the armed movement and it is these fruits that need to be considered seriously.

At the moment, the armed movement in Manipur is going ahead full swing and the Indian Government has not been able to break its back bone despite its huge military strength.

However despite the movement gaining momentum, there is a word of caution that should not be misconstrued or lost on the leadership of the different outfits.

The greatest challenge that lies before the "liberation movement" is not from the security force of the Government or the military might of India, but the inner contradictions of the armed organisations.

To the proponents of the armed movement, the final goal may be seen as the only fruit that counts, but the present fruits that are being enjoyed by a few are direct products of the armed movement and this cannot have missed the eyes of the general population.

The "Get Rich Overnight Syndrome" has become the calling card of quite a few number of people and to achieve this one has to be well connected to take advantage of the armed movements.

Relatives of rebel leaders living in palatial buildings, family members of underground cadres getting rich overnight and zooming around in trendy motorcycles and cars, the connected few garnering the most lucrative of contract works, are all visible fruits that are being enjoyed by some section of the people.

It is this inner contradiction which poses the greatest challenge to the ideology and aspirations of the armed movements.




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