TODAY -

Editorial of the week

Passing the Lim baton
Courtesy: The Sangai Express 09th September, 2007



Is the MPP unnecessarily kicking up a storm by demanding that a special session of the Assembly be convened to discuss the memorandum submitted by Outer Lok Sabha MP Mani Charenamei and the six UNC sponsored MLAs to the Prime Minister demanding the bifurcation of Manipur to pave the way for a Greater Lim?

This question gains credence in the backdrop of the refusal to the Chief Minister, correction, the SPF Government, to convene the special Assembly with the MPP even accusing the Chief Minister of brushing aside the issue by maintaining that the Naga issue has been there for long and thereby implicitly implying that there is no pressing need for the Assembly to meet.

Both sides may have their own view points, but what is interesting to note is the route the demand for the creation of a Greater Lim has taken over the years.

First the demand to integrate all Naga inhabited areas was sounded only by the NSCN (IM) and this grew more audible after the Naga rebel group came to the negotiating table to talk with the Government of India on August 1, 1997.

The events that unfolded after 1997 is there for all to see and to those who have been following the peace parleys minutely, the manner in which the Lim issue has taken different shapes and directions will be interesting.

From a demand which was primarily seen as being raised by an armed outfit, the voice to unite all the Naga inhabited areas under one administrative unit was taken over by Naga civil societies notably, the United Naga Council, Manipur and All Naga Students' Association, Manipur.

The Naga Hoho then threw their weight behind the Lim demand and the 52 days economic blockade in 2005 which was supported by the Nagaland based Naga Students' Federation, gave a clear picture of the changing tacts adopted by the votaries of a Greater Lim.

From the demand of an armed outfit to the voice of the social organisations and now assuming the stand of political representatives, the IM leadership has worked meticulously to give it some sort of a political legitimacy which will be acceptable to New Delhi.

This is, of course, not the first time that some sort of a political legitimacy was given to the demand for the creation of a Greater Lim for the Nagaland Assembly had passed a resolution or two to this effect earlier.

However the change that we see today is political representatives from Manipur openly submitting a memorandum to the Prime Minister demanding the creation of a Greater Lim.

We are not very sure how committed the MP and the six MLAs are to the concept of a Greater Lim, for they have all been tried and tested before, save for the MP, but whatever it is, the message cannot be missed.

It is these developments that those who swear by the territorial integrity of Manipur should study and analyse.

What are the strategies to be adopted in the coming days to blunt the demand for a Greater Lim, is a question that merits consideration.

It is true that contrary to the votaries of the Greater Lim, the voice for a united Manipur did not come from any armed outfits or political parties but the civil society organisations and the important thing now is to study how to incorporate new ideas and accordingly work out the needed strategy.



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