TODAY -

Editorial of the week

The 'unseen but visible' hands
Courtesy: The Sangai Express 8th January , 2008



Militancy or insurgency or the armed movement, call it by any name, has many off springs and one of the more disturbing off shoots in a place ridden by militancy is the mushrooming growth of numerous armed groups as well factionalism.

We have already had our say on the negative impact of factionalism, not only on the armed cadres themselves, but also on society as a whole and while everyone acknowledges this, what has added a more tragic dimension to the whole thing is the politics that go hand in hand with factionalism as well as the political hands behind the mushrooming growth of numerous armed outfits in a State like Manipur.

Today Manipur is caught in such an unenviable position, not because of the armed movement per se, but because of factionalism as well as the growth of numerous armed organisations, some with extremely dubious antecedents.

The Government may refuse to acknowledge this, but there is a stark difference between armed outfits, which have launched the bush war against the security forces under a certain ideology and those which have sprung purely as money minting enterprises and there are many of them in Manipur today.

Given the political, social and economic atmosphere in the State, it is not surprising to see the growth of so many armed organisations, which are public nuisances, but what has added an even more dangerous dimension to this phenomena is the tacit and covert support provided by some of the well established outfits to such entities to pursue their own agenda.

A look at the hills of Manipur, where numerous ethnic based outfits have come up, a look at the valley area of the State where factionalism has reared its ugly head as well as the floating of new armed outfits, reflect some powerful hands at play.

Other than some of the well established outfits playing a role in the formation of these smaller groups, there are some other stake holders too, including from the side of the Government, whose hands are starkly felt, though not so visible to the naked eye.

It is this nexus, a marriage of convenience, that has proven to be the elixir of some of the new outfits, whose ideologies, antecedents and priorities are not at all clear.

Some of the bigger outfits may have their own political and social compulsion for encouraging the mushrooming of different armed organisations, but what should not be forgotten is the fact that in the long run, their credibility too will come under a cloud of suspicion and doubt and once their credibility gets eroded, then half the cause, for which they took up the gun in the first place, would have been lost.

Ditto too for some of the Government agencies, which are not averse to the idea of playing one group against the other, in their effort to crush a group or a movement.

Such tactics will never work and on the contrary, it would only erode the faith and confidence of the people in the Government agencies.

Once this becomes well entrenched in the minds of the common people, than half the counter-insurgency operation will stand defeated.

It is this dubious kind of politics that has sounded the death knell of the people of Manipur and the sooner all the stake holders realise this, the better it would be for everyone.

That the public cannot be fooled for all the time, is a fact that should not go unregistered to the master minds, who come up with such 'brilliant ideas.'



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