TODAY -

Editorial of the week

DON'T WORSEN IT
Look at the issues humanely

The Central rule in Manipur under the leadership of Governor Ved Prakash Marwah has begun to give its bitter taste to the poor people of Manipur. As it is, the people are really furious over the way the Government of India has been treating them during the last five decades. Apart from forcible annexation of Manipur to the Indian union, a valuable part of the land that truely and historically belonged to the Manipuris -- the Kabo valley had been gifted away to Burma. Now a strong apprehension has been created in the minds of the people that the centre is gradually succumbing to the pressure of NSCN-IM to dismember the territorial boundary of Manipur in order to pave way for the creation of greater Nagaland. This apprehension was an offshoot of the agreement signed between the representative of GOI, K Padmanabhaia and NSCN-IM leader, Th Muivah at Bangkok on June 14 last to extend the ceasefire beyond Nagaland without territorial limits. The people of the state strongly suspect the motive of the central government, and believe that they have been cheated by the BJP-led NDA government at the centre. The people of the state can't be blamed for the present turmoil since they had time and again warned the central government against any move to divide the Manipuri people comprising 31 tribes on communal line, and disintegrate the existing territorial boundary of Manipur to appease just a Nagaland-based insurgent organization. After all these problems arbitrarily thrust on the people of the state, now the administration is unleashing all its brute forces against the trouble-laden masses.

Manipuris have faced a great deal of vicissitudes - troubles tumult and tortures perpetrated by enemy invaders such as the Burmese invasion of 1819-1826 AD, and the state forces after the merger of Manipur with Indian union. A mass movement or uprising can never erupt by itself without provocation. Like a volcano, a mass insurrection bursts forth when the elements within reach the maximum boiling point and can't remain controlled any longer. That's the same situation in Manipur at present. But what's possible of worsening the public anger and discontentment is the way the state administration has been holding the people in a strait-jacket like grip with curfew clamped in the two capital districts for the past seven days at a stretch. Normal life has been completely paralyzed. All necessary customary and cultural activities for individual families and the society have been disrupted, nothing to say about economic, educational and developmental activities in the valley districts. The daily wage earner section of the society which comprises rickshaw drivers, construction workers, manual laborers, coolies, porters, women vegetable vendors, petty traders, workshop and hotel workers, and a host of others have been deprived of their means of daily bread for over a week now - ten days if the three-day general strike prior to the curfew is taken into account. Taking advantage of the curfew, the businessmen have hiked the prices of essential commodities imposing extra burden on the people, especially the poorer section. On the other hand, the para military forces engaged in keeping the rule of law have become the hyperactive masters of the road who deliberately resort to unnecessary humiliation and beatings of passersby. Unavoidable circumstances force them (the civilian passersby) to go outdoors risking the curfew. Yet they are treated as the cattles and dogs. The paramilitary forces seem to be adopting a psychological tactics to keep the people of Manipur under solid fear for them. If it is so, it's just not right, apart from being inhuman, un-democratic and unconstitutional. What's more, it won't bear fruits because an angry people had never been known to have been suppressed forever by brute force in the history of mankind. Another mistake the administration has made is the arrest of 12 AMSU volunteers including its president on various charges. The Governor, Mr Marwah, whom the people look up at with full trust and respect, is requested to deal with the whole situation with a humane approach.

Courtesy: Matamgi Yakairol

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