TODAY -

Editorial of the week

TO DEFUSE THE CRISIS

The tension is getting beyond tolerance level. Everybody is on his or her nerve's end. Time for everybody to put in their mite to defuse the immediate worry - that of civil violence breaking out. In such an event, a lot of unintended things which can ruin all future prospect of peace can happen. Only far-sightedness and statesmanship on the part of those at the helm of affairs can give the place the much needed respite. At any cost, civil violence, particularly of the communal variety must be prevented. Good statesmanship, in the short run may appear awkward and illogical, but in the long run have always proved to be the winner. At this moment, all of us, regardless of whichever side of the fence we are on in the present tussle, must agree that any solution to the problem must be two-phased. One a short term one and the other long term. The short-termed one must unconditionally be to defuse the existing crisis. The constantly building up anger, outrage, defiance... when and if it explodes, can be blinding and directionless. Like a tornado, such an explosion can wreck all of us. Once this dangerous tension has been defused, the effort to bring about the longer-term and more permanent solution can begin. That will necessarily have to involve people to people dialogues. A common quest for each's rightful place in the present circumstance, in which a generosity of spirit will be called for from all parties. But such discussions will be for a latter period. For the moment, we must think of the present. If we do not save the present, we may not have another chance to discuss the future. We are reminded here of the biblical parable of King Solomon arbitrating between two ladies, each claiming to be the real mother of an infant and seeking its possession. We have all, regardless of whether we are familiar with the Old Testament or not, heard of how the wise king employed a technique that can rival DNA fingerprinting, and determine the truth. The real mother wanted the baby alive at whatever the cost. The same must be the case with us. At no cost, let us allow our native land to be plunged into inferno. None of us, except vested interests, will stand to gain from it. Let the centre withdraw, retract, revise, review the contentious agreement it signed in Bangkok and provide the safety valve. This done, we can all begin the spadework for the longer term mutually agreed upon settlement. Let the Meities, Nagas, Kukis and all other communities in this conflict theatre agree to this arrangement. Let us all put ourselves in a win-win situation first and then begin afresh. In the meantime let the Centre abandon its zero-sum appeasement game. We are sure it has realized by now what the human cost of such policies can be in the extremely complex ethnic equation of the northeast region. Let not the solution to one problem be the trigger to a chain of other potentially violent situations.

We are also reminded of another very apt example. Since peace is the issue here, Gandhi comes to mind. In 1922 after the Chawri Chowra incident, and things seemed heading for the violent path, he called off the civil disobedience movement that was already unnerving the British government. He did not lose the longer vision though. As to who proved to be the winner in the end, is history.

Courtesy: The Imphal Free Press

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