TODAY -

Dilemmas and obligations of belonging to a political community

Johnson Mangang *



To begin with, let me clarify that I don’t ascribe to any form of politics of recognition or difference basing primarily on the basis of superiority or inferiority dichotomy premised on racial, class, caste, cultural and so and so distinction.

I believe the façade and the accompanying institutions, if any, constructed on such foundation must be ridiculed and radically acknowledged and rectified. Such regimental and archaic institutional divisions and isolations must be genuinely and humanely reformed and rectified even if it is in the realm of subjective outlook so as to fully cushion from negatively demeaning connotations.

This does not make me fully allergic to ascribing to any other suitable and humane foundation of the necessity of positive discrimination for ensuring equal opportunities to marginalized sections due to the ever prevailing inescapable human condition of inequality.

As such, I do believe that there is judicious framework for identification of disadvantaged sections and it is functioning. That parameters and power of identifying and classifying marginalized sections should be and is solely the prerogative of the government not for individual persons’ or certain groups’ whim and fancy.

For instance, Meiteis longing for constitutional ST protection should be decided through the established and recognized procedure. Certainly and transparently, it is not going to be granted by Meitei themselves.

I doubt there is back door to the attainment of that status beyond the merits of its eligibility criteria. So, the case of it should be appropriately placed at that sanctioned and recognized process and procedure.

It is a matter of sanity and mutual respect not to communalize it for and against the Meitei community clouding with complex and mixed baggage of apprehension, hatred and enmity due to colonial legacy.

The longing for ethnic ghettos and hostile fortification of inter-community boundaries and relationships must make way for friendly and win-win intermingling and peaceful co-existence so as to allow and groom feasible, judicious and effective governance.

Denying and challenging that path shall always remained as the crucial obstacle towards the overall welfare and holistic development and harmonious well-being of all the concerned. Selfish, secessionist, separatist tendency must be abjured.

No nonsense idea and nature of the traditional system of land ownership, state authority’s discretion at the level of individual-community ownership, state formation and state suzerainty endowment historical actuality through the larger neighborhoods for a bigger picture must be thoroughly probed.

Beside the historical legacies in relation to land ownership, nature of political power and order through the historical footprints, legitimate recognition such as international as well as inhabitants’ sense of subjections and obligations in addition to mutually beneficial system of give and take heritage under certain evolutionary and revolutionary political systems and changes must be honestly investigated and reflected upon.

Individuals’ and communities’ ethnic roots-moorings and the associating ethos and there relative nature to concept of land ownerships must be cross-checked and analyzed. There should be absolutely no room for any waywardness by resorting to animosity and nuisance premised on certain grudges and apprehensions against certain specific ethnic group by dint of its relative historical roles and responsibilities.

The purported imaginary fear of dislocation, uprooting from one owns dominating domain should be exorcised. Implicit signal of hatred and rejection of the idea of peaceful co-existence, deep rooted devilish agenda of obstructing any semblance of probable random individual inhabitants’ access to the restrictively imagined spaces must be proactively introspected.

It is very illogical to apprehend systematic mass land grabbing because of the visible paucity or near absence of requisite resources and monopolistic power and privileges. There is clearly established fact of a cultural habit and trend which makes hesitation and inhibition to certain topographic type as well as deep rooted sense of comfort zone.

Leave no stone unturned to dig out and pinpoint private personal greed and excessive appetite confused, gimmicked and compromised with collective resources and welfare.

‘Take all the benefits’ mindset at any slightest opportune moment and irresponsible attitude of sabotage pertaining to the chances of rendering some sort of reciprocal and relative benefits to compatriots or members of the same political unit must be reformed.

Culture of tactically measured opportunistic style of responses and actions in situation which severely threatens the unity and integrity of such political unit when bold and strong response is the need of the hour must be reviewed. Such half hearted loyalty demeans the spirit of trusteeship and endangers the well being of any political unit whatsoever.

Strong sense of belongingness and caring for the habitat which sustain the entire concerned contrary to selfish expedient sense of temporary asylum must be self inculcated.

Until and unless, there is a significant transformation from zero sum game mentality towards more responsible practice and fulfillment of obligation the expectation of holistic development of any political unit will be almost jeopardized. It will surely be unsustainable and invite self destructive disasters.


* Johnson Mangang wrote this article for e-pao.net
The Writer can be contacted at j(DOT)keithel(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on 20 January 2024 .



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