IFP editor gives public talk at IIC on crisis before Manipur

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IMPHAL, Feb 10: The Imphal Free Press editor, Pradip Phanjoubam, delivered a public lecture at the India International Centre, IIC, yesterday on the topic “Crisis before Manipur”
Among those who attended the function were the Union home secretary, GK Pillai, Government of India, GOI, interlocutor in the NSCN(IM) peace talks, RS Pandey, GOI interlocutor of the ULFA peace talks PC Haldar, minister for Political Affairs, Embassy of Japan at New Delhi, HE Naoki Ito, MP from Sikkim PD Rai, academics and media persons, both Indian as well as foreigners based in Delhi, among others.
The talk held at 6.30pm was chaired by well known journalist, writer and activist, Sanjoy Hazarika.
Among others, Phanjoubam argued the need for addressing the intangible concerns of conflict torn Northeast before a clearer and more complete picture of the conflict situation in Manipur and the northeast can emerge.
It is easier to locate and address quantifiable issues such as employment, livelihood, education etc, although by no means simple, but it is far more difficult to assess the contributions of intangible concerns such as insecurity, guilt, sense of betrayal, fear etc, which also are factors making the problems of conflict much more beyond easy grip.
Getting a grip of this half of the issue he said was essential as only then can a correct diagnoses of the problems can be made and remedies recommended.
He also said politics and politicians in the region by and large have become subservient to the bureaucratic outlook and have indeed come adopt this approach to problem solving, robbing in the process the flair as well as the freedom to take risk that good politics must have.
He said bureaucrats and politicians should be made foils to each other with the bureaucracy standing up as the engine of governance, and the political heads focused on evolving the vision and architecture of governance and problem solution, besides representing the executive will of the government.
He said this has come about because of a prolonged and very skewed power equation between the Centre and these states in which the latter have been made to feel their survival depended solely on the pleasure they are able to earn of the former. They act in anticipation of what the former would expect them to act and seldom out of the exercise of intuition on what would be best for their states.
The editor argued that one of the foremost things to be done in the regard is to return the political agency back to the political leadership of these states.

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