Leader Writer: Paojel Chaoba
The proposed state visit of the Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio has provoked mixed responses from various quarters.
It is a welcome stance which can be adopted if any Chief Minister from any state of the nation conducts an official visit to Manipur as the visit will most probably be viewed in the best of interests and in mutual benefit.
The endeavor of the Nagaland CM to promote the interest of the Naga People`™s Front in the State is welcome as the Indian Constitution gives full right to promote any regional party.
However, the NPF`™s constitution under Article II (2) (c) which reads ` To work for unity and integrity of the people by integrating all contiguous Naga inhabited areas under one administrative roof and also to provide protection to all the ethnic groups who are indigenous inhabitants of the state` is the main hiccup which must be deliberated upon.
The joint meeting of all political parties of the state had opposed the wishes of the NPF and further to spread its wings in the political scenario of the state. The decision taken by the elected must have been in the best interest of the state as they have to perform according to the wishes of the public who gave them their `precious`™ votes.
It may be mentioned here that the agenda of the NSCN (IM) to make effective their ceasefire with the Indian Government and to extend the truce further without territorial limit was met with stiff resistance from the public of the state in June 2001, which was marked by the martyrdom of eighteen lives.
It is fact that Manipur has more than 33 ethnic tribes and at present enjoying a peaceful co existence. The Chin Kuki Mizo,Nagas, Meiteis,Muslims have resided in the state as brethren, and will continue to do so , though some persons with dubious intentions have inflicted severe damage to the system in the past, but nonetheless was nothing which time would not heal, and such endeavor`™s with evil intents have always remained fruitless.
If Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio wants to establish good neighborly relations with the state, then it would be a suggestive step if he would postpone his May 28 visit and first accord homage to the martyred souls of the Great June Uprising Day which falls on June 18, as the lives were lost while protecting the interest of the state. Maybe, he might also pay tribute to the two lives lost at Mao last May in the incident which took place in the aftermath of the proposed visit of NSCN(IM) general secretary Th Muivah to his home town at Somdal in Ukhrul District.
A leader of a state has serious responsibilities, it may be ours or theirs, but decisions taken against the interest of the public of a state cannot be a wise one and past incidents in history bears testimony that the public have toppled rulers of government from their high pedestal in a knee jerk reaction to such `unwise decisions`™.
The cabinet decision which deliberated on the issue of the Nagaland CM`™s visit finally arrived at the conclusion that due to `insufficient`™ security measures and `over stretched`™ state police, some unwanted incidents which if may happen during the proposed visit could spark violence and further aggravate the law and order situation, the fact may be true. But, if security arrangement was indeed the reason for disallowing Rio`™s presence, then why did the state home department send the ADGP Manipur ,Law and Order, V Jathang along with a huge detachment of security personnel to be posted at Senapati and Mao.
It can be said that if Rio wants to come to Senapati, the he need not necessary take the land route and can come by helicopter transport and his state given security can provide adequate protection.
The State government also needs to come clean on it`™s part and call a spade a spade, it is fact that the constitution of the NPF will generate mass public protest as several political parties and organizations of the state have already decried the endeavor of Rio`™s attempt to establish roots of the NPF regional party .The SPF government would be left to face the public`™s ire if the proposed visit is allowed, which in turn would greatly effect the congress led government in the upcoming general elections scheduled to be held next year.
The NPF regional party may well initiate it`™s movement in Senapati but its constitution needs to be changed first by making it more community friendly.
One can imagine the situation if the Manipur People`™s Party was to establish a party office at Nagaland.
The Centre needs to address the regional dynamics of the North East and intervene in the interest of the Nation instead of remaining a mute spectator, otherwise the silence may be viewed by the public of the state as a controversial conspiracy theory.