By: W Rorrkychand Singh
The ongoing movement of the enforcement of Inner Line Permit (ILP) at Manipur is a long-standing impasse since the early 1980s when the All Manipur Student Organization (AMSU) spearheaded a stir to send back outsiders. Despite various assurances from the state government to implement it, the issue of ILP is still in a deadlock as the government is probably, in a state of indeterminate about it.
Considering the need of the implementation of ILP in the state, this time around too various individual and social groups set off again, demanding to enforce it after the monsoon session of the Manipur Legislative Assembly.
ILP is an official travel document issued by the government to allow inward travel of an Indian citizen into a protected/restricted area for a limited period. However, pointing out the need of enforcing ILP in Manipur, S Jhaljit Singh, advocate, Imphal Bench- Gauhati High Court opined that, our socialization process is different from other society, ILP s require to protect the social, cultural identity of the native people.
According to the Federation of Regional Indigenous Societies (FREINDS) of Manipur (August 2011), after the Inner Line Permit, (ILP) system in Manipur was lifted on 18 November 1950 there has been an unregulated flood of migrants from Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar. The total population of Manipur is 2.3 million (based on 2001 Census), the number of immigrants has grown to 0.7 million, i.e. one third of the total population of the state, even surpassing the combined population of officially recognized tribal peoples.
Meanwhile, a detail report of “Influx of Migrants into Manipur” by the United Committee Manipur (UCM) (August 2011) states that the number of migrants is 7,04,488 and it outnumbered the State’s indigenous tribal population (6,70,782), while the majority indigenous Meetei was just 9,18,626 (2001 census).
Top 10 Reasons Why We Need ILP
- Protection of land and immovable properties- Once the ILP has been enforced, then the outsiders will not be allowed to purchase, acquire any land in the entire state. It will also make certain that the native people would be the sole owner of land. Moreover, as a result of it, it will ensure the territorial integrity of the state.
- Manual work- It’s clear that in the state most of the manual works were done by outsiders, if the outsiders in the state were bound by the ILP regulation then, the native people will not be deprived of manual works.
- Unemployment- if the ILP came into effect, the ever increasing issue of unemployment in the state would be lessen as outsiders in the state are not able to get a domicile certificate so long as they are bound by ILP.
- Source of income- Domestic tourist and outsiders who want to enter the sate are need to have ILP and a minimal fee as to be paid by the person (in the case of Mizoram-Rs 120, Rs 20/- Application form for renewal/extension, Rs 20/- Application Form Types of ILPs) it would be a source of revenue for the state.
- Business and economy- If the ILP came into effect, instead of some business class people who are seemingly controlling the market of Manipur only the indigenous Manipuris people will become proprietors of shops and other business establishments. It means, we will control the market and the sudden fluctuation in the prices of essential commodities in the market at the whims of few non-Manipuri will stop for forever. If so, then it would be a real solace to the burdensome Manipur economic situation by increasing the economic status of genuine Manipuri people.
- Political representation – There were instances of non-Manipuri elected in the Manipur Legislative Assembly. ILP would ensure only native Manipuri people were elected to represent the native people.
- Sentimental issue and havoc- Expert have the opinion that if we did not check the influx in and around the bordering areas of the state, such as Jiribam bordering Bangladesh, Moreh bordering Myanmar, it would be a sentimental issue resulting a massive havoc in future. ILP can prevent it.
- Cultural identity- We who are still have to pay our dues for incorporating Multi denominational in our religious rituals following the proselytization of Vaisnavism during 15th century (King Kyamba), can save ourselves from such further unwanted aftermath in future. Moreover, some of the smaller tribal communities might be extinct, if we did not check the influx. Our only hope is ILP.
- Criminals and epidemic diseases- It is an effective tool in prevention of entering criminals and epidemic diseases into the state.
- ILP a Prestige of the state- ILP is not to prevent outsiders entering into Manipur, but its sole purpose is to check the illegal migrants in the state. It will enable to build an unique Manipuri identity, and gain respect from other societies.