Intolerance and intimidation has apparently become tactical weapon of any movement in the State. Social movements have certain goals. The goals of a movement do have a strong relation with its ideology, its guiding principles. History of any social, political movements teaches us that without an ideology, any kind of movement is no better than street hooliganism. Socio-political movements, by its nature, are collective actions which spring largely from the aspirations of members with requisite level of commitment and activism. At the same time, a movement should not be confused with spontaneous mass upheaval of people. Rather a movement should be a planned, coordinated action in pursuit of a recognised social goal. In the context of Manipur, it is indeed unfortunate that those in the helms of movement seem to have ignored the fact that not everyone sees the world with the same eyes. All of us look at the world through a veil of differing presuppositions and assumptions. In this sense, even observations and, not only interpretations are bound to be different from one another. Yet, it is also important to recognise that these differences are very much a part of the social debate. Those in the movement should learn to walk with the debate. For that matter, a political view or opinion that one may have cannot enjoy the eminence of sacrosanctity. All our views and opinions are subjected to conflict at the ideational level. To withstand and come across the conflict, one needs inherited ideas, generated ideas but most importantly certain openness. The same benchmark is equally relevant at the organisation level. It is true that poverty of idea leads to intolerance. Therefore, when one does not have the means to debate at the ideational level, the tendency of overruling a divergent view by intimidation becomes a handy weapon. Looking at the present patterns of organisational behavior, it is apparent that those in the helms of movement have shut themselves off from any divergent views. Alone and isolated, without the support of the people, a movement is vulnerable to alienation and disillusionment. Such situation demands of the activist a serious introspection on his role and conduct. The activists have failed to understand that their actions, their words and their efforts have an institutional character. They have to be in gear with the larger organisational mechanism. With all due respect to their commitments and sacrifices, a true dialogue with the mass, particularly on their conduct, is called for. If not, the historical task of democratic mobilisation for their movement will remain a long-haul task. The beginning of action in that direction should be through self-introspection. Ideological foundation should be the guiding light in every step of an organisation. In this connection, a question may be posed, whether our social organisations have surrendered their ideologies. We hope that it is not the case. There is still hope if we are ready to replenish and invigorate our movements by accommodating dissenting views. And let it begin in no time.
Leader Writer: Senate Kh