The passing of the three legally flawed and controversial Bills―the Protection of Manipur People Bill 2015; Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms (seventh amendment) Bill 2015; and Manipur Shops and Establishment (second amendment) Bill 2015)―provided a good reason for the indigenous/tribal peoples of Manipur to come together and stand up for their just cause. The Bills are bias and not motivated by universal human rights and democratic principles. It is for this reason that the indigenous/tribal peoples in Manipur arose in solidarity for their just cause.
The indigenous/tribal organizations and communities have emerged as having the capacity to unite for a right cause. However, one must not forget that having come together is only the beginning of a journey to address the historically rooted injustices and a search for peaceful co-existence firmly founded on a vision for just-peace. This implies that coming together of indigenous/tribal peoples in Manipur must translate into a solidarity movement guided by their quest for truth and justice. No movement can solidify overnight and no movement can withstand divisive forces of a state if it is not driven by their thirst for truth and justice. A solidarity movement can only emerge victorious if it is clear of the principles it must be founded upon. It is only then that a solidarity movement will be able to establish a mutually acceptable fair terms of political and social cooperation.
True healing of past wounds can occur only in a genuine solidarity movement firmly grounded on universal principles of human rights and humanity. It is only through a solidarity movement that one can build up common sympathies and begin to truly share their pains and pride, or even regrets together. And transform their histories of conflict into one of mutual understanding and social and political cooperation. This is what will propel indigenous/tribal peoples in Manipur to a higher ground of peace and justice. Reverting to positions and demands that are fragmented and not based on democratic principles and of justice for all will not deliver us from the cycle of conflict sustained by the state.
On this account, All Naga Students’ Association Manipur (ANSAM) appeals to all the indigenous/tribal organizations and communities to be vigilant of the divisive forces and be conscious of the basis for a solidarity movement. The demand for a full-fledged Sardar Hills District is not based on the principles of justice for all and laws of nations. It will only reopen the wounds of the past and will become a thorn in the flesh of our solidarity movement. Because the creation of a full-fledged Sardar Hills District is not a political solution and the political future of our Kuki brothers and sisters. The need of the hour is to focus on strengthening and solidifying our solidarity movement for our common future.
ANSAM would also like to remind the government of Manipur of the various Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) signed between ANSAM, NSF (Naga Students’ Federation) and other Naga organizations (in 1981, 1992, 1996 and 1998) with regard to the creation of a full-fledged Sardar Hills District. Abrogation of the MoUs will be viewed with all seriousness and as a continuing ploy of the state to weaken the indigenous/tribal organizations and communities’ solidarity.