The present demand for an Inner Line Permit has still no positive outcome as of yet. There is no telling where the future of the Bill will lead to, but at the present scenario, there is one very clear and ominous outcome.
Since the inception of the ILP demand, the State has witnessed a series of protests from student organizations and civil bodies urging to pass the Bill at the Manipur Assembly sittings. Protest took on a more violent tone after Sapam Robinhood was killed in police mob control situation. Later days saw strikes and protest, blockading of inter-village roads and complete anarchy. Even the JCILPS officials had a hard time in trying to diffuse the situation, they themselves had borne the brunt of their demand. Mindless anarchy resulted in both public and police getting hurt and even a woman giving birth on the flyover among other memorable incidents.
The later stage witnessed from other communities, the ILP as an anti—tribal Bill and 9 persons getting killed at Churachandpur during the height of the agitation, their bodies are still being kept at the morgue. What do we perceive from this sequence of events. One for sure is that the communities have been polarized by the ILP issue.
The hill districts have openly come out against the interest of the JCILPS and the ILP bill, the major communities inclusive of the Nagas and Kukis have been united by the anti-ILP protest. This perhaps is the first in modern times that the valley population (Meities) has been at loggerheads with a united tribal population. Different press statements from apex tribal organizations have openly condemned the Ibobi government of being communal as it acts on the whims of the Meiteis and not in the larger interest. So, what will be the solution? The tribal districts imposing strikes against the Bill and the valley districts urging for the ILP to be implemented, can this open confrontation lead to only one possible outcome without any collateral damage?
They say that for every problem, there will be a solution ! But for the ILP imbroglio, will there be an amicable solution when the ethnic communities have different opinions on the issue. It is felt that while urging any matter to the Union or State government, a clear introspection should be done and the domino effects studied in detail and debated upon beforehand. Perhaps, the ILP issue might have been debated with the brethren from the hill districts and a united resolve be taken to pursue the matter with a common objective of bringing a better tomorrow for the State.
But, at the present predicament, there is still ongoing strikes and protest from both pro- Bill and anti-Bill from the ethnic communities and the public bears the brunt. The public has had its fair share of tough times , both hills and valley and it is felt that we have enough on our hands already. It may be amusing to assume that the foreigners or migrant population may be having the laugh of their lives by the way things are brewing regarding the ILP issue. Rather than the migrants feeling threatened, they may be thinking that the tussle will not be with them but rather the ILP is the bone of contention among the ethnic population. The issue may create a larger rift amongst the indigenous populace before it even starts to provide the said benefits of controlling the migrant population.
It is felt that that proper dialectics should be initiated amongst the stakeholders by the State government and the cruxes ironed out. An earlier IFP editorial had even suggested that the 3 Bills be only effective for the valley districts to bring about a workable solution. The communities should take a step back and perhaps some forward to bring about a congenial resolve in this matter, otherwise one has a fair idea of how the father of the child who was delivered at the BT flyover must be feeling about this issue.
Leader Writer: Paojel Chaoba