Manipur once again seems to be heading towards days of turmoil and tension in the wake of a series of unfortunate incidents filled with communal undercurrents including the recent suspicious deaths of two youths in separate incidents, a JCB driver found dead near Sadar Hills village, a hit and run case at Yairipok and other smaller yet explosive issues. Much has been said, and a lot more discussed about the State and its issues, countless numbers of public meetings and campaigns held, resolutions arrived at; nevertheless, a lasting solution always seems to evade us. Today, we stand, yet again, on the very doorstep of another bout of explosive tension, which if allowed to continue unchecked, could only spell disaster.
The present tension is a reminder of the ticking time bomb which could explode anytime in the State. However, many especially those in the helm of things seem either unable or not willing to grasp the seriousness of the situation. It is also no consolation that the issues confronting the State are of complex nature. For a pluralistic society like Manipur, ethnic tension and communal politics fanned by individual desire to outrun or outdo the others in the race have always been part and parcel. However, in recent times, the State seems to have seen its communal cauldron simmer a little too frequently and dangerously than expected and desired.
The ugly fallout of the death of two youths thrashed by a mob for allegedly stealing a moped at Sagaisabi, Yangbi under Mayang Imphal was there for all to see. The April 7 incident had triggered a series of unwarranted aftershocks. The tension surrounding the incident has not even settled down, when reports of the recovery of a partly decomposed body of a youth from a village in Ukhrul emerged along with that of another youth being found hanging at Lilong. In the hills, a driver from Ukhrul who was working in the road construction under the PMGSY was found dead from near a village in Sadar Hills after he was allegedly abducted more than a month ago. Although these incidents are law and order issues, they have the tendencies to snowball into major issues igniting communal tensions.
Let the leaders come up with their periodic appeals to all to maintain the social decorum and assurances for development; however, the need of the hour is for the people to realise the complexity of the issues at hand and work accordingly. And for the objectives and resolutions to be realised to the desired extent, the leaders need understanding and co-operation from the people. Attempts to reduce the gap among the communities and encouraging the idea of a leadership committed towards the common goal could also go a long way in realising hopes of a united Manipur. People should also realize that tolerance and acceptance are needed for a peaceful co-existence. People should not oppose a demand just for the sake of opposing. Tolerance of what is just and reasonable and the ability to accept the others point of view will certainly help in unifying the society.
Leader Writer: Bhupendra Wangkheimayum