Creating vacuum for outsiders to fill Understanding dignity of labour

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A ban on non-local hawkers and labourers. This is the stand of the Women Wing of the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS) and clearly the pressure is on the State Government to lobby with the Centre and convert the three Bills passed by the State Assembly last year into Acts. Clear that the pressure is on the State Government but it is the non-locals who have come here who stand to be immediately affected. Whether this line of approach is desirable or not is a different matter but high time everyone start raising the question of why so many non-locals come here to work in any capacity. A question which has been raised numerous time in this column before but obvious that no one has ever given it any serious thought. Take a look around and it should be obvious that it is the local people who have created the vacuum for the non-locals to come and fill up. With the local people unwilling to take up hard labour under the impression that they are beneath their dignity, it is obvious that there will be others to fill up the vacuum and this is what has been happening in Manipur for ages. It is only recently that some local youth have taken up the work of hair cutting but even here one will find that the locals engaged in hair cutting very often open their stalls only late in the morning. A sharp contrast it is when it was only the non-locals who were engaged in this profession.
It is the same thing with other work or profession such as shoe mending, washing clothes, pulling hand carts or working as porters. Why is it that non-local salesmen are more courteous than the local salesmen in the commercial areas of Imphal ? It is the same story in the other districts including the hill districts. True no one will aspire to be engaged as barbers, cobblers or porters but then it is again true that there are thousands of local youngsters who do nothing the whole day. Why not engage themselves in something useful which will help them earn ? Once the local people gear themselves up not to create any vacuum then it is a given that the pull factor of Manipur will decrease appreciably. Learn to be more courteous, be ready to take up any work rather than to remain idle the whole day, be diligent. These are the mantras to keep away non-locals. The Inner Line Permit System will no doubt help in regulating the flow of non-local people into the State, but at the same it is imperative that the local people themselves ensure that no space is created for the non-locals to come in and occupy. Time for all to live up to the dictum of dignity of labour.

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