Base year of 1972. This is what has been proposed in the new draft Bill the State Government is currently working on in place of the Protection of Manipur Peoples Bill, which has been rejected by the President of India. A huge deviation from the base year of 1951 which was included in the previous Bill and this can be taken to mean that the State Government is ready to climb down from its earlier stand. Moreover good to note that Manipur does not have the National Register of Citizens (NRC) of 1951 as discovered by a social activist who filed an RTI application some time back. The interesting question is whether the State Government has all the required records of 1972. Moreover the Churachandpur JAC does not seem keen on the newly drafted Bill and it is only right that the Government takes the JAC along with them too. It is also important to study on what ground the Churachandpur JAC is opposing the newly drafted Bill. The fact that the bodies of the nine people killed at Churachandpur are still lying in state stands and this fact too should not blow over the head of the State Government and all those batting for a fresh Bill to safeguard the interest of the indigenous people of the land. An issue which should have united all the people is today driving them apart and this is a point which all should try to address for the benefits of the younger generation.
Still not clear whether the Centre will give the assent to the new Bill which is being worked upon and while the demand that some sort of a legislation be put in place for the interest of the local people is understandable, it will also help if all ponder over the question of why Manipur is such a desired destination for many non-local people. Time to minimise the vacuum that has been created in the first place and the local people should obviously start engaging themselves in all the manual labour which has been filled up by the non-local people. Situation seems to have improved marginally but it is important for all to come to the point that as long as the local people resist taking up works such hair cutting, shoe mending etc, the vacuum will continue to exist and it is only natural that others will rush in to fill the vacuum. This is what has been happening here for decades. It is also important for the local people to be more courteous while selling goods and offering services to the customers. Let a Bill which is acceptable to all the local people be worked out and yet at the same time let all realise the dignity of labour. This is the best mantra to stop the large scale incursion of non-local people to the State.