It will be a highly polarised election. No that the hills and the valley areas have always voted along the same line or say the same issue, but this time, the divide is too loud not to be missed. And it is this point which The Sangai Express has been trying to drill into the sense of all sensible people. In a way it all boils down to the question of which political leader or which political party can play the divide and rule game which has been dictating the outcome of the election ever since the Greater Lim demand put forth by the NSCN (IM) reared its head in all its ugliness. If the June 18 uprising of 2001 was the explosion of the people’s angst and suspicion against the design of the Government of India and the NSCN (IM) to toy around with the territorial integrity of Manipur, then it may be said that the people’s consciousness over the threat perception to the integrity of the State was raised as early as the massive public rally of August 4, 1997 organised by the All Manipur United Clubs’ Organisation (AMUCO). After the June 18 uprising of 2001, there have been a number of other instances which have only further divided the hills and the valley and this came out in all its ugliness when the State Government barred the entry of Th Muivah to his birthplace in 2010. After this came the Naga People’s Consultative meet at Senapati when the decision to sever all political ties with the Government of Manipur was taken. Needless to say the Senapati decision led to the boycott of the Congress party in the Naga dominated hill districts and the divide between the hills and the valley has been getting deeper and deeper down the years.
The creation of the seven new districts and the ongoing economic blockade are just a manifestation of how deep the divide is between the hills and the valley. This came out in all its ugliness on December 18 last year when passenger vehicles were targeted in the counter blockade movement launched in some pockets of the valley area. It is against this backdrop that the State will go to polls and while New Delhi, Imphal and the UNC have sat down together to discuss the ongoing blockade, no political party and no political leader has deemed it fit to study and try to understand how such a divide has become the order of the day. It is then the seven new districts and the ongoing economic blockade that will dominate over other issues when the State goes to polls on March 4 and March 8. The creation of the seven new districts as well as the economic blockade have all been viewed along community divide and in such a situation, it is some unscrupulous political leaders and political parties which stand to gain. Ironic it is but the people have always been falling prey to the machinations of the political parties and some politicians and it is disheartening to see that apart from some initiatives taken up by civil society organisations to bridge the gap, no one has deemed it fit to address this issue. No wonder, no political party has made this issue a plank to woo the voters.
Source: The Sangai Express