Making their stand known : On collision course

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The decision to create the seven new districts cannot be rolled back. This was Chief Minister N Biren a few days back.

A party engaged in the tripartite talks is intentionally trying to sabotage the ongoing dialogue on the district creation issue. This was the United Naga Council.

The UNC did not name the State Government or the Chief Minister, but it is more than clear that it is pointing its finger on the State Government and even before the next round of the tripartite talks is held, it is clear that the two sides are heading towards a collision course.

Remains to be seen how things will unfold, but the situation cannot be comfortable for anyone.

Cannot be comfortable for the Government and cannot be comfortable for the UNC. As for the people, uncomfortable may be too mild a term.

The State Government knows it, the UNC knows it and the common people have experienced it. This is the reality.

Just rewind to the fag end of 2016 and one will understand the point that is sought to be made here.

Far from an economic blockade imposed against the decision of the then Congress Government, it soon morphed into an ugly stand off between the people of the valley and the hills.

The economic blockade was replied by counter blockades imposed in pockets of the valley area and what happened on the Imphal-Ukhrul road in December last year, when passenger vehicles were targeted, is something which can be forgotten only at the peril of the people.

In other words this meant that the decision of the Government went a long way in driving the nail of divide between the hill and valley people and it is this which the UNC should not forget.

Any economic blockade is and will be invariably taken as a means to cut the lifeline of the people and this is something unacceptable.

The two sides have spoken out their minds and made known their stand publicly.

At the moment there does not seem to be a meeting point, but what should not be forgotten is the fact that in any agitation, such as an economic blockade, it is not the people in the corridors of power who are hit but the common people.

In standing for the Naga people, the UNC need to see that this does not morph into a stand against any other community.

Imposing an economic blockade is invariably taken as a stand against a particular set of people.

Not that the UNC will impose another round of economic blockade, but this is a possibility that cannot be ruled out.

District creation falls within the sphere of the State Government, but yet there is still something which the Centre can do and it is here that Delhi need to do more than just being a facilitator to the tripartite talks.

Maybe it can use its good office and see how to make both sides walk the middle road.

It would also do good for the Government to convince all that districts are created for administrative convenience and not to please any particular community.

This then should be taken to mean that creating a new district should not be seen as taking a stand against the interest of any particular community.

If it is good for the State, then surely it should be accepted by all. Let all open their minds and try to see the view point of each other.

Source: The Sangai Express

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