The threat of the Kangleipak Students’ Association to ban the movement of non-locals is serious, very serious and it is only right that the State Government get down to the business of doing what is best for the people.
If at all the threat is enforced then it will be for the loss of everyone.
Ban the movement of non-local people at areas where the writ of the KSA runs and the possibility of the places from where the non-locals come from reacting cannot be ruled out that easily and it is this which the Government should take note of.
This is also a point which the intending non-local candidates need to think ahead of the Panchayat elections scheduled to be held on October 7.
It is not without reason why the KSA has come out with such a stand for the threat to the local people by the ever increasing non-local population is real, uncomfortably real.
However it is a different matter whether banning their movement will have any positive impact on the demand raised by the KSA to ban non-locals from contesting in any election in the State or not.
There is also the question of whether it is within the ambit of the State Government to bar non-local people from contesting in elections in the State.
As KSA has been pointing out, today there are some Assembly Constituencies where the number of non-local people is such that they are now in a position to stand for election and get elected.
Such an equation will mean non-local people coming here and representing the local people and this is something which no one would like.
Such a situation is not possible in the hill districts for the hills are Constitutionally protected and forget about non-local people, even local people who are not in the ST category cannot stand for election in the hill areas.
This is a point which should not be lost on anyone.
Given this reality, it is the valley area that needs some sort of a protection from the large scale influx of non-local people into the State.
And herein arises the question of why Manipur is the chosen destination of numerous migrant workers.
This is a point which has been dealt with numerous times in this column and along with the movement to demand some sort of a mechanism to regulate the inflow of non-local people into the State it is also right that some thoughts be given on how not to create the vacuum for others to come and fill up.
The demand of the KSA that non-local people should not be allowed to contest in elections and the stand of the JCILPS that the inflow of non-local people into the State should be regulated can be said to be the two sides of the same coin and lest any Bill that is passed in the future is dubbed anti-tribal, let it be clear to all that it is the valley that needs protection and hence the Bill.
As things stand, the hills are Constitutionally protected and it is only right that the valley too be protected.
This move should not be interpreted as taking a stand against the hills.
The situation is critical.
With a number of non-local people already submitting their nomination papers to contest in the coming Panchayat elections the apprehension expressed by KSA is real and time for all to come together and see what can and should be done.
KSA may also revise their threat of banning the movement of non-local people for it can have dangerous repercussions.
Source: The Sangai Express