As a man who has been there, seen it all and experienced it, he must know what he was talking about.
And as a man widely perceived to be a faithful Congman all these years, there is perhaps no other person better suited than to speak out on behalf of the party, especially when it concerns something as sensitive as the integrity of the State.
Notable to note too that former Chief Minister and now Congress Legislature Party leader O Ibobi has moved beyond territorial integrity and went on to assert that it would be more disastrous if the final outcome of the ongoing political dialogue between the Government of India and the NSCN (IM) means something like a different administrative mechanism for the Naga inhabited areas in Manipur.
He has seen it all and it was during his tenure as the Chief Minister that the State Assembly more than once passed the resolution that nothing should disturb the integrity of the State.
So from territorial integrity to no ‘different administrative mechanism’ in the final pact and clearly this reflects the growing suspicion that the Centre may have something other than territory while hammering out a solution with the NSCN (IM).
A sentiment which was also clearly echoed in the stand spelt out by the All Manipur United Clubs’ Organisation (AMUCO) and the United Committee Manipur (UCM).
Two organisations which were born out of the seeds of suspicion sown by the ceasefire pact between the NSCN (IM) and the Government of India and clearly the task ahead the Centre is something much more than just inking a final pact with the Naga rebel group, which waged a bush war against the Indian Army for decades.
This is the third consecutive commentary on the peace process between the Government of India and the NSCN (IM) and here it is interesting to note that the call from many including the former Chief Minister of the State has proceeded beyond the territorial integrity of the State to protecting the idea of Manipur as a geo-political reality.
It is here that the stand of the BJP led Government will be interesting to hear. What is the idea of Manipur to the BJP is a question that becomes interesting at this juncture.
What will happen lies with how Delhi respond to the situation here and at the same time it is also interesting to note the United Naga Council striking a tough pose and telling all the elected Naga MLAs not to go against the “collective history” of the Nagas.
It is not the case of The Sangai Express to dwell on the “collective history” of the Nagas, but it is significant to note the UNC talk about the history of the Nagas and qualifying it with the term “collective.”
Hawkish stand the UNC has adopted and this is more than enough indication that any Naga MLA or public leader falling out of line will be pulled up.
The fruits of the political negotiation between the NSCN (IM) and the Government of India can be bitter if not enough care is taken and as long as the notion of Us Vs Them persists.
Source: The Sangai Express