Two activists- a student and one civil society leader have begun fast unto death protest since 3 pm yesterday.
Their demands –
1) framing of a legislation to safeguard the indigenous people,
2) Constitutional protection for the territorial integrity of the state and
3) Punishment of those responsible in the hijacking of common peoples’ share.
Of the three demands, the last is under the purview of the state government while the other two – that is legislation regarding indigenous people and about constitutional protection for the territorial boundary of the state is beyond the limit of the state government.
The apprehension of the two leaders about the future of this state need appreciations from all sections of the people but as Manipur is presently at the cross road with threat perception from the Frame Work agreement which has been nearing solution between the government of India and the NSCN-IM, a sentimental protest will be not enough.
On the other hand the issue of protecting the indigenous people of the state is a long pending one.
Already the then government of Manipur had attempted by passing three bills in the state assembly under the pressure of the civil society organization of the state.
However, not everything went well as sections of peoples from Churachandpur district upraised against the passing of the bill.
After all the Bills could not be converted into Act until it gets approval of the President of India.
About the demands for punishment of those responsible in the looting of public property, it is in the hand of the state government.
The demand is genuine, If the Chief Minister of Manipur is not under political pressure to protect those culprits, there is no need for putting up this specific demand.
After all Imphal city has witness many hoardings with promises of Chief Minister and the Prime Minister of India to make the country free from corruption.
What is needed is to produce some specific documents or evidences that prove that the peoples’ properties are being hijacked by some vested interested people.
So, of the three, the two is not in the purview of the state government.
Saying so it is the state government that has to stand firm with their commitment of protecting the boundary of the state as well as saving the indigenous people of the state.
Well every Manipuri felt it their duty to protect the boundary and emotional integrity of the state. But at the moment it is late to demand amendment of constitution of India.
Every literate individuals knows that Article 3 of the Indian Constitution allows redrawing of existing state by bifurcating it .
If the people of the state demands for amendment of this article it would be definitely opposed by many sections of people from across the country.
So something that will get support from other fellow citizens of the country need to be considered.
For example, the division of Manipur between hills and plain by incorporating article 371 C in the constitution of India can be amended by not affecting the rights of the tribal people.
A provision that would grant special autonomy to NSCN-IM can be challenged with the kind of mistakes that is seen in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Any modification under Presidential order without presenting it on the floor of the parliament should be objected as it would become an obstacle to the strengthening of the Indian nation.
This we have seen from the case of Jammu and Kashmir and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will never want another Kashmir in North East India.
As for protection of the indigenous people of the state, it is the need of the hour as there are evidences of people from Bangladesh and neighbouring country already occupying the region.
It is a threat to not only Manipur but also to India.
So India government should immediately prepare a legislation for the indigenous people or the Meitei people who has been protecting the prestige of the Indian Nation.
Government of Manipur should properly explain the Union government about the outcome if it felt that India should be strong nation.
Source: Imphal Times