Conflict: A pre-requisite to change or a stumbling block to development?

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By RK Rajeebsana
The biggest of change, the world had ever seen, there was always an element of conflict. Every form of change that a society experience in human history, either in slow pace or a sudden change, there was always an element of contradiction. Conflict is a term, perhaps every rational and humanitarian loving people will find uncomfortable of and always directed as a last resort. The major breakthrough of change, which the world had ever witness was the French revolution and the enlightenment era’s, where there was totality and paradigm shift in the structure and functioning of society, that consequently affected all part of the globe laying a foundation for liberty, equality and fraternity as its backbone. This was a change in totality, the world had ever receive till date. With the advent of positivistic stages, where the belief in supernatural and divine authority finally crumble down, reducing the institution of religion from a major to only a sub part of society, reason, logic and positivistic approach becoming the basis of the validity of knowledge, change the entire course of history.
To look at major upheavals in the world, almost all the movement had focus on the crux of the issue. For instance, the Indian freedom struggle, ultimately achieve its ends, because it did not fail to address, the core issue. Though there was a divergent of views regarding the means to achieve its ends, all stick to a common aspiration, that is, the Indian independence. This sticking to a common ideology and aspiration was a meeting point although there was a differences in opinion, to the methods to employ to achieve the goal; either through nonviolent or violent strategy.
Given the fact of positive change out of conflict, it is unfortunate to say that Manipur being a prolonged conflict ridden zone, a recipe for various conflict since the annexation, we are yet to see a major changes.
Since the annexation of Manipur by the government of India in October 1949, we have seen diverse conflict and movement for various aspect of the social component. Ranging from the insurgencies movement that surface during the 1960s, the statehood movement, issue of immigration and the various issues surrounding socio-economic and cultural aspects; it is a great fact that each of the movement had not fulfilled in itself to a greater satisfaction to its cause rather each and every movement have always percolated and give rise to another conflict, causing persistent chaos and confrontation in the state. The social pathology that is restore, only to give rise to another social ailment is an unwitty act of a 21st century responsible citizen. We need to delve in, crystal clearly of a long standing conflict that has deluge our society for more than 70 years, rampant with arms conflict, sexual violence, devoid of fundamental democratic rights and subjugation by arms law with no worthy solution till date. When the whole world is speedily running, the race for development, countering and taking advantages of the global forces, North-east India and Manipur in particular, engulf in conflict, is handicapped to run for the race of development. To look at conflict as such, conflicts has become a stumbling block to the path of development in Manipur. We are persistently failing to take advantages out of conflict and to turn it a landmark for development rather a hindrances.
Louis Althusser, a French Marxist opined that, any given contradiction within a social formation cannot work itself out simply on its own, because other contradiction within society affect it. This idea led Althusser that societies cannot evolve uniformly, there is always uneven development. To bring in, the context of Manipur, we have seen various contradiction, internal and external through the passage of time, yet this dialectics has not led us to the desire ends of each and every ethnic communities in the state. Instead of bringing stable solution, these contradiction has alternatively, time and again created and recreated more confrontation, intensifying the internal friction to a greater extent causing trust deficit and communal disharmony. One moving factor of such cause is the ulterior selfish motives, vested interest and uncompromising state of nature to various ethnic demands. In a state like Manipur, with multiplicity of ethnic groups and diverse aspiration, each and every ethnic communities needs to sacrifice their degree of desire end to some extent; strong headedness and political fanaticism will always water, the root to cause communal disharmony, which is eventually the cumulative loss of the state. So we need to examine closely, what is lagging in us, in which after a prolonged conflict, we are yet to see a major transformation in our society? There is a lack of common interest, ideology and aspiration among various ethnic groups, which is one of the impeding factor towards the path of development. We does not have a crystal clear one way philosophy of Manipur to walk through. This is one of the undoubted biggest factor hindering civilization in progress, increasing grievances and dissatisfaction among various ethnic groups in Manipur. It is a fact that, the vested interest of a particular ethnic groups without considering the interest of a general masses only creates confrontation and communal disharmony Unless there is common aspiration, persistent internal friction is inevitable, the open door, we invite. And till there is diverse and multiple contradiction internally, the third party, monkey will always feed his stomach. Bearing this in mind, we need to address the issue at the core, at the gist and crux of manifold issue that are branching out and heaping up, years after years and fight for the common cause. Only after the internal conflict are managed and established itself as the force for itself, the external threat dare not touch, the integrity of Manipur.

The article was originally published in The Sangai Express.

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