Chief Minister N Biren is on track. This is the way to go about it. That is lay down the interests of the State before the Central leaders without beating around the bush, in so far as the ongoing peace talk with the NSCN (IM) is concerned. And when one says the interests of the State, it should be clear that it is about Manipur and not just one community, or the Meiteis in this case. Therefore the stand of the State Government should not be read along community line. What Manipur stands for is for all the communities which have been living together for ages and not just one community. It is this line which should guide everyone’s line of thinking in so far as the peace negotiation with the NSCN (IM) is concerned. The stand of the six NNPGs, that is the other Naga political groups, which have been taken on board the peace negotiation is not clear and more particularly the NNPGs have not been that vocal about claiming the territories of Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. Perhaps it may help if civil society organisations of Manipur get in touch with the NNPGs and see where they stand as far as the territorial integrity of the neighbouring States is concerned. A Greater Lim can never be the answer to peace. This is the bottomline. It is also noteworthy that the BJP led coalition Government is not the ‘communal Government of Manipur,’ a tag which was given to the earlier Congress dispensation by many Naga civil society organisations, notably the United Naga Council. With Chief Minister N Biren successfully reaching out to the hill people, this feel good factor should translate into something positive vis-a-vis the ongoing political negotiations between New Delhi and the NSCN (IM).
Politically speaking too, Manipur is today under the BJP, which is there in power at the Centre. This equation should not be allowed to go waste. This is where the negotiating skills of Chief Minister N Biren and his Council of Ministers will become crucial. As repeatedly stated in this column, Chief N Biren should reach out to his counter parts in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, which too have struck a similar line and said no to any tinkering with the territory of their respective States. Reach out and issue a common statement, highlighting their stand. This will carry more weight than a lone voice. At the same time, the BJP led Government here too should also study the stand of the Congress which has gone on record to state that the final pact should not sow any seeds that may lead to the disintegration of the State in the future. This line of thought carries weight for remember Th Muivah is a far sighted leader and he may have already thought about the next 10/20 or even 30 years. How many of the present political leaders of Manipur have really studied how the situation may be like say 10 years down the line ? Chief Minister N Biren has already stated the stand of the State before the Home Minister and BJP president Amit Shah and it is only right that the same stand be spelt out before Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the next given opportunity.
The Sangai Express Editorial