Blockade and counter blockade. Complements each other and herein lies the dangerous part. So while the official version of the blockade is the opposition against any design of the State Government to grant district status to Sadar Hills and Jiribam, the people from the valley area are not ready to buy this line and thus have enforced counter blockade at different points, which is clearly against the hill districts. This is what is dangerous. Explicit in the counter blockade is the plain and obvious fact that it is the common people who have been hit the hardest and not those who sit in the corridors of power and decide the affairs of the State. However this point refuses to get instilled in the consciousness of the people who are directly responsible for imposing the blockade. For more than 30 days, Manipur or rather the valley area has remained cut off from the rest of the world with prices of all essential commodities sky rocketing. Queues continue to dot all the petrol pumps with people lining up over night and there is no sign that the blockade will be rolled back anytime in the near future. It should also be understood and acknowledged that any blockade does not affect the valley area alone, but the very district through which the National Highways pass through. So while the blockade on the Imphal-Dimapur line may be seen as choking off the lifeline of Imphal and the valley area in effect it is also impacting on Senapati district through which the Imphal-Dimapur highway passes through. It is surprising why this bare fact has not registered in the minds of the people of Senapati district. Why is it that the people of Senapati district cannot see the fact that in using the highway which runs through their court yard, they are also losing out on the race to development ? Granted they may have been convinced to come under the idea that it is for the larger interest of the Naga community, but at what cost and why should they be the ones to always sacrifice ? And remember the National Highway has been there for decades, dating back to WWII and if things had evened out naturally, Senapati district should have been the most developed hill district in Manipur. That this has not happened should tell a story of their own, but it is important that the people of this district wake up to the reality first. As things stand today, there is nothing to indicate that the economic blockade may be rolled back anytime and this is sure to have a cascading impact in the sense that the counter blockade may also be intensified. What is the State Government doing ? And what is Delhi doing ? For too long the people of Manipur have been held ransom under one blockade or the other and it is only right that some steps be taken up to ensure that the lifelines of the people are not used at the fancy and whims of anyone. Perhaps this is where the people of Senapati district need to see what they can do.
Source: The Sangai Express