IMPHAL, Dec 5: A one-day public discussion programme on the topic “Ethnic Divide– A Challenge to the future of Indigenes” was held today at Manipur Press Club here under the aegis of the Coalition of the Indigenes Rights (CIRCA).
The public discussion programme was moderated by MU, Centre for Manipur Studies Prof W Nabakumar.
Giving the key-note address of the programme, CIRCA convenor Somorendro Thokchom highlighted the growing need to understand the political changes witnessed in Manipur after its merger with the Indian Union.
Pitching different communities against each other to fight for rights and opportunities, there were clashes/confrontations between Nagas and Kukis, Meiteis and Nagas, Meiteis and Pangals, Nagas and Nagas and Kukis and Kukis.
The adverse impacts bred by the economic blockade called against purported attempts to create Sadar Hills district and Jiribam district have been compounded by demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, he said.
The Central Government’s alleged internal policy to breed hatred and misery amongst different communities of the State seemed to be making good progress, he remarked.
Backward communities of the North East region were unable to propound positive ideologies and suitable policies in the face of India’s Nation building process and the onslaught of globalization.
As a result, ethnic divisions which were created by British colonial rulers’ divide and rule policy were accepted as something justified. But it only bred ethnic conflicts and confrontations, Somorendro said.
There is a growing need on the part of CSOs, community leaders and political leaders to understand the reality collectively.
The community leaders and CSOs need to identify the common challenges and resolve all ethnic conflicts and misunderstandings, he added.
Later, the gathering adopted five resolutions.
The first resolution says that the ongoing economic blockade and counter economic blockade should be lifted and the Government should initiate a dialogue process with different communities and bring a solution.
The second resolution says that CIRCA would launch a campaign christened Actions for Reconciliation and Consensus Building to translate the first resolution into action.
To chart out a collective road map which can secure ethnic rights of all communities was another resolution of the gathering.
The meeting also endorsed the resolution adopted at GM Hall on August 21 last year which proposed establishment of Manipur Legislative Council and make the Manipur Legislative Assembly a bicameral house.
The fifth resolution says that the people of Manipur would support any movement launched by the people of the North East against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016.
Source: The Sangai Express