Back after a brief lull.
Not the issue but the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS) and so it was that while the JCILPS went into a lull for some time it was the Kangleipak Students’ Association (KSA), which took it upon themselves to demand that all non-local people be barred from contesting in any election in the State.
No to non-locals in contesting election and regulate the inflow of non-local people into the State and the close link between the two demands can be inferred.
The threat is real, very real and today it has moved beyond the understanding of ‘threat perception’ and moved into ‘the real threat’.
Tough to say how the Centre will respond to the demand to bar non-locals, who are otherwise Indian citizens, from contesting in elections in Manipur, but the very fact that such a demand has been raised should give some food for thought to everyone and not only the Government.
Now with the JCILPS back with a rally in Imphal on September 4, the coming days can be anything but comfortable for the Government.
If the past is any indication, then one may expect a sustained movement to pile the pressure on the Government to introduce a Bill in the State Assembly and then pass it to regulate the inflow of non-local people into the State.
Leaving aside the question of how the Centre may respond to the Bill if and when it is passed, the ghost of 2015 will certainly weigh heavy in the minds of the Government.
It is here that the Government need to tread cautiously and take everyone along before any Bill is introduced for passage on the floor of the Assembly.
The JCILPS too need to reach out to all sections of the people, particularly the hill people and win their confidence with the message that whatever is being demanded is for the welfare of all the indigenous people and not a certain community. No Bill passed can afford to be dubbed anti-tribal.
Early days yet but if the past is any indication then Manipur can certainly witness some stormy days ahead.
This is where care needs to be taken to ensure that the media persons are given free passage as promised in any announcement.
The media in Manipur and JCILPS will certainly remember the time in 2015 when the media was forced to shut down for a day as movement of media persons was severely curtailed.
No one would want this to be repeated.
It is also time for everyone to give a thought to the plight of school students, particularly students who are set to appear for the Class X and Class XII board examinations.
Literally makes no sense to disturb the academic pursuit of the young students and if students should at all participate in the movement, then focus may shift to the higher seat of learning such as college students and even university students.
The students at the level of college and university will at least understand what the movement is all about and such a move can give some direction to the movement.
Herding out students from their classrooms should stop and let the adults take to the street.
Having said this, it is true that the threat to the indigenous people is real, very real and some sort of a mechanism is indeed needed to check the large scale influx of non-local people into the State.
On the other hand, JCILPS too need to take up a sustained campaign to educate the local people on the intrinsic meaning of the phrase, ‘No type of work lowers a man’s dignity as no work at all.’
Source: The Sangai Express