District creation talks: Why so prolonged?

Witoubou Newmai

The United Naga Council (UNC) and the State Government of Manipur will hold talks on the district creation issue on March 23, Friday, after a long hiatus. The last round of talk was held on November 10, 2017. Friday’s talk is going to be the sixth round. The first one was held on March 19, 2017.

 

It is worth mentioning here that the dialogue, which is known as ‘tripartite talks on the district creation issue’, has been moderated by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Government of India from day one.

 

What is quite interesting is, after more than one year of holding talks the United Naga Council is not sure whether the State Government of Manipur is “serious” on the issue.

 

Just two days ago, Gaidon Kamei, President of the United Naga Council, had stated that “the seriousness of the State Government of Manipur will be confirmed” in the next tripartite talks slated for March 23, 2018.

 

Now the question which has been often raised on various social media platforms all this while is, does an issue of this nature demand one year of talks? Forget about the conclusion of the talks, when the United Naga Council is yet to confirm the seriousness of the State Government of Manipur on the issue one can as well ask, when will the participating parties get down to business? We may as well ask, what were the three parties—the United Naga Council, the State Government of Manipur and the Ministry of Home Affairs—doing in these 12 months of talks on the district creation issue? Or for that matter, if the United Naga Council is to take over one year to confirm the seriousness of the State Government of Manipur on the issue it is within anybody’s guess that we may not see conclusion of the talks anytime soon.

 

This column has been taking interest on the issue because, continually wrapping the issue for a longer period can trigger serious ramification. This column has also been saying that the issue involves not just the creation of new districts but several other political underpinnings in the context of the Naga people in the south.

 

It is also important to realize by the involving parties that, resolving the issue once and for all will also be in the best interest for Manipur Government as the policy of adhocism employed by the successive governments in the State of Manipur has been the major cause for discords and strife between different communities for decades now.