Manipur: Need for healthy communication

Witoubou Newmai

Lack of communication, for that matter, the lack of healthy communication between the Meiteis and the Nagas are cause for enough and more to despair in Manipur. Besides, using the media as the only platform to communicate between the two communities has so far created many unwanted situations, drifting them further apart.


Consequently, either due to the absence of communication or their inability to put things across, problems between the Meiteis and the Nagas are only multiplying. This in an unsettling experience in Manipur.


One wonders whether their respective agenda-driven subterfuge, too has resulted in a want of communication among them.


The sooner the importance of communication pertaining to their concerned confronting issues is realized; they, perhaps, will see more reasons, logic and most importantly, the reality, in their efforts to resolve them. It is high time the Meiteis and the Nagas start initiating healthy communication without waiting for a third party’s service on the confronting issues.


Suspicions and doubts are taking the role of the inhibitor to limit one group in getting across their views to the other. This has become a big concern today in Manipur. Such suspicions and doubts need to be removed if we are to move forward.


In order to remove these suspicions and doubts, activists, academics and civil society organizations should garner enough courage to start communicating with each other at their respective levels, and in informal platforms.


Since the Naga political issue has been the core theme pertaining to the Meitei-Naga tension, both the communities need to sit down together at varied levels as much as possible. Through such initiatives, both sides will understand their respective positions and difficulties.


Both the communities need to believe in healthy communication to understand their respective positions and difficulties. The Meiteis and the Nagas should also come to realisation that the present tendency of considering the media as the only platform to communicate with each other is perhaps the concomitant of the practice of ‘untouchability’.


Unless such practices are discarded and replaced with people-to-people engagements, confusion and tension will heighten and the two communities will only drift drift apart further.


There have been talks of people-to-people engagement strategy for a long time now, but regretfully, in practice, it is yet to achieve a desired level.


Brave men and women from both the communities need to come out with a vein of urgency to initiate such engagements. Both the Meiteis and the Nagas need to appreciate each other’s difficulties, positions and the reality. Healthy communication is the key to achieve them.