Respecting each other’s position

Witoubou Newmai

In any conflict situations, one will continue to perceive the stand of the ‘other’ as tommyrot, as long the parties from both the divides of the situation ‘hesitate’ to come at the dialoguing table to discuss the ‘elephant in the room’. Such a situation seems to have been overwhelming the Nagas and the Meiteis for a long time now over the Naga political issue.


Certain groups, at the same time, are continuously and fervently attempting to conceal the whole affair with their much loved two-word phrase ‘peaceful co-existence.’ However, such lofty idealism will not take anyone to progression as long as the principles guiding of both the Nagas and the Meiteis on the ‘peaceful co-existence’ are not elucidated, recognised and discussed over. Definitely, these principles cannot be the same as the Naga political aspirations.


Given this scenario, it is time for the Nagas and the Meiteis to extirpate the inhibitors of such ‘hesitation’ and its sources so that both the sides of the divide can come at the discussing table. Presently, these inhibitors are moderating the situation. In short, the Meiteis and the Nagas must explore to find out if there is any possibility to respect each other’s position.


As the days of agitation over the Naga political issue have returned after a lull in the state capital Imphal, both the Meiteis and the Nagas need to consider that “rhetoric has always raised difficulties” (in the words of Noam Chomsky).


Spearheaded by the United Committee, Manipur (UCM), All Manipur United Clubs Organisation (AMUCO) and the Committee of Civil Societies of Manipur (CCSK), series of protest are underway saying that the interest of Manipur should not be affected in the event of the settlement of the Naga political issue.


“Any resultant formula of the (Naga) peace process must not supersede the voice of all the communities in Manipur. It is apprised that the traditions of organic multi-cultural political interface within the communities in Manipur be respected while instituting peace and development in Manipur…. The provision as provided under the Article 3 that empowers the Parliament of India to alter the boundaries of any state, therefore, must not be applied in the case of a historical political entity like Manipur.” The preceding sentence is the content of joint memorandum of UCM, AMUCO and CCSK submitted to Prime Minister, Narendra Modi a few days back.


A nature of such memorandum not only undermines one’s political aspirations but it also creates space to aggravate the situation. So, with a nerve of urgency, dialogue must prevail between the Meiteis and the Nagas at varying levels so that reasons become the basic premise in every endeavour.