There is plenty of blame to go around as far as the Manipur situation is concerned. The records of both the Union and the State Governments in dealing with such situations are full of blemishes.
Once again, the assertions on the issue of Manipur territorial integrity engaged by various groups and the stern warning of the United Naga Council (UNC) to any “elected member” from the Naga community working against the Naga interest have pushed the situation in Manipur to another uncomfortable limit.
Even though organizations like United Committee Manipur (UCM) and All Manipur United Clubs Organisation (AMUCO) have been saying that their Manipur territorial integrity campaigns do not target any particular community, things often fall on communal lines whenever a situation becomes charged. Even after witnessing all the ugly episodes, successive Governments—both at the Centre and in Manipur—are yet to understand the veracity of the situation.
There are no appreciable initiatives from both the Union and the State Governments to identify and study those areas or components which are responsible for this age-old trouble. Instead, the Governments continue to embrace the ‘gag-rules’ or take the mode of avoidance. In other words, the manner in which the Governments at the Centre and in Manipur deal with the Manipur situation has serious aberrations which have so far evaded critical scrutiny of the Naga position.
Every element concerned needs to recognize that the often used phrase “communal harmony” in Manipur is, in fact, a veiled reference to things which only tilts towards one side of the divide. Such a rhetorical engagement has proven to be difficult, despite favourable circumstances sometimes.
So, the continuing attaching of theoretical artificialities to the positions of the Nagas and the Meiteis by so many elements needs to be stopped at once and start accepting the realities if the Manipur situation is to be addressed once and for all. In short, it should be “what is actual” rather than deciding on “what should be actual.” Employing the latter strategy has been the Manipur tragedy.
It is time to shed the feeling that historical facts will feed a platform for full blown antagonism. And at the same time, investing efforts to see the historical facts with reason and logic should be considered a prudent measure. In other words, recognizing the historicity of the Nagas and the Meiteis should be one of the important components to begin with in addressing the age-old problem.
The problem has been left unattended for too long, and because of this reason, doubts have set in the collective mind of the people today to think whether both the governments have the required resources to address the issue.