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EDITORIAL: Delhi To Imphal

Times, they are a changing, so goes one of the unforgettable lyrics penned by Bob Dylan, who is a poet, song writer, musician and entertainer rolled into one and with this in mind it is not hard to put one’s finger on the finer nuances and essence of the observation, ‘the only constant in life is change’. And this change is swift and fast and what happened 365 days ago or even 365×10 days ago continue to remain in the consciousness of the people and this is what is fascinating. It is not only about the question of memory, for elephants and even domesticated animals like a pet dog, are supposed to have excellent memory power. In the case of the human species, the consciousness or the recurring thoughts of what happened a long time back goes beyond mere memory power or what is there within the two ears, but has deep social and political connotations. This is something unique, and maybe it is the human species alone which may have the ability to co-relate the past events to the present and give it a political and social understanding according to the demand of the time and circumstances. It also needs to be understood that the demand of the time and circumstances is not something that fell out from heaven’s door or something alien which landed from somewhere, but is very much a creation of the people concerned.

This is where the process of politics begins and this is where change, as we understand and experience it today, begins to extract its pound of flesh. The journey of mankind from being a cave dweller to the modern age, where he has moved from the rugged, mountainous terrain to the RCC buildings complete with all the modern appendages including power connection, air conditioners, top of the class bathrooms, kitchens with all the gadgets to make cooking all the more comfortable to the change in the means of transportation and changing track from  the saddle of a horse to the cushioned seat of an airplane or a luxurious car, etc have all come with a price and this price becomes all that much more heavy and complex, when it pose a question on the status quo of existing societies and communities. We believe it was this challenge to the status quo of Nations and identities of different groups of people, that sowed the seeds of World War II and now in the 21st Century, we see this phenomena in a different avatar.

Change and how people cope with it and give it their unique interpretation is perhaps one of the biggest challenges facing the 21st Century man today. Some changes are inevitable and man has no option but to cope with it, while on the other hand, there are changes, which have been engineered solely by man in their pursuit for certain aspirations. It is during this pursuit of one’s goal and aspirations that changes too begin to shake and take its toll from the societies directly affected. At the moment, the people of Manipur, meaning two groups of people who are recognized as Meiteis and the Nagas, are at loggerheads with each other. On the other hand, the Government of India, which has been identified or deemed to be the enemy or foe of the Naga people is today a chum, a buddy in fact, who can be counted to extend their help while settling contentious issues with the Government of Manipur, which has been dubbed and identified as a Meitei Government by the Naga radicals.

This change is what we have referred to as change brought about after carefully crafting what the demands of the day and circumstances are. The most significant change that has been scripted is the change from demanding a sovereign Naga land to the creation of a Greater Nagalim. This demand has given birth to several off springs and the Senapati Declaration last year to work out an alternative arrangement for the Naga inhabited areas is one such example. Now that Delhi has come to be viewed as a buddy who can be relied upon to help them out, the United Naga Council, did not hesitate to put their demands and viewpoints in black and white before the Union Home Minister, P Chidambaram during his visit to the State on May 10 and 11. It is this shift in their approach to the issue at hand, which resulted in the audible change from ‘No election, we want solution’ to one of not only active participation but to the extent of even nominating their candidates under a front! This in effect is a change in the target of the Naga rebel group that is from ‘Delhi to Imphal.’ Times, they are a changing!

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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