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Politics Of Us And Them

Just as no force on earth can stop an idea whose time has come; it stands equally true that no force on earth can stop a people from facing the reality and take things to its logical conclusion. Human testimony bears testimony to this and the rise and fall of civilizations from the Indus Valley civilization to Babylon, Egypt during the days of the Pharaohs and the standing testimonies in the form of the Pyramids and Sphinx, the Greek civilization, which gave the world the concept of democracy, the rise and fall of the Roman Empire, the British Raj, where the Sun never sets on the British Empire, to the French revolution, the American War of Independence, the American civil war, right through World War I and II to the present, where China, a communist country, has replaced Japan as the country with the second strongest economy and is rightly viewed as the country to pose the greatest challenge to US supremacy or hegemony as the rabidly anti-US bloc would put it.

Nations will rise and fall, as human history testifies, and if not for anything else, the Sciences and the Arts and the attempt to unravel the unknown and the mystery of the Universe as well as to get a better understanding of human society, are all necessitated by this historical fact or cyclic phenomena since the dawn of the early human species. In all the stages of human evolution (not to be understood within the realm of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution), the impact of the interplay of several factors and the complex web of ties and relationships, are distinctly visible to the discerning eyes and the key for the changes or evolution is undoubtedly the necessity for a human society to come face to face with reality and settle things once and for all and move on.

Manipur has today come somewhere near that stage, where the people can no longer afford to exist like Homer’s Lotus Eaters in the Odyssey. In other words, we can no longer afford to live in an Ivory Tower under the illusion that everything will work out fine in the end by itself. This is all that more urgent, given the fact that forces have emerged under different names and forms with the help of convenient alibis, that are threatening to tear the social fabric of the people of Manipur apart.

As said, these forces come in different forms and garbs and they may range from the dhoti and Nehru jacket clad politician to the deceptively looking comely housewife with a child, who coolly walks in and shoots her target to death or places a bomb or a demand letter to the self appointed sons of the soil, who float an organization under a highly patriotic sounding name, carry out some hit and miss exercises and then start extorting from the public. And there is that another class of people, who have found the perfect alibi in championing the cause of a people, with its ideology, that is, if we can call it ideology, rooted in rhetoric, hate campaigns and everything destructive that are available under the Sun.

The recent act of savagery to which the people of Mapao Khullen were subjected to by some gun toting goons is definitely an outcome of the presence of the elements that we have just mentioned. It is a vicious circle, with each feeding on each other and then turning the guns amongst themselves when things do not work out as planned.

In as much as the acts of the gunmen were abhorrent and deserve universal condemnations, we also have certain reservations against the unstated but the obvious attempt to take political mileage out of the incident, which tread the dangerous track of communalism or giving a communal interpretation to the incident. Condemn we must and united we must against such goons who have no qualms about thrashing a group of villagers in the dead of the night and assaulting the village Pastor, which was nothing but an act of humiliating the chair or social position accorded to a Church leader. In other words, it can be taken as symbolic attack on a religion!

The condemnations that have come pouring out are along expected lines and people need to acknowledge and thank the Naga People’s Movement for Human Rights for bringing the matter to the notice of the public. This was not the first instance that villagers have been subjected to brutalities by some goons who don the mask of revolutionaries and it will not be the last and the situation calls for the people of Manipur to face the reality and tell the chaff from the grain and just as no force on earth can stop an idea whose time has come, no force or factor can stop or should stop a people from confronting the reality.

And it goes without saying that to face the reality; the people have to develop their senses to anticipate the immediate future. Such a situation as the one at Mapao Khullen also provides the perfect fodder to some mischievous elements to play the communal card’”Us and Them, and trying to interpret it along the line of a bigger plot by the majority to grab the lands of the tribals. That this division of Us and Them should spring forth from the bruises and humiliation of the villagers is pathetic. This group of people, espousing such thoughts is as dangerous as the elements we have mentioned before.

In fact they can be said to be even more dangerous, for what they say come coated with highly moralistic and profoundly sounding words like human rights, minority rights and harassment by the majority community. To the discerning people, the agenda behind such line of talk or exhortation will not come as a surprise and it is here where we would like to go on record and state that the armed goons, who assaulted the villagers of Mapao Khullen do not represent any community.

On the line of this reality and fact, a propaganda that needs to be nipped in the bud or hammered into the consciousness of some elements is the bare fact that identifying the State forces with the majority community would be somewhat alike to stating that India is ruled by the Sikhs at present, courtesy a Sikh gentleman, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh. This is laughable and in such a situation, as we have said, Manipur is today somewhere near that situation, where no factor or force can stop her people from facing the reality to set things right.

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