The Silent Agenda

Notwithstanding the intimations sent by the Communists in Bangladesh to their Indian comrades, CPI, that UNLF leader RK Meghen has been arrested and handed over to the Indian authorities, the issue is getting murkier with each passing day and the million dollar question is, what does Delhi and Dhaka stand to gain by keeping its mouth sealed? Either something drastically went wrong with the whole operation or there is a sinister design behind the conspiracy of silence. There can be no two ways about it.

Delhi must know that its silence will only add to more speculations and this can only be to the detriment of everyone. Conspiracy theories will fly and it could come from mischief mongers out to have their day under the Sun and the hate letters we have received via the e-mail and at our office all have one common trait running through them-anonymity and misspelt words and jumbled up sentences, making it a little difficult for us to make head and tail out of them. What is more interesting is that a whole lot of hard work and preparation must have gone into deliberately committing the spelling mistakes as well as the sentences which make no sense at first glance.

This is where we can detect a sort of a psychological warfare being launched to tell the world that RK Meghen is not a holy cow and hence does not deserve any sympathetic gesture. True, being a rebel leader has its downside too, and it can attract nothing but criticisms from some quarters, who may rightfully feel that they have been wronged by the organization which Meghen headed. The present issue however needs to be seen without these extra baggages. The point of contention and therefore the core of the matter all boil down to one question, what is the agendum behind Delhi’s seeming indifference? And what has Dhaka got to achieve by donning the role of the obedient younger brother role?

As we have said earlier, there can be no two ways about the whole thing and either the operation to arrest the rebel leader was botched up or the Government agents made a mess of it, or there could be something much bigger and sensitive than the mere capture of a rebel leader. If something indeed went wrong then what could it possibly be? Did the RAW agents and their Bangladeshi counterparts, go overboard in netting such a big fish that it has become absolutely necessary for Dhaka and Delhi to keep their mouth sealed? Meghen is a rebel leader, who has spent the last 30 years or so trudging across the hostile terrain of the North East region and the Indo-Myanmar border and he must be well into his mid-70s by now. In normal circumstances he would have been classed among the group of ‘╦ťAhan Lamans’ in the leikai where he resides.

What Delhi should come face to face is the fact that the capture of such a man, who has led a bush war against the Indian army for decades, cannot be written off that easily. If Meghen was Villain number one to many, he may as well be Hero number 1 to some others. Any attempt to launch a psychological warfare over his arrest by sending out doctored statements or letters to the Editor will not work for the simple reason that the people of Manipur have today wisened up to such tactics. It cannot do Delhi any good by keeping mum over the arrest of a prominent rebel leader of the North East, unless opening up will mean a much harder kick from the international community.

India cannot afford this, especially when it is pulling all the strings available to get into the United Nations Security Council as a permanent member. So then we conclude that the worse may have happened or should we just remain vigilant and see what steps Delhi takes up. RK Meghen is not the first rebel leader to have been arrested; neither will he be the last. It is confounding to see why Delhi, which has had to deal with armed rebellion in different parts of the country since 1947 should be so politically naive, that it fails to realize the importance of netting a big fish like RK Meghen. An opportunity which could have been capitalized upon seems to have flown over the heads of the political mandarins at Delhi and we can only wring our hands in despair.

Delhi should realize that any meaningful talk or dialogue will become a reality, only when a group, which is founded on a laid down principle and ideology, is roped in for the talk. It is unfortunate that Delhi is under the impression that talking with fringe elements, who are nothing more than a bunch of highwaymen and others, who represent only a single tribe or at times only a clan is an achievement. Peace in Manipur cannot and will not be realized unless Delhi realize the fact that it needs to engage rebel leaders like RK Meghen to a meaningful talk. Unfortunately the silence maintained on his present status is more than indicative that Delhi has totally failed to read the situation in Manipur correctly.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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