A good and extensive statements and sincere expression of views made by Dr N Somorendra Singh carry a good number of points and this merit deeper thought. We know the game of politics as dirty. Sometimes hazy and associated with plunder that befall a nation. Manipur today is polluted on all fronts.
The pollution between valley and hills is fluid and trying to overrun each other. Claim and counter claim is running high. The matter is likely to be the day of (or a small event) Waterloo. I have the following views.
I believe we tribals should focus much more sharply than we are in today to economic and social developments as oppose to the various other manipulations by ruling class. I believe we should have clearer criteria on the basis of which to make determination for self-supporting and better attainable livelihood as nature bestows upon everyone of us. I know most of the tribal people are lacking the knowledge of creative living and shying away from the dignity of labor. (When I was studying in Shillong I joined TOILET scavenging with other students). Good to remember.
On the other hand, what are the purposes of valley people’s insistence of inseparable determination from the tribals? My own view is that hills and its resources are the instruments to promote the economic gain of the valley people the day the gate is open to them. I believe this is the primary purpose for which “CHINGTAM AMATANI” has in fact, been employed by Meiteis.
Again, why should valley people be concerned with the economic and social development of the long neglected and sidelined hill people? This is a question which is perfectly appropriate for persons outside Imphal valley to ask. What are the Meiteis’ intentions in undertaking programs of ridding off hatred, misunderstanding, missing co-operation, etc between us? The crux is to find remedial means. Not theory but practical means. For the human beings to live in harmony and the spirit of give and take is inherit and intrinsic nature in person relationship. And to do right is basic to life. A great missing dimension for concern and respect exist apart in our midst today. Theoretical approach is prevalence.
But I also believe that the valley people (meaning all communities—Meiteis, Nagas, Kukis, etc) who are permanently settled believe most consistently and most effectively when it bases its actions on both altruistic and selfish motives. I think you have long-term motives of self-interest (Imphal bases settling interest) in the manipulative promotion of the economic and social development of the hill people. And these are essentially long-term political motives for extracting benefits from the hills. But I do believe that in the hill areas a reasonable degree of economic development is a necessary through our manageable technology and capability along with outside experts under our local self-government. And the products are shared with others. Any Meiteis experts can join us, I think.
I believe that valley people have interest in the emergence of the hills which have the capability of rapid social, economic and political change with substantial continuity of institutions involved in the process without resorts to unfavorable means.
However, the hill people have different kind of views in not trusting valley based politics which speak volumes likes; (1) Non-implementation of legislative assembly seats adjustment district-wise, (2) Director General of Police (Joykumar Vs Peter Ngahanyui suppression) and Verypam (PHED Chief Engineer-suppression) and so on. (3) Dumping of District Councils for twenty years and suppressive amendments offer amendments, etc. All designed explicitly depriving rights of hill people and always at the behest of Imphal interests.
Imphal valley and hills are a big joint family but strange bedfellows. Am I wrong? The ball is in your court. Persuasive words and phrases, tall claim of brotherhood (yes, truly blood brothers), social and cultural exchanges are good and admirable but will not work and come to fruition until and unless we come to good understanding politically for mutual benefits. Politics is two-ways street. The post misdoings are strangulating us today.
However, after all of these somewhat critique (critical comments) and personal views I would like now to paint the other side of the picture. I detect some current disillusionment in the Imphal valley with the problems of underground movements, Kukis peace process, day to day endless incidents, corruptions in all departments, etc. To sum them up: from the Chief Minister to local MLA, from the highest bureaucrat to the lowest rung public servant (including tribals) are involved covertly and they are purely responsible for the downtown and all the evil happenings. As such, we, hills look at Imphal with disdain. Hills are relatively calm and searching for peace.
Long ago and past political brewings in hills when Imphal was cozy with Delhi is what valley is in today. It will not be easy to cure chronic problems.
Change, change, change, continual change. I suggest that it is true to consider a different view, that we are not at the beginning of continually accelerating change, but that we are in the middle of a unique transitional crisis. The very crisis to be solved among ourselves.
Many of you know well about the “NONGPOK THONG HANGBA” associated with “LOOK EAST POLICY”. And what NEXT? We are rolling on time—a very significant time, i.e. the time of “RED ROBED” era. Do you take it for true or false? As for me predictions are true and accurate. Pointing accusing finger at the hills, especially the Nagas, is not the centricity to solve all problems. Nagas are doing the rightful duties with all concerned bodies. Valley has to mind your business to bring peaceful time and we are interlinked with one another.
A very significant and historical fact that had happened in the Old Testament (Bible) time was that a dispute over the grazing land arose between the shepherds of Abraham and Lot (cousin). Where Abraham told Lot to choose his portion of land. Lot chose south and they mutually divided the land and happily live thereafter as good neighbors. It will be good and beneficial for us to follow that past historical example.
*The article is written by R Rungsung.
(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)Number of Views :4608
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