Civil Societies for Solution and Peace
Unlike any other times in our history, the festivals of two communities have been blemished so shamefully, the only way out of the resultant communal high wire is honest and meaningful talks between Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) of both the Naga and Meitei communities. “There have been just, legitimate demands and dissents from both the Hills and the Valley but they have not been addressed to or heard by the State Government who has divided people deeper into communal lines through statements and policies that are communal and hence, anti people in nature.”
The Civil Society Organisations must see this common problem for a present and future solution as co-existing communities. The communal politics of blaming one whole community for the grievance of another and punishing the whole people settled in the Valley must be stopped. The communal cards have been decked and played well. The politically motivated declaration of the creation of Sadar Hills District, the naturally expected reaction from NSCN(IM) in the form of economic blockade, the seven districts creation (all without consultation of the affected people), its violent aftermath, actions and counter actions from the Nagas and Meiteis are the best fodders for creating communal flare up. In any communal tension, emotions are raw and on high wire with no room for rationality. People hurt each other. When people hurt each other on the eve of one of the most decisive Assembly Elections in the history of Manipur, people fighting for power benefit most from it.
People from all communities who have co-settled in it have their fair share of grievances against the Government. People have their elected representatives. The CSOs must convince themselves upon the irrationality of taking this communal approach towards agitations launched against any state action. Only communal organisations take communal approach and it has no place in democracy. For a just and equitable future, all stakeholders must come to a common table upon which each can talk while respecting each other’s struggles on how to make peace and control the damages and hurts we have inflicted upon each other.
With this methodology of agitations that have been used, only the common man, including Nagas, Meiteis and all other communities are hurt most. Deep introspection by shedding all ego and arrogance is the need of the hour. While respecting each other’s differences, the CSOs must work out through meaningful and effective dialogues to find our common needs and problems.
By blaming each other wholly, we only hurt each other while the real problems remain unaddressed and peoples’ sufferings magnify in number and intensity. To a common Naga or Meitei, what is his biggest problem? When the struggle to solve that common problem is supported by each other, the society as a whole is uplifted. Are we uplifting or pushing each other down? The people from all co-existing communities are in dire need of that consensual cohesion to bring about communal harmony by supporting and taking measures to uplift each other from our common problems. Whether the state listens or not, the CSOs have the highest responsibilities for diffusing this extremely high communal tension that has already caused tremendous hardships to the people, loss of valuable lives and properties for ends of peace. Whether we accept this fact or not, we co-exist now and are going to share a future. A future which will be inherited by our children. An ugly or a bright future is however our choice.
Leader Writer: Paojel Chaoba