I am writing in response to the article entitled `Challenge facing the people of Manipur’ that has been carried in the September 15-30, 2015 issue of MEL and would like to express my condolences to the family and friends of the people who have lost their lives in the police firing on August 31, 2015 in the town of Churachandpur. If one were to keep track of the number of persons killed in
I am writing in response to the article entitled `Challenge facing the people of Manipur’ that has been carried in the September 15-30, 2015 issue of MEL and would like to express my condolences to the family and friends of the people who have lost their lives in the police firing on August 31, 2015 in the town of Churachandpur. If one were to keep track of the number of persons killed in police firing in our country since 1947 a mind boggling number would emerge, which would tear to shreds the notion of India being the world’s largest democracy. Furthermore, it is important to ask why there is so much discontent in the regions which are somehow considered to be on the periphery of India. The fact that a `periphery’ exists itself suggests that there is a `metropolis’ which is the centre of power in the imperial sense. Nothing could be truer than this in the context of India and its north-eastern regions.
In the present context, the police firing on protestors came after a long agitation by youth and students demanding protection and the eventual passage of certain bills in the Manipur Assembly. There is a genuine fear among the people of Manipur, who through history have been a sovereign people, and whose sovereignty was
taken away by the British and whose sovereignty has been trampled upon by the annexation into the Indian Union, based on the repugnant principle of Uti Possedetis Juris, a principle of imperial Roman law, by which the winner takes all. (It may be recalled that the heroic peoples of the North-East fought against British rule for their independence, and not necessarily to be brought under the jackboots of New Delhi’s rule.) This being the case, the people of Manipur, whether they are the Hill people, Valley people or `outsiders’ have to deal with the prevailing system in the country and have the same problems as those in the rest of country, which are those of lack of employment and opportunities, and also having to be unwilling subjects of the Indian ruling circles.
In the context of Manipur, the people are indeed united by their opposition to the hated Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act which is basically martial law in disguise. Such, being the case, flare ups from time to time are inevitable, which is also the case now, especially in light of the consequences of the `Look East’ policy of the Indian ruling circles who have cast their greedy eye on the imperialist pie lying to the east of India. This latter objectively brings possibly unwanted connectivity of regions of the north-east to the rest of India and the real danger of large scale immigration into Manipur, where the people already suffer from lack of opportunities.
In such a situation, it is easy to inflame passions and set sections of the people against each other, rather than having a united front against the imperial rule of Delhi. The solution lies in first uncovering the basis on which India is founded and to ask some hard question and proceed from there on. It is only when the nations that constitute India are allowed to be sovereign will the people be liberated. Such a situation can arise only when there is a new dispensation in the country that will guarantee the rights of all nations and the rights of all.
Sunita Singh, Patna