Jan. 24, 2016 – Double trouble and more for the state

Jan. 24, 2016 – Double trouble and more for the state

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The new year in our land Manipur began with a natural disaster of high magnitude earthquake resulting in deaths, destruction and fear for the worse. Sometimes ‘fear’ itself is more fearful and agonizing than certain actual misfortune. Maybe the predictions for a more intense follow up earthquake has gone wrong but the fear psycho that grips the people has not disappeared as yet. It may come true but no one can say for sure the date and timing. It may come true but may take years, decades or centuries, no one can say for sure. An offshoot of this new year calamity is the ongoing “market politics” that is likely to determine the fate of the state and the people in the days ahead and maybe who will rule the state for some years after the next general elections. The newly constructed pucca double storey Ima Keithel market at Khwairamband bazaar in the heart of Imphal city has developed cracks and even some portions crumbled in the January 4 earthquake. The state govt has decided to construct an alternative temporary market shed on the “main road” leading to one of the busiest bazaars that housed most of the important shops in the city, the Thangal bazar. The local MLA of Thangal bazaar who coincidentally is from an opposition had resisted the govt’s move in this regard and went to the extent of saying that this temporary market construction here would be done “over his dead body”. The govt on the other hand has announced its decision to go ahead with the plan. Here we can predict that physical as well as confrontations as witnessed in the last few days will continue and dominate the news for some more days. We can call this Congress vs BJP bout. The next bout is between Moirang valley people and tribals of Churachanpur over a hill range name – Thangting and Thangjing, where the difference is alphabet “t” and “j” only. The Kuki tribals calls the hill range Thangting and the valley Meiteis pronounced it as Thangjing. Meiteis called and enforced bandhs over this alphabetical and “accent-matter” issues resulting in mob confrontations, vandalism and most unfortunately discretion to posters of “9 tribal martyrs” by a mob from the valley. The game is not up here and pray better sense would prevail so that communal harmony is maintained.
KSO and ANSAM, two main tribal student bodies of the state are watching an opportune time to launch an intense agitation over their accumulated grievances. To add fuel to the worry of the state govt, these two student bodies are now likely to get solid backing of a reunited ATSUM. Infact ATSUM is another name for KSO-ANSAM combine and this is where their bargaining capability vis-à-vis the state govt rests. The JAC against anti-tribal bills and its support base tribal bodies have announced to launch blockades from February 1. The JCILP on the other is saying that they have only deferred their next phase of agitation due to the earthquake and the calamity it had caused to the people. It appears that various groups and communities are looking at the conflict options only. Why can’t sanity prevail when human beings are blessed with unique capability to think and sort out differences amicably!

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