NE relieved as Parliament ends in chaos
THOUGH disruption caused to normal chores tantamount to trampling the fundamental rights of the citizens, bandhs or strikes remain the only potent weapon for the dissented public to air grievances whenever the establishment deviates from expected line. For the past many decades people of strife-torn Manipur had been silently tolerating all forms of distress arising out of sudden or planned derailment of economic activities and this time too, when life was brought to a standstill – both owing to the public movement against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill and imposition of curfew by the authorities, the masses have demonstrated that they are ready to face any situation. Among other modes of agitation, crippling normal activities have been the last resort and most potent weapon to bring the establishment to its knees and compel it to seriously ponder over whether or not to listen and act as per the masses’ desire. As hallmark of the state has, though undesirably, been imposition of bandhs and general strikes, the tense situation that was created by the Centre’s overt intention to pass the Bill had all the ingredients to take the turn for the worst. With the government’s decision to enforce curfew only leading to violent clashes between agitators and police the situation nearly got out of hand. To the state’s masses, the civil societies in particular, resorting to agitation is generally construed as the undeclared right of the aggrieved party to air grievances, censure the establishment for undermining public interest or to make the authorities accord importance in resolving the issue at hand.
As settlement of the contentious Bill issue appeared elusive with each passing day and those holding the reins of power at distant New Delhi seemingly unconcerned in addressing the situation there were fears that the region’s masses would take some extreme steps to draw the Centre’s attention. Though the people were bracing for the worst case scenario as there was strong apprehension that the Centre might give the final push to enact the Bill, they were relieved from further undesired consequences thanks mainly to the opposition MPs creating ruckus in the Rajya Sabha over issues which had nothing to do with addressing issues besetting the northeast citizens. However, the NE people would be thankful to those Samajwadi Party and Trinamool Congress MPs for playing a vital role in literally bringing the House down for two consecutive days and halting the Union government from moving the Bill. It was chiefly due to chaos created by the opposition members that technically thwarted the formal procedure for passing of the Bill as the Centre remained evidently unperturbed by the mass uprising in the northeast region against the proposed legislation. The chaotic proceedings gave an insight to the region’s people over what actually happens in the parliament apart from exposing the grim reality that it is not the voice of the masses that matters most. Though the anti-Bill movement showcased that the NE people will assert for their rights it is an undeniable fact that concerns and interests of people of this landlocked and underdeveloped region are not on the priority list of the Union government.