Niggling issues devaluing human resource

        LANDLOCKED Manipur might be the only state where unwanted issues and incidents persist throughout the year. Barely two weeks into the New Year, there has been a spate of abduction and murder in Moreh area, attempt to set ablaze office cum residential complex of the Tamenglong district deputy commissioner, tension gripping Mayang Imphal assembly constituency subsequent to random firing and the on-going economic blockade continue to cause serious inconvenience to the public. Apart from the Mayang Imphal incident, which could be an election-related matter, genesis of all the other issues afflicting the state seems to be due to misunderstanding and the parties in dispute unwilling to relent from their respective tough posture rather than iron out the differences, if any, across the negotiating table. Many more unsavoury incidents are likely to surface as Manipur is among five states which will go to the polls in March. With many possessing legal as well as illegal arms and leaders of some political organisations not mincing words in hitting out at their rivals with the apparent intention of stirring up emotions, trouble definitely is in store. For instance, the economic blockade imposed on the two lifelines will not only continue to create inconvenience to the common people but also has the potential to create tension in the multi-ethnic society as politicians would certainly be sensationalising the issue.

      Even though the on-going economic blockade has been taking the centre-stage ever since it was imposed in November last, issues related to the demand for inclusion of the Meetei/Meitei community in the Scheduled Tribe list of the Indian Constitution and the p\ublic movement for enacting a law to restrict entry of non-locals are likely to crop up at any time. In case the on-going efforts by civil society organisations to bring the agitating UNC and the state government to the negotiating table materialises, then there is every possibility of the dialogue process settling the impasse and proving relief to the people. However, UNC insisting on release of its detained president and publicity secretary for a meaningful dialogue and the government maintaining that lifting of the blockade should precede the duo’s freedom, remain a stumbling block. As intervention and continuous endeavour by the CSOs is inevitable in ending the stalemate, the CSO functionaries need to sustain their efforts in convincing both parties that prolonging the issue will do no good to the society. It is regretful that despite initiatives by the CSOs and appeals from many quarters to end the deadlock solution remains elusive. For long people of Manipur are being deprived of a healthy environment and join the race of development consequently resulting in the invaluable human resource and the natural beauty remaining untapped.

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