Setting a deadline before the Govt Can the Govt do it ?
The BJP led Government has its hands full. On the one hand is the pressure mounted by the Congress and other political parties vis-a-vis the Framework Agreement signed between the NSCN (IM) and the Government of India more than two years back and on the other is the deadline served by the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS) to draft the Bill/s to regulate the inflow of non-locals into the State before the winter session of the Assembly begins on December 20. To give edge to its ultimatum, the JCILPS has announced that it will start a series of movement from December 13. Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown, and Chief Minister N Biren must be feeling the heat from all directions. Will the Government be able to draft the Bill, as demanded by the JCILPS, before the Assembly session commences on December 20 ? Which direction will the stir announced by the JCILPS from December 13 take ? One just has to recall the stormy days of 2014, 2105 and early part of 2016 to understand the point that is sought to be made here. If this is about the movement to enact a legislation to check the inflow of non-local people into the State, then one just has to recollect the violence that erupted at Churachandpur after the State Assembly passed the three Bills on August 31, 2015. All reminders to ensure that some lessons from the past should be learnt. The new BJP led coalition Government has managed to reach out to the hills and the fact that the last rites of the 8 people killed in the 2015 uproar at Churachandpur were performed after the new Government was sworn in is an indication of the trust level that it has been able to infuse in the hill people. Just how successfully the Government capitalises on this remains to be seen.
On the other hand it is encouraging to note that the JCILPS has reached out to the United Naga Council as well as some CSOs of Churachandpur to take them along with the idea to protect the local people from the incessant influx of non-local people into the State. Just how far this association will go remains to be seen but it is important that all are taken along. Another important point is the base year which has to be worked out. Will 1952 as the base year be acceptable to all and more importantly are the records available with the Government ? If 1952 is not feasible then which year will be taken as acceptable ? These are questions which are important to all concerned and not only to the JCILPS and the State Government. Along with the pressure mounted on the State Government, it is also important for all to introspect and sincerely address the question of why Manipur is such an attractive destinations for many who are out looking for a livelihood. In the last three/four years, at the peak of the ILP demand movement, have self introspections been conducted ? Why is it that the natives of the land do not want to work ? Why is it that the local people themselves create the vacuum for others to come in and fill ? Along with the pressure mounted on the Government to pass the Bill/s, it is important for all to address these questions.