Monday, April 22, 2024

Zomi delegation to Delhi


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A two-member delegation of the Zomi National Congress, a non-descript regional party of Manipur is reported to have recently visited New Delhi to demand a separate Union Territory for the hill people of that State residing in the three districts bordering Burma. A memorandum in this behalf was also submitted to the Prime Minister last January, but we have no illusion about New Delhi’s reaction to it. It should bear mention in this connection that hill people constitute a substantial portion of Manipur and hence the hill people thereof have an effective representation in the State Assembly as also an equally effective share in its government. The meandering course of Manipur’s history, in particular of recent years of its nascent Statehood, bears ample testimony to this unmistakable political feature.

If there still is even a though of bifurcating this small, heterogeneous border unit, it must have sprung from considerations other than the general good of the people at large, taking the composite population in view as a whole or even its component elements in all their ethnic and linguistic diversity. The three border districts, more over, because of their proximity to an unsettled and perturbed international border, need all the more on this score a closer integration with the parent State and the country rather than separation from the former. The Zomi leadership should rather find a more worthwhile cause to represent for their people by taking up the case of containing the “endemic famine” in the area which is the other demand the delegation has put forward to New Delhi’s consideration.


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