Friday, July 19, 2024

Manipur needs peace: Appeal to PM Modi


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By Snarbor Laloo

The rest of India empathizes with the suffering, anguish, and dire circumstances affecting Manipur, a state in North East India.
The protracted ethnic violence between the indigenous Kuki and Meitei tribes in Manipur has claimed hundreds of lives, leaving the inhabitants of this strife-torn land feeling vulnerable and estranged in their own homeland. The crisis has led to the establishment of relief camps everywhere, with both military and paramilitary forces patrolling disturbed areas day and night to maintain a semblance of security.
Manipur has a significant historical legacy, having been recognized as the 19th state of India when the country first formed its union.
Those of us not from Manipur, may not fully understand the pain and suffering of our dear friends from this state. The people of Manipur have endured immense hardships, with mothers losing their children and daughters being subjected to violence, including rape, much of which goes unreported in the media. We may not feel the full weight of their struggles, but it’s essential to acknowledge their plight and offer support.
According to government reports, at least 221 people have been killed and over 60,000 have fled their homes in Manipur since the violence broke out on May 3, 2023. Other estimates state that there are over 75 deaths and 35,000 displaced people as of June 2024, with the violence resulting in the burning of at least 1,700 buildings.
Despite the escalating violence, the people of Manipur have organized various protests and rallies, decrying the state and central authorities’ indifference and adamant attitude towards the crisis. The authorities’ inaction is shameful, and their silence is deafening, as they remain mere spectators, seemingly unconcerned about the suffering in this part of India.
However, after a long period of silence from the central government, the sudden emergence of Angomcha Bimol Akoijam as the MP of Manipur has given voice to the struggles of the state. His passionate speech in parliament resonated with everyone, finally drawing attention to the issues that mattered the most to the people of Manipur.
Akoijam’s impassioned speeches stem from a deep sense of anguish and heartbreak on behalf of his people. His voice echoes through the hallowed halls of parliament, poignantly highlighting the struggles faced by his constituents. With fervour, he declares that the blood shed by martyrs from Manipur, who laid down their lives in the line of duty, has been in vain, unless justice and peace are restored to the land
Despite the fervent appeals made by the Manipur MP and the chorus of condemnation from the opposition led by Rahul Gandhi, the Prime Minister and the ruling NDA government seem oblivious to the plight of Manipur. The state’s cries for help appear to fall on deaf ears, with no immediate resolution in sight to quench the burning fires of violence and unrest. The government’s indifference is all the more glaring given the overwhelming support from the Opposition, leaving one to wonder if they truly feel the pulse and heartbeat of Manipur
The resilient people of Manipur will never beg nor bow down for a lasting solution to their struggles. Bimol Akoijam, with unwavering determination, declared that the government’s apathy has not only hurt him in the past but has also deeply offended him today. His words resonate with the collective anguish of the Manipuri community, which refuses to be silenced or defeated. With steadfast resolve, they demand a permanent solution to the crisis, and their voices will not be silenced until justice is served.
The dire situation in Manipur serves as a stark reminder to the entire Northeast region that our voices and struggles are seemingly insignificant to the mainland. It appears that our leaders are deliberately attempting to erase our presence, making it seem like the Northeast is disconnected from the rest of India. This feeling of neglect and marginalization resonates deeply across the region, fuelling a sense of frustration and disillusionment.
No wonder neighbouring countries like China, and possibly others, are keeping a close eye on the situation, waiting for an opportunity to exploit the chaos and instability in the region. The turmoil in Manipur and the broader Northeast region presents a vulnerable target for external forces to meddle and gain an advantage, much like fishing in troubled waters.
We therefore, urgently appeal to Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, to prioritize the crisis in Manipur and take immediate action to address the deteriorating situation. We implore him to set aside political interests and, in the name of humanity, work towards promoting peace, understanding, and goodwill for the people of Manipur. The time to act is now, before the situation spirals out of control. We request him to use his leadership to bring about a lasting solution, ensuring peace, justice, and prosperity for the people of Manipur.


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