‘Dear PM, save Manipur from dying a slow death’

Dear Prime Minister, I am from Manipur, the place called “Switzerland of India”, the place where the Indian national flag was hoisted for the first time in India by the Army, the beautiful land surrounded by serene landscape, exotic wildlife, floating island to the warmhearted locals with its own rich culture and tradition but now a place with full of problems. I am just a student who wants to see a developed India. Today, I would like to request something and seeking your kind attention. My agenda is to bring peace, prosperity, communal harmony in Manipur and trying to make our crying Mother live peacefully.

It is arduous to see and hear the incidents which are happening in day to day life in Manipur. Today, we are in a stage where the future of our state is in turmoil. Once a peaceful princely state is now beset with lot of problems. It is more than 67 years since Manipur got merged with India but the condition of Manipur is really bad. Our communication lines, transportation, and other services are far behind compared with other states. There might be many reasons, but I can say the main reason is that Central government doesn’t take care of our state properly and the state government is not executing its duties.

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The present situation is a testimony to how law and order has successfully failed across the state. People are killed like mosquitoes. And it is a clueless hunt for the law and order keepers to book and punish the criminals. United Naga Council (UNC) imposed an indefinite economic blockade on the state’s lifelines – National Highway 2 (Imphal-Dimapur highway) and National Highway 37 (Imphal-Silchar highway) starting from November 1 midnight, disrupting supply of commodities to Manipur. Vehicles coming towards Imphal are being checked by the supporters of UNC to stop transportation of essential commodities to the hills. The economic blockade has not only caused a shortage but also children are being deprived of education as they can’t go to schools due to non-availability of fuel. Added to it is the demonetization effect. Surprisingly, what is intriguing is the fact Central government keeps mum on this matter and the national media — both print and electronic, without any exception have been purposefully blocking this burning issue engulfing Manipur. Now, common people are starting considering if there is any conspiracy between government and UNC to unsettle the state.

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In the recent ambush, NSCN-IM killed four Manipur police and injured 11. Still, you don’t say anything about it. People would like to know if there is any plot between government, NSCN-IM and UNC to disrupt the harmony in the state. This is definitely not a wise policy of the Centre of India. If the government gives freedom to NSCN-IM, it will destroy the social and cultural fabric of Manipur and also of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh and will create a chaos and invite civil war.

Sir, I am hoping that you are aware of what is happening in Manipur through the daily intelligence reports placed on your table. Does it not touch your heart seeing the vulnerability and plight of the people of this easternmost state of Manipur having a population much less than the population of your own town of Vadodara in Gujarat? The sad part is that we do not have a leader like you here in Manipur. We do not have a bold leader who can stand up and speak out about such grievances that are continually faced by the people. I would like to request you kindly find a permanent cure to this problem in Manipur.

By Ronaldo Laishram

(A native of Manipur, the writer is a sixth semester engineering student at SJCE, Mysuru).

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