Dear Modiji, the People of Manipur Want to Know Why You Are Silent
A native of Manipur writes a letter to PM Modi asking him to end the economic blockade which is crippling his state.
Dear Hon'ble Prime Minister,
I am Ronaldo Laishram from Manipur, the place called "Switzerland of India", a beautiful land surrounded by serene landscape, exotic wildlife and warmhearted locals, a place with its own rich culture and tradition but now a place full of problems.
I am a student who wants to see a developed India and is a big supporter of your vision of India. But today, I would like to seek your kind attention to the problems of my people.
It is arduous to see the incidents that are happening day to day in Manipur. Today, we are at a stage where the future of our state is hard to imagine. It’s been more than 67 years since Manipur was merged with India but the condition of development in Manipur is still pitiable. Our communication lines, transportation, and other services are far behind the other states.
There might be many reasons, but it appears to me that the Central government doesn't take care of our state properly and the state government has failed to perform its duties.
The present situation in Manipur demonstrates how law and order has failed across the state. People are killed like mosquitoes every now and then. And it is a clueless hunt for the keepers of law and order to book and punish the criminals.
You might have heard of how the 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 1 November midnight and it is still going on, disrupting the supply of commodities to the state. Vehicles coming toward Imphal are being checked by the supporters of UNC to stop the transportation of essential commodities to the hills.
The economic blockade has not only caused a shortage of essential items but is also depriving children of education as they can't go to schools due to non-availability of fuel.
The demonetisation process added fuel to the fire as the people don’t have adequate money in their hands. But what is intriguing is how the usually boisterous Central government has kept mum on this matter and the national media — both print and electronic — without any exception, have purposefully blacked out this burning issue engulfing Manipur.
Now, common people are starting to wonder if there is any conspiracy between the government and UNC to unsettle the state of Manipur.
This silence of the Central government, in my opinion, is definitely not a wise policy. If the Indian government gives freedom to NSCN(IM), it will destroy the social and cultural fabric of the state of Manipur and also of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. It will create chaos and invite a civil war.
The people of Manipur welcome dialogue between the Government of India (GOI) and the NSCN-IM, or for that matter any insurgent group anywhere, for a peaceful settlement.
It will also be wrong to consider the NSCN(IM) leaders, including T Muivah, as the sole representatives of the Nagas. They are not democratically elected.
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? The sad part is that we do not have a leader like you here in Manipur. We do not have someone who can stand up and speak out about such grievances that are continually faced by the people. I would like to request you to kindly find a permanent cure to this problem in Manipur.
Sir, we are expecting a lot from your government but now are starting to get worried that our hope will be in vain. Sir, I have only mentioned some of the problems of Manipur and there is still lot more to say.
(Ronald Laishram is a third-year engineering student at Sri Jayachamarajendra College of Engineering in Mysuru, Karnataka. He has also been honoured by the former President APJ Abdul Kalam for discovering the Main Belt Asteroid “Maur 397” as part of the All-India Asteroid Search Campaign (AIASC))
(This is a personal blog and the views expressed above are the author’s own. The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for the same)
(Read more letters addressed to Dear Modi Ji... here.)
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