Open Letter To PM Modi: ‘In Manipur, People Are Killed Like Mosquitoes’

Posted by Ronaldo Laishram in Politics
January 12, 2017

Dear Hon’ble Prime Minister,

I am Ronaldo Laishram from Manipur, the place also know as the ‘Switzerland of India’. The place where the Indian National Flag was hoisted for the first time in India by the Indian National 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 full of problems. I am just a student who wants to see a developed India and a big supporter of your vision for India.

Today, I would like to request something and seek your kind attention. My agenda is to bring peace, prosperity, communal harmony to Manipur. I want to make our crying Mother live peacefully by seeing her children be happy.

It is arduous to see and hear the incidents which are happening every day in Manipur. Not a single day passes without having any problems. Today, we are in a stage where the future of our state is hard to imagine. Once a peaceful princely state is now wracked with problems. After over 67 years of Manipur being part of India, the conditions and development in Manipur is at its worst.

Truth be told, we are not developing at all.

Look at our communication lines, transportation, and other services, they are far behind that of other states. There might be many reasons, but I can say the main reason is that the central government doesn’t take care of our state properly. Plus, the state government fails to represent the common citizen in many ways and doesn’t perform its duties. The unfortunate part is that both the Central and State governments are playing a dirty political game to take advantage of the upcoming assembly election.

But in this letter, I want to talk about the current situation of Manipur. The present situation in Manipur insinuates how law and order has successfully failed across the state. People are killed like mosquitoes every now and then. And for the keepers of law and order, it is a clueless hunt to book and punish the criminals.

You might have heard of how the United Naga Council (UNC) had imposed the 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. It is still going on, disrupting the supply of commodities to Manipur. 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, but has also deprived children of education as they can’t go to school due to non-availability of fuel. School and college exams are postponed, as a result students might lose the academic year.

The demonetization process also added fuel to the fire. The people don’t have adequate money in hand.

Surprisingly, what is intriguing is the fact that the central government keeps 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 consider if there is a conspiracy brewing between government and UNC to unsettle the state Manipur.

And in the December 2016 ambush, NSCN-IM killed four Manipur police men, and injured 11. Still, you don’t say anything about it. People would like to know if there is a plot being hatched between government, NSCN-IM and UNC to disrupt the harmony between the people of Manipur and create chaos to destroy the state.

According to my viewpoint, the present policy of the government of India appeasing Naga underground (NSCN-IM) while sacrificing the vital interest of Manipur added fuel to the prevailing ethnic tension in Manipur. This is definitely not a wise policy of the government of India. 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) and will create a chaos and invite civil war.

The people of Manipur welcome the dialogue between the Government of India (GOI) and the NSCN-IM for a peaceful settlement of this matter. However, in doing so, care should be taken so as to not disturb other states and communities. Any solution should be confined within the state of Nagaland. 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. Whatever may be in any case, Article 3 of Indian Constitution regarding alteration of state boundaries shall not apply to Manipur to protect the 2,000-year-old territorial integrity of Manipur.

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? We have a population much less than the population of your own town of Vadodara in your westernmost state of Gujarat?

The sad part is that we do not have a leader like you here in Manipur.

We do not have the bold leader who can stand up and speak out about such grievances that are being continually faced by the people. I would like to request you to kindly find a permanent cure to this problem in Manipur. Among all the problems of Manipur, the constitutional amendment to bring about communal harmony, unity, equality and solidarity among all ethnic groups of Manipur is the number one priority.

Sir, we are expecting a lot from your government, but we are now starting to worry that our hope will be in vain.

Sir, I mentioned only some of the problems of Manipur and there are lots more to share. I have some innovative ideas which I would like to share with you and I would be very glad if you permit me to meet with you. I would like to contribute and see a developed Manipur and India in all aspects.

Eagerly awaiting your favourable response.

Yours sincerely,
Ronaldo Laishram
Manipur, India

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Image source: Getty Images

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