With a rare display of ruthlessness (something that is so rare in “democratic India”), the Manipur government has firmly resisted NSCN (IM) leader Thuingaleng Muivah’s demand to visit his native village Somdal, located in the Ukhrul district of Manipur. The Okram Ibobi Singh government of Manipur had rightly concluded that there was a possibility of serious disturbances if Mr. Muivah could manage to set foot in that Naga dominated region, and quite understandably refused to allow him to visit Somdal.
And I am genuinely happy that the Manipur government has managed to stick to its decision instead of buckling under the huge pressure that it has faced. Rather, the government is countering all those pressure tooth-and-nail, with sound determination.
Just look at the way the government is dealing with the hooligans of All Naga Students Association (Ansam). As a mark of “protest” against government’s decision not to allow Muivah to visit his native village, the Ansam activists have blocked National Highways 39 and 53 since 12th April, 2010 (though originally Ansam started the blockade to protest government’s decision to hold Autonomous District Council elections in the tribal-dominated hill districts). Quite understandably the blockade has caused serious trouble for the common people of the state, as they are suffering from a scarcity of all essential commodities (such as medicine and fuel) that enter the state through those highways.
But instead of showing any “soft approach’, the Manipur government has come down heavily on the Ansam activists. A couple of them have been arrested, though two of them were released after they promised to stay away from participating in the blockade. The tough talking Union Home Secretary G.K. Pillai has also strongly asked Ansam to lift the 100 per cent illegal blockade, which has resulted in an unbearable economic crisis in the state, with only the common people being at the receiving end. Ansam is well advised to accept the state government’s invitation for talks, instead of continuing with that blockade or any other nuisance that will eventually invite troubles for itself.
Hopefully the “NRI” Naga leader has got a taste of a new India, where tolerance for hooliganism in the name of democratic rights is coming down to the zero level.