By Ningombam Bupenda Meitei
Manipur’s ILP (Inner Line Permit), which was passed unanimously by Manipur Assembly in the form of Manipur’s 3 bills, went through a constitutional process as accepted and guaranteed under the Constitution of India. Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh is a democratically elected Leader of the people of Manipur and, he is not a stooge to any other power which rejects and opposes the Constitution of India. Manipur Chief Minister with his Council of Ministers do not work for ensuring that the state of Manipur is controlled by elements which believe in destroying and replacing the Constitution of India. The democratic rights of the people of Manipur are very much inclusively vibrant and it is precisely the people of Manipur who have elected the present Congress Government led by Ibobi Singh since 2002, and it is the same people of the state who have genuinely voiced for the introduction of Inner Line Permit, which is constitutionally acceptable as it happens in other states – Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram – of India too, in Manipur so that the people of Manipur are given a constitutional protection under the same Constitution of India which is vehemently rejected by elements whose philosophy lies in rejecting the Indian Constitution only.
Just one day before the scheduled visit – as reported in Assam Tribune, Manipur political parties team to meet Prez in Delhi, dated June 1st, 2016 – of all political parties of Manipur team led by Manipur Chief Minister Ibobi Singh, on June 2nd of 2016 The Indian Express carries an article – Manipur: In frame, inner line permit campaigner with militant flag – which claims that Manipur’s ILP is not driven by the mandate of the people of Manipur through a constitutionally established Manipur Assembly but only manufactured through a controlled mechanism of institution which rejects Indian Constitution.
The article of The Indian Express has a series of illogical arguments because of the failure to maintain logical consistency in presenting the article. Its contradictions and the timing, hardly 24 hours before the scheduled visit of the all Manipur political parties team led by Manipur CM to New Delhi on Manipur’s ILP, of the article being published clearly expose the nature and silently deliberate activity of the Modi government – which runs only under Narendra Modi’s permission and knowledge – to destroy Manipur by blocking the ILP, which is very much in existent in other states of India, and also to belittle and make a mockery of the Chief Minister of Manipur when he, and the team led by him, visits New Delhi to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Why is Prime Minister Modi silent on Manipur’s 3 bills till now?
The contradictions of the article are;
1) Can militia which rejects Indian Constitution supports ILP which is guaranteed under Indian Constitution?
If ILP is engineered by a militant organization, then it clearly shows that that militia has begun to start accepting the Constitution of India partially, if not completely. And, if the militia has begun to accept Indian Constitution, then it shows the dawn of peace in Manipur. It is indeed a good news, particularly for New Delhi. If it is a good news for New Delhi, then how can it become such a tasteless news, just before a day of the Chief Minister led team visits New Delhi for ILP in Manipur? Why shall not Prime Minister Modi be happy to learn that ILP – which is constitutionally accepted under the Constitution of India – is engineered by elements which used to reject the same Constitution? Why is PM Modi not celebrating such a great evolutionary, not revolutionary, change – the change that militia which used to reject the Indian Constitution has now started advocating the rights of the people enshrined in the same Indian Constitution – in the approach of the militia of Manipur? Why is PM Modi not witnessing it as a clue to his office that militia too wants peace and joins India through Indian Constitution?
If ILP is not manufactured by the militia, then who has manufactured and produced ILP? It is only the Manipur Assembly which has passed the 3 bills to be sent to the President of India. Manipur Assembly comprises MLAs and not militias. The people of Manipur have elected their own elected representatives to Manipur Assembly which is not a hub of militias but a temple of democracy.
In democracy, to claim that what is democratically accepted and constitutionally passed in the temple of democracy – which is Manipur Assembly, in this case – is engineered, manufactured and controlled by elements outside Manipur Assembly is exactly like saying that the people of Manipur still do not know the meaning of democracy even in 21st century and Manipur Assembly does not exist but, it does exist in mirage for New Delhi to justify the existence of India’s democracy only but not for the people of Manipur who are the fundamental and foremost pillars of the justification for the vibrant democracy in India.
To term 3 bills passed unanimously by Manipur Assembly as engineered by militia will be as equal as saying that the entire MLAs – all 60 MLAs of Manipur are not Meiteis – including Manipur Chief Minister are nothing but subjects of the militia, and in turn it also shows that the people of the state are the subject of the subjects of the militia. But, the question is – are the people of Manipur subjects of militia? If yes, how come it has been throughout since 1949? Has the philosophy of India’s democracy failed in Manipur? But, the reality is since 1949, there have been elections in Manipur consistently and that is a sign of a vibrant democratic system in Manipur and, it also justifies that the people of Manipur are very much with the philosophy of India’s democracy. But, how come all of a sudden, just one day before the state CM with his team visits New Delhi for ILP, the people of Manipur have been made to become subject of the subjects of the militia by claiming that the 3 bills – supported and demanded by the people of Manipur, and later passed unanimously by Manipur Assembly – are nothing but “of the militia, by the militia and for the militia”? But, the reality is – the Manipur’s 3 bills are “of the people, by the people and for the people of Manipur”.
2) ILP is a leaderless and not individual centric public movement; it is not civil societies’ movement only.
ILP movement in Manipur is a public movement, it is a movement of the entire people of Manipur all by themselves and for themselves so that their existence in India under the Indian Constitution becomes constitutionally possible and realistically pragmatic. To present the movement as for some civil societies or social organisations or some individual social leaders or representatives of some NGOs would be dishonor to the people of Manipur and mockery to Manipur Assembly which has passed the bills. Even if the entire civil societies or non-governmental ogranisations of Manipur become non-existent or dysfunctional, still the people of Manipur will demand and voice for their democratic rights to grant a constitutional protection of them and their land and resources under the Indian Constitution because the movement is leaderless, as it is purely public, in nature meant for the entire people of Manipur.
3) Who is the police officer whose “direct” statements are quoted and published in The Indian Express’ article?
In the aforementioned article, it writes:
“But this is the first time we have photographic evidence of this. This photograph is new and we know to be authentic…(the militia) was funding the inner line permit movement, but since the convener is taking the oath of allegiance it shows that they are not just sympathisers, but what we call OGWs or overground workers. This makes the Convener of (the civil society) a cadre member of the (militia),” said the official. The name of the militia is explicitly mentioned in The Indian Express’ article but neither Prime Minister’s Office nor Chief Minister’s Office confirms the name of the militia or whether there was such involvement of militia with regard to passing of the Manipur’s 3 bills.
The argumentative questions after reading this direct statement of the police official – who is introduced by The Indian Express in the article as “a Manipur police officer who told The Indian Express that the (militia’s) involvement in the movement is known to the police, the IB and the government” are the following.
(a) How can Manipur Governor send the Manipur’s 3 bills, which – according to the Manipur police official – has the involvement of militia and such involvement is also known to Intelligence Bureau too, to the President of India?
(b) How has ILP movement become an individual centric movement or leader based movement as it is a leaderless public movement?
(c) How can Manipur Chief Minister and the Congress Government pass any bill which is engineered, backed and dictacted by militia and the involvement of militia in the bill is also known to the state police department and government led by none other than the same Chief Minister leading the same Congress Government of Manipur?
(d) How can Manipur Assembly Speaker entertain any bill in which the making of the bill involves militia and the information of such involvement is also known not only to Intelligence Bureau but also state police and government?
(e) Was not Manipur Governor advised not to send the bills to New Delhi by Prime Minister’s Office if Intelligence Bureau already knew about the involvement of such militia in passing the bills?
(f) Did not Prime Minister’s Office know from Intelligence Bureau much before the passing of the bills, and therefore did not the BJP party under whose prime ministership PMO functions know it? Or, is it that there is a thick and high wall between a party and a government?
(g) Is the police officer not working in the same police department of Manipur which, according to the police officer, knew the involvement of militia and the name of the militia but did not act?
(h) Has the police officer taken a prior official permission from Director General of Police of Manipur to communicate to media? If so, then has the Director General of Police taken the same permission from the Home Minister of Manipur? If so, then has the Home Minister of Manipur given the permission officially, in writing, to the DGP to pass on to the police officer concerned to communicate to media on the issue of the name of militia, justification of the photo being shared on media as authentic and new, involvement of militia in Manipur Assembly’s passing of ILP bills and also to the extent of stating that not only the state police department but also the entire Government of Manipur and Intelligence Bureau knew about such involvement but did nothing? Who gave the police officer an official permission to represent the Home Department of Manipur, Government of Manipur and Intelligence Bureau of India?
The article also quotes the police officer’s direct statement which is given below.
He added that the police would not act on it until the state government sanctioned an operation. “This is not a simple issue. The government needs to give approval.”
The argument, here, is – there is a difference between the state government’s approval for an operation related to militia and the state government’s concern with regard to Manipur’s 3 bills because the two are disjunctively differently issues, because the former, the operation related concerns, is an issue of law and order while the latter, the passing and converting of the passed bills into act by the President of India, is an issue which needs constitutional approval by the Rashtrapati and which is nothing to do with law and order issue of the state of Manipur. How can a law and order issue of Manipur state, which is purely a state subject as an item in State List in the Indian Constitution, become comparable to an issue, which is to be decided by the President of India whose consent is required?
4) The Indian Express article quotes confidential IB report but fails to produce it.
The Indian Express, in its article, mentions the following:
“A confidential report of the IB last year, reported by The Indian Express, had said the (militia) was suspected to be behind the protests for inner line permits that had stalled life in Manipur, especially Imphal city, for the past few years.”
There is a blue coloured mark on the name “The Indian Express” and the blue coloured mark means that another weblink (or hyperlink – a link from a hypertext document to another location, activated by clicking on a highlighted word or image) is attached so that when it is clicked, the next weblink will direct to the mentioned “a confidential report of the IB last year”, but when the name “The Indian Express”, with its blue colour to show that there is a further additional referred link, is clicked the link directs to only the website of The Indian Express and not to the confidential IB report, as mentioned in the article. Usually, the blue colour is to show the reference and not to give the link to the official website of the same magazine or newspaper in which the article is published because it does not make sense to link the same magazine’s website as a reference with blue colour in the midst of the article which discusses a serious “IB’s confidential report”.
So, The Indian Express fails to produce the confidential report of the IB, which the article has quoted and used it as a strong reference to prove that the militia was suspected to be behind the protests for inner line permits in Manipur. The failure of The Indian Express to produce its own reference, which has been used and cited to prove the justification of the content of the article, is also a proof to justify that the contents of the article published in The Indian Express, with regard to ILP in Manipur in the very aforementioned article, are totally baseless and concocted with heavily vested interests timed exactly and precisely just before the visit of all political parties of Manipur team led by Chief Minister to New Delhi to meet Prime Minister Modi so that the Chief Minister of Manipur and Manipur Assembly become a mockery when they come to New Delhi, in the eyes of New Delhi’s media.
How does Prime Minister Narendra Modi make an attempt to ridicule Manipur Assembly and Manipur Chief Minister in New Delhi?
If Indian Intelligence Bureau already knew, as it is so reported in The Indian Express in the said article, then what is Prime Minister’s Office doing about the bills sent by the Governor of Manipur to New Delhi? Why is such article with such a photo of some individuals being timely leaked and spread out on social media and within hours, got published on The Indian Express just 24 hours before the visit of Chief Minister with his team to New Delhi? Why was not the photo published by The Indian Express in May 16 or one month back or one year back, why is it published just before 24 hours of the visit of the team led by Chief Minister to New Delhi on ILP in Manipur? If IB knew it, why did not IB act on it? If IB knew it, then it is imperative that Prime Minister Modi also knew it; then, if Prime Minister Modi knew it, then why was he keeping quiet, why can’t he ensure to find out the truth behind? The entire governmental mechanism is all there to investigate. Why should not the photo be investigated? Why should not NIA be made to find out the militia and the links with the militia in passing the Manipur’s 3 bills? Why is Prime Minister silent till today on Manipur’s ILP when Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland have ILP?
The silence of PM Modi is a sign that both PM Modi and his government and his party, BJP, are not at all serious about the protection of the indigenous people of Manipur, the rights of the indigenous people of Manipur, the honour of the people of Manipur and the dignity of Manipur Assembly. If Prime Minister Modi can not tell the nation that whether militia’s involvement was there in passing the Manipur’s 3 bills or not in Manipur, then the Prime Minister is not only serious about the people of Manipur but also about the national security of India. If Prime Minister Modi can not order an inquiry to investigate the authenticity of the photo and contents of the article published in The Indian Express which ridicule the people of Manipur and make Manipur’s elected representatives as stooge of militias, then the Prime Minister himself is not even considering to have a slightest honour and respect for the indigenous people of Manipur. If Prime Minister does not order for an investigation to find out the truth behind the confidential IB report, as mentioned in The Indian Express, then merely rejecting the Manipur’s 3 bills will be read, perceived and understood as nothing but a complete neglect of Manipur by the Prime Minister, and therefore, a leader who neglects Manipur shall not even dream of witnessing the lotus to bloom in Manipur in 2017. The failure to convert Manipur’s 3 bills into act and implement ILP in Manipur by New Delhi will be an undoubted justification of the dusk and end of BJP in Manipur. Merely making an attempt to make a mockery of Chief Minister of Manipur, by presenting him as someone who – under the pressure of militia – has initiated the bills to be passed by Manipur Assembly, by none other than the BJP with its leader PM Modi will only make the people of Manipur realise the hidden agenda of BJP and that hidden agenda of BJP is nothing but BJP in New Delhi is in total opposition to the genuine voices of the indigenous people of Manipur – the demand to bring ILP in Manipur just like in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram.
The future of Manipur lies in the future of the indigenous people of Manipur. Manipur, without its indigenous people, will be like a mere geographical, commercial and political territory of India without the consciousness of Manipuri-ness and if that happens – which is likely to happen if ILP in Manipur fails to get implemented as soon as possible – then the very fundamental philosophy of “Unity in diversities” of India will become “Unity in Uniformity” and that, which is “Unity in Uniformity”, will certainly result in a deliberate and well designed manufacturing of patterns that will unfailingly lead to the contradiction of the very foundation of India which was, which is, and which will be “Unity in Diversities” only, and thereby the contradiction will re-question the philosophy of India’s making and re-visit the foundation of modern India and its founding leaders’ philosophies. Without ILP in Manipur, the future of India’s Unity in Diversities will be replaced by India’s Unity in Uniformity. Is India ready for “Unity in Uniformity”? Certainly, BJP can and shall and will be ready for “Unity in Uniformity” but not the people of Manipur, and the people of multi-diverse and pluralistic modern India. Therefore, India, if she has to remain as Mother India, can only remain so if and only if the very fundamental philosophy of the making of modern India is intact and that fundamental philosophy is – “Unity in Diversities”. One of the justifications to prove the vibrant existence of that fundamental philosophy, in India, today is to convert the Manipur’s 3 bills into act and implement ILP in Manipur. Otherwise, BJP and its leader the Prime Minister Modi will be remembered in the political history by the people of Manipur as the epitome of “Unity in Uniformity” to destroy “Unity in Diversities” in India.