Editorial: PM Finally Acknowledges Manipur

Editorial: PM Finally Acknowledges Manipur

FPJ EditorialUpdated: Thursday, July 04, 2024, 11:01 PM IST
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while replying to the debate on the motion of thanks to the President in the Rajya Sabha, finally addressed the issue of Manipur. This acknowledgment came only after he refrained from mentioning the state in his earlier speech to the Lok Sabha. Notably, during the 17th Lok Sabha, the Opposition had to resort to a no-confidence motion to compel Modi to comment on Manipur, reflecting his persistent evasion of the issue. During the recent parliamentary elections, Modi campaigned extensively but conspicuously skipped Manipur, a state where the BJP lost both seats. This omission did not go unnoticed, especially since even RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat highlighted the government’s failures regarding Manipur. This prompted Home Minister Amit Shah to convene a meeting with key stakeholders, notably excluding Chief Minister Biren Singh.

Modi’s satisfaction with the decline in violence fails to account for the prolonged period of unrest that has plagued the state for over a year. While he claims that schools have reopened and examinations are being conducted on time, he omitted crucial details in his speech. Questions remain about whether those displaced from the Valley have been able to return and reclaim their homes and whether those who fled to the hills have been able to rebuild their lives. Furthermore, while Modi cited figures of FIRs registered and arrests made, he did not address the adequacy of compensation for those who lost their homes and property. A glaring omission in Modi’s speech is the status of worship places belonging to a particular community that were destroyed. Their restoration, or lack thereof, could indicate whether justice has been served or if those who engaged in violence have succeeded in their unlawful actions.

Modi’s reference to the Congress imposing President’s rule in Manipur in the past appears as a deflection rather than an acknowledgment of current issues. Modi has demonstrated a willingness to replace underperforming chief ministers in states like Gujarat and Haryana. However, his continued support for Biren Singh, despite the latter’s failure to effectively address violence in Manipur, is perplexing and undermines his claims of maintaining high standards. The situation requires more than a superficial response. It demands a comprehensive approach to ensure the return of displaced individuals, the rebuilding of communities, and the restoration of law and order. Modi’s belated acknowledgment is a step, but it is far from sufficient to address the deep-seated issues that continue to affect the state.

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