ATSUM announced agitation

What the Cabinet decides to do now only testifies to how grossly indifferent and unjust they are to the needs and problems of the tribals in Manipur.

ADC related confusion has been in the coming since long. Confusion worse confounded is just for the reason largely attributable to tribal front line leadership and tribal CSOs refusing to see the writings on the wall and backing it up with firm credible action.

Kindly bear with me on the following:

1. Didn’t they know that the currency of the ADC was to expire on the 15th June 2020? Was it not incumbent upon the ADCs then in position to ensure and secure necessary arrangements to have the succeeding ADCs well positioned on time? Can anyone, even in the wildest imagination, dare justify going outside and beyond people’s mandate which is for five years and still masquerade around as people’s representatives? Is this the way to earn ‘honour and dignity’ as people’s representatives by shamelessly riding piggy back on nameless/lifeless chairs/positions?

2. Given the governance at the helm and devoting themselves to deliveries of justice, equity and fairness across the entire spectrum of the populace; what the Cabinet decides to do now only testifies to how grossly indifferent and unjust they are to the needs and problems of the tribals in Manipur. Don’t they know that all that they have decided to do now preparatory to ADCs elections, should have been done as soon as these new districts were created? Are we not, on the other side, waiting to be awakened to bitter reality that nothing, howsoever right would get done except at the time, pace and setting of their choice and making?

  1. Most importantly, are we tribals ready with positive answers on ADCs for what and for whom? Why and how ADC needs to be completely restructured? ADC, by intent is to facilitate and enhance socio-economic-political empowerment at the grass root levels. However, to translate that intent into concrete viable mechanism, ADC as it exist today needs to be restructured under the Sixth schedule to the Constitution- the only one route to financial autonomy obviously followed by functional autonomy. No more adhocism! No more arbitrariness! That is what puppets surely are in the hands of puppeteers!
  2. Stop taking ADC elections as the ‘be all and end all’ which is the surest recipe for tribal exploitations. ADC elections, to my objective consideration, should be viewed as a vital means to empowering ourselves politically and economically.

Sword Vashum. Retired additional deputy comptroller and accountant general. Views are personal.

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