For any society to sink to the lowest takes being consistently erratic in the way they conduct themselves in any situation. They are so driven at the core by over projection of one’s ego to the exclusion of all others. When the society gets so structured people begin to lose sight of ‘Truth for the Truth’ and ‘Wrong for the Wrong’. The standards of what is right and what is wrong are routinely manipulated solely to suit one’s own convenience and interests. Decisions made and actions taken in such social setting would only sow seeds of chaos and confusion, turmoil and conflict which if not checked, would eventually gain popular acceptance as normal.
As I reflect on our societal existence under the aegis of the UNC, the position portrayed above is an exact replica of where we are. And I say so absolutely with ‘malice to none’. My utmost desire is for our society to take a complete ‘U-Turn’ from the course of hurling ourselves into precipice.
May I invite your attention to the following:
1. UNC, sure enough, to avoid risk of getting written off, has bounced back – springing surprise on us with a bomb-shell of ‘derecognition operation’ of the new districts. Here I just can’t help questioning the ‘Why and How’ of your action mode on the ‘newly created districts’ issue. Yes, this is an issue that had rocked quite a bit in the past, but for reason totally unknown, was consinged to dustbin during the last 3/4 yrs, is now sought to be resurrected on a ‘zero sum game’. It is a natural law of life and as much accepted in jurisprudence that silence beyond reasonable limits is taken as acceptance/approval. From political perspective the issue of new districts is as good as dead and buried just for the simple reason that no political war was ever waged that leaves trails of embers burning and hot. Any political issue howsoever right and important but unmatched/unsupported by political action would, at best play itself out as avenue for endless meaningless parleys.
2. To me the issue is largely legal and constitutional. Looked at from this angle, creation of new districts (hills) can only happen under Art 371C of the Constitution read with the presidential order vide GOI Gazette notifications dt. 20/06/1972 providing thereunder that any issue/matter that has bearing on tribals (manipur) should come through the HAC with their knowledge and approval. The HAC having been kept off the loop, the creation of hill districts stands nullified ab-initio. But then, who else is to blame if the ‘shamed and the wronged’ refuse to bell the cat?
3. In the given conundrum, UNC ought to make it’s stand loud and clear on whether it’s demand is for abrogation of the newly created districts and return to the status quo ante? If yes, on what grounds – political or constitutional or both?
4. My humble submission is: Much water has flown under the bridge since the creation of the new districts; most surprisingly with you (UNC) and political leaders (MLAs/MP) being silent abettors to staging of ill-conceived political drama by the government only to show case themselves as true benefactors of the hills. Not a word has been aired in the assembly/parliament against the unconstitutionality of the new district creations. Therefore, given series of acts of omission and commission on our part, we just cannot but accept the ‘fait accompli’ of new district creation.
The only one way to stop recurrence of such unsavory episode is to regain our lost ground and reposition ourselves as envisioned under Art 371C (bedrock of our progress and security) till such time better alternative emerges. Until and unless we reassert ourselves on the strength of our constitutional rights, we have none, absolutely none but ourselves and ourselves only to blame. Are we ready to bite?
Thanking you all and God bless.
Sword Vashum. Retired additional deputy comptroller and accountant general. Views are personal.