Combating drug-trafficking in Manipur by the Government, was attempted to be sabotaged by inciting destructive violence, and camouflaging and projecting it as a caste conflict. Noting that the Manipur Government had been dragging its feet on the inclusion of the Meitei community in the Scheduled Tribes (ST) list for 10 years, the Manipur High Court has directed the State government to consider the request of the community’s inclusion within four weeks, and send a recommendation to the Union government for its consideration. This verdict is now entangled in a web of legal complications, before the Supreme Court and the Division Bench of the Manipur High Court.
A kaleidoscope of issues involving drug-trafficking, infiltration by foreigners, arms-trafficking, drug economy, and foreign religious interference, is now cleverly dressed up as a caste conflict. Warring Kukis and Nagas are against granting the Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to Meiteis because they want to have an exclusive monopoly on reservation benefits. This is an ominous development going to have all-India ramifications. It will be no longer be within the competence of any State Government, or the Judiciary to decide, which community is entitled to get Reservation status! Foreign based religious heads, NGO’s, and internationally funded anti-India groups, will decide, which community should be accorded Reservation status!
Are we not playing with fire? If foreign religious heads are promoting the fiction of a spontaneous rebellion by the Christian Kukis and Nagas, and covering up with an informational canopy so dense as to make the rioting opaque, responsibility unclear and responses unknown, how can the Government and Judiciary respond? The ‘information space’ has been craftily manipulated, in collaboration with a biased mainstream media, to erode confidence in the State Government and Police forces. What is the purpose of interference by foreign religion heads, is it to polarize societies, and pit communities against each other, and encourage destabilization behaviour? The anti-drug campaign and blitz by the Government has been cleverly paralysed, at no costs to drug-traffickers and those living comfortably off drug money, and a deadly fire, stoked hot enough, to stir a new issue – who will decide to whom to give caste-reservation benefits? The core principles of a welfare state and a sound political health, free from external exploitation and manipulation, is now a serious internal security challenge.
Extraordinary structures will need to be set up to counter foreign religion based drug-trafficking challenges, and their efforts to create new processes between politics and policy, between Central and State jurisdictions, between law enforcement and intelligence organizations, and judicial hierarchy. Foreign religion heads are conspiring, to snatch, the decision making power, as to which community deserves reservation benefits. The strategy is to accelerate the estrangement between the Meitei and Kuki communities. A protracted civil war or societal collapse, cleverly engineered, could be successfully replayed, across the country, which is on the verge of fresh General Elections. If we don’t interdict the calamity here, it will continue beyond 2024, it will change the calculus, become more divisive and unpredictable.