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A Plea for Peace: Aizawl’s Septuagenarian Prays to Prime Minister Modi for Manipur

 PLEASE MR MODI, BREAK YOUR SILENCE!

In the quiet corners of Aizawl, an elderly woman of 74 years found her sleep eluding her night after night. Overwhelmed by the unrelenting flames of turmoil engulfing Manipur for more than two months, she yearned for a ray of hope amidst the chaos. Driven by her unwavering belief in the power of words, she took up her pen and poured her heartfelt plea into an ‘open letter’ addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“I offer you my greetings as a citizen of India and as a Mizo tribal of Mizoram, and a sister of the Kuki-Zo-Hmar people of Manipur,” Rohmingliani, a resident of Kulikawn neighbourhood in Aizawl began her letter.
Modi’s indifference to the Manipur ethnic violence reminded Rohmingliani, a retired government school teacher, of a short story by Leo Tolstoy “A Spark Neglected Burns the House” which she had learnt in high school.
“The burning issue of today is your silence, as Prime Minister of India, over the ethnic cleansing of Kuki-Zo-Hmar tribes,” she screamed in the letter.
She opined that had Manipur been a non-BJP ruled state, President’s Rule would have been inposed within a month of the initial outbreak of ethnic clashes or after the visit by the Union Home Minister?
Asserting that Manipur is a state within the Union of India, its inhabitants are all Indians irrespective of Caste, Creed or Culture, Rohmingliana asked “Mr Modi, why don’t you express your concern with neutrality, and instead of keeping silent, offer condolences to the families of those who lost their lives?”
She continued to bombard the PM with questions like “”Why is it so difficult for you to visit Manipur to take stock of the situation and to comfort the people and try to bring peace to the state by inviting the confronting parties to come together to resolve the conflicting issues that cause this mayhem?” and “Do you not have sympathy or love for the people of Manipur, whether they are Meiteis or Kuki-Zo-Hmar tribes or are you just content to have a BJP ruled state?” 
Rohmingliani informed the Prime Minister about how Meitei groups like the Arambai Tenggol and the Meitei Leepun were trying to annihilate the Kuki-Zo-Hmar tribes. “I think you are aware of the fact that the Chief Minister of Manipur and the Co-ordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI) allege that Kuki-Zo-Hmar tribes are narco-terrorists, and the latter declares war against them,” she wrote. 
She informed Modi that this conflict could result in heavy casualties on both sides and most of the victims will be the Kuki-Zo-Hmar tribes, who are the minorities within the state of Manipur. 
“People are killed, churches are burnt, villages are burnt and people are internally displaced in adjoining states mainly in Mizoram. You are projecting yourself to the world as the most popular and capable Prime Minister India has ever had, while the Kuki-Zo-Hmar tribes are being threatened to be wiped out from existence,” she fumed.
Rohmingliani expressed grave concerns that if the PM continues to remain silent, the trouble in Manipur could spread to other states, which may affect the whole country to the point of no return. 
“If this violence in Manipur is allowed to continue, it could eventually bring about the breaking-up of India like that of the USSR,” she warned.
Rohmingliani observed that Modi’s indifference and lack of care for the people of Manipur reflects his attitude towards the people of India, not only that of the North-east. 
“This is evident from the fact that you chose to remain silent when Christians and Muslims are tortured and killed, and when churches are attacked and pulled down in different parts of India,” she alleged.
“Mr Modi, as a prime Minister of India, you visited the Balasore train accident site and cyclone-hit Gujarat. You also went to the United States and Egypt. When are you going to visit Manipur?”
 
“Please, Mr Modi, if you really love India and its people, I urge you to show in words and actions that you want to stop the burning of Manipur, whoever may be initially responsible. Don’t you want normalcy to return to Manipur? Your silence may burn India, your / our beloved Country,” Rohmingliani concluded her letter.




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