Rebirth of ADCs
Some are likely to be stillborn
With the counting of votes of the Manipur (Hill Areas) District Councils elections completed, after so much problems, violence, and obstructions that dogged the people of Manipur for over two months, the Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) in the hill districts are finally set to be reborn. Though the authority is yet to declare a date or dates for officially constituting the ADCs with the elected designated members taking oath, it can be said with certainty that the ADCs would come into existence in the near future. While constituting the ADCs in Churachandpur district, Kuki areas of Chandel district and Sadar Hills would probably be smooth without much trouble, in some areas such as Ukhrul district, Senapati district, Tamenglong district and some places in Chandel district inhabited by Naga tribes, it is expected that more violence and obstructions would come in the way. The United Naga Council (UNC), the All Naga Students’ Association, Manipur (ANSAM) and other like-minded Naga bodies had sworn that they would use all their might and go to any extent not to allow the ADCs in the Naga areas to come into existence and function. There are reliable reports that any successful Naga candidate, whether elected by votes or elected uncontested, who takes oath as a member of the ADC, would be dealt with in the severest manner. Who knows, the members who take oath could even be killed. The worst could happen. Already, houses and properties belonging to most of the candidates in the Naga dominated areas, mainly the Congress candidates, had been razed to the ground or burnt down. These candidates can’t go to their own places. Even the houses belonging to Minister of Tribal Development, District Councils and Hills, and Veterinary & Animal Husbandry, DD Thaisii and President of Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC), MLA Gaikhangam had been burned.
On the other hand, the Tangkhul Coordinating Committee of various Tangkhul organizations of Ukhrul district had repeatedly announced that it would apply customary laws and punish those candidates who refused to withdraw their candidature from contesting the MDC elections. Considering all these realities, the fate of ADCs in the Naga dominated areas remains dangerously difficult and uncertain. Yet, it’s a democratic and constitutional process being taken up by the government of a state in a very lawful manner. It’s also a process intended and targeted to bring about more happiness, goodness and welfare to the people of the hill districts of Manipur. The Autonomous District Councils are going to act as local self governments in the hill districts. Its objective is to facilitate the state’s welfare programmes at the grass root level. Such a democratic process can’t be stopped. It’s really unfortunate that the people of the hill areas had been deprived of this democratic and constitutional right for 20 years. But now that the government is making sincere efforts to restore that right to the people of the hill areas, no threat and obstruction of any kind should be allowed to jeopardise the efforts. If any particular organization or organizations do anything extreme to jeopardize the whole process, the government would have to deal with it in appropriate manner. Once the ADCs start functioning, the state government should delegate due powers to the ADCs and release adequate funds in time. Expectations of the hill areas mustn’t be disappointed. Source: Hueiyen News Service