Sunday, October 26, 2008

Senior citizens alarmed by escalating violence

Imphal, Oct 24: The daily onslaught of violence in the state in the form of bomb blasts, firings, kidnappings and monetary extortions are becoming a cause for concern among senior citizens and elders of Manipur. In an interaction with IFP at BT Park which is a meeting point for senior citizens taking time off to interact with their peers, Gurumayum Gopan Sharma said, “There was no such large scale violence 15-20 years back. We grew up in an environment of peace and security till we reached our middle age but the irony is that in our sunset years, we are in a state of unrest due to the conflict around us today.” He further said that such conflict was also a result of the lack of trust and fraternal bonds between people and rued that the level of social interactions had come down drastically. “The tradition of giving physical help in times of religious functions and ceremonies are being replaced by financial help. Money has become the cornerstone of everything and it looks like people are ready to kill others for it,” he said. He said that building trust was the only way to build up the fractured society that Manipur has become today.K Tomba Singh, an ex-minister who was also at the park, said that the disintegration of moral and spiritual values has led to the instances of violence in the state. “Life in Manipur today can be compared to a war like situation. One never knows what will happen today or tomorrow,” he said. He said that the lack of moral values and human values will only lead to more conflict. “Be it the government or the other organizations, the lack of leadership quality and working only for personal interests are the root causes for what we see today around us,” he added, saying that the misuse of power by ‘leaders’ also contributed to building unrest amongst the public. Laishom Lalit Singh, ex-finance minister said that the prevailing breakdown in the law and order situation of the state also contributed towards the state of conflict and called for starting peace dialogues with non state actors on an immediate basis. “Peace dialogues are the only way to bring about conflict resolution,” he said. He also said that the instances of random bomb blasts at public places should not be continued with. “These instances make it seem that there is no value to human lives. The conflict situation in the state has left the common people bear its brunt the most. It is the government which should make an effort at bringing this state of affairs to an end,” he said. Hijam Heramod, the founder registrar of the Manipur University who also spoke to IFP said that corruption was the root cause for conflict in the state. He said that the nature of violence in the state would be less in proportion to a decrease in levels of corruption.(Courtesy:IFP)

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