If history has taught us anything, it is that wars and battles for land and territory (kingdom as in the times of the Kings) have caused the most human casualties. To find an estimate of the number of casualties of such would be almost impossible. It is said that over 70 million people died during World War II, considered the deadliest military conflict in history. But one will not deny that it all started with politics and for land. A deeper look into history and we will see that, be it the British, the Roman, the Greeks, or nearer home, be it the Marathas, Cholas – they all fought for land to expand their kingdoms – with millions dying along the way.
And what is happening in our home state of Manipur today, between the two communities, doesn't seem to be that different. And as sad and in a sorry state as it is, with each claiming to be ‘fighting for their rights over their land’, over 100 souls have perished, hundreds of villages and thousands of houses burned and so many countless people displaced. And while each continues to claim that they are right, more lives are being lost, more miseries created. And what for?
For a piece of ‘that land’, a land that existed long before we were created, a land that will exist long after we are long gone, a land that had no ownership but is now being claimed by all human race. And yet, what each of us really need at the end of our lives is, perhaps, a piece of land that is 6 feet long, about 3-4 feet in width and about 4 feet deep.
The irony about land and boundary is that, when the universe began, there were probably no human-made boundaries to divide land. Man, as the supreme being of all, was given authority to rule and guide all other beings. Then, it was believed there were no boundaries or ownership of land – land was as free as it was.
So, how did all these boundaries, territories, kingdoms and the battle and war for it began? Let’s not dig so much into the history of it all for now. But as we stand today, land and boundaries have become the most common bone of contention between nations, states and even communities and wars are being fought over it.
So, do we really need to shed so much blood, create so many miseries - all for land? Could there be no middle part or a solution to end all this chaos? Can’t we all learn from history that the fight for territorial land that we are going through today will only destroy us? That, it will take us over a decade back, putting brakes on development? That, the end result will only be pain and suffering? That, there will be no gain at the end of it all?
There must be and there has to be a way, for every problem under the sun has a solution.
In the words of the legendary singer John Lennon, “Imagine there's no countries, it isn't hard to do. Nothing to kill or die for and no religion, too. Imagine all the people Livin' life in peace”. Imagine! Wouldn’t that be heavenly? But alas! We are mere human beings who want everything under the sun.
(The views expressed is personal)