Prime Minister Narendra Modi has broken his silence on the Manipur crisis but his comment was limited to a viral video and it took more than two months for the Prime Minister to break his silence. The shocking and horrific incident that surfaced recently took place on May 4.
Manipur has been burning since May 3 after violence erupted between the Meitei and the Kuki communities. The violence has claimed over 100 lives, rendered thousands homeless and displaced, hundreds of villages and thousands of houses were burned, over 250 places of worship were burned.
Modi, however, made his first remark on Manipur violence only after a horrifying video showing two women being paraded naked and assaulted by a large violent mob in broad daylight, in full public view, in Kangpokpi district went viral.
"The Manipur incident is shameful for any society… My heart is full of pain and anger... who did this and who is responsible is another issue but this has put our nation to shame. Whether it is Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh or Manipur...the issue of a woman's honour is above all politics... What has happened to daughters of Manipur can never be forgiven, guilty will not be spared," PM Modi said while speaking to reporters ahead of the Monsoon session of Parliament, which began on Thursday.
At least four accused have been arrested in the case of the viral video as of Thursday. An FIR was filed at Saikul Police Station regarding the matter on May 18 and later transferred to Nongpok Sekmai Police Station on June 21, according to Chief Minister N Biren Singh.
The heinous crime against two women in violence-hit Manipur drew strong condemnations from all corners, with some demanding capital punishment for the culprits.
Now, the moot question is, what took so long for the prime minister to break his silence on Manipur violence. Was he waiting only for some horrifying video to go viral or something worse? And, more importantly, why was his remark limited to the viral video? Was he oblivious of what is happening in Manipur, or does Manipur really matter to him as the prime minister of the country?
The Prime Minister's limited and late reaction to the unprecedented violence engulfing Manipur has drawn condemnations as he has ignored the plight and the suffering of the people.
It's been nearly three months now since the violence between the two communities broke out. Violence continues. There's total widespread turmoil and chaos in the state. The entire state is suffering due to the ongoing unrest and crisis situation. The digital generation is being hit hard as indefinite curfew remain enforced in all violence-hit districts in view of the series of events that refuses to die down since May 3, Internet/data services remain suspended in the strife-torn state.
Yet, the Prime Minister has not uttered a word until the horrifying video went viral. The inhumane and barbaric act of two women being paraded naked and assaulted by a mob must be condemned by all right thinking humans and the culprits must be punished according to law. But what about the chaos and bloodshed, the lost lives, those rendered homeless or the sufferings of the people living in the strife-torn state? Don't they strike the conscience of the Prime Minister?
The Supreme Court has also taken suo moto cognizance of the viral video and asked the Centre and the state government to inform it of the steps taken to bring the perpetrators into law. Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud has urged the government to take immediate action, warning that the Court would intervene if prompt measures were not taken.
"We will give a little time for the government to take action otherwise we will step in," the CJI warned after asking details of the action taken by the authorities since May to book the criminals.
Needless to say, the people of Manipur have suffered enough bloodshed and chaos. Now that the Prime Minister has broken his silence after the viral video surfaced, one is left to question if the Prime Minister would care to address the sufferings of the people of Manipur or would be genuinely concerned and take steps to end the violence. Or, is he waiting for another viral video to surface, hasn't he seen enough, heard enough? It is high time the Prime Minister steps in, takes action and resolves the prevailing crisis in Manipur.
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