ILP – Totally an Adult Issue?
“What is ILP?” people ask. Why are youths involved? Do they need to? Are the indigenous people really threatened? Without giving a straight answer ‘Yes’, let us first try to understand the issue as a whole. If you’re an outsider and want to travel to Mizoram, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, you’ll need this Inner Line permit (a type of certificate/paper). Even if you’re an Indian citizen and wish to travel to these places, you’ll need an ILP. This provision was made by Britishers under an Act called as Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act, 1873. An outsider cannot take away any rubber, wax, ivory or other forest product (or any book, diary, manuscript, map, picture, photograph, film, article of religious or scientific interest outside these inner line permit areas). This ILP provision was made to give special protection to the indigenous people of the North-east region. If I give the above definition when someone asks about ILP, it would be just a lame one. The present demand for ILP encompasses much more than the above mentioned definition which derives from the Act imposed by the then British for their business interests. In addition, the MRVTMW Act 2015 passed by Manipur Legislative Assembly in March 2015 which awaits the consent of the State Governor neither serves any purpose in protecting the native population. Hence, the aspiration of the people is not the implementation of Actual ILP laws but genuine Regulatory Mechanisms for the influx happening in the State.
The JCILPS set up to demand the implementation of the said permit agreed with the All political parties before its drafting of the said bill on 5 major agendas namely : 1) Issuance of passes/permits to outsiders/migrant workers. 2) Not allow their permanent settlement in Manipur. 3) Marking 1951 as the base year to differentiate migrants from original settlers. 4) Denying land holding rights to outsiders/migrants. 5) Setting up of a full-fledged Labour Commission to regulate entry of inter-state workers and detect illegal migrants/outsiders. But, the MRVTMW Act 2015 didn’t talk about land holding rights and didn’t define indigenous/original inhabitants/ permanent settlers. Hence, it ended up backfiring itself. Any act passed which do not ban the land holding rights of non-indigenous outsiders will remain a joke to the demand committee.
Students-trying-to-break-the-barricade-during-a-protest-rally-in-Imphal-demanding-implementation-of-ILP-System. Pic Courtesy : Kangla Online