The insurgency problem in Manipur like in Assam could be resolved through discussions, devolution of power and love, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi said on Wednesday.
“I am inspired by Mahatma Gandhi that any conflict can be resolved through discussions, love and peace. So that is my answer,” Gandhi said when asked if the Armed Forces Special Powers Act would be withdrawn from Manipur where it was responsible for social disharmonies affecting women and students.
“You cannot solve problems without discussing them and by using force against these people. They must have the power to do what they want to for charting out their own destiny and fulfilling their dreams. So more power to youngsters and the people,” he said during an interaction with students in Don Bosco University.
“I am really confident that the problem in Manipur like the problem in Assam can be resolved and will be resolved soon,” Rahul said.
“There are two competing ideas when it comes to governance. One idea says governance should be done in a centralised manner by one person. Another idea says that governance should be done by giving as much power to the people as possible,” Rahul said.
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“I think a lot of the conflicts that take place in our country occurred because we have not spread power to the people enough. If you came to Assam 20 years ago Assam was very much in conflict. You had a conflict in Assam then and you noticed that the conflict has disappeared over the last 20 years,” he said.
“How did this conflict go away? Because they actually included people in discussion. We embraced people, brought people in and discussed with them what their problems are,” Gandhi added.
On various ethnic groups in Assam demanding separate autonomous councils threatening to divide the state, Gandhi said, “There are fights when questions are not answered.
“If talks are held, answers are received. Though not acceptable but one feels that at least my question has been responded to,” he said.
“Misconception, too leads to fights. Agitations are manifestations of it. When power is decentralised to the people, individuals given political power, then no question of divide on lines of ethnicity or caste will arise. So the more power is given, the lesser the fights.”