scorecardresearch
Manipur MP Bimol Akoijam hailed as new voice for Northeast after stirring parliamentary debut

Manipur MP Bimol Akoijam hailed as new voice for Northeast after stirring parliamentary debut

Angomcha Bimol Akoijam, a newly elected MP from Manipur, delivered a passionate maiden speech in Parliament, earning praise and sparking a national conversation. His address highlighted longstanding issues faced by Northeast India, urging for better centre-state relations.

advertisement
Manipur MP Bimol Akoijam hailed as new voice for Northeast after stirring parliamentary debut Manipur MP Bimol Akoijam hailed as new voice for Northeast after stirring parliamentary debut

Angomcha Bimol Akoijam, a newly elected Member of Parliament from Manipur, has been widely praised for his impassioned maiden speech in the Indian Parliament. Social media across India has been flooded with posts hailing Akoijam as an "iconic figure" for Northeast India and Manipur.

The Manipur International Youth Centre (MIYC) lauded Akoijam's address, stating that his voice "goes beyond party lines and carries a voice of the unheard on his shoulders encompassing the entire northeast region and Manipur." The organisation views his emergence as heralding a potential new era in centre-state relations for the region.

In his speech, Akoijam tackled long-standing issues of marginalisation faced by Northeast India. He began by highlighting the two-hour time difference between Delhi and the Northeast, using it as a poignant metaphor for the disconnect between the region and the rest of the country. The MP went on to criticise what he termed the continuation of "colonial attitudes" towards the Northeast, even 75 years after India's independence from British rule.

Akoijam did not shy away from sensitive topics, addressing the exclusion of Northeast history from Indian textbooks and the treatment of people from the region as outsiders. He challenged the concept of Indian nationalism, arguing that it has failed to truly include the Northeast, effectively "vanquished and disintegrated" the people of the region.

In a bold move that captured national attention, Akoijam vowed to remain silent until Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke about the ongoing crisis in Manipur. This dramatic gesture appears to have achieved its aim, as Modi subsequently broke his year-long silence on the issue in a speech to the Rajya Sabha.

However, the Prime Minister's response has been met with criticism from some quarters. The MIYC stated that Modi's speech failed to address key issues such as the alleged ethnic cleansing of Meiteis, the resettlement of over 60,000 displaced people, and the purported partisan role of Indian armed forces in the conflict that has engulfed Manipur since May 2023.

Akoijam's speech has been particularly noted for its focus on the "Idea of Manipur," which he claims has been deliberately undermined. The organisation expressed confidence that Akoijam would continue to champion this cause and resist any attempts to impose Article 3 of the Indian Constitution on Manipur, which could potentially lead to the state being divided.

The ongoing conflict in Manipur, which began in May 2023, has displaced over 60,000 people and remains a pressing concern for the state and the region.

Edited By: Aparmita
Published On: Jul 06, 2024