Reports indicate that the European Parliament, during its plenary session in Strasbourg, France, adopted a joint motion by six political groups, calling for decisive action to address ethnic and religious violence in India’s Manipur state. The motion, voted on after a debate, also urged India to safeguard the rights of religious minorities, including the Christian community in Manipur, and repeal the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act.
However, it is evident that the members of the European Parliament did not thoroughly study the ground realities in Manipur with care and understanding. They may have been swayed by biased and one-sided media reports, failing to take a holistic view of the situation. As a responsible parliament, it would have been more appropriate for them to engage in discussions with the Government of India to ascertain its stance and explanation before passing such a resolution.
While it is true that violent incidents have occurred in Manipur, resulting in the loss of innocent lives, it is important to acknowledge that historical issues between ethnic groups have long contributed to potential conflicts, similar to challenges faced by many countries, including those in Europe.
The recent violent episode in France, where an unarmed 17-year-old of Algerian and Moroccan descent was fatally shot by police during a routine traffic stop in Nanterre, reveals instances of police brutality and conflicts related to migrant issues. As a consequence, protests turned violent, resulting in the burning of several locations. These incidents reflect the state of affairs in Europe, which has experienced various conflicts, hate politics, and frequent violent incidents due to the influx of migrants. It is worth noting that the Indian parliament has not passed any resolutions criticizing such violent and unsavoury incidents in Europe, highlighting its broader worldview compared to the European Parliament.
It is widely known that European countries accommodate various insurgent and separatist groups operating against governments in different countries under the guise of freedom of speech and action. The negative activities of these groups are often disregarded by European governments for various reasons. Notably, the LTTE, a separatist group seeking secession in Sri Lanka, engaged in a prolonged violent war against the Sri Lankan government while enjoying unhindered support and facilities in Europe. Similarly, the Khalistan group, another separatist organization acting against India, finds refuge in certain European countries, causing significant problems for India. European countries tend to adopt different approaches to violence and terrorism depending on whether it directly affects them or involves another country.
Recent events in Europe have garnered widespread publicity for reasons that do not enhance its reputation in any way.
It is high time for the members of the European Parliament to search their consciences and introspect regarding the fairness of their resolution concerning Manipur state in India.
India, with a population of over 1.42 billion people, is a densely populated country characterized by vibrant democracy, boasting around 2,500 political parties of various sizes. The nation is home to diverse linguistic groups, including a considerable tribal population residing in remote areas with traditional value systems. People of different religions coexist, and overall peace and harmony prevail in India.
In a vast country like India, occasional isolated incidents of violence in specific regions should not be exaggerated. For several decades, residents in Manipur have lived peacefully together. The present violence is an isolated incident, and there is no doubt that peace will be restored sooner or later, perhaps sooner than later.
India’s impressive economic progress in recent years has garnered widespread praise from global institutions such as the World Bank, IMF, and others. This progress has been made possible due to cordial and healthy relationships among its people. By and large, people in India live peacefully, and incidents of violence like the one in Manipur are exceptions rather than the rule.
Finally, the European Parliament’s resolution can be viewed as an act of hypocrisy. It is akin to the adage of “people living in glass houses should not throw stones at others.” The European Parliament’s action mirrors the pot calling the kettle black.