Call to reduce Yaoshang days Make it three, not five !

It should not be a case of 3 versus 5. Or more accurately it should not be a debate on whether Manipur can afford to celebrate Yaoshang festival for full five days on the trot. All should have realised the uselessness of celebrating Yaoshang for full five days. This is a point which The Sangai Express had raised earlier and back in 2015, the Editor (English edition) had also raised such a question on the five days celebration of Yaoshang festival in a status on Facebook, eliciting response from many FB users. Now that some organisations have come forward to suggest that Yaoshang festival should be celebrated for only three days, the issue is out in the public domain. Prior to this, Chief Minister N Biren in a status on FB had also suggested cutting down the number of Yaoshang festival to three days. It is good that such suggestions have come from the Chief Minister and some CSOs of the State and it is a bit surprising that the same question had never been raised in the public forum by any CSO earlier. Now that the issue has been brought to the public domain, perhaps the people as a whole may need to seriously get down to the business of addressing the question at hand. At the same time, it is also important for all to bear in mind that the responsibility of fixing the days of the festival should start from one’s own home. Will make absolutely no sense, if the children of those espousing that the Yaoshang festival be cut down to three days, make merry far beyond three days. This is a point which should be taken seriously, for it is not uncommon in Manipur to see many who talk something in the public sphere but turn a blind eye to what is happening at their home. So lead by example, is a call that comes to mind here.
And when it comes to cutting down the number of days of Yaoshang celebration, the natural question is what about the press ? There is the tendency to urge the media to cut down the number of days of holiday during Yaoshang, from the full five days. This is understandable, but the question of bigger importance is, has anyone done anything to ensure the free movement of reporters during the five days festival as well as the movement of the newspaper distributors or hawkers as they are known here in the local parlance ? So far none. As stated here in a commentary earlier, hawkers come out to distribute the day’s paper to earn a living but if they have to spend any money while going about with their work, obviously they would rather stay indoors. This is what has been happening. This is where local clubs need to be sensitised on the need to give free way to the hawkers and yes to the reporters too. If the past is any indication, the call to cut down the number of Yaoshang festival may be opposed by others who may equally wield influence. This is where a sincere exchange of ideas is called for. The stand of The Sangai Express on the case is clear. It makes no sense to literally shut down for full five days. Or let the pressmen and all those connected with the media be given the free way and are not stopped every five metres by hordes of young girls out asking for donation in connection with the festival.

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