Beyond the flag and Constitution demand Noting ‘crucial stage’

The maths is simple enough. A child born back in 1997 would today be a major, in short a 24 year old strapping young lad or a lissome lady. This is the journey of the peace talk or ceasefire agreement or peace process between the NSCN (IM) and the Governm..

UAPA arrests, AFSPA and improved law & order

It needs no reminder that Manipur is a very small State and its total population is just a fraction of the total population of bigger States like Uttar Pradesh. Notwithstanding the huge gap in terms of population and territorial size, Manipur does not lag..

Omicron the new avatar of the coronavirus Variant of concern

Variant of concern. This is according to the World Health Organisation. Could resist vaccines and prolong the COVID-19 pandemic. Reported to be more contagious than the other earlier variants and adding more apprehension in the minds of the people is the ..

Inclusive Manipur: A cure for myriad maladies

Of late, the State Government has been vigorously advocating the idea of ‘Inclusive Manipur’. No doubt the idea is quite impressive and it would definitely turn out to be a magic wand if this idea can be transformed into a reality. Inclusive M..

Time to review development initiatives

In the backdrop of Chief Minister N Biren’s bold and proud claim that his Government has succeeded in bringing all-round development in the State, there is a need to analyse the State’s growth trajectory during the last five years. The Chief M..

ILP System needs dedicated staff

The way the Inner Line Permit System has been reduced to a farce in the State calls for a serious rethinking. As evidenced by the large number of non-local people pulled up by the JCILPS recently in association with local voluntary organisations, the perm..

Landlocked NE needs better connectivity

No doubt, standard highways are being constructed across the North East region. Given the fact that the region is a landlocked region, highways and railways are of paramount importance in the region. But the ongoing construction works are too little and t..

Paddy land conservationStill a far cry

A Cabinet meeting held on November 24 resolved to finalise the rules drafted for Sections 7 and 8 of the Manipur Conservation of Paddy Land and Wetland Act 2014 which was passed by the State Government in the first place to protect prime agricultural land..

Leaving out Manipur from the loop?

As stated by Neiphiu Rio himself, the Nagaland Chief Minister would be going to New Delhi to hold meetings with Union Home Minister Amit Shah as soon as the ongoing Nagaland State Assembly session ends. The two-day session began on Thursday. While invitin..

Pluralistic Manipur & divergent forces

Equitable or uniform development is not only desirable but also highly essential in any society, more particularly so in multi-ethnic societies like Manipur. If we are not mistaken, one oft-repeated phrase of the incumbent Government is uniform developmen..

Taking NE on board: Need of the hour

Just around 10 days back, Prime Minister Narendra Modi went on record stating that now policies for the North East are formed as per the needs of the region, and not only as per Delhi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was also candid enough to admit that R..

ST status: Renewed campaign and Govt’s silence

The campaign for inclusion of Meitei/Meetei in the Scheduled Tribe list under the Constitution of India is being pursued with renewed vigour when the five-year tenure of the incumbent Government is about to end in the next couple of months. It has been qu..

Drug smuggling from/through Manipur

Half a Kilogram of drugs (heroin) worth Rs four crore which was being smuggled from Manipur to Assam was seized by Assam Police on November 19 and two transporters/smugglers from Manipur were arrested.  This report is nothing to be proud of but at th..

Lapses in ILPS: Complete let-down

A large number of policies, programmes and regulations which sound quite impressive and promising on paper may turn out to be totally hollow and useless if there are lapses when it comes to the implementation part.  Inner Line Permit System which was..

Flawed education system and private tuition

There is nothing new or surprising in the 16th Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) which pointed out that almost 50 per cent of school students in Manipur take private tuition as an indispensable part of their formal education. What is surprising is ..

MPSC: Time for complete overhaul

As the Covid infested year is approaching its end, the State Government has appointed a new Chairman of the inglorious Manipur Public Service Commission (MPSC). It’s already late to clean up the MPSC, the highest recruitment body of the State and we..

Violence and conflict situation: Need for political engagement

It was indeed a tragedy that a Colonel of the Assam Rifles, his innocent wife and a minor son were killed in an ambush laid by militants on November 13 along with four other Assam Rifles personnel. Killings or violence of any form is not desirable. Everyb..

NE and New Delhi: Bridging policy disconnect

Indeed it is pleasing to hear that now policies for the North East are formed as per the needs of the region, and not only as per Delhi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was candid enough to admit that “Earlier policies were formed behind closed doors i..

Election under the shadow of Covid

With election to the 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly due in the next couple of months, almost all political parties as well as aspiring candidates have already rolled up their sleeves and activated their election machinery.  As a result, an atmosph..

Rise of drug mafias: An impending challenge?

There are challenges galore for economic development of Manipur given the State’s poor score in terms of governance and the all pervading conflict situation. Poverty, backwardness, violence, ethnic polarisation, et al continue to be the hallmarks of..

Only time will tell Of defection and Assembly election

Indeed, the State Assembly election is round the corner and with it the political parties active are busy laying the groundwork to form the Government in the next term. While some parties are losing its prominent figures when the election is at hand, the ..

'Hope for the best, prepare for the worst' Preparation to tackle Covid spread during poll

The pandemic that has ravaged the world for the last 2 years has been showing signs of slowing down in the State as well as in the Country during the last couple of weeks with daily tallies and TPR reporting below 5.However, many experts have opined on nu..

The other parties too matter The NPP and NPF

The big fight will obviously be between the BJP and the Congress but there can and will be some heavy weight players by the side. To the credit of the BJP, it has been able to take along the other possible heavy weights and go ahead with Government format..

Essence of Ningol Chakkouba Say no to extravagance

Make the day meaningful. The essence of the day should not be reduced to an exercise of ‘materialistic competition’, an endeavour to show who can bring back more expensive gifts from one’s parental home and this is the reason why so many..

Start of big talks ahead of Assembly polls Confidence Vs brashness

Big talk and something very, very characteristic of the big political parties to indulge in ahead of any Assembly election. This is exactly what seems to be happening to the State unit of the BJP as it has started rolling up its sleeves ahead of the next ..

Scripting a situation for super spreaderThronging the market

The festival of light coupled with the aroma that is sure to waft out of the delicious food that will be prepared for the coming Ningol Chakkouba festival seem to have dulled the wit and senses of the people so much so that if enough care is not taken now..

Rules are rules, better follow them !Helmet call

People just don’t listen. It seems like ‘If we are told to do this, we will not.’ It is this line of thinking which is clearly visible in the number of people pulled up everyday for violating the SOPs laid down during the Covid pandemic ..

Vaccination focus on the hill districts Poor coverage

With the number of fresh cases coming down appreciably in the last many days corresponding with the drop in the daily positivity rate, taking it below the 5 percent mark, it is easy for complacency to set in and this is something which the State Governmen..

Time to take a stand against graft Corruption hurts all

Apart from some issues, which have been touched and will be touched on by The Sangai Express even as the State races towards the next Assembly elections, one question or issue which should have garnered the attention of everyone is obviously Corruption. H..

Take another look at the ST demand The wrongs of the past

The Government of Manipur should wake up to the demand being raised for it is about the future of the Meitei people. The Meiteis too should revisit what happened 200/300 years back and see how they had treated the present day group of people who come unde..

Take another look at the ST demand The wrongs of the past

The Government of Manipur should wake up to the demand being raised for it is about the future of the Meitei people. The Meiteis too should remember what happened 200/300 years back and see how they had treated the present day group of people who come und..

Remember the vote of 2017 Lessons for the Cong

Election is near and this is again another reason why this commentary is being based on this point which comes once after every 5 years. In the Assembly election of 2017 the voters did have their say without giving the Congress the needed majority. Ever s..

Polls not far off The answer is here

Assembly election is not very far off and already a large number of people have been going hammer and tongs against each other especially on the social media particularly Facebook.  Central to this is The Sangai Express.  This is interesting in ..

Where are the promises ? Questions to ask

Promises. This not an advice but a sharing of thoughts. All the intending candidates have the BJP in mind and there is nothing wrong with this, but there should be a different approach to how one should get ready for the ticket. All the intending candidat..

Posers before the BJP Govt Where is the piped water ?

Election is some months away and while the two principal political parties will be the parties to watch out for, it is a pity that Manipur stands out alone when seen  via Nagaland and Mizoram. In Nagaland it is the Nephiu Rio led NDPP Government whil..

Pulling in different directions The deep divide

It should be apparent to all. The divide now is deep. From the deep social divide when the hill people (Haos) were taken as a group of people to be kept at arms length by the valley dwelling people, the Meiteis/Meeteis, it has today come to mean a signifi..

Doing away with the 3 hour exams Lessons from pandemic

There are lessons that can be learnt from the ongoing global pandemic and apart from upgrading the health care system, it is time the Government and the people who come under the profession of teaching come to deal with the question of whether testing the..

Of news makers and others Unwitting help ?

Thounaojam Brinda makes news. There is no doubt about it and it is for this very reason why The Sangai Express deemed it fit to carry the story of the police stopping a rally led by her on the front page of the October 18th issue. The young lady had reaso..

Knowing when to deliver Mount Manipur

One has to give it to them. The BJP surely seems to know what, how and when to deliver and this is exactly what they have done with Union Home Minister Amit Shah announcing that Mount Harriet in Andaman and Nicobar island will now be known as Mount Manipu..

Proverbial lull before the storm ? Drop in new cases

A lull and this is the best time for everyone to be on the alert to ward off or be in a position to fight back when the third wave comes. This is not being alarmist, but this is the ideal time for everyone, particularly the Government to be on their toes ..

Racing towards Goonda Raj ? Pre-poll violence

Goonda Raj ? Is this what the scheduled 2022 Assembly election is fast racing towards ? Is this how the scheduled election will be remembered, say ten or fifteen years down the line ? Not something to gloat over but already three Assembly Constituencies h..

Firing on a funeral service Plain terrorism !

Plain terrorism it was. Nothing less than this and Chief Minister N Biren was bang on target in stating that it was an act which only terrorists could have carried out. This much is clear. There is no doubt about it. But look a little deeper and some thin..

Not the time to let the guards down Ahead of the third wave

This is not the time to let the guards down. Sure the number of daily new infections has gone down appreciably and so too has the number of daily deaths. But it would be foolhardy to think that the virus has been reined in and everything can go back to th..

Ugly unfolding of events Do away with violence

One certainly hopes this is not the curtain raiser, a sort of a trailer for more ugly days to come by. Already Singjamei Assembly Constituency and Andro Constituency have made it to the news for all the wrong reasons. It had nothing to do with debates bet..

Lining up for the saffron partyInteresting days

As the party in power both at Imphal and at New Delhi, it is not surprising that all eyes are on the BJP, especially in the run up to the next Assembly election poised for the early part of next year. Tough to say how things will unfold in the coming days..

Probe for 30 days; job promise Applying first balm

Case handed over to the National Investigative Agency (NIA). State Govern- ment to form a probe panel to inquire into the facts and circumstances leading to the death of Athuan Abonmai on September 22 and to fix responsibility. The probe panel to be heade..

Eyes now on Delhi for some days Laying the cards on the table

Keen on resolving the long pending issues and come to a definite stand by the end of this year. It is amid this air of optimism that several leaders of the NSCN (IM) led by its general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah are now in Delhi and this air of optimism..

Not the time to let down guards The virus is still out there

From the high of always returning daily count above the 500 mark during June, July and August, the number of daily fresh infections has definitely come down but this does not mean the transmission chain has been broken. The virus is still out there and it..

Taking Kohima and Dispur on board The politics of peace

The political developments in Nagaland are interesting and central to this is the Oppositionless Government at Kohima. It is now more than clear that the Oppositionless Government at Nagaland will be a party to the ongoing peace negotiations between the G..

BJP on the swing Ahead of next poll

Given the political reality in Manipur, the BJP seems most likely to return to power. A power which the saffron party grabbed by hook or crook. All will remember how some disgraced personalities jumped onto the bandwagon of the saffron party to be able to..

The start and where to ? Stepping into Oct

September is over. End of a month and the beginning of a new month. Not exactly New Year when people are flooded with new year’s messages and to live the new beginning with hope and promises. So October is now on the people, and the question of impo..

Irabot Day: Time to contemplate

Indeed September 30 is one of the most important days to the entire population of Manipur for it was on this day Hijam Irabot took birth. Since many years back, we have been observing September 30 as the Irabot Day and the whole month of September as Irab..

A look at the coming Assembly polls Brief study of the issues

Six months, this is the period left for the present Government and the question is whether the BJP led Government or even a ‘BJP alone’ Government will return to power or not. Can the BJP expect to do what the Congress did for three consecutiv..

Quick speed in picking up 2 suspects From Sept 22 to Sept 27

The prompt action taken up is acknowledged for it is not very often that one gets to hear the State police moving with such speed and dexterity. The last word is yet to be said but it is noteworthy that just 5 days after Athuan Abonmai was abducted and bl..

Low count of daily cases in last few days Lessons from the past

From the high of July and August, when the daily surge in the number of positive cases was high, very high, running into the higher side of the three figure mark with some days even crossing the four figure mark, September has definitely seen a lull in th..

‘Taken note of camps’ of the NSCN (IM) Unofficial truce pact

Dead men tell no tales but it sure can wake up people to the harsh reality and the overwhelming question that has been raised everywhere is what the State Government intends to do with the many camps of the NSCN (IM) opened in the hill districts of Manipu..

Talibanesque style of execution The battered body says it all

Chief Minister N Biren Singh has apologised to the people for the glaring security lapses that led to the abduction and subsequent cold blooded murder of former president of Zeliangrong Baudi, Athuan Abonmai. The apology came on September 24, two days aft..

Abducted from under the nose of cops ! Need to raise tough questions

Some tough, hard, uncomfortable but obviously very valid questions are in line. Security arrangements must have been tight, if not for anything else, then for the very reason that Chief Minister N Biren was scheduled to attend a community outreach program..

Rio, Sarma taken on board ? Peace talk back on track

Move RN Ravi out of Nagaland and place him as the Governor of Tamil Nadu. Remove RN Ravi as the Interlocutor with all indications pointing that the next man to take the job will be former Special Director of the Intelligence Bureau AK Mishra, with some ev..

Not the time to let the guard down The virus is still out there

The detection of new cases has definitely come down in the last couple of days, but this should not dull the senses of anyone into thinking that the virus has been checked. It is very much out there even today, infecting at will and as the National Health..

Drugs and manufacturing units within the State?

Any keen observer would see that reports of seizure of contraband drugs come from different parts of the State every alternate day, if not every day. We are not talking about seizure of drugs in grams or a couple of strips. What has been disturbing the pu..

Naga peace talks The end of RN Ravi’s saga

Naga peace talks The end of RN Ravi’s saga..

Transferred out of Nagaland Posers on the Interlocutor

This is getting interesting. The natural questions that will follow can also be interesting. RN Ravi has been removed or rather transferred from Nagaland to Tamil Nadu but holding the same position as Governor. Nothing out of routine here, for this is not..

The virus is still out there !Stick to the SOPs

The transmission chain is yet to be broken. The virus is just lying low and stretch this understanding a bit and it should be presumed that the there is every possibility of the virus returning in all its virulence and this is where the call for the New N..

Choosing candidate the first step Ahead of Assembly polls

As the party in power at New Delhi and Imphal as well, the BJP is the party to watch out for when Manipur goes to polls in the early part of next year. Nothing surprising for this has been the trend in Manipur for years and it is precisely because of this..

Questioning truce pacts with others Politics of peace

The politics of peace or the politics of political dialogue is certainly interesting and one has seen this from close quarters ever since the NSCN (IM) inked the ceasefire agreement with the Government of India on August 1, 1997. Thereafter began the roun..

TSE completes 22 years From 1999 to 2021

The Sangai Express has completed 22 years in circulation and it is with a certain sense of satisfaction that one can look back at the past two decades. And when one talks about a ‘sense of satisfaction’ it should be understood in the context o..

Taking a look at the issues in 2012, 2017 How about 2022 ?

The Congress back then took an open stand and this is the reason why its presence in the Naga dominated districts of Manipur gradually and quickly withered away, best demonstrated in the 2012 Assembly election. To get a better understanding of the stand o..

Rolling up sleeves ahead of Assembly polls Interesting days ahead

Not surprising that the big two, that is the BJP and the Congress, have started rolling up their sleeves for the next Assembly election which is due to be held some time in the early part of next year. Operations 2022 and it is along this line that former..

The commandments from WHO Stick to the dos and don’ts

Maintain social distancing-meaning stay at least 6 feet apart from the person next to you, avoid crowds, don’t go or do anything that brings you physically close to anyone, stop socialising; maintain physical hygiene-meaning wash one’s hand th..

Disturbing high TPR in some hill districts Contact tracing ? Containment ?

The daily addition of new  Covid cases has thankfully come down, but this is not the time to throw caution to the wind and forget that the call of the New Normal still remains relevant. More than anything else this is the time for the people and the ..

The debate over ST status for Meiteis Poser to ATSUM

Time for the State Government to take a non-nonsense stand and make it known that it is not a Government which is there to buckle under pressure of any sort. For this, obviously it has to first study any subject before it takes a stand, listen to differen..

Disturbing TPR in some districts Study containment claim

This is the reason why The Sangai Express had for long been stressing on the importance of letting the people know the number of tests conducted in each of the 16 districts in the State  rather than just be satisfied with giving the absolute number o..

Heavy rush for admission to Class XI Should have anticipated

The Board of Secondary Education, Manipur, the different school authorities, officials nominated by the Government to work out the modalities of grading the Class X students to be promoted to Class XI have done their job, but it is not clear whether the G..

Signing off August with lowest TPR The virus is still out there

Manipur signed off August, 2021 with a seemingly massive improvement when compared with the day it stepped into the  8th month of the year. On August 1, 2021, Manipur saw 832 new positive cases and 10 deaths with a daily positivity rate of 14.9 perce..

Party hopping antics before the election No question of principles

Political players. Mark them out from the politicians, the ones who are wedded to the ideology and beliefs of the party to which they belong to. And it is the antics of the political players that would be fun to watch, especially for those who are in the ..

What if the Centre looks the other way ? Why not make it a poll call

Not very sure if this question has been raised within, but it is important for the people to know-what if the Centre refuses to grant Scheduled Tribe status to the Meiteis as raised by the Scheduled Tribe Demand Committee, Manipur (STDCM). At the moment, ..

From ‘corona’ to rousing welcome Refreshing change

It is a refreshing change, but then no one knows for sure whether the change that one sees is superficial or runs deeper than what meets the eye. Part of the credit for this must surely go to the policy adopted by the Narendra Modi Government which has ma..

Low number of tests, low new cases Test, Trace, Treat

Low number of tests, low number of new cases detected. This has been the trend in Manipur for the last few days and since August 20 the number of tests conducted each day has always been below the 4000 mark and correspondingly the number of new cases dete..

Looking beyond the proposed ADC Bill The ‘greater’ demand

The great ADC Bill divide. It should be obvious to all those who have been reading between the lines and the BJP led Government at Imphal, which interestingly is in a coalition with Naga People’s Front, and the number of civil society organisations ..

Pointing fingers at some ‘hill leaders’Superficial reality

This is perhaps the first time that Chief Minister N Biren Singh has gone hammer and tongs against some who he dubbed as ‘hill leaders’ for trying to ‘disturb’ Manipur in full public view. That the ‘outburst’ of the Chi..

Keep the public informed on all countsCovid variants

The public needs to be informed. It cannot only be for academic interests. Hope the State Health Department and all the officials advising the Government in chalking out strategies and deciding how long people should be told to stay indoors get the point ..

Results of Class X, Class XII sans exams Voices of discontent

Something totally new and even unheard of and again something which no one had experienced earlier and this could be one important reason why voices of discontent have come forth from some students who have been assessed, given marks and declared pass by ..

Two medals from five participants Boosting the sports mvement

From five picked for the Indian contingent to represent the country at the Tokyo Olympics, 2020 to capping it off with the stupendous show of two returning with medals, Silver from S Mirabai Chanu in weightlifting to the Bronze from S Nilakanta Sharma in ..

Back to two figure daily TPR Blip on Covid radar

It was more of a blip on the Covid radar and Manipur is back again to reporting the daily positivity rate in double digit. On August 16, Manipur reported a daily positivity rate of 9.29 percent, the report for which was filed the following day on August 1..

Why is AFSPA still in force here ? Calling Modi and Shah Saab

The BJP Governmanet is expected to do better. It has done away with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award and replaced the same with Dhyan Chand Kehl Ratna. No arguments here. Its objective is Nation First. Again no arguments here. But is the Armed Forces Spe..

Ahead of Assemly polls For whom the bells toll

In about 7 months Manipur will go to polls and it will decide whether the saffron party will return to power or not here. Given the way the BJP has swept to power all over, starting from the 2014 Parliamentary elections to the 2019 elections the party see..

Spell out number of tests in each district Test, trace, treat

The statistics is disturbing and there is no sign that the transmission chain has been broken. It is not only the statistics per se that is worrying and a cause of concern, but also the hugely fluctuating report from some of the hill districts. This is a ..

Corona, Corona all the way Prime news for over 1 year

Ever since the virus landed in Manipur, it has been the prime news in all the major newspapers published from Imphal and why not ? Even when the virus was at a lull, before the second wave descended on the people and the land, coronavirus continued to occ..

Don’t allot party’s ticket stand Interesting development

Nothing to do with the Congress but then again in a way much to do with the Congress. Internal affairs of the BJP, one may say but then again one cannot entirely write off the fact that the man central to the new interesting development is a man long syno..

Doing away with day curfew Positivity rate in hill dists

It is again back to the pandemic. The Government has slightly eased the restrictions, doing away with the day curfew and the night curfew coming into force from 6 pm which will be in force till 5 am the next day. Restrictions eased, but then normal day to..

Looking back with satisfaction Look forward to 2022

Manipur has every reason to look back with satisfaction at the just concluded Tokyo Olympics, 2020 and the statistics should say it all. With just about 30 lakh population in a Nation of 130 crore people, Manipur did well in having five of her sons and da..

Give more teeth to contact tracing Too many loose ends

Scale up vaccination, contact tracing and testing by providing additional manpower, mobility support and IEC Advocacy. This is the line assured by the State Home Department in its official notification issued on August 7 and while one hopes that such meas..

5 from Manipur in a squad of 127 Two out of five, so far

Giving a new meaning to the understanding of medal haul or podium finish at the biggest sporting bonanza in the world and Manipur has shown this to the rest of the country at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics, 2020. Manipur’s presence on the sports map of ..

Govt need to look beyond curfew The upward curve

The figure is worrying, deeply worrying and it should be more than clear that lockdown or curfew or containment or whatever term one gives it is just not working. Remember since April 29, 2021, Manipur has been under one or the other form of restrictions ..

Extending curfew by another week Need to revisit HI model

A different approach has to be adopted. A hybrid approach if one may add. The extension of the total curfew by yet another week should be understood in the backdrop of the rising graph of positive cases and number of deaths daily. The daily positivity rat..

Rolling out red carpet for Mirabai Face mask, shield say it all

Ever since she lifted her way to the Silver at the ongoing Olympics at Tokyo, Saikhom Miranda Chanu has been more and more impressive. ‘Quite thoughtfully Miranda retained her face shield and mask, when she was escorted by security personnel and oth..

Is the total curfew working ?  Study the statistics

Not pressing the alarm button but it is more than clear that the 10 days total curfew imposed since July 18 has not worked. The statistics should tell its own story. From July 18, the day the total curfew came into force, till July 26, the  number of..

Putting India up there on the medal list  A Silver from Tokyo

It is Tokyo 2020, but in reality it is 2021 and Manipur certainly is keeping to the spirit of London 2012, the tale of which was scripted by the darling of the media and arguably one of the favourites of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, MC Mary Kom. 2020 or ..

Need to look beyond restrictions Virus still running riot

The virus is running riot, infecting at will and killing randomly. This is a fact that cannot be diluted in any manner. What makes things more disturbing is the fact that Manipur has been under curfew or restrictions since April 29 and this was further ti..