IMFP – Indian Made Foreign People

Dr Ksh Imokanta Singh
Contd from previous issue
In Manipur locals are manufactured in any locality. Loi villages like Sekmai, Andro, Leimaram, Pheiyeng etc. are specialised in such profession. Yu-ngou (white liquor) has been an inevitable part of Meitei’s cultural and religious life. Birth ritual of a child is referred to as Yu-pan thaba. To cite a very common example, one’s character is judged by his/her Chakcha Yu-thak (the way of how to eat and drink).Yu and meat seem to be Siamese twins. People often laugh at when someone drinks with Veg. items. So, we say, ‘yuthak-aga sha chaba’ (wine drinking and animal eating). English seems to be a favourite language when people are high in this part of the world. Some drops/ pegs of local and they become Hercules - Open challenge. It is another matter that there are uncountable number of Herculeses who are just ‘living corpses’ (they call it Zinda Laash in Urdu).
These are some of the stories of people here in Manipur. Such may be shared stories in other parts of India too. But then why NE people should be made to feel like IMFPs ? Is it because of geographical location of the region which is joined to the bigger part by a narrow corridor called Chicken’s neck (Siliguri corridor)? Then, which part is the head of the Chicken ? This part or that part ? I hardly come across any creature with small body and much bigger head. Then why is not the head, the central nervous system, central to the whole body of India but only treated as periphery ? May be biological and geographical outlays do not, all the time, go in tandem with the conceptual, ideological, nation-building priorities. That is why Delhi (New Delhi) is in the centre (despite being not central geographically) and NE in the peripheries, both geographically and otherwise. If we look in a conceptually practical way, peripheries should have beengiven central priority, for whose defence India had fought many wars and battles and still is fighting. Time is changing it seems, with the ‘Look East Policy’ and now ‘Act East’. To an optimist, both look like opening of floodgates of opportunities. But to a cynic, both sound just like wistful dreams. For them ‘Look’ means just plain looking and ‘Act’ means just acting to act.
To wind up, let me put some words of wisdom. You might retort, ‘Words of wisdom from you ? Those must, invariably, come from someone like Shakespeare, Mahatma Gandhi, APJ Abdul Kalam.’ Such question arises because it has been fashionable to quote somebody, especially with a Western name. The more obscure the name the more well-read you are. We don’t quote by Tomba, Chaoba and Hongba of our locality said. Such quotes are relegated to something like ‘Anonymous’. So here it goes, ‘If you want to maintain distance from somebody, keep the prejudice intact and enmity simmering eternally, then simply don’t talk to him/her.’
Communication reduces bitterness, negativity and misunderstanding up to a certain extent. So, feeling like IMFP in the above-mentioned regions may be reduced substantially when we understand each other and ‘talk’ to each other.