Yaoshang under ‘who will be next CM’ Festival of colour

The two contenders are back, but everything is still as hazy as it was before they left for New Delhi at the summon of the Central leadership of the BJP. True or otherwise, Messrs N Biren Singh and Th Biswajit managed to put up a ‘good show’ that the trip to Delhi was nothing more than analysing the performance of the BJP in the just concluded Assembly election. That the State unit of the BJP was also congratulated on the good showing in winning 32 seats out of the total of 60 was the topping that went on to make their stand more credible in front of the inquisitive media straight on their arrival at the Imphal airport. The one line that stood out is that Manipur will have to wait for the Observer and the Co-Observer to arrive and interact with the elected BJP MLAs before the next Chief Minister is named. So it is that Yaoshang will be celebrated with the political tension hanging heavy above the heads of all the professional politicians, the recently elected MLAs irrespective of party affiliation, their supporters, the keen observers and the leikai experts. Already young girls have started coming out in droves, blocking roads to collect money from passers by for organising Thabal Chongba, Shumang Leela, musical nites etc. Practises which are synonymous with the Yaoshang festival and in a way it is a pleasant sight to see the pre-Yaoshang days picking up pace, after a gap of two years. So it is that Manipur appears well placed to celebrate the festival of colour after the Covid induced restrictions in the last two years and this is something refreshing. Yaoshang to be celebrated under the ‘tension’ of who will be the next Chief Minister and it is clearly living up to its name ‘festival of colour.’
There is something nostalgically beautiful in hearing the words Naka Theng rending the evening at the court yard of every household adding more colour to the festival of colour. Young boys and girls, dressed in their colourful Yaoshang dresses, going from house to house for Naka Theng and for those who have now entered the autumn of their lives, such sights are sure bring back fond memories and one wonders whether this culture is unique to Manipur. The beauty of Yaoshang also lies in the point that it is increasingly seen as a secular festival. This is the spirit of Yaoshang. With the results of the 12th Assembly election declared just a few days back, the destination of many will surely be the residence of the elected gentlemen and women and here there is no wall erected on the basis of Constituency. Meaning a group of merry makers can gate crash at the residence of an MLA who may be a representative of another Constituency and the beauty is, everything is taken as part and parcel of the festival. One just hopes that this spirit overrides the intense race to the post of the Chief Minister, for after all, it should all be about extending service to Manipur and not for settling any personal agenda. Yaoshang under the question of who will be the next CM and clearly Manipur is set to live up to the understanding of the festival of colour after a gap of 730 days.