Acknowledging the human capital The backroom boys
If at all there is a lesson to be learnt, mulled over seriously, ingested and digested well over the past five months, then it is to acknowledge the human resources, the resources with which the story of the ongoing clash is presented to the world. The significance of human capital came on its own in every direction that one looked and looks at even as the ongoing clash has crossed the five months mark. This is what was and is being seen with the best brains from either side of the clash divide coming forward to put across the idea of the community they represent. It was at the world stage the story of Manipur was told. It was at the stage of some of the most viewed television channels that strong ideas were articulated to put across the idea of Manipur, and how totally one sided, illogical arguments were silenced. This is what Manipur should acknowledge and perhaps the first stepping stone towards this should be to acknowledge that the fight was fought at different levels. There were the frontline fighters, the bravehearts who spent sleepless nights keeping guard at the foothills, guarding a vulnerable village, those who stepped outside the comfort of their homes to give shelter and hope to those who were abruptly and mercilessly uprooted from their homes and driven out, the scholars and the learned folks who took the case of Manipur in front of the global audience and effectively put across the points of Manipur while seeking to neutralise the outlandish claims of those who have never had a compunction of defiling the forest cover and the green hill sides. Neutralising the cooked up history of the land, exposing the lies to lay claims on sacred sites of Manipur, such as Mount Thangjing and the most recent being the attempt made to encroach on the houses and properties left vacant after they were driven out from Moreh. That the State Government had to come out with an official notification reminding all of the Supreme Court order of 2023 which protects all religious sites from being encroached upon, protection of properties left behind by displaced persons etc should say something very significant. A reminder may be in line here-No one has ever made any bid to occupy the places left vacant at Imphal or any of the other valley districts. This fact should not be brushed aside. For over 150 days, the battle has been waged on different fronts, and away from the battlefronts and the camera but equally contributing more than their mite are the doctors, the nurses and medical staff who have left no stone unturned to treat those injured in the confrontations.
Important lessons that all should digest. Keeping company to those who go out of their way to brave the probing and at times totally biased questions to defame Manipur, are those who have been contributing regularly with their ideas and suggestions to the different media, including the newspapers. Far away from the media glare but who nonetheless have been taking up the fight on behalf of Manipur are those who have been spreading the real story of Manipur digitally via Twitter now X and other social media. Human resources, this is what everyone in Manipur should acknowledge and embrace the point that the fight is being fought at different levels. Now with the Kangpokpi based Committee on Tribal Unity reportedly deciding to take back the bodies which are lying unclaimed at different morgues in Imphal, how will the different Imphal based CSOs respond to the new development ? It is human to let the bodies return to the bereaved families so that the last rites and rituals may be performed. This is the least one can do for a departed soul, but already some have raised the idea of first demanding the status of those who are reported still missing. If they are dead, which in all probability they are, then why not demand that their bodies be handed back ? A reminder-The missing bodies of Hijam Linthoingambi and Phijam Hemanjit are yet to be recovered and this is a point which many have raised. As of October 11, 2023, over 20 Meiteis are reported to be still missing and most probably they have been done to death. The politics of hate being staged over the dead bodies is grotesquely loud and clear and the question is, will it get uglier ?