Farcical, Quixotic, Ludicrous Friday Holiday !
Farcical. Quixotic. Ludicrous. These are some words that come to mind when one looks, relook and digests the ‘Friday Holiday’ stand announced by the Joint Students’ Body of Churachandpur some days back. Can be dismissed as yet another clownish act, a desperate bid to draw more attention to the fantabulous ‘Separate Administration’ formula cooked up by some of the better placed Kuki-Zomi elements and most probably reflects the sense of desperation rising in the camp which has bent backwards to dismember the understanding of Manipur as a geo-political reality. At the moment it is the fantastically named Joint Students’ Body, but one does not need rocket science technology to work out the brains behind such a move to take on the mantle of the Government and declare a day of their fancy as a holiday. Will the Government remain satisfied with just dubbing the ‘Friday Holiday’ announcement as totally illegal and not take things further ? The coming days will reveal the answer but if the past is any indication, it will remain just that-a case of the Government just dubbing the declaration illegal. Given the reality, it should be clear that the Friday Holiday declaration should not be seen as a one off thing and should be understood within a bigger canvass. Apart from cocking a snook at the Government and demonstrating that they do not acknowledge the State Government, the Friday Holiday declaration should be seen in the bigger context. In all probability this will not be the first such farcical, quixotic and ludicrous announcement to come and one can expect the extremely fertile minds to work overtime and see how to provoke everything that is associated with the understanding of Manipur. The unsaid but loud message in the declaration is clear. The holiday list prepared by the Government of Manipur is not valid in our land-an imagined land-is the clear message that has been rung out. Fantastic stories have already been cooked up and such stories have invaded the social media, particularly Twitter, now X. Already one can see bids being made to distort the contents of Manipur in sites such as Wikipedia and given the lies that have been cooked up and spread with so much expertise, it would not be surprising if a Zalengam or a Greater Mizoram map is drawn to be taught to students of other communities ! So even as elements are out there at work trying everything to overrule the existence of a Government at Imphal, the people in Imphal and the valley districts are caught up in a nonsensical ‘clarification’ that it is the 10 MLAs who have raised the Separate Administration demand and not the BJP. As if anyone has ever said that the BJP has raised such a demand !
The point is, the challenge before Manipur is huge. Clarity of thought is the call of the hour. However that clarity of thought can become clouded when one is overwhelmed by a culture of chamchagiri and haughtiness. What should be the next step, is the question that should be occupying the minds of those in positions of influence. How to go about blunting the demand for a Separate Administration is a question that can only be addressed when one accepts the truth that lies in front of everyone and not try to bluff one’s way through with some lopsided ‘logic’. How about the thousands of people who are still languishing in the different relief centres that have been opened across the length and breadth of Manipur ? What are the steps that have been studied to resettle them at the place they once called home ? The task before the Government and the people should be clear. As stated earlier in this column, one should look at the bigger picture of declaring Friday as a holiday and see how it is linked to the call for a Separate Administration. Reaction is not what the situation demands, for this is just a small part of the Separate Administration demand and one has to be prepared to fittingly respond to the situation that will arise in the coming days. To come near this understanding, one has to acknowledge the potential and the fertile mindset of the nemesis of Manipur.