Time to think for the children Method behind the violence
No sign that things will take a turn for the better anytime soon, but the crucial question is whether things will take a turn for the worse or whether the status quo will continue. No easy answer here, but note that what may pass off as insignificant to the eyes and ears of the adults today may have a profound impact on the Manipur that one may envisage 10 or 20 years down the line and this is what is scary. Time was when toddlers and the very young children were told to remain quiet or go to sleep with the line, ‘Kapkanu Tapta Lakchani’ and fast forward to the present, that is the Manipur of May 2023 and today one hears of light talks doing the round of how toddlers and very young children are being told to behave with the line, ‘Langganu/Haiba Illu nattradi moi (name of a particular community) lakchani’ or when the very young children start playing their own version of a game of the Good (belonging to a particular community) and the Bad (qualified by the name of another community). These tales cut both ways and perhaps there cannot be a more effective way of polluting the innocence of a child and this is a tragedy, the fruits of which the young children will inherit one day. This reminds one of the time during yet another ethnic clash at Churachandpur in 1997/1998 when buildings/houses were pointed out to the young children and tagged as belonging to a particular community. Or when eateries run and managed by young enterprising individuals from Manipur outside the State have the items or dish indigenous to the land (Eeromba, Singju) crossed out in bold red. The examples quoted here may sound childish, immature and juvenile, but the impact of the unsaid but audible message can be devastating. No peace until solution is worked out is a line that has been adopted by the Kangpokpi folks and while the frustration and anger of the people can be understood, this can send out a very strong signal for the future, the future of the young children, who have nothing to do with the madness that is being staged all over. Madness has blinded all rational thinking and the unacceptable part is when there seems to be a method behind the madness, when there is a method in the violence that is being perpetrated across Manipur. It is this method that is more reprehensible than any form of violence that Manipur has witnessed and experienced since the evening of May 3.
Amidst the methodical madness that is being played out at the foothills of the State and the sheer madness on the roads and streets of Imphal, Delhi has been remaining aloof all this while. Note the difference between methodical violence and sheer madness. Imphal seems to be groping in the dark on how best to deal with the spree of violence and other than imposing curfew there seems to be nothing more up its sleeves to deal with the issue right now. This is where the people as a whole need to rise to the occasion and explore ways on how to work out the path towards sanity. It will take time, this is a given, but then as they said time is the best healer and the least that one can do is give time the opportunity to play the good doctor. Too many people have died, too many properties and houses have gone up in flames, too many people have been displaced and too many hate speeches have been given prominence and it is important to question whether this is the legacy that one would like to leave to the younger generation. No parents would want to bring up their children in an atmosphere of hate and distrust and it is time for all to acknowledge that no one can live and survive on rhetorics. Mad rhetorics have been allowed to break the silence of the night and the tranquillity of the day for far too long.