Only condemning not enough Tell the whole story
The Prime Minister has spoken. It took a nude parade to break the silence stretching for over 70 days but is there a way forward ? The few words that the honourable Prime Minister spoke did not have aything to do with how to put Manipur back on the track of normalcy or anything near it. This is not to say that the concern expressed by the Prime Minister is not appreciated, but it would have gone down very well with the people if only a few words had been put in to take Manipur on the path of normalcy. That did not happen and one only wished that the Prime Minister had spoken out against all the excesses committed by people on either side of the clash divide. The Manipur International Youth Centre is not a high profile organisation and may not be on the finger tips of the numerous pen pushers who have been peddling the story of Manipur to the outside world, but it had a valid point on questioning why the Prime Minister and by extension the Central Government is suffering from selective amnesia. The same may also be said of the numerous pen pushers who came and continue to come to Manipur to sew up a story or two and string a narrative with a definite audience in mind. 80 year old Sorokhaibam Ibetombi was not a high profile personality, but she was a mother, a mother-in-law and a grandmother and her story should have received the attention of the Nation, if the correct and whole story should be told. Or is it a case of the Nation only listening or reading what it wants to ? The Sangai Express carried a four column news story on how the 80 year old woman was mercilessly done to death in her own house at Serou by Kuki militants. No one took notice of the said story, as if the life of an 80 year old woman did not matter. Forget the fact that the late husband of Ibetombi was a freedom fighter and honoured by former President of India, the late Abdul Kalam. So why didn’t this story go viral ? Only NDTV ran a story on the 80 year old woman. And why didn’t New Delhi take notice of the barbarity of her murder ? The other untold but equally disturbing story is the tale of at least 8 persons reported missing. Two of the persons, including a young girl, disappeared as recently as July 6. Now why aren’t the pen pushers talking about the need to ensure the safety of a young girl ? Can one expect Delhi have a say on this or will it be taken as par for the course in the face of the intense conflict situation here ?
There is nothing to suggest that Manipur will take a turn for the better in the coming days. The lopsided stories, the false narratives are not and will not help either. The May 3 nude parade was ugly, very ugly and The Sangai Express stands against it. Likewise the burning to death of the 80 year old woman is also ugly and should not be brushed aside. False narratives can have dangerous implications and this is best explained by the state of uncertainty that the Meiteis staying at Mizoram find themselves in today. PAMRA may have clarified that what they had issued to the media was an advisory for the Meiteis for their own safety, but that seems to have only emboldened the Mizo Students’ Union to conduct what they call a headcount or census of all Meiteis staying at Mizoram, particularly studying at Regional Institute of Paramedical and Nursing Sciences (RIPANS), National Institute of Technology (NIT), Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts of India (ICFAI) and Mizoram University. One wonders what New Delhi has got to say on this matter. Far from Manipur taking a step or two towards normalcy, things seem to be taking a turn for the worse after the nude parade video went viral on the social media. Already six accused have been arrested, but the Government is still quiet on who uploaded the said video clip. No Kuki would have been in a position to record the parade either. Herein lies the crucial question but can one expect the Government to work on this and crack it ?