Quintessence of Winter 2015

Hiyangei hosted a series of festivals and took leave with a promise to come back next year. Poinu barged in at the seasonal door. And like an old lady, it puts on a pomfee to stay warm in such a freezing weather. Mr. Winter is on full time duty for the next few months. Kobi thamchetmaanbi plays eta laakpi with hawai tharaak and hungaam thongba flirts with yongchaak singzu while hawai mubi puts on a jealous look. She is perhaps keen to dance with yongchaak in the kompaak to prepare a scrumptious eronba mathel. In Manipur, one can say that every season has a unique flavor. And this is one of the best parts of staying in Manipur.

This winter, Kumhei Lairembi seems to have showered her blessings on me. I consider myself lucky enough to have watched three different plays I have always wanted to watch. The first play that I watched was Thagatchari Mayambu Thagatchari about which I dedicated one of my earlier columns, the second one was Pebet and the third one was Nupilal. The amalgamated experience after watching these three plays is beyond any comparison.

Nupi Lal, one of the significant movements in the history of Manipur, has been immaculately presented in the form of a drama by Rupmahal theatre. Rupmahal stages ‘Nupilal’ as one of its observation plays on 12th December every year. I was astounded by the performance of the artists during the entire play. The play in deed made me envisage a glimpse of history from the prism of present. However, the final scene of the play almost broke my heart and made me tearful.

A brief take on the play

The play, in my opinion, reflects the age-old battle between the oppressors and the oppressed lots of our society. The rebellious Manipuri spirit is also quite evident from the various scenes in the play. It is also notable that the incorrigible attitude of matamgi Manipur’s security personnel seems more or less a transmitted disease from those ‘half-pant setpa sepoys’ of matamdugi Manipur.

From Yotkhok laan, Manipur’s first fight for freedom, to Maira Paibi movement, Manipuri women have come a long way to create history from time to time. The play glorifies the role of Manipuri women in our society. The play also provides a stern lesson that Manipuri women do not silently suffer injustice from any Tom, Dick or Harry. And history is the sole witness that they have a fearless spirit to revolt against the wrong doers like they did during the Nupi Lal. It is ironical that in a patriarchal society like ours women are not mere home makers. They do take an active role in any social or political matter.

By and by, I earnestly feel that observation plays like Nupilal should be presented to a larger audience on a bigger platform if at all we want to let the world know what happened in Manipur during the colonial era. I do feel that watching plays at the theatres should also be encouraged among the present as well as younger generation so that they do not feel a missing gap between matamdugi Manipur and matamgi Manipur.

The past was not in our control. What happened already happened and there is no such technology that can alter the events that happened in the past. But if we have a clear understanding of the ‘what, why and how’ of the past, we can probably alter or change things that may happen in the future.

Before concluding my column, I extend my heartiest gratitude to Rupmahal theatre for preserving the quintessence of a historical play like Nupilal which is a must watch for every Manipuri. I do look forward to watch many more plays in the theatre in the days/months to come.

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Rupmahal’s Thagatchari mayambu thagatchari- A play to remember!

Mera took leave bidding adieu to its lagao addict fans for another year. Hiyangei brings along the scent of winter. It is that time of the year when meifoo makes friends with meitaan again. It is also that time of the year when yongchaak has its annual come back. The mad rush at Khwairambandh and jams at every nook and corner of the city made it clear that this year’s Ningol Chakouba was celebrated with great pomp and show.

Watching Rupmahal’s ‘Thagatchari Mayambu Thagatchari’ with a few good friends was the best ever experience of this Ningol Chakouba. The crowd on that day at Rupmahal was comparatively less than the gathering of people at a lagao khaofam. But one can easily figure out the difference between the smell of kaang hidaak at the theatre and that of expensive dhoop manam nungsiba at the lagao khaofam. Lagao to a great extent reflects a slice of our incorrigible attitude. It is an addiction that we comfortably get used to and we have no regrets about such an addiction. The lagao addicts, for many reasons more than one, can never understand the real pleasure of watching a satirical play together with folks in their retiring years after relishing a scrumptious meal on Ningol Chakouba. By the way, for the security personnel, lagao month is the harvest season when they reach home every night with a fat purse.

The play ‘Thagatchari Mayambu Thagatchari’in a rib tickling satirical manner reflects the filth of our system especially that of the so called babu sahebs. Nando, the protagonist of the play, exists not only on the stage of Rupmahal but in the system that has sickened us during many seasons for many reasons. It is a sad reality that we have to endure the leadership of many corrupted Nando and his allies- Khan saheb and finance saheb.

Honest officials like Shekhar do not have a place in an Indianized democratic system like Manipur’s. Ours is also an Indian state where Freedom of Press, though already defined as not an absolute fundamental right in the constitution, is mercilessly ridiculed every now and then. In the metropolis, journalists are more or less treated as the ‘other section of celebrities’. But in a state like ours, journalists are mere pao mee i.e. pao fongnaba sembada mateng paangnaba mee, not the newsmakers. With a meager income with which they can hardly make both ends meet, journalists are like the illegitimate off springs of a big fat senjao paiba mapa in our state. Their role was clearly defined in the play as that of kaksabi saabi and the mention of ‘Khongnetta laakpa kaangbu’ echoes an impoverished understanding as well as under estimation of journalists in our society. In a nutshell, one can come to a conclusion that the play austerely reflects how corruption has its deep rooted impact and effect on our society for all these decades.

In the heart of the city, Rupmahal theatre still preserves the quintessence of matamdugi Manipur. And in the air conditioned rooms, they discuss their share of percentage on this and that project. The sound of the cranky chairs in Rupmahal is sweeter to me than the noise of the lavish talks between the babu sahebs and their memsahebs. And deep in my heart I have a belongingness with those worn out walls where many plays like ‘Thagatchari Mayambu Thagatchari’ have been centered for all these decades. I rejoice the company of folks in their 70s and 80s who visit the theatre to spend a quality time by spending a ticket worth Rs. 30 than the company of those hypocrites who spend a lavish amount for partying in a posh hotel.

So long as the stage has its strength to center many more plays, so long as the worn out walls of the theatre give me company, so long as I book a seat in one of those cranky chairs, I will cherish the company of like-minded folks in their heydays or retiring years. And trust me no kuber gi wealth can bribe me not to continue doing so.

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The new Sanjenthong scam- A lively report

Imphal is presently preparing itself like a bride-to-be which makes it obvious that the annual Sangai festival is not so far away. Another Sangai festival is around yet Sanjenthong is still inaccessible to the public. Manipur Masala presents an exclusive report covered by Mr. Natrang on the new Sanjenthong scam. The details and names provided in this report have nothing to do with any person living or dead. However, if any reader happens to figure out who is who, it is his/her responsibility to remain discreet on the matter or disclose it at his/her own risk to any Hongba, Chaoba or Tomba.

Various authorities and individuals were contacted on a virtual platform to find out some facts and figures on the scam. But the attempts were not fruitful. With much hardship, our reporter came up with some reports out of which the following four were sorted out for publication.

Sanjenthong Sidok Sijin Contractor (name not disclosed for percentage related reason)

The bridge would have been ready months ago but to be honest we did not focus on it at all. We have been continuously delaying the construction work. I can explain why we are doing so. If we do not delay the project, how can we expect monthly/yearly remuneration for its never-ending construction work? However, please note it clearly that we do not intend to create history by taking a decade to complete its construction. We will try to come up with a date on which the new Sanjenthong bridge will be presented to the public. Till then, please make the bestest use of other bridges in the city.

Mr. Gorobi (in an emotional manner)

‘You see, Manipur is a Hindu state. The construction of the new Sanjenthong is itself symbolic. I am very emotional to say that Sanjenthong is not an ordinary thong. It is a bridge that not only connects Imphal East with Imphal West but it is also a bridge that connects people from other districts too. I am very much sure that Sanjenthong will abridge every misunderstanding between chingmi-tammi or between the system and the meeyam. I promise Sanjenthong will be presented to you before Sangai Festival but I cannot predict which Sangai Festival it will be. The department is also entrusted with the task of its construction. Let us be a little more patient as they say patience pays. So with your patience, Sanjenthong will one day be accessible.

Mr. Waathokchaoba Waarukokrashimayum gives his opinion on the inaccessibility of Sanjenthong this way-

‘If Sanjenthong is not constructed in time, I will form a JAC against Sanjenthong Saaba Loisingani Khangdaba Kaangbu. Through this JAC we will organize protest rallies here and there across the city. Indefinite curfew around Sanjenthong area will also be imposed. This curfew will be effective from 9 PM to 9 AM. This 9 to 9 curfew will be the first of its type in Manipur. We will attract the attention of different media channel to create news on this 9 to 9 curfew. If the concerned authority does not pay any heed to this notice, we will take up stern actions such as Sanjenthong thingjinba.’

Mr. Wakhaltaaba’s opinion was however different from others.

‘Last year right before the Sangai festival, they took only a few months to construct Thombuthong. Why is it different with the construction of Sanjenthong? I think the concerned authority has taken too much time to complete its construction. I hope we are not building a bridge that would bag an award for taking the longest ever time to construct the same. If it is so, then I would extend my heartiest wishes to the snail-snarling construction workers and contractors of the new Sanjenthong. May their efforts be fruitful!

PS- When will Sanjenthong be accessible again?

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Pre-Merger status – Not an anti-India demand

Any talk which pertains to the demand of pre-merger status of Manipur is purely branded as anti-India, which seems yet another attempt of the so called Indian agents to confuse our masses and to permanently tag them as the wisest fools (read amambada adum leiba heinahanbadagi mangaal masak khanghandanaba attempt). Let’s, for once, fearlessly admit that whenever we talk about pre-merger status of Manipur we would either be branded as a part of an insurgent group or as a potential insurgent in the making. As far as one has the guts to confront, talks on pre-merger status of Manipur is not about being anti-India. We can openly talk and discuss about it sans any fear of being tagged as ‘ain na yaadaba kaangbu’.

If we clearly refer to the pages of our history, India did not create our land. Our independent kingdom was merged with the Indian Territory but not at our own will. Our freedom was being compromised just to appease the Indian agents who then put on the masquerades of friends but who eventually turned out to be our sworn enemies.

For all these decades, Manipur has been reeling under a tangdu leitadaba situation with multiple socio-political and economical issues. If we minutely go through the pages of history, there are many shocking discoveries which will ultimately leave us baffled. The current situation of Manipur is a clear insinuation that something is seriously wrong and it is the high time for all of us to find out ‘What’s wrong?’

Any issue of any nature can be resolved provided we have the collective will to do so. Likewise, if we think that there is something wrong with our state, we should find out the core issue(s) and try to resolve it as soon as possible. As per my good understanding, the core issue seems to be our forced union with the Indian Territory which gave rise to all these problems in all these years.

Strategies that will help in resolving the core issue

Instigating a sense of nationalism among the Manipuri is the need of the hour so that they come up with some sort of a people’s movement to demand political autonomy for Manipur.

Educating the masses about the core issue is also quite important. Informed citizens can easily bring on a change in the society. But most importantly the State Government must have a firm political stand for which it needs to accept the very fact that the core issue is the parental issue from which many other sub-issues take birth from.

Eche Sharmila’s dauntless fight to repeal the AFSPA, the relentless demand for implementing Inner Line Permit System in the state, the ongoing demand for Scheduled Tribe status- Manipur is like a potpourri of problems and grievances. These problems and conflicts affect our sanity and leave us sans any peace of mind.

Talks and discussions have been incessantly held among the political and non-political leaders to bring a tangduleitaba situation back in Manipur. But all those talks render an empty meaning without admitting/realizing the core issue. Our land and resource, for all these decades, have lured the so called Indian agents who, in their state of colonial hangover, try pretty hard to make us think like theibong manungi tin.

But the age of awakening has already begun. So, it’s time to wake up from our slumbers and face the reality. It’s time we talk about our socio-political or economical problems and their probable solutions. It’s time for us to have our common stand. It’s time we sow the seed of a new Manipur which has its own political autonomy. It’s time we openly and fearlessly talk, discuss and demand for pre-merger status of Manipur.

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On keyboard diarrhea, its causes & the remedial measures

Keyboard diarrhea is a latest digital flu which has infected many individuals across the world. Of late, innumerable Manipuris have been reportedly infected by this flu which symptoms read as hereunder-

– Typing unremittingly without even bothering to attend to Nature’s call or any friend/relative’s call

– Sudden desire to hammer the keyboard or keypad (for mobile phone users) while typing/commenting on a burning issue for example the current scuffle on the ILP issue between the hill and the valley people on various social networking sites.

– Use of powerful word bombs when the situation demands (read when the arguments/discussions go haywire)

– Aloofness or shyness to mingle with real persons in flesh and soul

Specialist’s suggestions on how to cure/control this type of diarrhea

Dr. Khanglaichuba suggests patients suffering from this digital flu to take up the following measures so as to control the same-

– Limited use of computers or mobile phones so that one does not have the tendency to type

– Frequent socialization with friends and relatives so as to help the individual realize it’s better to get real and say goodbye to virtual addiction

– Getting used to a new hobby which will gradually help the individual forget his prior addiction on virtual world

Some thou leitana thou thiba researchers conducted a thorough research on this digital flu and came up with the following case study as a means to analyze the nature and causes of the flu.

The pathetic case of the hill people versus the valley people’s war of words on social media during the month of September 2015

Considered as the most pathetic case of the year, this one crossed all its limits. The pro-ILP supporters of the valley and the anti-ILP agitators from the hills did not leave any stone unturned to prove their points. They made the use of dangerous weapons such as word bombs which were flung to each other through social media.

A furious pro-ILP supporter from the valley named Meitei Meitei Meiteicha’s viewpoint ‘When they speak with a communal tone, they are emotionally carried away. But when we do so, it does not sound logical at all. When they talk about separation, they make others think that it is a logical demand but when we talk about the same we suddenly become so illogical, inhumane and insensible.’

A very very anti-ILP agitator Miss Slipslop’s viewpoint ‘The flu is Meitei-made. You know, Meiteis are very bad people. Earlier I used to like them but since the tides of time have changed I no more like them. I think they dominate the territory of Manipur. We do not support the three controversial bills. We also want a separate administration or an alternative arrangement for the hill tribes.’

Gorobi’s infamous opinion ‘I have already informed the cyber health ministry to take a look at this matter. This flu will be hopefully cured before the Sangai festival 2015. The festivals are around. So in the best interest of every Manipuri, let us not try to build walls between chingmi and tammi. I hereby wish a speedy recovery to all the patients suffering from keyboard diarrhea.’

PS- Manipur burns but have we ever questioned ourselves why it burns? We do not mind wasting hours, weeks and months discussing on the problems that Manipur currently face. But when it comes to finding a solution for any of the problems, we leave it to the so called akhang ahei. Who are the akhang-ahei of our times who are supposedly missing in action at present? Do we create these so called akhang-ahei or are they self-styled individuals who are trying to mislead the masses with many a genuine causes callously handled without any second thought? Have we chosen the wrong leaders for the right causes? Have we depended too much on how and what their next course of action will be? I leave these questions to be openly discussed among the masses.

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Should the Valley demand for a separate administration?

The anti-ILP agitators from the various hill districts have been pretty good at creating erang of various sorts over the last few weeks. Manipur Masala wonders if a separate administration for the hills and the valley would be a probable solution to end this chronic ‘ungkhatnaba’ between the hills and the valley.

If the demand for separate administration arises, the valley should also pledge for a separate administration and protection of its ancestral land at the same time. As such, all the non-Manipuri as well as the tribal brethren who earlier settled in the valley should go back to their ancestral homes in the hills and the indigenous valley people should stay only at the valley. There should be a separate administration for the valley and the hill areas. Schools, colleges, hospitals and offices should also be divided accordingly. For example, valley people should study, seek medical facility or work only at the valley area while hill people should do the same only in the hill. This would perhaps bring a ‘naakhei sengna tangduleitaba’ situation in the state.

It is needless to mention how many times do they (the agitators from the hills) need to be told that the bills do not impinge any of their rights? It seems they are only good at marei kangyet. They brood over the same marei i.e. the bills are anti-tribal. And if asked how the bills are anti-tribal, their reply is ‘our experts say so’. Well, if their experts tell them that they are from another planet will they start spreading propaganda about the same and demand for relocation or their right to settle in the another planet? Quite possible eh?

If they feel/think that the bills impinge their rights, why are they reluctant to come aboard, discuss the same on the negotiating table? Any issue should be given room for discussion. But it seems they are only waiting for the matter to become severe day by day without considering any room for negotiation.

It is an open secret that the Scheduled Tribes who have their ancestral home in the hills can buy land and settle down in the valley area. But when it comes to the valley people, they cannot buy land or settle down in the hills because of the existing land law. The math is quite simple here. The 10 percent valley area is gradually being taken over by the tribes who control 90 percent of Manipur’s land area. For the valley dwellers the hills are a forbidden territory to buy land or settle but for hill tribes the valley opens (read has to open) its arm wide enough to let them buy land and settle permanently. The valley which only forms 10 percent of the state’s total area is for everyone to walk in and out anytime they wish to. But the doors of the hill districts are tightly shut to the valley dwellers especially to the Meitei and the Meitei Paangal.

It’s not about being a pro-Meitei at the moment but the current anti-ILP protests (particularly MLR-LR bill) by the various tribal people is more of a strategy with a solid intention to block the valley people from buying land or settling in the hills so that their demographic dominance and control on the national highways of the state remain as it is. For all these decades they have only done their kushi-rashi on the highway. Imposing economic blockade on the national highway is one of their favourite means to cut off the lifeline of the valley.

Enough is already enough. It is time we collectively make up our mind and come to a solid resolution. If they are so desperate to part ways we cannot stop them. If they think that a separate administration is the only solution, let them do the needful and go ahead. When logic ceases to work, let them pave their way through illogical means and measures.

PS- I do not intend to flare up a communal tension through my write-up but then I cannot simply sit back, wait and watch everything that is going around.

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Desperate measures of Tongaan Chabi

The phrase ‘tongaan chabi’ traces its origin from a joint family system where siblings who earlier lived with their parents/ grandparents under the same roof sharing the same chakhum and various provisions of the family tend to run their own homes after marriage or as the situation demands. In matamgi Manipur, tongaan chabi offers an amplified meaning. All in all, it has expanded its implications towards the current political scenario of the state. For example, different communities in Manipur have been desperately affected by the tongaan chaningbi habit.

Alternative arrangements, separate administration, demand for sovereignty – do these phrases ring a bell? Of course they do. A school going kid can even write so many essays woven around these phrases. The integrity of Manipur has become an apprehensive question if we take a gist of the present unrest among different communities residing across the state. Manipur’s unity has gradually become an oxymoron in the last few weeks and the reasons are many more than one. Phurup naiba and naak-paak taanaba wakhalon have driven various communities without any second thought. The tempest of unrest sweeping across the state has become irrepressible for Hongba, Chaoba, Tomba political leaders.

Accusations Worth a Mention

a. The Meitei is a dominant community and it treats other communities as children of the lesser God

b. Political representatives from Manipur represent only the vested interest of the Meitei community

c. Hill tribes were not consulted while passing the three controversial bills (needless to mention which are the three bills)

d. Under any circumstance point c is always correct in its truest terms.

e. The Meitei as a dominant community robs maximum opportunities and benefits

The irony, after minutely evaluating the above points, is quite amusing. Meitei cannot settle in the hills but hill tribes can settle anywhere in the valley which insinuates which community is playing the dominant role. (Am I missing something here or is there a deeper meaning to this lop-sided politics?) Meitei, who reside in the valley, do not enjoy the privileges of quota system like STs or SCs and yet the community is being accused of robbing maximum benefits or opportunities. I wonder if it’s time we earnestly question Darwinism? All in all, when it comes to the question of dominance, it is an open secret to the rest of the world that the roads in the valley belong to all and sundry while the national highways which connect Manipur to the rest of the country are under the Talibanistic control of the hill militants.

Views of Various In/Famous Personalities on the Demand for Tongaan Chabi System

Mr. Peter ‘We already have a fictional fraction of Manipur that we want to call as our own home. We are only waiting for the right time to make it a ‘fiction come true’ episode.’

Mr. Eraangpaamjadaba ‘We are one. Let’s stay one. Two is a greater number than one and three is a greater number than two and four is greater than three and the list goes on. Let us stay united because divided we may fall and fail.’

Mr. Mareijao ‘Yam tongaan chaningladi kok charo haiba tabani keino.’ He hammered his keyboard while typing this line for the report and it took him another hour to print it after correction.

Mr. Tangduleitaba ‘My sojourn needs relocation. I will appeal the mari leinaba authority to make required arrangements for the same. I will inform my PRO about my intention to stay in the state in the near/far future. I hope my house is not burnt down in my absence. I appeal to all the saathiba-tamthiba erang mongers not to resort to unwanted actions such as burning down of houses of political leaders or of any individual.’

The siki worth question to be noted at this crucial hour is- If tongaan chabi is the common objective of the various communities in our state, is it time we clean up our own cooking spaces from the master chakhum?

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Meitei-Tribal indifference A chronic attitude or the nosiness of a political Lai Khutsangbi?

Mr. Chaos always finds an excuse to stay back in Manipur. Perhaps he is allured by the pleasant weather and scrumptious cuisines of this region. So, he still seems reluctant to leave the state despite the umpteen attempts of various amaiba and amaibi to shoo him away from this kingdom.

After reeling under inconveniences (of various sorts) for almost two months as a part of the ILP movement, the situation in the valley seems to improve especially after the passing of the three bills. While the valley gradually tries to recover and come back to normalcy, the hills seem to have been infected by an air of agitation. A vicious manner of agitation started on the very day the bills were passed in the Manipur Legislative Assembly.

Irrespective of the nature or mannerism of this demand or that demand, the issue ultimately becomes a brawl between the Meitei and the tribal people who accuse the former as the dominant community. History tells us different tales about how chingmi-tammi were once brothers who settled in different terrains. In modern history in the making we only acknowledge a series of incidents and evidences of a chronic attitude of nungsinadaba or yaanadaba between the hill and the valley people.

Mr. Wakhaleiba, a social scientist, states, ‘The recent riot at Churachandpur seems to be an artificial one. I earnestly feel that a political lai khutsangbi is responsible for spewing venom in the mind of the tribal brethrens. It is very unfortunate that our tribal brethrens blindly believed the lai khutsangbi and resorted to many unwanted incidents which have resulted to the loss of some lives and the injury of many individuals besides putting the town in dire straits. I request our chingmi echin-enao not to get carried away by any propaganda. If they have any grievance against the three bills, they must come forward, give rooms to talk/discuss about the same and try to sort out the issue. They should not resort to unwanted forms of agitation.’

On the other hand, Mr. Mareijao, president of AMESPA- All Manipur Eraang Saagatpa Paamjaba Association strongly resents the anti -ILPS demand of the tribal people. Here’s an excerpt from his verbal diarrhea, ‘I am very keen to know what they mean by ‘a separate administration for the hills’. Are they giving an insinuation that we should have different governance, demarcation points, transportation routes etc. etc? They have serious concerns when we demand the implementation of the ILP System in the state; they have problems when we demand for ST status, what is it that they really want? We already had enough dose of pandemonium over the last two months. If they want a clear stand, let us sort it out without wasting even a single minute.’

Many are of the opinion that the recent riot at Churachandpur could be a result of the nosiness of a political lai khutsangbi who seeks pleasure by spewing venom on the mind of the tribal people to agitate against the Meitei community. This political lai khutsangbi has crossed her vicious limits and if hunted down, she will bear a pathetic consequence. All she wants is a naak-paak taanaba consequence between the hill and the valley people. I personally request our tribal brothers and sisters from the hills to put on their thinking cap and try to sort out the issues sans any violence. If they are apprehensive about the three bills, they must come forward and give room for discussions. Burning down offices and houses of political representatives or dismantling Churachandpur into a ghastly town will never resolve the issues.

PS- I visited Churachandpur for the first time in April of this year. I have some sweet memories about the town which charmed me with its own quintessence. Though my visit was only for a few hours, I fell in love with the vivaciousness of the town. It saddens my heart to the core to know that the town is merely reduced from a princess in her best attire to an ugly toad. I wish the town recovers and puts on its charming gown sooner than later.

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The bills will be passed, what next?

It took more than 40 days for the government to finally say YES to the demands of the JCILPS. Perhaps awaangba thaaki strategies (in consultation with the Soraren ministry) were discussed for all these days/weeks which is why the government took so long to come up with an earnest step to resolve the ongoing agitation with regard to the implementation of the ILP System in Manipur.

In accordance to the agreement between the two parties, three bills will be passed in the Manipur Legislative Assembly tomorrow. After a tireless struggle of many years (and stoppage at various points) on the demand of the Inner Line Permit System in Manipur, history is in the making and we would be lucky enough to be a part of it. The passing of the three bills namely- The Protection of Manipur Peoples Bill 2015, the Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms (Seventh Amendment) Bill 2015 and the Manipur Shops and Establishments (Second Amendment) Bill 2015 may hopefully pacify the agitators for quite some time. However, it is not the end of the struggle but the beginning of a new one.

A few million dollar questions that pop up on our mind are- After passing the bills in the Manipur Legislative Assembly, are our politicians ready to lobby at the centre? Will they daringly pledge to the GoI that the approval of these bills will render peace in the state after two months of mayhem? It’s not a matter of being skeptical but if GoI rejects all the bills, then what? Our politicians must keep it on their mind that the implementation of the ILP System is not a sort of a ningai by a stubborn child to his/her parents to fulfill a particular whim or fancy. It is the demand of the indigenous people from this part of the country, whose population on this blue planet is on a serious threat due to the unremitting influx of migrants.

The centre, through our politicians, must also acknowledge the fact that in the last two months, innumerable people have suffered due to the ongoing agitations which took various ugly shapes. Besides, students have been forbidden to attend their classes for all these weeks. For thousands of students especially in the valley area, schools/ colleges have so far become a forgotten chapter in their lives for all these days and weeks. If everything works out well, schools /colleges may re-open soon and the concerned authorities may come up with their own strategies to sort out the exam schedules. For the schools, with the annual exam just a few months away, students have to pull up their socks and make up for the loss.

With fong fong saaba memoirs of curfews, general strikes, sound of mock bombs, rubber bullets and tear gas shells life may gradually come back to normalcy again. However, the losses are irreparable especially for the students. By now, many students have lost the zeal to study and many are apprehensive about how will they cope up with their lessons.

The other day one of my nephews told me with sheer excitement on his face that his school will grant promotion for this year so he does not have to study at all. I am not sure if it was a rumor or not but even if it turns out to be true, what about the lessons of all the subjects missed by the students? I don’t think it’s all about scoring good marks in the annual exams for which students attend their classes. Students attend their schools/colleges to acquire knowledge in various manners not just to pass their exams. Or is the norm different here in our state?

By and by, enough is already enough. Let ‘normalcy’ find a door to crawl in and stand on its feet soon. May the ugly reign of ‘Mr. Erangpaamba’ come to an abrupt end and may ‘Mr. Tangduleitaba’ return soon. We badly miss his presence around don’t we?

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