TODAY -

E-Pao! Features - Revolution Generation

Revolution Generation
By:- Shachi Gurumayum Sharma *



"Every generation needs a new revolution"
- Thomas Jefferson

Manipur is in the midst of a revolution. A revolution that, unbeknown to many, has already taken over the lives of many young lives of Manipur. It is a revolution driven by a desire for change, a desire to move forward and a desire to retain the love for one's place of birth. It is a revolution that has brought patriotism to where it should belong, in one's heart, mind and actions. This revolution has already created millionaires by the thousands but also shattered the fairy dream houses of many. It came late to Manipur but catch up we did and all for good. This revolution was one brought about by a generation of Manipuris, a generation that was born out of a weeping earth. A generation that grew up knowing nothing much more than violence yet found the determination and will to bring about a change. This generation has nothing but pride for the revolution it has started. And, today, I want to share my personal experience of this revolution.

The first of this movement was started by a Manipuri engineering student studying at one of India's premier scientific institutions in Bangalore. He was not alone! Helping partially in his eternal quest to broadcast Manipur to the world were two summer students from Manipur who were tasked to scroll through the pages of Britannica Encyclopedia looking for anything and everything on Manipur. His website later on became one of the first and most exhaustive sites on Manipur. The year was 1997 and the revolution had just started! Years later, when I checked, this website no longer existed but I am reliably informed that it laid the foundation for what we all know today as e-pao.net. E-pao was launched on 31st Dec 1999 and it has never looked back. Can you imagine life without E-pao today? Surely not!

Not long after the first website was launched in 1997, 'The Manipur Page' was started by a group of enthusiastic Manipuris whose aim was "to provide equal space and literature for all ethnic groups of Manipur". It was around this time when I also noticed the sudden and widespread web presence of the Bishnupriyas. To my ignorant though analytical mind, their phirol phijet looked very similar to those of the Meiteis. And, when the world was trying to move forward as one nation, we Manipuris appeared to be too keen to dig deep and separate our identities. But, hey, mine is a simple mind and I am no authority to comment on this. It was also around this time that a new circulation started going around which advertised the formation of an egroup (manipuri@egroups.com). It was the premier mailing list of Manipuris...one where we all knew one another and who did what! It was small and it was simple! But, the ball had started rolling...and the future was bright and BIG.

Just when I thought I had seen it all, I was contacted by a couple of buddies who were working on an alternative to e-pao.net. Their top priority was going to be news and high-level editorials and articles. And, as you may have guessed already, this site eventually became kanglaonline.com, launched in 2001. With the arrival of not one but two, three, even four news related websites, the quality of service and the speed at which news arrived on my desktop broke all previous records. Four years before this, while I was still in college in Delhi, I remember one of my seniors getting Manipuri dailies by post. The newspapers arrived about a week or so late but when they did arrive, it was an occasion for us to sit and digest the 'latest' news from Manipur - after all, we were wannabe IAS officers! Now, all I have to do is switch on my computer. That too from the other side of the world!

Not all the news and current affairs websites lived up to their initial excitement as the unpredictable and slow connectivity of the World Wide Web from even the most hi-tech cyber cafes in Manipur poured cold water on all dashing ambitions. But, persistence paid for some and what we see today is a cornucopia of Manipuri websites of all genres. The Internet has really flattened our world and, lucky for us, Manipur has not been left behind! Who amongst the net savvy generation has not spent time well into the early morning hours chatting on E-pao, or not shouted or commented on articles and opinions on KO? And, what about the new found online freedom of speech?

"I disagree with what you say but I am ready to fight to the death to preserve your right to say it" - so said the famous French philosopher Voltaire. Though this may not be entirely true in Manipur, Internet has at least opened up new avenues where Manipuris from across the world can put their grey cells to action on topics ranging from the current political environment in Manipur to social issues affecting today's youth. The sense of security one feels by writing anonymously, or under presumed names, has also enabled topics that would not have been necessarily discussed in public to come out of the closet. It remains to be seen what the effect of this on our society is going to be. But, all I can say for now is that, for those of us living far and away from home, it has given us a chance to participate in defining Manipur's future, and instilled in us a true sense of belongingness and nationalism. One does not feel isolated no more. One feels no less Manipuri no more. Sitting here, working on my laptop, I can dial straight into the pulse of my motherland Manipur. And, dare I ask for more?

Internet can also augment the catalyst for change. It was the web list generated during the Save Manipur online Signature Campaign following the uprising in 2001 that brought together a few very heart-broken Manipuris in the UK. This small group has continued to work together for the benefit of Manipur, and the members are today actively participating in the activities of the European Manipuri Association. The Internet has also facilitated a whole new group of young Manipuris to explore the world outside their own and many of them are now studying and working in Europe and America. When one hears of EMA, KIF, or NAMA, it raises one's level of confidence in being able to cope in a foreign world because we know that there are others out there who have already done so. And, it is not just these associations; a quick web search will also reveal a plethora of Manipuri network groups providing mentorship and sharing a platform in various areas of common interest.

As I look around, I am beginning to realize that the Internet has created a virtual Manipur where her citizens are always connected and free from the realities of everyday lives. Because, for some of us, reality in today's Manipur has become unbearable. There is a virtual Manipur where chat room visitors can organize their own garden parties and celebrations, and where bloggers can express their concerns and fight for a better Manipur. And, where anyone visiting the neighborhood can drop by for a bit of chitchat and an injection of patriotic fervor. We've even got 24h music streaming from radiomanipur.com! But, amongst all this, I would urge each one of you to sit back for a moment or two and think of those who cannot afford this luxury. Manipur still has a very large percentage of people with no proper infrastructure and economic independence. But, even here, Internet has brought to us what we could not have seen before. SACSAS.org is one such site and I wish it all the success it deserves. This virtual Manipur has also got its fair share of representation from various ethnic groups and is opening doors for many more.

The hard work and patience of an entire generation has paid off. We are now connected, and we are empowered! And we have this generation of young and enterprising Manipuris to thank for, for not only connecting Manipur to the rest of the world but also for working on a multitude of good causes from all corners of the globe. The generation of children born in the seventies has really made this happen and it is being driven now by the eighties generation. We should really consider ourselves lucky and blessed to be where we are today, and pledge to help those who still need help. We also deserve a pat on our backs for what we have done. The hard work is not over and we have a long way to go...but the revolution has already started.

"A revolution can be neither made nor stopped. The only thing that can be done is for one of several of its children to give it a direction by dint of victories."
- Napoleon Bonaparte


* Shachi Gurumayum Sharma, the author of this article, has trawled the web under the pseudonym of 'sanaleibak' from time to time, and may be contacted at sanaleibak@gmail.com

* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.


LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Tangkhul Zingtun Longphang #1: Gallery
  • Wungramphy, Khamgonpou: eMing
  • NEROCA FC Vs Indian Arrows #3 : Gallery
  • Career option in Human Rights
  • Water conflicts over the Brahmaputra
  • PAC against Killing of Pravish: 17 Jan
  • Neiphiu Rio resigns from NPF
  • NPF-BJP Relationship : NPF clarifies
  • Consolidating the sporting heritage
  • Rising air and noise pollution
  • Kukis have equal right... : Neiphiu Rio
  • Rajnath reviews security in NE
  • Lafoi Shamda puthorkpa #2 : Gallery
  • Sangai Fest: Commercial Stalls #3: Gallery
  • The joy of living :: Poem
  • Bamboo a tree or grass ?
  • SELF Workshop on Leadership & Fulfilment
  • The Killing Fields :: News Timeline
  • Fight against corruption; we need Lokayukta
  • Hailing the role of drivers
  • Nangna Helli Nungshiba #2 :: eRang
  • Pung Chollom : Gallery
  • Wakhal Seireng :: Book Review
  • Imphal Jamboree by Global Shapers
  • Importance of regular health check-ups
  • Meetei demand for ST is Constitutional.. #2
  • Weapon Display organized at Moreh
  • Ex-Servicemen Rally organized
  • AR helps Orphanage & Old Age Home
  • Search of comprehensive culture & identity
  • List of MLA (Jan 2018) #1 : Gallery
  • Manipur Gas Today :: Android App
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #3: Gallery
  • GNRC media fellowship announced
  • The Meiteis- Festival & celebration maniacs
  • How to make bridal mehndi long lasting
  • Governor's attention drawn to RIMS
  • Scientist develops prototype of electric car
  • Stereotypes about NE make people living..
  • Light Show at Loktak Lake #5 : Gallery
  • Candlelight vigil for Pravish : Gallery
  • Imbroglio of ethnic identity of Ranglong
  • Foundation For Excellence scholarship
  • Time Table - Class XII Exam 2018
  • Mail spoofing- Trickery by deception
  • Trial by fire
  • Call for solution before election
  • Villagers along Myanmar border get pass
  • Meetei Chanu 2017 #3 : Gallery
  • Art and Artist, A Creative Space
  • NEROCA FC Vs Indian Arrows #2 : Gallery
  • Ode to Thy Mellow Light :: Poem
  • Xmas with Meitei eche at Phaijol
  • Time Table - Class XI Exam 2018
  • Indo-Naga Talks 2017 :: News Timeline
  • IMC , now another hurdle to traffic mgmt
  • Setting aside two days for the people
  • Maring: Kummui Chaa-um : Gallery
  • Miss Manipur 2017 #5 : Gallery
  • Statehood Day Women's Polo Tournament
  • Time Table - HSLC Exam 2018
  • Bananas: Beauty's best friend
  • DPC for Follower at Manipur Police
  • Job Openings at JCRE Skill Solutions
  • The lost treasure
  • Nagas' Interests : Stand of NPF MSU
  • Nagaland polls on schedule: HM
  • Mukna Kangjei Tournament #2: Gallery
  • Keisham Manihar : Natyabhusan(Leela)
  • World Tourism Day #3: Gallery
  • Responsibility of protecting the environment
  • Phishing vs Vishing: The Verbal Challenge
  • BNHS Bi-monthly Program for Jan-Feb
  • Managing weight for preventing diabetes
  • Making democracy peoples' participatory
  • Progressing from media to SC
  • Manipur to set up modern food lab
  • Gaan Ngai @ Kakhulong Khun: Gallery
  • A trip to Moreh #2 : Gallery
  • How long catchy slogans keep hopes alive
  • Recycling of hospital waste-water
  • I am sometime or somewhere : Poem
  • Angami Zapu Phizo's Surreal 2017 AD
  • Film "Legacy Of King Narak" awarded
  • Of PM and our CM
  • Patronising the killing machines ?
  • Deferment of polls unlikely: Ravi
  • PM may visit Manipur in March
  • Emoinu Khoiramba @Koubru #2: Gallery
  • NEROCA FC Vs East Bengal #2: Gallery
  • Transform Colleges into Innovation Centres
  • New Delhi: World Book Fair 2018 :: Review
  • Cry Of A Dying River...12 :: Poem
  • Workshop on National Pension for NE
  • Law enforcers action - Well & good
  • Final pact yet to see light of day
  • Cold wave hits Manipur
  • Take out the cymbals, Manoharsai to stay
  • Indo-Naga Peace Process :: Articles
  • MaiOn - Scenes #2 :: eRang
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #2: Gallery
  • Miss Manipur 2017 #4 : Gallery
  • Is Global Warming Natural or Anthropogenic
  • Prof Gangmumei Kamei: Legendary hero
  • Common Education System rally organized
  • DAMMS launched 2018 calendar
  • Chorus for 'Solution Not Election'
  • NEROCA FC Vs Indian Arrows #1 : Gallery
  • Gaan Ngai @Moirangkhom : Gallery
  • I was born healthy, I wanna die healthy
  • Practice peace & change the life
  • TSA Moreh Block installed
  • Cycle Rally: common education system
  • Ethics, medical profession & soaring fees
  • Meetei Chanu 2017 #2 : Gallery
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Meira rally for Pravish : Gallery
  • Accelerate momentum to endTB for SDGs
  • The call that can't be turned down
  • Live@MDU: New act with same old vibes
  • 1st Centre of Excellence- Electronics Skill
  • LED Lights installed by Loktak Station
  • NE tragedy: Policy failures & influx
  • Angaoba - Scenes #3 :: eRang
  • 51st Mr Manipur Contest 2017 #3 : Gallery
  • Result: Manipur Sangai Intl Digital salon
  • Use Swachhata App to Make Imphal No. 1
  • Career @ events and celebration
  • Night nourishing
  • Indo-Nepal Friendship: 25 yrs of Don Bosco
  • Understanding the indices of life
  • Poppy cultivation & drug cartels
  • Emoinu Khoiramba @Koubru #1: Gallery
  • Day 10: Closing of Sangai Fest #4 : Gallery
  • The creation of the universe, matter...
  • Mumbai: The city of dreams
  • Let this new year kill your new fears
  • Asian Waterbird Census: Count waterbirds
  • Looking for a better inclusive alternative
  • Coaching & commercialisation of education
  • New Year picnic @ Singda Dam : Gallery
  • Miss Manipur 2017 #3 : Gallery
  • Despite Stolen Dreams :: Book Rvw
  • Handloom Training @Hojai : Gallery
  • The Perfect timing
  • IGAR (south) meets Chief Minister
  • Communique from Neiphiu Rio on NDPP
  • Discussion on 'Rohingyas' at Delhi
  • In the process of making change- Manipur
  • Looking ahead from vantage point 2017
  • NEROCA FC Vs East Bengal #1: Gallery
  • World Tourism Day #2: Gallery
  • Immediate Manipur
  • Easter Peace :: Poem
  • You are what you eat
  • Goals for Girls: Leadership Summit @Delhi
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #1: Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Front Page Photo #6: Gallery
  • LUCIFER-X released debut EP
  • ..on the ocean of despondence :: Poem
  • Happy new year to State lovers
  • New year, new me: Re-designing self
  • Quiz Competition & Career Awareness
  • Calendar for the Year 2018 :: e-pao Tools
  • Gaan Ngai : Zeliangrong festival :: Flash
  • 51st Mr Manipur Contest 2017 #2 : Gallery
  • Crowd @ Flower Festival @Mao #4: Gallery
  • Gaan-Ngai Festival of Zelianglong
  • Goodbye 2017, welcome 2018
  • Cry of a dying river- 11 :: Poem
  • Free Heart OPD & Echocardiogram
  • Peoples' mandate: what next?
  • Understanding Manipur and its history
  • Kwatha (Indo-Myanmar Border) #2: Gallery
  • Thang Ta @Parlimentary : Gallery
  • A Hymn for Goddess Emoinu
  • Bamboo for poverty alleviations
  • A costly peace deal
  • The song of the speech-impaired : Poem
  • Opportunity for NE Youth @Delhi/NCR
  • Chief Of Army Staff visits Manipur
  • Waiting for another begining
  • NE: Little change albeit promises galore
  • Flower Festival @ Mao #3 : Gallery
  • Miss Manipur 2017 #2 : Gallery
  • Why the Ngamu Fish ?
  • Unsung heroes
  • Wishing a goa in Manipur!
  • Handloom Weaver at Nagaon, Assam
  • Reminder on role of media & political party
  • Hospital death: Deliver justice if delivery ..
  • Restricted Holidays 2018 : Govt of Manipur
  • Lourembam Bedabati : Sangeetbhusan
  • Culturals @ Mera Houchongba #3 : Gallery
  • Handloom Training @Assam : Gallery
  • Ras Leela @Parliment committee: Gallery
  • List of RIST popular talks during 2014-2017
  • 'Good Governance Day' & Manipur
  • Christmas eve @ CCpur #2 : Gallery
  • Public Holidays 2018 : Govt of Manipur
  • Pui Thangamliu #2 :: eRang
  • Christmas Carol @ Lamphel : Gallery
  • Royal Crematorium at Bangkok #2 : Gallery
  • Christmas Carol at Namdulong : Gallery
  • General Holidays 2018 : Govt of Manipur
  • 3rd Flower Festival @ Mao #2 : Gallery
  • Lafoi Shamda puthorkpa #1 : Gallery
  • Nupilal Ningsing Lamjen : Gallery
  • cYK_rb TwaI :: Seireng
  • Manipur Sangai Festival 2016 #7 : Ooba
  • Manipuri Calendar for 2018 : Download it
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS