TODAY -

The State In Which They Lie

Mansi Rastogi *

Paintings by Neogene ( a new generation of contemporary artists from Manipur) on the 'Spirit of Sharmila'
Paintings by Neogene ( a new generation of contemporary artists from Manipur) on the "Spirit of Sharmila" :: Paintings Picture courtesy of Just Peace Foundation



The image that conjures in the mind of an individual when one hears 'Northeast India' would be of pristine and less explored nature, lush green meadows, men and women in their tribal attires, animal horns and skin. But what else beyond that? With problems like insurgency, unemployment, drug addiction, and lack of infrastructure, India has failed to instill a sense of national identity amongst the North eastern states in its 60 plus years of independence.

One such state is Manipur, which is a border state, though only on the political map. For Indians the mainland politico ends at Kolkata in the northeast. Most of the roads are blocked cutting the state from the rest of India, hospitals do not run, and there is a defunct administration predominated by terrorists who virtually rule the land. In such lawless conditions the education system is bound to go through a downfall with schools being shut for 15 days a month.

The Manipuri people hardly get to celebrate Independence Day or Republic Day- they are not allowed by the insurgent groups who dictate the state's life. Only under heavy security cover can government buildings hoist the tricolour for a short while. The city shuts down after 9 P.M. Hindi films are banned and have not been screened for the last fifteen years. To fight insurgency in Manipur, the Indian government has put up the ARMED FORCES (SPECIAL POWER) ACT, which has further worsened the condition.

The AFSPA was created for the seven 'disturbed' north eastern states in 1958 to empower the armed forces officers to shoot or arrest any person suspected of being an insurgent or on committing any offence and giving them permission to enter any building without a warrant. Moreover, it provides complete exemption from prosecution of any officer for their misdeeds as it requires Central Government's permission. Let alone fighting the insurgency, this act has caused massive havoc in the state as a result of abuse of powers by Indian Army.

After imposition of AFSPA, instead of reducing, the insurgent groups are mushrooming. Undoubtedly the AFSPA has failed. The AFSPA has bred a military culture of torture, rape, extra-judicial killings, mysterious disappearances and arbitrary detention. As a matter of fact AFSPA could also be a reason for insurgency which is seen more amongst the young blood to seek revenge for the atrocities caused by the Indian Army to their families and dear ones. There have been many protests to abolish the AFSPA mainly by women but neither the government nor the media has paid much heed to them.

Irom Sharmila Chanu, a 38 year old poet , is on a hunger strike since November 2000. She started her protest primarily due to arbitrary killing of 10 civilians waiting at a bus stop at Malom, Manipur. She was then arrested under the charge of attempting suicide. Since then she has been released and rearrested every year at the Jawaharlal Nehru Hospital where she is fed forcibly by the Nasogastric tube which makes it uncomfortable for her to speak properly.

The wing where she has been kept is highly guarded by armed personnel and it requires permission of seven officials to visit her. Irom has been honored with awards like Rabindranath Tagore Peace Prize and Gwangju prize for Human Rights by South Korea. She has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize twice in the years 2005 and 2010 but it all seems to be in vain when her own country refuses to even attend to her demands, let alone agree.

It's unfortunate that largest democratic country hasn't recognised the peaceful protest of its people. People of Manipur want development at par with mainland India. It's high time the government puts away the permanent state of emergency from the northeastern states and grants them the right to live.

How many of us would sacrifice their lives like Irom, who hasn't seen her mother for 11 years, for whom the world is a shabby room of a hospital, colours of life are just white and black cuttings of newspapers, and rifles and AK-47s have become her constant companions? While the 'Iron lady' battles every second of life for the people of Manipur, media is busy covering bollywood's glitz and glamour.

One can only hope that the face-off between the military rule, State government and the rebel groups would come to an end, granting the much elusive freedom for the aam aadmi to truly relish.



"In a recent move of Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign (SSSC), a nationwide protest to favor Irom Sharmila, is observing 12 Article series to reflect 12 years of suppression of Irom Sharmila's fast.

Irom Sharmila is completing her 12 years of fast on 5th November. To highlight the plight, SSSC invites articles from public and selected articles will get published on its website www.savesharmila.org . In this series one article per day will be published on its website and will be dedicated to one year fast of Irom

This is the second article of this series.".



* Mansi Rastogi wrote this article which was passed on to e-pao.net through Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign (SSSC), as part of a 12 Article series to reflect 12 years of suppression of Irom Sharmila's fast
Mansi Rastogi is an engineer by profession but would also like to do her "bid" for the society. She has worked with boond, a social enterprise. She can be reached at mansi(dot)hg(at)gmail(dot)com.
This article was posted on October 27 2012 .



* 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
  • Yaoshang Mei Loukhatpa #1: Gallery
  • Miles Of Promises To Keep
  • Time to bend curve sharply to #endTB
  • Postdoctoral position at APU / IISc
  • Closing of NSS Camp at ADBU
  • Female polo players riding up a storm
  • NPP, NPF not to contest in 1 of 2 LS seats
  • Rahul's attack at BJP over jailed Journalist
  • Mizo People(Manipur) visits Jampui Hill
  • Yaoshang Mei Thaba : Gallery
  • Thokchom Sanatombi : Sangeetratna
  • Journey of 'Right To Information (RTI)'
  • Career options in Commerce stream #3
  • Holi skin and hair care tips
  • BJP's first list has 16 candidates from NE
  • 5 ex-MLAs quit Cong in Manipur, join NEIDP
  • KITCO bags contract for Imphal airport
  • What's next for the Rohingya? : Discussion
  • Manipur dancer explore human cost of war
  • Jailed journalist having severe health issue
  • Torch Rally Journalists Sports: Gallery
  • AEgi puNsi :: Seireng
  • UN letter to Govt on Kishorechand case
  • Babloo Loitongbam at UNHR Geneva
  • Yaoshang (Holi) : Festival of colours
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Prevention of kidney disease
  • NPF on PDA electoral campaign
  • Sports Meet at Delhi University
  • Festival of colour is upon all
  • Changing Trend of politics
  • View of Ukhrul Town #2 : Gallery
  • Renu Takhel: UN Human Rights, Geneva
  • Chiyamba, Amengba :: eMing
  • Hunting in the Himalayas :: Book Review
  • Justification: against Meeteis ST demand
  • The Killing Fields 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • Executive Committee 2019 of BMSA
  • Google Workshop on Journalism
  • High level of air pollution
  • Way to go as but hopes stir
  • CCpur Dance @Keibul Lamjao : Gallery
  • The East Wind from Yunnan
  • Journey into Nature of Human Culture #1
  • Yaoshang Thabal :: Poem
  • North East NSS Festival begins
  • Talking... ending social media introversion
  • Opposing stand on ST demand
  • Kounu Lairembi Haraoba #1 : Gallery
  • Nipalsuba Mapok : Shumang Leela
  • Women's Bill : A passage to nowhere?
  • Challenges in elderly for medical tests
  • All's fair in love in war: Nitza :: Review
  • Why I write ?
  • Looking back to 2012, 2014 elections
  • Mukna Kangjei #2 : Gallery
  • Mova Cave of Hungpung in Ukhrul
  • Catapults, Molotov Cocktails & Music!
  • Appeal for Meitei's demand for ST
  • Google News Training for Journalists
  • Of Crimes Against Humanity :: Poem
  • Bedtime beauty hacks to look young
  • Mary Kom to skip Asian championship
  • Thabal chongbagi SenKhaiba : Gallery
  • Zeliangrong women: Role in society #2
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Cry of a Dying River - 69 :: Poem
  • Nationality & Gorkha statehood movement
  • Free Children Heart Surgery Camp
  • Workshop on Python Programing at MU
  • Lining up for BJP, Cong
  • Indian Politics after Pulwama Terror Attack
  • Sory Wahengbam : eRang Actress Profile
  • International River Day @ Nungbrung Village
  • Nongthombam Biren: People's CM
  • Can Jamir Do A Lazarus ?
  • Dr. Shantibala's The Sacred Witch :: Review
  • Rural development process
  • Eyeing 22 out of 25 in North East
  • Interfering the media
  • Myanmar army cracks down on NSCN (K)
  • Phayeng Koubru Haraoba #2: Gallery
  • Komorebi - The Longing :: Poem
  • Little love in twilight of life
  • Election code of conduct anytime
  • Surveying India's unemployment numbers
  • DAMMS' statement on Meitei ST Demand
  • Choosing the right candidate
  • Demand for ILP :: Articles/Photos...
  • The Innampei festival of Chothe #2
  • CC Meet: SU vs NACO : Gallery
  • AEbu tuMduna lEKi gad_ra :: Seireng
  • That Hurts :: Poem
  • Workshop on Statistical Data at MU
  • The International Women's Day
  • Politics : A way of life !
  • Celebrate festival of democracy responsibly
  • The truth unfolded
  • Nipalsuba Mapok #1 : Gallery
  • Maisnam Renuka's Painting : Gallery
  • Parental Alienation: Poem 2 : Poem
  • The cost of a vote
  • Motivation & rewards for development
  • Career options in Commerce stream #2
  • Forest rights more than nine-tenths
  • Setting back final deal by 60 days
  • Traffic woes
  • slams Nagaland CM's statement on ILP
  • Symbolism in the Tribal Art #4
  • Laiphrakpam Ashok Kumar: Akademi Award
  • ST Demand Rally [Mar 3] #2: Gallery
  • Mee Manukhang will not be televised
  • Govt should grant prosecution sanction
  • Zeliangrong women: Role in society #1
  • General Strike mapung fana chathari
  • Rolling out Lok Sabha schedule
  • Saroi Khangba @Imphal : Gallery
  • 'Women Health' Workshop : Gallery
  • Manipuri Muslims Conference : Report
  • Meetei ST demand bu lanna uhanbiganu
  • Caveman & Children of (19)70s : Poem
  • Workshop on "Women Health" at Pune
  • Natural facial at home for glowing skin
  • Inauguration of NSS Camp at ADBU
  • Changing Manipur - which direction ?
  • Nongkhrang Ehanba @Lilong #2 : Gallery
  • Cessation of hostilities to POW
  • Magical power of music
  • Intl Women's Day requires regrouping
  • General Strike Mapung Fahanbiyu
  • Pravish's Case disposed by CJM
  • NSS Camp at Assam Don Bosco
  • Former Cong leader welcomed at Dimapur
  • Never asked India for land quip
  • Issues of women's rights
  • Barak Fest @ Senapati #2 : Gallery
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2019 #1: Gallery
  • Reading Megh-dut in Manipuri #2
  • To be a woman and to be in India
  • Cry of a Dying River - 68 :: Poem
  • Can Meitei/Meetei be a tribe ?
  • Raging debate over ST demand
  • Climate change matters
  • Class X Exam @Johnstone : Gallery
  • ciH Amadi tMgi KeYnaba :: Seireng
  • Yaoshang be observed as 'Sports Week'
  • Hmar Inpui Assembly at Churachandpur
  • Jute bags versus Lenobags
  • ...Work for social justice
  • State of higher education here
  • Creating an education-friendly atmosphere
  • Shopping for Shivaratri #1: Gallery
  • 3rd World Bamboo Workshop #3 : Gallery
  • Reinvigorating the Awl-len festival
  • I am a poet :: Poem
  • Roles of Members of Parliament
  • Don't just age gracefully - Age beautifully
  • SRF/JRF for Mizoram University [Upd]
  • ST status campaign : An overview
  • May be this time it may happen
  • ST Demand Rally [Mar 3] #1: Gallery
  • Sanaroishingee Nunit : Gallery
  • Rejoinder to TNL's Diatribe on the Kukis
  • Schemes of Panchayati Raj #2
  • Career options in Commerce stream
  • 3 Resolutions from ST Demand Rally
  • NPF on Nagaland Budget Session [Feb 25]
  • LS elections :: Key : Choice of candidates
  • Price of development
  • Phayeng Koubru Haraoba #1: Gallery
  • Nagaland Dance @Sangai Fest : Gallery
  • Bad Boy Eats the Yellow Snow
  • Name :: Poem
  • Alcohol prohibition
  • Treading murky waters
  • PM Kisan: Reducing risk..increasing return
  • Rallying around ST demand for Meiteis
  • Myanmar Army takes control of NSCN (K)
  • Henjunaha #3 :: Funga Wari
  • Reading Megh-dut in Manipuri #1
  • Purnima Ngangom's Painting : Gallery
  • Impact of Anglo Manipur War 1891 #2
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Lived across LoC
  • Most Beautiful Woman in World : Poem
  • CAB no more issue
  • Traditional Raas Dance #2: Gallery
  • Cultural @Republic Day #2 : Gallery
  • RS adjourned without CAB: What now? #3
  • Retrospection on Sport person's Day
  • Marriage ceremony : Zeliangrong & Tai #3
  • Thadou Inpi & TSA not under KIM & KSO
  • Bioscope show
  • The haunt continues
  • Positive change in behaviour of cops
  • Maharaj Kumar Priyabarta Singh : Profile
  • March Calendar for Year 2019 :: Tools
  • CV Raman & National Science Day
  • Cry of a Dying River - 67 :: Poem
  • Tour of laboratory by a blood sample
  • MU celebrate National Science Day
  • Science Day at DM Community College
  • Displeasure over attitude of PDA :: NPF
  • The making of a united India
  • Morning air raid at JeM camp
  • Lui-ngai-ni @Senapati #3: Gallery
  • Yubi Lakpi #1 : Gallery
  • Holi Pala @Sangai Festival : Gallery
  • Indie films: Loktak Lairembee & Soni #2
  • Singcha Wuya Won @Kamjong #2 : Gallery
  • Konthoujam Maikel's Painting : Gallery
  • Pui Jianna Thangamliu :: eRang
  • March Past: Republic Day: Gallery
  • Lui-ngai-ni @Senapati #2: Gallery
  • Police check @Jirimukh, Jiri : Gallery
  • Dzukou Valley, Senapati : Gallery
  • Thamoise Foidattuna :: e-pao Radio
  • Onetwo Okram : Singer- Profile :: eRang
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #3 : Gallery
  • Manipuri Calendar for 2019 : Download
  • List of Restricted Holidays for 2019
  • List of Public Holidays for 2019
  • List of General Holidays for 2019
  • SPONSORED ADS