TODAY -

Poetics Of Violence In The Poetry Of Manipuri Women Authors
Of Male Aggression And Suppressed Voices
- Part 3 -

Linthoingambi Thangjam *



Sanjenbam Bhanumati, in her poem 'The Old to The New'/ 'Who is so Gallant' (translated by Ng. Iboton Singh), is an address from the Old Year to the New Year. Old Year states that she had been longing for New Year to come, as her end is here [Indira, ed., 2007: 55].

Laugh and enjoy for all the world is yours now,
While I mourn and weep
For all those lapses,
For the tall trees that cracked and fell in fearsome gales,
For those precious lives that sank in despair.


A new year is suggestive of the idea of new beginnings, of a change for something better. People look forward in hope for a change when they are not completely content with the old state. Old Year laments over everything that has happened throughout the year- the condition of life in the state of Manipur amidst strikes, protests, bandhs, blockades, disputes and untold deaths every day. And after each year, that continues just the same with no significant change, but still as a New Year sets in, Old Year wishes for 'new hopes and fruition.'

In 'Androgi Mei'/ 'The Fire of Andro', Arambam Ongbi Memchoubi remembers the historical episode of the hanging of the two freedom fighters of Manipur, Thangal General and Yuvraj Tikendrajit, after Manipur lost her independence to the British at the Anglo Manipuri War of 1891 [Memchoubi and Chanu, ed. 2003: 150].

But their mourners are a crowd of Meitei women standing all clad in white. And although they stand in silence, they are filled with rage which the poet compares to as a 'volcano inside'. This leads us to the episode of the two Women's Wars of 1904 and 1939, when the Meitei women came out to fight against the British forces.

The poet/ speaker call out to the Meitei women, who have been holding in their rage and discontent in their 'wombs' to come out and fight. Here, Memchoubi uses the myth of the undying 'fire of Andro'3 which she compares to the rage and discontent of the Meitei women that have been kept repressed for so long.

Erupt now oh, you
That's been holed up for many years
In the wombs of the Meitei women
The sleeping volcano within.
The sleeping volcano within.


Longjam Chanu Kunjarani her poem, 'Hugi Tenjei'/ 'Poison Tipped Arrow', lends a strong message to 'release' women so that they can come out of their domestic space to fight for justice [Ibid., 170]. Manipuri women have been for long confined to the household, imprisoned by the strong traditional conventions set by the Manipuri society.

Seeing their men standing weak and passive to 'the hunters right in front of you/ With the poison tipped arrows in their hands', referring the the state actors and the insurgents, the Meitei women calls out to their men to debar all their restrictions, and set them free. As in Memchoubi's poem, 'The Fire of Andro', The bottled-up rage and discontent that wants to be set free, is echoed in this poem as well.

Release me, let me go to the house of justice
To determine the right from the wrong.
What? why do you say I can't step out
Beyond your coloured curtains?


Irom Sharmila, civil rights activist and poet, who went on a hunger strike for 16 years straight (from 2nd November 2000 till 9th August 2016), against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958, In the foreword to her poem 'Birth' [Vaid, 2013: 91], translated into the English by Tayenjam Bijoykumar Singh, Deepti Mehrotra writes of Sharmila: 'She is trapped in a web of deceit and hypocrisy, her fate sealed by violence and militarism.' [Ibid., 88]

Sharmila's menstrual cycles have also stopped, which signifies that she has stopped being a woman. She stands for all-men and women, equally affected by violence. In her long poem that runs in 1000 words, Sharmila touches on various subjects of power, greed, revenge, remorse, vanity, the indolent man and the diligent man, etc. The poem basically portrays the social and political scenario in the state.

'...Of the lost son, of the killed husbands,
The hard earned money of the widows is tainted with remorse
Because of the urge to take revenge for the unwarranted sufferings...'
[Ibid., 98]

As David Brion Davis, in his article 'Violence in American Literature' had observed that, 'literary treatments of violence have reflected certain historical conditions and circumstances' [Davis, March 1966: 28-36]. The condition of Manipuri society and women is also reflected in Manipuri literature.

In the selected poems of some of the Manipuri women authors that we have discussed, we can see how they have responded to violence of various forms prevalent in the state. While the pioneer poets like Anandini wrote in a less commanding voice, the poets of the later generation that followed like Borkanya, Angom Sarita, Bhanumati, Y. Indira, Memchoubi, etc. starting voicing on immediate issues of violence, human rights issues, causes and effects of the freedom struggle, militarisation of Manipur, AFSPA, etc. apart from their protest against the subjugation of women.

Concluded....


* Linthoingambi Thangjam wrote this paper which was published at Imphal Times
This article was webcasted on January 22, 2019.



* 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
  • Lui-ngai-ni @Senapati #2: Gallery
  • Police check @Jirimukh, Jiri : Gallery
  • Marriage : Zeliangrongs & Tais #2
  • Solid waste to Energy
  • Cry of a Dying River - 66 :: Poem
  • RPL trainees of Garo Hills
  • On MHA notification about AR
  • Traffic haunt continues
  • Eyes on BJP, Congress
  • Nongkhrang Ehanba @Lilong #1 : Gallery
  • RS adjourned without CAB: What now? #1
  • Indie films: Loktak Lairembee & Soni #1
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Mother language is a carrier of values...
  • 71st Zomi Namni at Singhat
  • The Rohingya Crisis : Paper
  • Everyone shows concerns on pollution but..
  • HSLC exams underway
  • RN Ravi arriving Nagaland to brief hohos
  • More powers under CrPC to Assam Rifles
  • Traditional Raas Dance #1: Gallery
  • Boinaoton, Achamba :: eMing
  • Schemes of Panchayati Raj #1
  • Ego that pushes one out of the rapport
  • Meitei in Scheduled Tribe list, what ?
  • Patriotic Youth of DBC with the Nation
  • RPL trainees of Meghalaya
  • Fate of Manipur
  • No over the top glee at Meghalaya
  • Symbolism in the Tribal Art #3
  • Zasigi coIroL :: Seireng
  • CAB: Imphal I/W [12 Feb] #3: Gallery
  • Overboard 2018: Skateboarding competition
  • Palliative care as career option
  • Importance of health screenings for women
  • Intimidating media: Think before you lift
  • ST demand for Meiteis hotting up
  • Rajkumar Singhajit : Tagore Award 2014
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • CAB: Khwairamband [10 Feb] #2: Gallery
  • Tribes India [Exhibition] #3 : Gallery
  • 'The Wishess' wins 1st NE Multimedia
  • Why Manipur is a self-alienated society ?
  • Antibiotic mismanagement- sleeping bomb
  • Rejoinder to NDPP :: NPF
  • The unwanted season for no good reason
  • 8 in the race for Cong ticket in Inner PC
  • Mukna - Indigenous Games : Gallery
  • Internet shutdown- only solution for govt ?
  • Keisham Priyokumar's short stories? #2
  • Revive Tabanglong Village
  • Without a Womb :: Poem
  • RPL trainees of Ziro, Arunachal Pradesh
  • CAB award goes to CM ?
  • Demand release of Student Leader
  • Veewom's arrest: mockery of rule of law
  • Arduino & Raspberry-Pi workshop at ADBU
  • Lui-ngai-ni @Senapati #1: Gallery
  • Republic Day - Tableaux : Gallery
  • Marriage : Zeliangrongs & Tais #1
  • My Story :: Poem
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Quest for Federalism in Myanmar : Paper
  • Gatekeeper's management mantra
  • From Democracy to Dictatorial govt
  • Fresh twist to Citizenship Bill
  • Dzukou Valley, Senapati : Gallery
  • Demand for ILP :: Articles/Photos...
  • Rules of the Road at Silicon Valley
  • What is a school meant for ?
  • Why meiteis should not be ST #3
  • Release Thokchom Veewom - II
  • Release Thokchom Veewom - I
  • Face scrubs to avoid dirt & dullness
  • SM4E Awards 2019 : Nomination open
  • After effect of CAB collapse
  • Need to look beyond CAB
  • Panel seeks support to save NH
  • Amuktang-Ga Haikho #2 : eRang
  • Exam Centre allocation for HSLC 2019
  • 3rd World Bamboo Workshop #2 : Gallery
  • Cry of a Dying River - 65 :: Poem
  • DIPR facts on Census confuse Pangals
  • Manipur Tourism: Global Mice Congress
  • Coping up with examination stresses
  • On Govt inability to present CAB
  • Breather for the North East
  • Henjunaha #2 :: Funga Wari
  • Sangai Chef: Season 1 : Gallery
  • CAB: Imphal I/W [12 Feb] #2: Gallery
  • Lui-Ngai-Ni -Naga Seed Sowing Fest
  • Different opinions on CAB 2016
  • Change of B Voc Examination Schedule
  • Nagaland MP will vote against CAB
  • Overshadowing issues by CAB
  • RS adjourned till February 13
  • CAB: Imphal I/W [12 Feb] #1: Gallery
  • CAB: Blockade [7 Feb] #2: Gallery
  • Keisham Priyokumar's short stories? #1
  • Just a beautiful lie :: Poem
  • World Wetlands Day 2019
  • Protests against Union HRD Ministry
  • 'PDA trying to confuse Naga people'
  • The 'ban' of Internet
  • Setting date with February 12, 2019
  • NSCN (I-M) elects new leaders
  • Scientific Knowledge in Manuscript
  • Poppy destruction @CCpur : Gallery
  • Kishorechand Wangkhem's case
  • 70th Indian Republic Day #3 : Gallery
  • Hinduism and Indianess
  • CAB: Maharaj & Xenophobia :: WJ
  • Deciphering a laboratory test report
  • Stop discrimination against women
  • The falls of protracted leader
  • More than hinting CAB will be tabled
  • CAB: Khwairamband [10 Feb] #1: Gallery
  • Gaan-Ngai @Majorkhul #2 : Gallery
  • Human trafficking at Moreh
  • Why meiteis should not be ST #2
  • The Dark Light :: Poem
  • Exclusion of Pvt Teachers from HSLC
  • Pan Meetei met Ex Dy CM
  • NSS special camp 2019 concluded
  • NE to Bangkok flight from March
  • CAB: Khwairamband [9 Feb] : Gallery
  • Thamoise Foidattuna :: e-pao Radio
  • CAB Meira Rally #4 [30 Jan] : Gallery
  • Prof T Kameshwar: Reminiscence
  • Bamboo Cooking Competition: Final Day
  • Tips for healthier skin this winter
  • Sincerity matters
  • Awaiting final pact with NSCN (IM)
  • CAB: Blockade [7 Feb] #1: Gallery
  • 3rd World Bamboo Workshop #1 : Gallery
  • The panic radiated at War-Torn PAD
  • NE- Socio-Economic Development: Book
  • CAB- Consequences in Manipur
  • [ST] Demand for Constitutional Safeguard
  • 'ArP to observe Black Day during PM visit'
  • CAB date with RS on Feb 12 ?
  • Check Post (ICP) @ Moreh : Gallery
  • Tribes India [Exhibition] #2 : Gallery
  • Citizenship Bill, 2016: What to do now #4
  • It's a privilege to be a Rongmei
  • A Saviour Of My Own :: Poem
  • North East Startup Summit 2019
  • Budget : Full, half or quarter ?
  • BJP shows no concern for NE states
  • Mission schools under threat again
  • CAB : Blockade @Tiddim [6 Feb] : Gallery
  • Dolaithabi Barrage: Concealing Facts
  • 70th Indian Republic Day #2 : Gallery
  • Marketing Associates @ PiCiDi Systems
  • CAB, Political Parties and Manipur
  • The Novels Of BM Maisnamba #2
  • Employment in non-Govt sectors in Manipur
  • The board exam festival
  • NE voice on CAB: no worry for the BJP
  • Alienating natives & embracing foreigners
  • Henjunaha #1 :: Funga Wari
  • Movement against Citizenship Bill in NE
  • Bamboo Cooking Competition: Day 1 Report
  • Konthoujam Maikel (Painter) :: Profile
  • CAB Meira Rally #3 [30 Jan] : Gallery
  • Business as usual will fail on cancer control
  • Citizenship Bill: Thinking with ethics
  • STDCM reasserts Demand for ST
  • Nepal to SE Asia: Trafficking via Moreh
  • Symbolism in the Tribal Art #2
  • Aribam Syam return Padmashree to Govt
  • Cry of a Dying River - 64 :: Poem
  • Impact of AI and Robotics on Society
  • New MSAD Executive term 2019
  • Rejoinder from Shurhozelie Liezietsu -Feb 3
  • Festival to promote NE trade, tourism
  • Onetwo Okram : Singer- Profile :: eRang
  • CAB : Film Forum Protest : Gallery
  • Cultural: Republic Day #1: Gallery
  • Why Manipuri people oppose CAB? #2
  • Noting anti-CAB stand of NPP, NPF
  • CAB Gen Strike #1 [31 Jan] : Gallery
  • Match: 4th Women's Polo #3: Gallery
  • Citizenship Bill, 2016: What to do now #3
  • Truth of Manipur is inherent in nature
  • JRF required at IBSD, Imphal
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #3 : Gallery
  • February Calendar for Year 2019 :: Tools
  • CAB Meira Rally #2 [30 Jan] : Gallery
  • The Novels Of BM Maisnamba #1
  • Screen time, effect on speech & language
  • Trainees Certificate of Lunglei, Mizoram
  • ST: Unfounded fear psychosis being spread
  • CAB Meira Rally #1 [30 Jan] : Gallery
  • CAB Protest #1 [29 Jan] : Gallery
  • Fellowship Meet of Maring Naga
  • Legal Awareness for Women leaders
  • Flowers for beauty
  • Opposing ST demand of STDCM
  • Gaan-Ngai @Namthanlong : Gallery
  • Why Manipuri people oppose CAB? #1
  • Citizenship Bill, 2016: What to do now #2
  • Oinam Shilla : Society Development Award
  • MIK (Manipuri in Kolkata) : Gallery
  • Match: 4th Women's Polo #2: Gallery
  • Why shouldn't Meitei be included in ST
  • Combing Operation @Hatta : Gallery
  • Laishram Bombayla : Padma Shri Award
  • Maisnam Renuka (Painter) : Profile
  • Thank You Note: Khumukcham Sanjita
  • Gaan-Ngai - festival of Kabui #2
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #2 : Gallery
  • Rongmei and Kabui are one
  • Rani Khidir : Kalaritu (Laiyekpa) : Profile
  • Match: 4th Women's Polo #1: Gallery
  • Ranjit Ningthouja : Profile of a playwright
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #1 : Gallery
  • Dr Thokchom Asha: Teacher Award
  • Purnima Ngangom (Printmaker) :: Profile
  • The Killing Fields 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • New Year picnic at Sekmai #2: Gallery
  • Manipuri Calendar for 2019 : Download
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2018 #6: Gallery
  • Irengbam Bedamani - Actress :: eRang
  • List of Restricted Holidays for 2019
  • List of Public Holidays for 2019
  • List of General Holidays for 2019
  • Fabrics of Bangladeshi Manipuri: Download
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS