TODAY -

Crossroads of Manipur: The wrong route taken

Lucky Sapam *

 Crossroads of Manipur -A Road in Tamei and Tousem Sub Division in Tamenglong
Crossroads of Manipur -A Road in Tamei and Tousem Sub Division in Tamenglong :: Pix - Ibomcha Yumnam



Hair tied up, new clothes put on, foreign perfume worn on and he was set for the day. He opened the front wooden door of his room and walked by the stairs to the living room; glancing side to side to see the people around the house. It all seems fine but back in his mind he is not certain about anything and he is not quite yet ready to change the view of the people and the social environment. But he knows the time is near for him to change that stand. He kept quiet and slowly moved on, noticing no one. He walked by, passing the dining room; saw his mother talking to her relatives, he didn't speak a word and moved on by following the trail of water spilled from an iron bucket which was been carried by a clumsy worker to water the plants. The trail is not permanent but it paved the way for him. Nobody spoke to him either.

Outside he came and he stood by, a sudden strong gust of wind blew in his face. The wind seems cold like the bottom of an ocean. Grasping the moment he looked up, the sky was clear not an ounce of clouds present. His face grinned to give a thought of wisdom to himself. The wisdom of an old man was not enough for him. He wanted big. He wanted the best and he knew he could get those because the sky was his limit.

And he said…

"Back in my days of childhood, I grew up facing havoc from time to time. The hurdle was not very severe but it had affected me to some extent and it could have affected anyone too. I grew up protected but the darkness around me was too dark for me to ignore. This dark environment never allowed anyone to do anything which they ever wanted. It was never a transition phase. Generation after generation have seen and tasted the situation every time. Everyone knows it's wrong but everyone keeps quiet. Wise people don't show up when it mattered and average citizens are never shown the correct path. In the end we all are the victim and no one is spared"

He turned around and sat down in a chair and with determination and seriousness in his eyes, he continues...

"The problem is with everyone and not with just an individual or a particular community. Along the road, everybody gets to have their own choice, either good choice or bad choice. There is no neutral choice. Neutral is just an illusion. So either we choose well or we choose badly. Simple isn't it? So now this makes complete sense right, explaining the logic behind the dull, pathetic, hopeless state of affairs in Manipur. It is because we chose a wrong route in the first place. Irresistible temptations have won over the people and its dividends are paying and hitting us hard now. Damages done in the past are still persistent and still enduring. Since then people only hope for a change to come and all they can do now is to wait for some miracle to fix this ugly dent of the society. People have been waiting to death for this miracle and you know what I don't want to die waiting." He said resolutely.

Crossing his legs he continues...

"Where have we gone wrong? Is it because of the Policy failure of the state or the failure by India in its initial nation building stage? I am not very sure but it's a combination of the above two and much more. I quote GK Pillai words; "India was so busy with the partition that they have totally forgotten about the North-East part of India". In the 1950's it was a total chaos for Manipur as it was transition phase but one thing led to another and we survived as being part of India. But not everyone agreed to this merger. Forceful annexure of Manipur to India was wrong so people of Manipur have every right to protest about it. The decision taken by the then King was controversial and still is. It's like when our house is being taken over by some random strangers just because somebody had authorised him to do so. The stranger might be a good person with good intentions but our way of life will surely change and it will be an inconvenience to all."

He continues...

"Early Sixties starts the formation of the insurgency bubble. It only kept on getting bigger and bigger. This bubble exists still. It was for a revolt. It was for a struggle. Moreover it was a necessity. Every other north east states began cultivating their own insurgency groups. It grew potently. The curtaining of it was not dared by anyone. People liked the idea. The motive was compelling and valid back then. But a revolution begins to fail when people ceased to participate. These organisations started going haywire and began going against their own people. Our enemy's enemy have become our double enemy now. General public wants to know the agenda and it's implications of work from these organisations. When the answers do not come satisfactorily then it marks the beginning of an end. But make no mistake about my love of my state. I care about my state as much as anyone. The genuine work can be admired but the fake ones can be kicked out. I do not compare things often but when I look at Mizoram I feel like our state has failed."

"High expectations from the state are never expected now. The mood is gloomy. The airs we breathe are filled with cynicism and skepticism. The pure, fresh air has long gone by and now our worries and concerns are for different things. Everybody has got time to do anything they want but it all depends upon their priorities and mostly it's personal all the time. If people do not see any wrong around and live life as usual then I don't know what to say. The bad times have eaten up the good times so much that we sometimes confused the bad times as good times. It's normal though. "

"Where are we now?" He asked, waits for a while and he answers…

"We are in a crossroad, a crossroad that is similar to that of the past. And I hope we don't repeat the same mistake this time around. Therefore now is a very crucial time for us all as the evils are about to get triumph and we stand in the middle of a crossroad of either joining them or going against them. It's a matter of individual choice but who wants the evils to get victory. And I think I am ready to choose my road now. Are you? So for the moment hope is the only thing that keeps Manipur going".

He got up from the chair, shook my hand, exchanged pleasantries and then he went back inside the house. Shortly after that I was on the road on my way back to my place. I was normal but many thoughts kept pondering my head. It was kind of heavy to carry. I know for sure that people of Manipur are yet to taste the good part and the excellent thing is that it's actually available within our reach; all we have to do is to stretch our arms and earned it. Nobody else can do it for us and once you taste the Good times then you will start craving for more. So I ask:"Is it time?"


* Lucky Sapam wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer is currently studying in Bangalore and can be contacted at sapamlucky(at)gmail(dot)com
This article was posted on May 16, 2014.


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