My Grandfather's Leaders Vs My Leaders

Louriyam Bebica *

Denouncing the culture of violence in the State kids make a bonfire of their toy guns in June 2008
Denouncing the culture of violence in the State kids make a bonfire of their toy guns in June 2008 :: Pix - TSE

"A leader shapes and shares a vision which gives point to the work of others" -Charles Handy
"Leadership is not a person or position. It is a complex relationship between people based on trust, obligation, commitment, emotion and shared vision of good"-Joanne Ciulla

Tell me honestly do you really think our leaders carry those characters? Do we share the same vision? Do we trust them? Is there any commitment?


One night we were having a bonfire gathering. One of our grandpa was also there among us. In fact we hardy remember to close our mouth listening to his talk. He is known for his creative way of talking. In a simple way, he can make any given boring topic interesting. Most of leikai's kids love spending time around him. I was the biggest kid among them to join the group (ha-ha).

On that day's narration was on leaders of his time. His choice of topic didn't fascinate me, I, being , a flop student in history. But then trusting on his talent of narration, I sat there waiting for his story. He told us about both Indian heroes and Manipuri heroes.

No doubt his story was so enjoyable and inspiring but he throw me into the pit of dilemma pond. Since the day I gain my senses, there have been infinite number of bandhs or lets say strikes. But we never find our leader in front. Normally they are at the back, watching us. The leader organized so neatly that he will be at the distance where none can harm him and the follower who was not even sure why he was there, will dance on the tune of that context. This is our leader , this is our follower.

His(my grandpa) leaders were so brave with a sacrificial spirit. "Let's march together, follow me". He leads the folk both in concept and physical. "No matter what happen to me in this process, you must carry on till we get our goal". Here the followers submit themselves to him.

Now let's see about our leaders "March, I will be behind you, no matter how many of you has to sacrifice even your life, I should not get hurt and I will never stop being GREEDY". Their spirit is to demand money and kill our sleep. This is our leaders (it may be politician, administration, force or militants….).

Here the followers don't submit themselves, it's rather the process of abstraction by mean of power. This has rooted so deeply that it has became a conventional concept to everyone that the meaning of leader is to DIG wealth that will bring him fame, power and luxury. Whoever that don't follow this conventional idea become a lunatic fellow. My father is one of that LUNATIC according to the rest of the people.


-"Noi napase mee angaobane, officer oibada matik chadre, secretariat tasu leiriba aduga mana siki chdabamakhei leirise. Mamannaba kheidi yum kayano shakhre,car kayano leikhre aduga mana line bus ta tong phangboi phangdaboi chatli houjik retire toudourasiphao (your father is crazy, he didn't deserve to be an officer, he is working in secretariat , yet he take nothing. All his friends has constructed many houses and bought many cars, and he is still travelling in public bus where he hardly gets space to stand even at this of his retirement).

So the concept of officer is –corruptions. Whoever didn't join the trend will be seen as crazy like they are doing it on my father. If it is the way to be an officer, my father is not an officer. He is the epitome of truth and value. Many people consider Secretariat office as the big source of money. It says, you need money to pass one file from one table to the next table.

But my father always says "be true to yourself bcoz you can lie the world, they might never know what you did but you, your self will know what you did. So when you are true to yourself, you will be true to people too. To live a life of human is more important than being born as a human. Having two legs and two hands doesn't make you human. It is your intuition that decide whether you are human or human–like creature ". My dad doesn't owe those expensive cars , we don't 've a big house but he gave us the biggest heart that learn to love you. In every incarnation I would love to born as the daughter of my dad.


My state has the record of shortest fly over bridge but we 've the longest blockade, bandh, strike, curfew and above all the culture of gun. But two questions can rise here- 1. Those who are participating in those bandh, strike, blockade, curfew really know the reason why they are indulging into it?

2. Does this MEANS will make the bridge to make aware of the their present politics and SAVE us?

Out of 100, only 10-20 might know the CAUSE or REASON of their involvements. The rest....? Some join it as it was made compulsion to them as their village head/leader imposed them a compulsion sense with the sense of fine, some teenage join bcoz their friends are there, some join bcoz they wanted to see the drama, some join bcoz they love violence . So how many of them really join with full aware of what's happening?

Second point can this bring awareness of politics to the people at the same time solve the problem ? No way, it only disturb the life of poor. If you imposed bandh for hundred days also, those corrupted minister, officers...whom your demanding your demand, and for whom you are imposing the bandh won't get affected on their lives. Those who lives on daily wages are the one who suffers, why don't you get that? You are only fattening the pocket of those businessman who is looking for a chance to raise the price of goods.

Can you stop those vehicles of Minister or Officers on the road during bandh? No you can't and you don't. Bcoz they come with guns at their back and front so, you don't 've the guts to stop. But those common people who rush out for their lives, you will stop them or burn their vehicles. So, you tell me, for whom the bandh was? For POOR and HELPLESS ?


Democracy is defined as the government made by people, for the people and of the people. It clearly states that every decision government makes should be in favor of us. But in my state, we hardly know what's happening. Some people shut their eyes saying politics is a dirty game, don't want to get involve to it, some are unaware of the way to know it, some just ignore it.

Does it solve the problem? My sir told me that once, some years back let's say around ten-fifteen years, they used to have public meeting whenever the government has to make any proposals or decisions. This enabled everyone to get an awareness of what is going on. Why can't we have that back? We are experiencing the type of government where every things seems strange since we know nothing on it. How can we say it's for the people by the people, now it's for the rich by the ministers.


I don't know how and when you began your freedom fight? But my dad often compare it to French revolution where the beginning motive was appreciable and worthy but it became dirty as it gets longer. Dad says meegee humang mamallna hingge khanganu, (never think of living on other's labor), you are born to work, you have to work and feed yourself and your people. People don't give you their earning because they want to support you, mind you . They do it because you will kill them if they don't give you .

You are collecting money in name of freedom fight, in name of our mother land, in name of our peace. But do you really think you are using the right train? You talk of motherland when you can't love anyone's mother than your own. You never thought twice before killing some one's son, you never try to feel the pain of that mother. Then how can you talk of MOTHERLAND. You are using the money you SNATCH from us to SQUEEZE and SMASH us .

Do you think it's fair? What we get in return of our day-night's toil money is your gun to kill us, your bomb that you will blast on us. It's like I'm paying you to kill me. I don't think that little baby and her father who was walking by the side of road in the market has done any harm to you OR the rickshaw driver who was earning paisa to paisa so that he can fill his and his families' stomach . You never care whom you kill .

Still how dare you say it's for us. I never heard any corrupted big fellow being killed or minister or anyone who fix the bomb to kill us until and unless it's by mistake. You placed it, knowing it will kill us. You know but you did. So you don't have the right to say you love us. You love only yourself. I never heard you extending your hand for those needy people . Go out and see how many people are in need, how many poor, how many orphans, how many old people....they are in need. Your eyes are closed for them . They opened only for those from whom you can subtract your need.


Did you ever spit on your wall? Your room? Your house? I don't think so. Because it's my wall, my room, my house right? You always interpret the meaning of I and public wrongly.

Public(we)=I +I + I + I +.........

If you have problem with the term PUBLIC then you think that it is made by many "I". You normally go to any extend to get you RIGHT but never bother to perform your DUTY. You want the best government. You want your minister to listen to your pain but you will vote to the person who give you the highest payment. You sold your basic RIGHT .Then how can you expect to get your deserve RIGHTS? Life is an echo, you get what you gave. That's why I say PUBLIC is an addition of many I, remember this.


Every individual is specific. In a sense, one individual or a thing is different from the other. But for our convenient we categorised them. My parents has four of us, we are different individually. They name us differently but it doesn't mean we don't belong to them . In a meeting , you dont start your speech by calling out all the names.

You began with – 'ladies and gentlemen', it canopies the whole. We are ignoring the difference yet we come under one umbrella. If you really want to see the difference, you will find each and every one of us are different, in our thoughts, likes, desires. In fact no one is similar.

Does it mean we all have to live separately? Individually? No.

My best friend is a Tamilian. I don't know her language nor does she knows mine. I have different features, different culture. We are different from head to toes, but whenever we eat TOGETHER our meal sharing one plate, I never find any different. She ate the way I did, she drank the same water, she breathes the same air. So, my question is - I cant find any differences in that different also how do you find differences among ourselves?

Keep your hand on your HEART and ask if we are really different –"you are different because you want to be different not because I make you different". It will be her answer.

* Louriyam Bebica wrote this article for
The writer is a Ph.D. student at Tezpur University , Assam and can be contacted at bebicalouriyam708(at)gmail(dot)com
This article was webcasted on February 21 2013.

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