The end of history & Manipur!
Free Thinker *
Manipur is not merely a political, territorial and demographic expression but it is also an expression of a history, a culture, a tradition, and an idea (which is beyond the comprehension of many).
Oriental traditional values and beliefs are inseparably linked with the socio-politico-economic-cultural-patriotic strand of the people which are different from the occidental concepts of nationalism, sovereignty, independence and liberalism.
The basic problem today is the continuing clash of philosophies & ideas. And to some extent we are also entangled in this conflict and confusion.
Our apprehension is that whether we are drifting towards a series of events which will change the course of our history? The apprehension is getting stronger and stronger?
The tone and tenor of our leaders are a reflection of our degenerating unity and integrating forces. The obvious question which is troubling the minds of the intelligentsia and the common people alike is that, why some ethnic groups want to leave the age-old idea of Manipur?
Is it because of some ideological paradigm shift based on ethnicity, identity and independence(parochialism)? Is it because of the reaction against the long hegemonic dominance by a particular ethnic group? Is it because of the religious differences?
Is it because of the out-side influence? Is it because of the divide and rule policy initiated by the Britishers and inadvertently continued? Is it because of the political ambition of some great personalities? Whatever it may be, we are on the brink of an impending danger.
If we are not careful the 2500-year-old idea of Manipur will be gone with the wind. Let us be open minded. Let us do some give and take and also do some compromises here and there and save this beautiful land, people and history of Manipur.
In the library and by chance I found an extremely readable and popular book "The End of History & The Last Man", by Francis Fukuyama. According to Fukuyama democracy is basically a better system as compared to other alternatives. v 'At the end of history, it is not necessary that all societies become successful liberal societies merely that they end their ideological pretensions of representing different and higher forms of human society'. In the post-cold-war era the of victory of liberal democracies is celebrated in many ways at the macro level.
At the micro level the age-old issues of liberty, equality, justice, freedom etc. still linger. Whose liberty? whose equality? whose justice? whose freedom? These questions will continue as human history continues. v The Chinese and Russians still feel that they have to conform to some rituals of liberal democracy. They know the power and prestige of liberal democracy. The entire world is more or less convinced that democracy is still the best form.
Indians, Americans, the Britishers and the whole of Europe is under the powerful spell of liberal democracy. But today the fundamental problem within these liberal democracies are the voices of dissents and separatism. India and Manipur are also not free from this malaise; the intricacy lies with the solution.
In the Jungle Book of Rudyard Kipling, there were conflicts between and among the groups of animals. The wolf pack had to encounter the threats and challenges from the Dholes (Red Dogs), Sher Khan (lion) Monkeys and other animals etc. The new leader of the pack was Phao. He became stronger and more assertive. The wolf pack grew fat and strong under Phao. Nobody wanted to challenge the pack. Even the powerful Dholes (wild Red Dogs) were reluctant to fight the pack.
However, the Red dogs were traditionally powerful as they were quick and move in large numbers. Perhaps the only animal which was respected by all in the jungle was the Kaa, the centuries old powerful python.
Today what we desperately need is a Kaa (King) or a Mowgli (Emperor outsider) to maintain the unity, equilibrium and tranquility in Manipur. I am not saying Manipur is a jungle. But our characters and characteristics have become too close to that of The Jungle Book.
Let us remain united & not change the age-old history of Manipur.
* Free Thinker wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was posted on April 20, 2017.
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