Sold to a Cause

By H. Lienzamang Gangte *

The pundits of modern civilisation could not have foreseen what an arena this globe would become in later years.

On top of delivering fast cars and faster lives, they have raised us married to all sorts of concerns whose primacy are very relative. In short, ours has metamorphed into one big Fight Club.

We fight for all reasons; firing on all cylinders throughout the ordeal we subject ourselves to, as if hoping for an ever-lasting redemption. Time passes and we want to fight more, alibis multiplying faster than amoeba.

Medha Patkar and Narmada Bachao Andolan, Bono and third world poverty, Mother Teresa was the face of Kolkatta's hunger.

Closer home, it's Sharmila and AFSPA featuring various fighters championing varying causes.

Fight Club Monika

My God! What's with this woman with a Christian moniker almost representing Bharat? Watch her visage, she's Chink.

This ain't Ram Rajya anymore. So, the SAI, IOA and weightlifting federation went on an yatra to chalk out strategy.

That Togadia was not consulted is a miracle. Sports have been the forte of the North Easterners for long. Nobody play like us. And so we shine here and there, event after event.

Innumerable Manipuri athletes have done India proud since Thoiba Singh hanged his hockey stick. In fact, there has been a rush of North Easterners who are numero uno in the field they chose. Like, take the case of Manipuri footballers in the recent AFC Cup.

No less than three players from Manipur donned Indian colors and they were not over shadowed. Cool, ha?

Not so, said the mainstream caste-colored psyche. A society that is so obsessed with water and purity-pollution notion has to derail a fellow citizen's dream without impunity is nothing short of premeditated alienation.

The Monika debacle is one tight slap for every Manipuri right on the face. The unexplainable fashion in which she was dropped at the eleventh hour is all the more malicious. There's another catch to this though.

Monika episode is like a two sided coin- one, it represents the mainstream unqualified bias against Manipuris, and two, it mirrors what the Manipuri Tribals have been facing the last so many years.

We hope this unjust treatment of people would not repeat itself again. Anybody listening?

Fight Club Hartal

Thanks to Mahatma Gandhi, we all are wet between the ears as far as Bandh is concern. The how tos, nobody need to teach us.

We suffer from JAC overdose. In most situations we added the J part when a simple AC would do.

Imagine a JAC formed by students of a school to press charges against an errant official. What could be so 'Joint” about that? Calling spade a spade, most times we defy logic. Less said about ethics the better.

Last checked, the State Department of Economics and Statistics estimated that the loss per day on account of Bandh is Rupees 754 lacs for Manipur and 230 lacs for Greater Imphal alone. What a mind blowing figure.

The Union Planning Commission dealt the final blow by stating that Manipur's growth rate of just 5.9 per cent is the lowest in the whole North East.

Was not it Secular Progressive Front? Perhaps it's about time we adopt an alternative vision of protest or expression but bandh.

Relevant to the argument is the message issued to the BJP and Shiv Sena by the Supreme Court a couple of years back. The SC upheld the 20 lacs fined imposed upon the combo by Bombay High Court for holding a bandh in Mumbai.

Political parties cannot 'hold the society to ransom', said Justice Sabharwal even as he maintained 'Bandh is not an answer to an act of terrorism or a bomb blast'. Period.

Fight Club Heirok

With all due respect to all fight-members, the Heirok saga is a fine specimen of our socio-political condition.

On the left corner we have a civilised set up crying to be left alone and on the right, there's the lobby that says people on the left do not know what's best for them.

How many times have the rest of Manipur too, thought they knew what's best for them? How frequent do we stand at the crossroad but for mere fear, did not opt for any road any-which-way?

We always comprehend that both the roads, as in the Heirok case, are bumpy and treacherous.

Life swings between despondency and fear as we continue to witness the making of one Fight Club after another almost in delirium of the fact that we have lost the essence of it all- the will to fight.

* H. Lienzamang Gangte contributes regularly to . The writer can be reached at kaspro18(at)yahoo(dot)com . This article was webcasted on August 25, 2008.

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