TODAY -

'Magnificent Mary' struggled to glorify Manipur

Yabem Laba *



A photo profile on Ms. Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom (M.C. Mary Kom)



"Indian boxer M C Mary Kom has given her country more than just a sporting spectacle with her bronze medal win at the London Olympics. It may not have been apparent to the 29-year-old boxer, but her teary eyed apology for not bringing home the gold has pulled the relatively isolated north-eastern Indian states much closer to the rest of the country". Thus reported the BBC. Manipur, for a change, was in both national as well as international news for reasons other than insurgency, AIDS, drugs, ethnic strife, killings and economic blockades or even the dreaded AFSPA.

It had been a long journey for Mary Kom to the podium of the 30th Olympics in London, from her tribal village helping out her father, a subsistence tribal farmer, and mother, ranging from collecting fuel wood to working in the fields as a farmhand, to assisting her mother make wood charcoal, to weaving clothes on loin looms. Speaking to The Statesman earlier, she had recalled how hard it was for her to purchase a pair of good shoes or gloves and train on a diet which did not even include eggs.

But she did not complain at all and said that now things have changed and thanked the Sports Ministry and the Olympic Gold Quest team for ensuring that she got the best in the world for her run-up to the London Games which included a foreign coach and a personal physiotherapist.

"Magnificent Mary" has received all the accolades she so rightly deserves. Congratulatory notes have poured in from the President, the Prime Minister, and the chief minister and Governor of Manipur to Amitabh Bachchan and Anand Mahindra as well as the prayers and good wishes from millions across the nation.

But what she achieved goes much beyond the fourth medal in India's total medal tally at the Olympiad. She has broken the stereo-typing of all North-easterners as "chinks". A term that was also used to describe this correspondent at the Delhi School of Economics some 30 years ago. But post Mary Kom, perhaps the rest of India would get to acknowledge that these "chinks" from the North-east can also bring glory to the country and also understand and accept their distinctive features, culture and food habits.

She perhaps has done more for the emotional integration of the North-east region with the mainland than the National Integration Council and some 50 odd years of military action by India to bring back a "misguided region" back to the fold of mainstream Indianess. Mary's struggle with the government of Manipur to make it realise her full potential is also as hard, long and arduous as her journey to the Olympics. After she won her second world championship she was offered the post of a constable in the Manipur Police. Thankfully, she declined but she did not go public on her refusal. After her second win in the World Championship she was offered the post of a sub-inspector which she accepted.

Thereafter, after every gold in the World Championship she was given a promotion and by the time she won her 5th World Championship in 2010 she won it as a serving Deputy Superintendent of Police. That was when Mr Ibobi Singh (in photo), chief minister of Manipur, announced that she would be promoted to the rank of an Additional Superintendent of Police and that the Government would allot 2 acres of land for her boxing academy which she had been running at her house with her own money and little help here and there from the SAI and the Army.

But that turned out to be an election promise and all was forgotten till she stood on the podium at the London Olympics. Mr Ibobi Singh hastily convened a meeting of his Cabinet and announced a cash award of Rs 50 lakh and also resolved to translate Mr Singh's outstanding pledge of promoting her to the rank of Additional Superintendent of Police and the 2 acres of land for her boxing academy into action.

Perhaps they realised that if they falter this time too then they perhaps might not get elected again in the next elections. Mr Tarun Gogoi, chief minister of Assam, also announced a Rs 20 lakh award plus land for her boxing academy should she desire to set it up there. The Arunachal government has also decided to award her Rs 10 lakhs and so also the ministry of tribal affairs, government of India, another Rs 10 lakhs. Plus there will also be the incentive money from the Union ministry of sports.

Having been conferred with the Padma Shri, and the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award and now with the Olympic medal she can be said to have reached the zenith of her career as far as recognition is concerned.

But not one to rest on her laurels, Mary Kom has already announced her plans to set up a branch of her boxing academy in Assam if the government of Assam can provide her with the required infrastructure.

This is perhaps the right time for the corporate sector to step in and aid her with her Academy. Corporate houses be it the Mahindra & Mahindra group or the Tatas or the numerous tea houses and the petroleum industry could chip in their mite and help establish her boxing Academy on a firm footing with all the infrastructure and a corpus fund to help run and maintain it.

Perhaps our political and corporate leaders could take a cue from Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru when in 1953 he established the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute in Darjeeling and told Tenzing Norgay that he wanted the Institute to produce a thousand Tenzings. It should be clear that such a move could pave the way for producing a thousand more Mary Koms that could help unify the northeastern region with the mainland which in any way would be much cheaper than deploying a Division of the Indian Army. As of now Manipur awaits the return of her illustrious daughter and her twin sons are awaiting the return of their mother back home.


* Yambem Laba wrote this article for The Statesman / The Sangai Express
This article was posted on August 21, 2012.



* 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
  • Kang Khichri chaba @Kwakeithel : Gallery
  • Plastic Surgery Day @RIMS : Gallery
  • Kang Chingba @Keishampat : Gallery
  • Human rights of women in our society
  • AFSPA Gesture and Better Alternative
  • Leisure :: Poem
  • Restore Life After Burns : Plastic Surgery
  • IM accuses AR of 'cold-blooded murder'
  • Konung Kang Chingba #1 : Gallery
  • Dont waste searching for word/phrases
  • Hill People & Merger of Manipur
  • Manipur State Constitution Act 1947 #5
  • U-Mangra for biofuel for economic devpt
  • Painting competition on environment
  • Condemn Moreh terror attack
  • Climbing Shirui Hills, Ukhrul #3 : Gallery
  • Ichangthoubi, Thotmungchan :: eMing
  • Kang Chingba - Rath Yatra : Book
  • Why the impasse at Manipur University
  • Condolence Message for Tamenglong
  • Maharaj parleys Bizando
  • Opt for fruit/vegetable beauty product
  • DG Assam Rifles meets Governor
  • Recreation - a Serious Business
  • Tuilha Kolt waterfall @Kpi #1 : Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Lamjing Meira Ningsing Numit #2 : Gallery
  • Who Created the Border Pillar Conflict ?
  • EEVFAM amidst Numbness and Noise
  • Special Olympics Unified Cup 2018
  • Path for youth's bright future
  • Addressing core issues
  • Students Vs Centre's man : MU
  • Thangjam Manorama Anniversary: Gallery
  • A reflection on POCSO Act, 2012
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Fear :: Poem
  • War veterans laboured to clean compound
  • Free Career Counselling Program
  • NEFIS writes to University bodies
  • Sit-in-Protest Against House Search
  • 50th World Population Day celebrated
  • Something worrying
  • Congress : 2 days session too short
  • Jadugi Chei :: Funga Wari
  • Tribal protest for MU normalcy : Gallery
  • Framework Agreement: What is it ?
  • Some cairns from the way: Artist's retake #2
  • Cry of a Dying River # 36 :: Poem
  • Overview on Manipur University imbroglio
  • Tribal Students memo to HRD on MU
  • India-Vietnam Film Show 2018 at Delhi
  • Why the CM is helpless ?
  • No end in sight to MU crisis
  • Indo-Myanmar Pillar 81 @Kwatha #1: Gallery
  • Global Bamboo Congress @Beijing : Gallery
  • Manipur State Constitution Act 1947 #4
  • Kamesh Salam : Speaker at BARC, Beijing
  • Career in Cooperatives
  • Nagaland CM's speech at NEC
  • NPF Rejoinder to JD (U) of July 9
  • The Killing Fields - 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • Unfair Game
  • Expecting documentary proof from villagers
  • Lamjing Meira Ningsing Numit #1 : Gallery
  • Woken Youth Clubs in season of World Cup
  • Converting tourism potential into reality
  • Let me live in your heart :: Poem
  • D-Jent.... Djentleman... Anyone ?
  • Socialism or destruction of humanity ?
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Demand action against KSO activists
  • 3 Manipur girls in BCCI U-19 squad
  • Rights meet on bill outcome
  • Naga integration will be democratic..
  • Ichangi Laidhi #3 :: eRang
  • Modernizing Manipur University Library
  • In the grip of nothingness :: Poem
  • Password protection - I
  • Congenital Heart Defect operated
  • Hill area bandh relaxed temporarily
  • State & central govt must stop conflict
  • Cohesion is sports
  • Explain 'devious purpose'
  • Willong Khullen, Maram #2 : Gallery
  • Manipur merger agreement 1947
  • Wari Jalsa at New Delhi
  • Congress grass menace in North-East
  • M A Thomas National Human Rights Award
  • What does worry do to us ?
  • Is Manipur a part of India ?
  • Rumours of child lifters : Dangerous
  • List of MLA (Jan 2018) #3 : Gallery
  • Forest Rights Act 2006 -context of Manipur
  • Supreme Court Hearing on EEVFAM case
  • Cry of a Dying River - 35 :: Poem
  • Terirama Th. met South Korea's first lady
  • Securing security cameras: invisible eye
  • Rejoinder to Nagaland CM's statement
  • Meitei Mayek - are the scales tipped now
  • Patronising non-locals : Nail the insiders
  • UNC oppose indefinite Manipur bandh
  • Tribal University @ Senapati : Gallery
  • Rally to remove MU VC #2 : Gallery
  • Some cairns from the way: Artist's retake #1
  • Manipur State Constitution Act 1947 #3
  • UN experts on 'fake encounter' killings
  • Nagaland CM Rio statement on July 4
  • Condemns inhuman eviction by Govt
  • Trainees Certificate of RPL at Kamrup
  • Minor reunited with mother after 26 days
  • Non-Operative Closure of "hole in the heart"
  • We are for the people, for the society
  • Over 30 days : Centre sleeps, MU 'burns'
  • Thokchom Brindashabi Devi :: Profile
  • Kshetri-bengoon Eviction Protest : Gallery
  • Successive pay commissions: It's impact
  • Research Support @ R-Square Design
  • leingakki thouwong - state terrorism
  • Rebuttal: Interview of Ranju Singh
  • Different forces pulling Manipur : Lim
  • Pakhangba Cheng Hongba #3 : Gallery
  • Some ideas for prevention of flood
  • Satisfaction :: Poem
  • Supreme Court hearing on EEVFAM - 2 July
  • Dark lips .. causes and care
  • Training on Handloom Weaver at Hojai
  • CME on 'Congenital Heart Diseases'
  • Nagaland CM should make his stand clear
  • 2019 LS polls : BJP on the offensive
  • Great June Uprising @Kekrupat #4 : Gallery
  • Naga American conference in California
  • Life of an army officer's daughter
  • The Winter Blues :: Poem
  • 16th Mega Miss North East
  • NDPP on Naga integration
  • Allegations against VC holds no ground
  • Rally to remove MU VC #1 : Gallery
  • July Calendar for Year 2018 :: Tools
  • A Washed-Out Summer Vacation in MU
  • Manipur State Constitution Act 1947 #2
  • My short interaction with Penna Donna
  • 9th Men Mega Mister North East
  • Memo submitted to Kiren Rijiju
  • India- no interest to protect its boundary
  • Idea of who is a citizen of the land
  • Poumai Purul Hiimai Paoki #3 : Gallery
  • Dr Thingnam Kishan Memorial : Gallery
  • Black sheep in movement for ILPS #3
  • Our Common Crisis: What are We to Do #2
  • Jackichand Singh signs for FC Goa
  • No co-operation to MU VC
  • Nagaland CM contradicting himself : NPF
  • Career Guidance Workshop at Ukhrul
  • The tales of a forgotten University
  • Pulling at idea of Manipur : Lim, ATC
  • Climbing Shirui Hills, Ukhrul #2 : Gallery
  • Moirangthem Arup: 90 Km Marathon, Africa
  • Pitfalls on land acquisition for Mapithel Dam
  • Chinese dominance in 21st century
  • Caring for the elderly
  • IIT-G's Technothlon prelims at UAE
  • Mass Rally from Manipur University
  • Nagaland CM releases book by teenager
  • Why trying to dictate media time & again
  • MU, border pillar, Citizenship Bill
  • Oinam Dilip's Painting Exhibition
  • Intl Day Against Drug Abuse : Gallery
  • The Manipur Merger Agreement 1949
  • A road to Mandalay
  • Keeping up: medical diagnostics tech
  • The mother of all preventive strategies
  • Relief camps for Flood affected families
  • The dark side of Indian democracy
  • From three time CM to Oppn leader
  • Khumang Pokpa Haraoba #1 : Gallery
  • Enduring Theatre of Guerrilla War
  • Intl Day in Support of Victims of Torture
  • Impact of trade & floods on economy
  • Imparting training as profession #2
  • Najmaji's flood fixing formula
  • History of Yoga
  • Intl Day against Drug Abuse
  • Politicising MU issue: by whom ?
  • Effective ban on plastics needed
  • Thaunaphaba Marup :: Funga Wari
  • Naga Nationalism & Naga Integration
  • Manipur State Constitution Act 1947 #1
  • If I were :: Poem
  • Is football an anathema to the Indians ?
  • Miss, Mister North East contestants
  • MU Imbroglio: Power games now
  • MU crisis : Centre must act fast
  • Great June Uprising @Kekrupat #3 : Gallery
  • Lamka's Dark Light House
  • Our Common Crisis: What are We to Do #1
  • Cry of a Dying River -34 : Poem
  • Textile industry in Manipur
  • Blood Donation Camp at New Delhi
  • Rahmani Program of Excellence
  • Mova Cave, Hungpung, Ukhrul #1 : Gallery
  • Expanding Economy Beckons :: Speech
  • Before trains arrive, must read
  • Impact of the Shirui Lily festival
  • Securing Wi-Fi: Negating doorstep threat
  • Blood donation drive in North East
  • Expecting changes in dealing SoO
  • Scourge of drug trafficking
  • Tribal Cultural Festival #2 : Gallery
  • Letter to JS-MHRD from MUTA
  • JS-MHRD did not meet with MUTA
  • Great June Uprising @Kekrupat #2 : Gallery
  • Yoga Day: Celebrating Your Health
  • Chak-hao - black gold of Manipur
  • In response to the culture of shaming
  • 3rd Documentor Imphal
  • General Thangal Eco Park : Gallery
  • Deadline of 5 days time set : MU crisis
  • Garlic Festival @Ukhrul #4 :: Gallery
  • Flood in Imphal [14 June] #3 : Gallery
  • Dzuko valley #4 :: 360 Panorama View
  • Phumdigi Tantha : Dance Drama : Gallery
  • Manglandasu Nang - OST :: e-pao Radio
  • Laitonjam Rajnikanta : Profile
  • Amuktang-Ga Haikho #1 : eRang
  • Kang Tournament @ Yaiskul : Gallery
  • HSLC 208 Exam Toppers : Gallery
  • HSLC 2018 :: Toppers Listing
  • HSLC 2018 :: Check Result
  • HSLC :: Statistical/Subject Topper
  • HSLC 2018 :: External
  • Aerial view from Chingmeirong : Gallery
  • Front Page Photo 2018 #2: Gallery
  • Class XII Exam Toppers : Gallery
  • Temples of Manipur : Gallery
  • Recipients of Akademi Awards for 2014
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS