TODAY -

The greatest birthday gift in history

Seram Neken *

Mary Kom Quarterfinals 15-6 win over Maroua Rahali of Tunisia



Besides pronouncing awards for excellent players, the Manipur government may also be enthusiastic and sincere in the make-up and maintenance of proper sports infrastructure in the nook and corner of the state in order to hunt the talented. Percentage cuts and favouritism in construction of sports infrastructure and procurement of equipment (if there is any) is a thing of shame on the part of errant leaders, bureaucrats and work agencies of the state. The celebration of Mary Kom and Laishram Devendro's feats will never be meaningful unless there is sincerity, commitment and strong will in creating proper infrastructure and grooming young talents.

Twin sons - Rechungvar and Khupneivar have become inimitable kids who received the greatest birthday gift from their mother in history. It's on their birthday that Mary Kom pounced back her world-number-5 opponent Karolina Michalczuk of Poland out of the Olympic ring and brings fame to the home state. To her lucky twins, it is a greatest birthday gift from their strongest mother. The Magnificent Mary and Chhota Tyson Laishram Devendra of Manipur have become the gold medal hopefuls of India in the London 2012. Manipur will shine this August amid celebrations of power, fame and win.

August remains a heartrending month the world over. Amid emotions of joys over reunion and pangs of separation, of bondage and liberation, of love and war, of sacrifices and rebellions, the eight month of the year has been unique among its counterparts. For the far-off and segregated hill region of Asia called Manipur, August 2012 will be a month of celebrations. Enmity, hatred, jealousy, corruption, favouritism and narrow mindedness will fade away from the minds of Manipuris, when they celebrate the true bravery, patriotism and perseverance of the two great Olympians - Magnificent Mary and the pocket-sized dynamo Devendro. The duo can be termed as greatest patriots of the nation, who truly uphold the age-old heroism and courage of Manipuris.

With increasing crimes involving civilians during the last few months, people of Manipur anticipated the notorious usual protests during this August. Undesirable events disturbing the peace and order of the state have risen during the past few weeks, thereby causing panic among the public. In the last week of July, a newspaper hawker was assaulted and robbed by persons suspected to be police commandos in Thoubal district of Manipur.

The case of Irungbam Irabanta who has been untraceable since May 26 last and allegedly in the custody of NSCN (IM) is also a pending case inviting big protests during this month. Gunning down of suspected militants in an alleged encounter at Lamdeng Khunou Chingmei village in Imphal West late on 30th July is also a cause of public outcry, as the family claims innocence of the victim.

Threat to state media for dictating publication or otherwise of its news item by an underground group is also a burning issue in the way of a free media. These and many other crimes in the state have apparently posed a hurdle in making a peaceful August this year. However, winning celebrations of the two great boxers of the state will sideline all kinds of negative emotions.

August is a mixture of joys and tears. On 13th August 1891, Manipur patriots - Bir Tikendrajit and Thangal General were hanged on charges of waging war against the British. And again on the 14th of August 55years later, Manipur regained its lost independence in 1947. The Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki still remember the quaver felt on the 6th and 9th of August 1945.

Although India celebrates its liberation on 15th August 1947, the pangs of separation between Hindus and Muslims still persist in the patriotic Indian minds. Manipuris usually experience tragedies in this month, as the great "Hunger Marchers' Day" took place on 27th August 1965 leading to formation of the All Manipur Students' Union as the first apex body of students. Many nations celebrate their independence days during August throughout the world. Many others observe anniversaries to remember their deaths, calamities and tragedies.

For Manipur and for India at large, August 2012 marks the triumph. Mary Kom belonging to one of the smallest communities of the composite Manipuri nation (Kom community) will hopefully demonstrate the inherent talent as a Manipuri. Similarly Laishram Devendro will confidently show off the potent strength of his race. The patriotic Manipuri forefathers who fought against the mighty British for the independence of their motherland will be satisfied enough to see the feats of their two boxer kids from the heaven. These two tiny postures with their magnificent skill and strength will preserve the age-old strength of the Manipuris from times immemorial. Mary and Devendro are really the true patriots of the nation.

Sports bring peace, discipline and friendship. It gives no room for favouritism and unfairness. Political leaders and concerned bureaucrats of Manipur state, while celebrating the victory of their players, should always remember the distance the state's players walked from the poor and dirty Khuman Lampak sports complex to the well equipped London Olympic Rings. Excellence requires infrastructure and nourishment in addition to the courage of the sports-persons. Corruption, bribery and percentage deduction in construction of sports infrastructure are a great curse. Those powers in this mission will automatically be embarrassed in the face of excellent players of the state who bring laurels for the nation.

The government, in addition to pronouncing awards for excellent players, may also put thoughts in making sports infrastructure in the nook and corner of Manipur in order to hunt the talented. Percentage cuts and favouritism in construction of sports infrastructure and procurement of equipment (if there is any) is a thing of shame on the part of errant leaders, bureaucrats and work agencies of the state. The celebration of sports feats will never be meaningful unless there is sincerity, commitment and strong will in grooming sports-persons.


* Seram Neken wrote this article for Hueiyen Lanpao (English Edition) in his column "The voiceless speaks"
This article was posted on August 07 2012.



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