'If everybody’s somebody then no one's anybody'.
— Gilbert & Sullivan
The epistle that supplements the roll of honor list says they are truly sorry for being late in communicating. The delay being attributed to two technical snags. One, the Academy of Manipur Oscar and Theatric Society, through their newly thus legally elected CEO, clarified that the delay was due to purely a tactical mishap.
It so happened that without the knowledge of Board members, an authority has appointed not one but three CEOs for the position normatively occupied by one. An unnecessary pandemonium erupts, says the missive. JACs were formed to counter prior JACs that were constituted to probe the findings of existing JACs. Although the AMOTS Awards was intended to be announced at the beginning of March, the usual time for such do, this snag hampered their premeditation.
Thus, the delay. Two, the hunt for an emcee who fits their bill. In effect, the loudest mouth about town. It was no piece of cake, the CEO confessed. Wannabes were aplenty. A case of separating the chaff from the grains occurs. The note further reads that they were looking for a brash young pseudo-intellect who has the faculty of smattering English and the ardor to turn all things inane and all the inane to gospel wisdom.
Thus, their sojourn halts at my door, the door that opens up to the loudest mouth about town. Willy-nilly, I accept their compliment and of course, the contract to emcee their Award. Ladies and gents, welcome to the AMOTS Awards. Here's the winners and achievers in each category.
Hillmen of the year
Five out of the nine districts are in the hills. The hills send 19 legislators to the 60 seat assembly. 36 per cent of the population is to be found in the hills. What with some hillmen championing tenets like the 6th schedule, UT, autonomous council etc. the call was presumed to be a close one. A tight fight to the finish. The AMOTS displays its mettle here. Certainly, their wisdom is laudable in opting for qua-lity over quantity.
Choosing the responsible over the populist. A gatecrasher walks away with the trophy for his sheer statesmanship. It is none other than O Joy, the ultimate politician of Manipur who is immune to the aaya ram, gaya ram syndrome. For daring to highlight the plight and take up the cudgel at the behest of 21 young women allegedly raped by certain armed groups.
Even as the representative of them damned womenfolk was busy stan-ding in queue at IA's counter at Tulihal. Was he heading for the international court of justice in Europe?
Rambo award for excellence in action drama
Police commandos. No contest. Invincible in as many years.
JFK of Manipur
Aptly given to the late Thangthuam, IPS. Why was he done away with? Nobody knows. Who is really investigating the case? Nobody knows. What did the state he served so ably do in the face of his brutal murder? Nobody knows. Is the state really bereaved due to his kicking the bucket a tad too soon?
Nobody knows. Was it a case of larger conspiracy? Nobody knows. Will the state ever arrest the assassins? Nobody knows. Is there any intention to do the same? Nobody knows. In the end, one can only theorize.
Face of Sana Leibak
Contestants were aplenty again. From Kamala to Mary Kom to Naobi Chanu to Kaiku. The jury had a tough time choosing the winner. The veteran, the johny-come-latelies, everyone worth his spot in the dailies was vying for this supreme honor.
Much to the dismay of people in the know, a rather faceless pregnant mother from Tousem makes her way to the winner's podium on a makeshift stretcher after walking 60 kms. On foot. (The following day's dailies carry a papparazi shot of the Cm wiping his tears as the woman accepted her trophy)
Fence-crosser of the year
Mani Charenamei, MP. Despite being an MP from Manipur, he is more active in Nagaland than in his home state. Ask the subscribers of Nagaland Post. Or did we read his rumina-tions in the Sangai Ex too?
Slipshod of the year
BSEM won in a field where contestants come strongly recommended. They won it solely on the strength of their schedule for the class X Board examination. More than a week gap between Maths and the paper that prece-des it. What of the private schools used as centres, their employees, the fee paying parents and the students who have barely begun their session? Did anyone say loss?
Puzzle of the year
Not many, barring his electorates, knew him before he occupy the hot seat. Fewer still knows what he has achieved in the last four years or so. Was it not for the Fake appointment fiasco, there would be nought to write home about of his tenure.
But he survives a full term, a feat that is rarer than rivers in the Sahara. A Cm famed for being the Cm, O Ibobi is the undisputed winner of the puzzle of the year. Which hardly puzzles anyone.
For once. Thank you and good night.
* H Lienzamang Gangte wrote this article in The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on 28th March 2006