TODAY -

Let the children go to school

Ranbir Ningthouja *

ILP Protest July 12 2015
ILP Protest July 12 2015 :: Pix - Shankar Khangembam



The ongoing ILP quagmire is a very serious issue confronting the Manipuri Society and State Government at this juncture. In the aftermath of Peace accord signed between NSCN (IM) And Governmentof India, apprehensions are very intense about the terms and conditions and clauses agreed upon; whether anything inimical to the Interest of Manipur has been included in the deal or otherwise.

The manner in which the agreement has been reached and signed, with a garb of secrecy and haste, has added fuel to such wild speculations.Under the prevailing scenario, we should look forward to another strings of intense agitations in the coming days.

The extent of diversity in terms of religion, language, customs,etc., the state has, Manipur is a miniature India. Though the history of Manipur (Kangleipak) dates back to thousands of years, after becoming a part of union of India, Manipur also underwent tremendous changes in political, social and economic fronts. As a result, the society and state is undergoing tremendous transformations, which precipitated into host of issues, problemsand uprisings. Resultantly, there is not dearth of bandhs and agitations.

Despite the tremendous hardships caused and negative economic, social and political repercussions, we have embraced Bandhs and agitations in our fold and it has become a part and parcel of contemporary Manipuri Society. We are so good at enforcing bandhs, it is all there for everyone to see how professionally, we do it; flawless!!

In this melee, it would be worthwhile for us to ponder, why all this; at what cost and for what? The obvious answer is: for the future of Manipur and its Manipuris. For our Children!! But, paradoxically, our children are not attending Schools, which is the temple of their leaning, due to such agitations.

Instead, they are busy witnessing or taking part in setting up roadblocks, burning tyres, stones and catapulting and confronting security forces. What impact it may have on children’s psyche if they have prolonged exposure to such chaos? Let us also not forget this fact that future policemen who will take on the unruly mobs on the streets will come from amongst this lot. Down the years, it is this generation who will go on to become politicians, administrators, doctors, engineers, etc. So, is their education not a priority item for us?

When we have too many issues at hand, isn’t it imperative to prioritize them and do what is most essential and wise. Also, inother parts of the country,Children’s schools have begun way back in June.

How will students of Manipur fare when they are pitted against the students from other states in All India Medical &Engineering Entrance and other such competitive Examinations. If our brilliant children fail to secure admissions in the best colleges of the country, will it not harm our children and adversely affect our human resources? We ought to take care of them and their interests.

Two-three days or a week’s closure of school is understandable, but, protracted and indefinite closure would deprive them of their future. They are children and lack sagacity and foresight andthey will go where we lead them to.

Can we all, in our collective wisdom, think of keeping educational institutions out of the purview of bandhs and agitations, just as we do for essential services and emergencies. Can’t we have the magnanimity to entertain stickers having "School Van"or "Teachers"etc. and exempt them and allow them passage?

For all to see, all those who can afford, or"the haves" have their children studying outside the state and already attending schools. While pushing though important social and political agendas, we should not lose sight of the future of our children.

We must carefully think and then realize the importance of education in any society and therefore respect the sanctity of educational institutions and exempt these institutions from bandhs and agitations. While we fight for the future of the state and its people, let out children also go to School and learn and enhance their capacity to face the challenges that may confront them tomorrow.

I am wrapping up with the following thoughts of Lebanese-American Khalil Gibran on children:

"Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, and though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts, for they have their own thoughts.
"


* Ranbir Ningthouja wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is Second – in – Command, 109 BN CRPF, Mongsangei, Imphal. He can be reached at ranbir5221(at)gmail(doT)com
This article was posted on August 14 , 2015.


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