TODAY -

Loud questions, silent answers

Samarjit Kambam *



Technology always comes at a price. Likewise, social media sites have their own demerits just like having their own share of merits.

As all knows, there are a host of better and extremely flexible editing softwares coming up and one can edit a photograph, a picture, a caricature, whatever, in a serene, calm, placid, blissful, heart-rending, attractive, distorted, defaming, deceitful, phantomatic and many other ways, upto the content of one’s heart.

With the coming up of better photo editing softwares such as Affinity Photo, Serif Photoplus X8, Magix Photo Designer, Corel PaintShop Pro X8, Zoner Photo Studio Pro 17, Dreamlight Photo Editor, Adobe Photoshop Elements 14 etc.. etc., you can compose a photograph where you rub shoulders holding each other like childhood friends, or the act of shaking hands or having a dinner together or basking in the sun on a beautiful beach with Barak Obama, the President of United States of America, the most powerful man in the world.

You can produce a photograph with Sunny Leone or Taylor Swift or a famous actor or actress. You can take a photograph of your pet dog and reproduce the picture as though the dog is in a yoga meditation posture, just like the way a human does.

As they say “It’s a world of endless possibilities” and as per the phrase brought up by Late Mohammed Ali, the world’s renowned legendary heavyweight boxer “Impossible is Nothing” later adopted by Nike, the shoe giant, your very photo can be uploaded holding a flag of a banned insurgent outfit or standing near the top brass of the outfit with an Uzi dangling by your shoulder by anybody on any social networking site by any photo-editing pro.

On a photograph or a picture you can be almost anything, you can be a Superman, a Batman, a Daredevil, a Kickass, a Sandman, a Stoneman, an Iceman, a member of Navy Seals, Marines, Black Cat, a member of IS, an MI6 secret agent, a Rockstar, a Punk, a Hunk, whatever you want to be.

What really perturb the minds of the public is, say, when Mr X, Y or Z with a false Facebook account put up a photo with Ratan Khomdram depicting the act of taking oath, flashing the flag of the banned outfit United National Liberation Front (UNLF), and a few moments later, the announcement by Singjamei Police Station of Imphal West District that Mr Ratan Khomdram, the then spear header of Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS) as an outlaw, that he is a member of UNLF.

What flabbergasted, shocked and gave mixed feelings to everybody was the clockwork precision, the coordination, the synchronised act by the concerned authorities where Ratan was announced as an outlaw a few moments after the photograph on Facebook went viral which was too good to be true and too good to be taken as co-incidence.

It looks like a worked out plot of a story, an answer already answered before the question was asked, a worked-out plan, a scheme which was hatched long time back to suppress the people’s movement for ILP.

One question nagging the people’s mind is, if Ratan Khomdram was really taking the oath of joining UNLF, why would UNLF leak out its classified photograph? If the outfit did, then for what reason and with what motive?

Its something which is totally beyond reason, beyond logic. Again, the effectiveness of cyber crime unit of police department who mistakes “algorithm” for the name a firearm is for all to see.

Without validating and without finding out the genuineness of the photograph, how can someone be announced as an outlaw with a price tag of Rs 5 lakhs over his head, making him a wanted person, a fugitive.

So far, there has been no development of seeking the truth on the matter, as of now there has been no action from the side of the Home Minister and Police Department of Imphal West to dig out the truth whether the photograph is a real one or a compromised or morphed one.

Before coming to hasty decisions and conclusions, the photograph must be sent to an advanced lab, especially outside Manipur, for in our state called Manipur, everything false, bad and untrue can be done but the truth can’t be. Even if it turns out to be genuine, thorough investigation should be carried out with great transparency whether or not Ratan is a true member of the outfit.

If he really is, then, let him face the music, it doesn’t matter. But the way things have been developing or turning out seems quite fishy. Everybody can smell a rat, a big rat in this matter. Before the almost indelible tarnished image on notoriety of state police is yet to be erased with their records of excesses, terrorising innocents still abounds, another unwanted and unpleasant act has been made by the police department creating distrust and uncertainty among the innocent people and further distancing themselves from the public by showering criminal acts upon Ratan just like a ‘trial and error method’ as if a human’s life can be toyed with anytime at will like a guinea pig.

The police department needs to win the confidence of the people, not simply but by providing clear and concrete evidence, but by correcting the very asymmetrical department itself.

Maybe former JCILPS convenor Khomdram Ratan might have joined the outfit, maybe he might not have. But the impatience and the nature of criminal cases piled up against him by Imphal West Police raises many eyebrows and many questions arise in the minds of the public whether state actors in connivance with some private stakeholders with self interest are playing their sinister role to suppress the people’s movement for ILP.

Well, a leader may get changed, but another leader will come up and ILP being a “people’s movement”, instead of withering away, it will further gain momentum.


* Samarjit Kambam wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was posted on June 30 , 2016.


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