TODAY -

This is how you connect a bacterium with the ILP movement

Yumnam Devjit *

ILP :  Different form of Agitations in Imphal East and Imphal West demanding implementation of ILPS :: 15 August 2015
ILP : Agitations in Imphal East and Imphal West on 15 August 2015 :: Pix - Shankar Khangembam



When a man looks into a mirror, he only sees himself and never the world behind him………… I hope this line has some reference to what I am about to write.

Solve this puzzle for me.

There is a container filled with nutrients. A single bacterium is put into the container. The bacterium grows and divides into two new bacteria every minute. If it takes 12 hours for the bacteria to completely fills up the container (consuming all the nutrients). What is the time when the container is half full and quarter full?

Think about it, write down your answer somewhere and check if your answer is correct later on.

I support ILP and I am quite expressive about my stand. This attitude of mine has led to a lot of questions being raised on me from my friends. People assume that if someone supports ILP, they naturally justify and support vandalism, road block and harassment of common people. It seems as if it has become a fashion statement to criticize ILP agitator and ILP supporters, while hardly making any effort to understand why things happen when they happen. Always complaining how things are wrong and never ever making an effort to fix it. I may have offended you when I say this, but I also am offended when people imply my support for ILP as advocating vandalism and harassment. So that makes us even then.

If you didn’t have any problems with economic blockades, collection of ransom and taxes by UG groups or handing out money by politician during elections, I really don’t understand why everyone is complaining about bandhs in Imphal. All of these have nothing to do with any cause. They are just examples of bullying. The strong pissing on the weak , and the weak taking it. I hate bullies and I have always stood against them. The weak standing against the strong… now that sounds like a cause. Local gundas harassing innocent civilians, that’s a bully. The same guys holding their MLAs accountable….. that’s a cause.

Getting back to our multiplying bacteria in the container. If your answer was anything other than 11hours 59 minutes at half full and 11hours 58 minutes at quarter full than sorry your answer is wrong. This is an example of exponential growth, a property more commonly experienced as compound interest. A process in which the rate of growth is based not on a fixed principle, but an ever increasing one. In our bacteria growth we observe something like this:

Time in minutes Bacteria count Increase in bacteria
0 1 NA
1 2 1
2 4 2
3 8 4
4 16 8
5 32 16
6 64 32


You will have noticed that from 0 to 1 min the no of new bacteria formed is 1, from 1 to 2 its 2, from 2 to 3 its 4, from 3 to 4 its 8, from 4 to 5 its 16 and so on…. These are all for 1 minute intervals, as we go further into the cycle the quantity of increase in population increase multiplicatively. I know what you are thinking. You are thinking “Oh my god this is wicked! I thought it would be like same number of bacteria every minute. It’s like a mirror inside a mirror or a box inside a box. A growth inside a growth.” Well I thought the same too, what I had in mind was linear growth. This is not linear growth, that’s why they call it exponential growth.

Analyze this; it takes 11 hours and 59 minutes for the bacteria to fill up half the container, but just a single minute to fill the other half. That’s 719 minutes to fill up the first half and just another 1 minute to fill the second half.

Imagine that the container is our earth, human beings are the bacteria and the resources on earth are the nutrients. And tell me how much nutrients have we consumed? How much is left? What is the time on the clock?

Coming back to ILP……… So what do we know?

Sapam Robinhood an energetic young boy killed during an ILP demand protest, sparking off a wide spread movement that we see now. “mina khangnga di farak tani, ado thaoinki kappane” I bet somebody must have said that. Logically thinking for a non lethal weapon like a tear gas shell to be lethal, you have to be pretty close to the target, to hit somebody on the head at such distance the shooter definitely must have aimed for the head. There may be people naïve enough to believe it was an accident, I am not amongst them. How precious is life? Buy back the boy’s life from the heavens. I dare you. At least punish the person who did it so that such tragedies never happen again.

Tension grips moreh. This one was a complete out of the blind for me. I always thought kuki and meitei communities were one of the closest. A very aggressive stand against ILP, gun fire, vandalism and looting what happened? How did it go from brother to murder in an instant? Declairing ILP will not be implemented in Churchandpur? It only started making sense when someone staying at moreh explained to me, why this was happening. During the 1990s a bloody conflict between the nagas and kukis took place. The nagas awing to better resources at their disposal took the upper hand, many lives were lost, whole villages wiped out. The damage was more severe for the kuki community. The state govt being weak could not safeguard the lives of the kukis or nagas who perished. This event led to the kuki community taking the responsibility of protecting their brethrens into their own hands. This meant having a strong and populous kuki community that would make an enemy of the kuki think twice about crossing path with them. It was a do or die question, and they did. The solution was to seek help and call for aid from all the kuki tribes settled around Manipur. The implementation of ILP directly affects this arrangement. This is why we are witnessing an aggressive opposition to ILP from our kuki brethrens in Manipur.

ILP movement as of now is only confined to the meitei community. It harms non Manipuri interest, the nagas don’t care and the kukis aggressively oppose it. There is also minimal support from the meitei pangal community. Similar to the naga kuki conflict, Manipur also witnessed a bloody meitei and meitei pangal conflict, which resulted in the loss of countless life, more so of the meitei pangal communities. Such events leave a lasting impression in the psyche of a community. Similar to the kukis, meitei pangals set out to increase in numbers in order to achieve strength in numbers. This involved bringing in Bangladeshi muslims into Manipur and settle as meitei pangals. ILP would also affect such an arrangement.

Let’s just change the topic. We all know where discussion of such topic lead to……. more fear of the other. Instead let’s try applying the bacteria in the container example to Manipur.

Population growth is an exponential function. The time it takes for a population to double itself is called its doubling period. For the bacteria it was 1 minute. We can calculate the doubling period of an exponential growth using the formula:
T = log2/log(1+r/100)
Where T is doubling period in years and r is rate of growth per annum.

Resource: water

What is the situation with water in Manipur? Are we at half full? quarter full? Or completely full? I would say it is more towards completing full. Come April water turn into gold, asking any price for clean potable water. The rains didn’t fail; it was just that the rivers were sucked up dry to meet the demands. You think last year the water shortage was bad, buckle up my friend the ride has just begun. Remember with every consecutive time period the increase in the number of bacteria also increased, from 1 to 2 to 4 to 8 to 16… in that same mathematical certainty as the population increases exponentially the demand for water will also increase exponentially. If last year we were short on water by 1 lakh litres, then this year it will be 2 lakh litres this year and 4 lakh litres the next. We are heading for water wars. Immigration only worsens the situation. Water does not distinguish between a meitei , naga, kuki, meitei pangal or non Manipuri. We will all be in its mercy. That’s a bad time to realize we are all the same and soon enough we will be killing each other for a bucket of water.

Resource: forest

Take a trip from Guwahati to Imphal by road. The first thing you will notice as you enter Manipur is deforestation. One can just look at the condition of the forest and say oh those barren hills are Manipur and this lush forest is Nagaland. Why are all our hills suffering from deforestation and neighboring states not so much. We excessively cut down our forest for firewood, charcoal and hunt wild animal from the forest. This is a clear indication that the land is not able to sustain the population. Our politics and conflicts have resulted in a population of Manipur which it cannot support sustainably. As people need to make a living and more and more people come to Manipur, the available resources get over exploited. Using the data from census 2011 Manipur, we can approximate that the population in Manipur grows at a rate of 2.21516 % annually. So the doubling period comes as around 31.6 years. Here is a table highlighting some probable outcomes.

Year Population Annual increase in population Water demand in liters per day @20ltrs/person Fuel demand in liters per day @0.1ltrs/person Rice demand in kg per day @0.5kg/person
2011 2855794 NA 57115880 285579.4 1427897
2012 2919054 63260 58381080 291905.4 1459527
2013 2983715 64661 59674300 298371.5 1491857
2014 3049809 66094 60996180 304980.9 1524904
2015 3117367 67558 62347340 311736.7 1558683
2016 3186421 69054 63728420 318642.1 1593210
2017 3257005 70584 65140100 325700.5 1628502


Under the present circumstances one can expect more severe natural disasters, shortage of water, degradation of environment, extinction of wild animals. Studies have shown close relation between overpopulation and increase of violent behaviors (the utopian mouse experiment).

Exponential growth if left unchecked will lead to the destruction of society and mankind. Objectively ILP controls the population on the land by limiting immigration from outside. My support for ILP has more to do with balance of nature. The population of Manipur is way beyond sustainable. Such highly destructive phenomenon of nature will hardly be discussed in politics or policies. We are all busy doing naga, kuki, meitei, BJP, congress and money. ILP helps my cause to save humanity. When my friends confront me why I support ILP, I keep quiet, because nobody has the time to hear my answer. Call me crazy for my views, but it’s not because I am insane. It’s because in our society being concerned is considered normal.

Lastly I would like to thank everybody who read and left comments and feedbacks for my previous articles. I am not a very good writer, I am just writing because I want to share ideas that will help improve the world.

Ps: just a thought I think it would be better to have a system in ILP by which someone who came after 1951 could also be considered permanent residents of Manipur. Like America giving citizenship to foreigner. Ultimately ILP is somewhat like issuing a passport. The ILP system should mimic the passport and citizenship system to be practical in the long run. There are non Manipuri who love Manipur as their motherland more than any true blood Manipuri.


* Yumnam Devjit wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer can be reached at yumnamdevjit(at)gmail(doT)com
This article was posted on August 30, 2015.


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