TODAY -

Bandhs and blockades of Manipur

Usham Somarendro Singh *

Around 300 trucks leave Jiri for Imphal ::  January 16 2017
Around 300 trucks leave Jiri for Imphal on January 16 2017 :: Pix - TSE



One of the main reasons why Manipur is lagging behind in developmental score is undoubtedly blockades. Well, we consumed a lot of days in bandhs and blockades. We have different ethnic composition having different interests; some of the interest is as different as North Pole and South Pole. It just doesn't have any meeting point. All of its different views and interests are reflected in the form of bandhs and blockades. Sure, we can have different opinion and Constitution guarantees the freedom of expression.

But the questions we can ask ourselves are

"Are we doing anything good to ourselves by indulging in bandhs and blockades?"

"Is there any alternative way to protest other than bandhs and blockades and make the Govt. hear our views or anguish?'

"Are we being a little bit intolerant by engaging in this form of protest?"

"Do we really take into account the trauma faced by those people who are trapped in bandhs and blockades?'

By saying this I am not undermining the legitimacy of expressing our protest. It can be for a very right reason, good and authentic cause. I just like to express about the loss that incurred to us by bandhs and blockades and if its number and frequency can be reduced to a level where its impact is minimal.

Well, it is also a fact that we have too many JACs (Joint Action Committee) and too many leaders. It is not wrong to form JACs and to have leaders for a genuine cause and reasons. Leaders always hijack our mind. They can shape public opinion. We just give them the power to do so. But yes, let there be good leaders who hijack our mind for the good cause in a good way

Also, slightly touching into the current issue of blockade and counter-blockade, of the trust deficit and so on, time and again we have been hearing in public forum that the people of hills and valley are brothers. Do we really try to understand it and take it seriously is a debatable matter because if we have taken it seriously enough, our 'trust deficit' should have been vanished or atleast reduced to a tolerable limit.

We have been giving numerous historical examples that reflect that people in hills and valley are infact brothers. Keeping aside the historical perspective and interpretation of many historical events, I would like to put a logical view.

'The closest relative of any human is his/her brothers and sisters and parents and nobody can deny it. They are blood related and live as a family. Next to family, are the sagei/ clan. Father, uncles, grandfathers and grandfather's brothers live as neighbours in a close living space which we sometimes called as leikai. These 'family and leikai' are like social institution and society evolves this way over time.

This seems to be the law of nature, 'The more closely related you are, the closer your living space will be'. Taking this point further, if we look into the relation between Meiteis and Tangkhuls who happen to live in close proximity, they ought to be closely related otherwise they would be living far apart. Their spacial distribution would be far if they are unrelated.

So, the relation between Meiteis and Tangkhuls who live as neighbours have to be closer than the relation between Tangkhul and Angami of Nagaland or Nocte of Arunachal Pradesh who live (100-200) miles away. Because the place where you live in and your relation are closely linked. The closer your living space is, the more closely you are related.

Space influences relation between groups. It is not limited to Meiteis andTangkhul only, it can be relation between Meiteis and Kabuis or any other tribes. We have thousands of years of history behind us to support this. However, having said this, if Tangkhul or any other tribes want to put themselves under the nomenclature of Naga, it is absolutely their choice and no one can interfere it.

Religion or caste is absolutely an individual's choice. Whilst caste and religion remain our individual choice, at the same time, we should not forget the historical relation that bind us together also. If you look from any angle, it does not merit any logical explanation that Tangkhul are supposed to be closer to Nocte of Arunachal than the Meiteis. That is why we have Tangkhul nurabi in Meitei Laiharaoba.

Well coming back to the topic on the loss incurred due to blocakade, let me come to the first point "Are we doing anything good to ourselves by indulging in bandhs and blockades? In economic terms, 'Absolutely not'. Because it is probably one of the factors among many factors for making our state Manipur backward. Out of 365 days, places like Bangalore utillises atleast 300 days minus 48 Sundays optimally.

We hardly use 100 days optimally. Because when you start doing a job and break suddenly in between due to bandhs and blockades, it surely breaks the rythm or so called momentum. When you start again, you have to start from the beginning. So, Manipur now is where Bangalore was at 2000, just because we have lost nearly 10 years in bandhs and blocades.

We have good human resources but we are crawling like snail because of frequent interruption in our activity. That is why Manipuris living outside are more productive, progressive and earn more as compared to Manipuris back home because they have full year available but we have hardly 6 months available in a year.

So, if we are going to indulge in bandhs and blockades, I think we should stop complaining that Manipur is lagging behind, Manipur doesn't have this infrastructure or that infrastructure, Manipur's water supply or electricity is pathetic, roads are miserable, because we haven't done enough, or given enough space to allow ourselves and others, and Govt and private sectors to progress.

So, in doing bandhs and blockades, we are not only protesting to get our demands, we are also indulging in activities that hamper our own progress and growth. It's time we find some other alternative form of protest and replace bandhs and blocakades. Dharna is appealing, rally is still ok, meeting the concerned administrative officers of the concerned department or if required concerned Ministers sounds good. Because, by doing so, we can get what we want without disturbing our normal activities or activities of others.

The other question is what is the Govt. doing? Don't they require to give some 'practical solutions'? It's been happening for so long that Govt. Should formulate some strategies to counter it. Recently a survey gave the loss per day during bandhs and blocakades which run in terms of crores. Economic Blockades lead to 'Economic Erosion' and further to 'Society Erosion'. Since bandhs and blocakades have 'meltdown effect' on economy, some strategies need to be put in place. It impacts the health sector, there has been news of scanty supply of oxygen in hospital during blockade. It means it somehow violates rights of many patients. It's a crime and a crime is a punishable offence.

There can be some 'Rapid Response Team' that comprise of experts on various fields, like Social Scientists, Lawyers, in addition to police force that can attend in emergency situation. Presence of Social scientists and Lawyers can make sure that while police perform their duties, human rights and value are preserved and not violated.

Another question is 'can there be some Highway Protection Force that can make sure the free flow of economic items during economic blockades? If some extra fund is diverted in maintaining such force, their presence can enhance economic growth to much extent by ensuring free flow of economic items. Well, whatever I have expressed above are just my views and I am sure that there can be many experts in various fields who can give many more ways to counter it.

Having said these, I presume that bandhs and blockades will be there. But in those circumstances, we should bear this in our mind that we minimise the impact as less as possible, because it is also our duty to minimise the economic disparity between our state and some of the potentially growing states.


* Usham Somarendro Singh wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was posted on January 18, 2017.


* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Politicians & youths Interface : Gallery
  • Of Gifts and Talents
  • Unmissable chance to vote for real change
  • Countdown to the National Science Day
  • Preview : Mohammedan Vs Neroca
  • PM Modi Public Meeting at Langjing
  • Restrictions on Vehicles plying on NH-37
  • Festival of Ritual Narrative: Gallery
  • Angkor Wat @Cambodia #4: Gallery
  • Clouded leopard - in danger of extinction
  • WHO affirmed adventists' diet
  • Indo-Naga Talks 2017 :: News Timeline
  • The Onset of Spring :: Poem
  • Quality not maintained- Leimaram Road
  • 1st randomisation of EVMs
  • Not conducive for polls now stand ..
  • This election matters
  • Protest: Framework Content :: Gallery
  • Free Education for Orphans:: Gallery
  • Consequence of violence on children
  • Generate job with greater public investment
  • Danger of pushing for election ....
  • Cosmic love affair
  • Orphans Free Education in Private Schools
  • NTC on Rajnath's statement
  • Najima braves fatwa, bias to contest
  • Don't use FA for electoral gains : CSOs
  • Danger in dirty game
  • Laishram Sarita Vs Zsofia Bedo #5 :: Gallery
  • Indian democracy on the verge?
  • Naga women must be empowered : ZSUD
  • Undertaking journey of self-discovery
  • Who is Kailash Satyarthi
  • The Killing Fields :: News Timeline
  • International Mother Language Day
  • Condemns incident of rape in Hauz Khas
  • IndiGo takes off on Manipur mission
  • Sanjit father offered cash to drop case
  • No hidden agenda; stop playing games
  • Assuring piped water supply
  • Trade connection with Southeast Asia #1
  • Kidongam, Mangcha, Thangkholen :: eMing
  • Ballot Jam 2.0 #3: Gallery
  • Open letter to politicians #3
  • ...PM will have to answer the people
  • SVEEP campaign at TG Hr Secondary
  • 6th Major Bob Khathing Tournament kick-off
  • Tripura Web Media Forum launched
  • Pragjyoti Intl Dance Festival ends
  • Blockades choke Manipur's economy
  • Standing assurance from Rajnath: Politicize
  • Rajnath on Framework is sceptical
  • Travelling in Ukhrul Dist #1 :: Gallery
  • Shumang Leela Fest Award #2 :: Gallery
  • Satherjit Thiyam: Choreographer : Gallery
  • Much ado about Babu-dom
  • Puya Paba Tambagi Workshop begins
  • Poll theatrics in Manipur
  • Myanmar Meetei mou at temple
  • Sadar Hills District Demand :: Articles
  • 9th Pragjyoti Intl Dance Fest starts
  • Defeating administrative convenience
  • Biju Ningombam (Photos) #3 :: eRang
  • Framework agreeement protest:: Gallery
  • Ballot Jam 2.0 #2: Gallery
  • Tale of two voices- Inspired & the Unsung
  • Election & blockade & scare campaign
  • MU Seminar : NE India & South East Asia
  • Teaching the Teacher at NEHU, Shillong
  • Women Group formed in Ukhrul
  • Training on EVM/VVPAT for women
  • Laihui @Tanglei Music Festival :: Gallery
  • Pakhang No. 1- Lila Fest #2:: Gallery
  • Open letter to politicians #2
  • Aligarh Univ- place for Women Education
  • Political consciousness- self introspection
  • My torn shirt will cost millions 1 day
  • Sadar Hills Demand 2011-2017 : Timeline
  • Films by Ri-Mita Bolsabi with Phukan
  • Zeliangrong sentiment deeply hurt: ZB
  • 2017 not to be a repeat of 2012
  • Toying with the ultimate paradox
  • Ballot Jam 2.0 #1: Gallery
  • Laishram Sarita Vs Zsofia Bedo #4 :: Gallery
  • ESU, Wangkhei: Women League Winner
  • Women Reservation-Naga Customary Law
  • Last ray of hope
  • The Lamp Right up My Street :: Poem
  • Pragjyoti International Dance Festival
  • Foreigners defy visa rules in NE
  • Demand for ILP System :: News Timeline
  • Reopening the BT Road killing
  • Time to walk the talk
  • Landscape of Manipur #5: Wallpaper
  • U-17 football tournament: Gallery
  • Open letter to politicians #1
  • Ambassadors For Christ
  • Lonelier in love :: Poem
  • Political riddle - framework agreement
  • Playing with fire, a fear factor
  • ILP Demand from 2012 :: Photo Gallery
  • Khangkhui Cave @Ukhrul #2: Gallery
  • SSS MANIFA - Film Awards #4: Gallery
  • Lui-Ngai-Ni : Naga Seed Sowing Festival
  • Occupation of Schools by Security Forces
  • RISS: Innovative Park with Recycled Material
  • History, pathology, prophylaxis of rabies
  • Involve the States more in higher education
  • 14th Sentinel Cup, Equestrian concluded
  • War of words : Other important issues
  • The unheard Calls
  • Manipur Sangai Festival 2016 #1 : Ooba
  • AMUCO Foundation Day :: Gallery
  • For The Better Democracy
  • Call centre as career options
  • How to contest polls with Rs 3.1 lakh
  • Walk-in-interview at Mizoram University
  • Xenoh Corporate Football Challenge 2017
  • Powerful statement from RN Ravi
  • Using integrity issue as a tool in election..
  • Sagon Kangjei (Polo) #4
  • Northeast One (Robert Naorem) :: Gallery
  • 'Beating of the Retreat' #3 :: Gallery
  • Maharaj & Bizando poll chat, eavesdropped
  • River :: Poem
  • Indira Gandhi's one-minute function
  • United Naga Council Statement on Feb 12
  • Banning UNC not the answer: Half baked
  • Pakhang No. 1- Lila Fest #1:: Gallery
  • Pinky Jangra Vs Claudia :: Gallery
  • Bequeath good air to our next generation
  • Politics of economic blockade in Manipur
  • You're a mere Muslim woman!
  • Why humanity remember Gandhi
  • Blockade may impact Naga talk: Ravi
  • Trainers wanted at Ascend Studio
  • Why should only blockade be an issue ?
  • Singju Fest @Khangabok #3 :: Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Keep Thy Heart With All Diligence
  • Women's reservation to correct traditional...
  • Satherjit Thiyam: Choreographer :: eRang
  • Sihai Lotae @Ukhrul : Gallery
  • Manipuri language & its literary traditions
  • Mina Uthum Onkhiba :: Funga Wari
  • Gita-Govinda- Drama Fest #1: Gallery
  • Blockade-Looking for solution @wrong place
  • View from tribal language perspective #2
  • A Myanmar Meetei leisabi in Yangon
  • Sadar Hills District Demand :: Articles
  • Khoupum Valley & Cave #4 : Gallery
  • NEROCA Vs SS, Kolkata:: Gallery
  • Singju Fest @Khangabok #2 :: Gallery
  • UNC's Leaders @Imphal Airport:: Gallery
  • Tanglei Cup - opening day :: Gallery
  • Snowfall at Dzukou Valley #2 : Gallery
  • Wareppa Naba :: Profile of Theatre Actor
  • First floating School at Loktak :: Gallery
  • SSS MANIFA - Film Awards #2: Gallery
  • Indigenous Medicinal & its importance
  • Peace Rally- Imphal to Jiri:: Gallery
  • 'Carrying lives in hand' :: Gallery
  • Kabuliwallah @Dance Drama Fest:: Gallery
  • Republic Day @Kangla #2 : Gallery
  • Interpreting the Princess & the Frog
  • Keibul Lamjao- Drama Fest #2: Gallery
  • Manipur: Champion @ National Thang-Ta
  • Final Match :Women's Polo #2 : Gallery
  • Gaan Ngai @Moirangkhom #2: Gallery
  • Yotsinkhidoure - ILP Special Song : Ooba
  • Khangkhui Cave @Ukhrul #1: Gallery
  • Kachai Lemon Festival : Gallery
  • Kakching Lamkhai :: 360 View Panorama
  • Trekking to Dzukou Valley #1: Gallery
  • Meiteilon Folk & Tangkhul duet : Ooba
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #3: Gallery
  • HSE examination Schedule 2017
  • HSLC examination Schedule 2017
  • Sanamanbi Sanarei :: eRang Classic
  • Summary Of Electoral Rolls Released
  • Priyanka Rajkumari #2 (Photos) :: eRang
  • Khunung Eeshei/ Ema Emoinu #3 : Radio
  • 60th CC Meet Semifinal #2 : Gallery
  • 60th CC Meet Semifinal #1 : Gallery
  • Imas from Nupi Lan: Gallery
  • SPONSORED ADS