E-Pao! Opinions - Away With The Ruin - Let Us Build Something New

Away With The Ruin - Let Us Build Something New
By: RK Somorjit *

Television and radio stations, newspapers and periodicals in a democratic country like India never stop talking about “freedom” in the “free world”. There are “free elections” and “free citizens”. There is “freedom of opinion” and, above all, there is “free enterprise economy” affording chances to the capable.

All this talk about freedom has very little to do with the bitter truth of everyday life as experienced by the majority of people in the North-East Indian state of Manipur. Even today, after more than two decades of Independence, peoples are still forced to fight for the most elementary human rights.

There are countless problems awaiting solutions in the today’s society of Manipur. Amongst the most urgent is the violation of human rights by security forces in fighting terror. And the countless cowardly murders and crimes committed against women and children by Indian troops are another, and possibly worse, aspect of the matter.

Here are just a few examples:
In 1984, CRPF personnel (Indian forces) fired at a group of people watching a game of volley ball in Heirangoithong, Imphal and killed 13 civilians.
In 1987, 15 villagers of Oinam village in Senapati district were killed by AR(Indian forces) after militants ambushed them and decamped with arms and ammunition.
On 25 August 1993, five civilians were killed in Tera Bazar again by CRPF, after militants killed two of their personnel in an ambush.
In 1995, nine civilians including a medical student were lined up and shot dead by Indian Armies at RIMS in Lamphelpat, Imphal.
On 3 October 1999 , ten civilians including state government employees on election duty were killed by 35th CRPF Battalion force (Indian forces) at Tonsen Lamkhai in Thoubal district Manipur.
On 2 November 2000, at around 3:20 pm ten innocent civilians including a 62 year old woman were shot dead by personnel of the Assam Rifles (Indian forces) at Malom Makha Leikai Boroi Makhong, Manipur. At least 42 persons, including four women, were hospitalized after they were brutally assaulted by Assam Rifles troops during combing operations mounted in the Malom area the same day.
On 28 December 2000, the personnel of the Indian Armies 15th Jat Regiment had massacred eight civilians including a 25 year old mentally retarded person in the Tabunglong Village, Tamenglong District of Manipur in retaliation to an earlier attack by the suspected members of an armed opposition group on Tamenglong-Imphal State Highway.

This is a scenario of “freedom”- oppression, murders – a bitter fact in the democratic state of Manipur. This is not just atrocity, but planned atrocity, long prepared and thoroughly prepared. All this are a threat to freedom, a direct attack on democracy and human rights. This is not only a challenge to the Manipuris but also to the whole mankind. Under the regime of bloodthirsty soldiers we, the Manipuris, feel as if we are wearing the chains of colonialism although we live in a free and democratic country.

Killing innocent people is neither a law of nature nor a law of democracy. India is not the country where Hitler’s fascism was introduced but it is a country where Mahatma Gandhi was born and spread non-violent movement all over the world .The life of a person should be respected in such a democratic country like India but it is unfortunate that in the north east states of India the blood of hundreds of thousands of innocent peoples have colored the green hills and valleys red.

War or violence is not the only way of struggling for peace and solving problems. It is proven to be very true: for instance, Mahatma Gandhi led India to independence without weapons or armies. Today most of the leaders, policy makers, rules of India seem to forget Mahatma Gandhi‘s message and the triumph of non-violent. Ironically, the government is trying to solve the insurgency problems by deploying troops and enforcing anti-terror laws, which give special power to the forces that they can kill or arrest or torture, anybody on suspicion – the law itself terrorized the people. Common sense says that their barbarous racial theory of conquering every “living space” by forces of arms in Manipur is an ideology to oppress the civilians and not to extirpate insurgency or terror or armed separatist guerrillas.

Now see the result of employing forces against their own people, when one civilian is oppressed or harshly killed, thousands of anti-national or separatism ideology among the young generation take birth and definitely, the demands for separation of the Manipur from India, for referendum on this matter become ever louder.

Rebellious policy of Indian Government to keep down the armed separatist guerrillas in Manipur and other north-eastern states is like opening a Pandora‘s box.

When a demonstration takes place anywhere in the globe youth is always a part of it. In Manipur also youth takes part whenever protest demonstrations take place. This has shown itself time and again in all issue- on 18 June 2001, the youths rocked Indian Government against the hasty step of extension the Naga-cease fire in the territory of Manipur. About 18 youths shed their blood in the struggle to keep the territorial integrity of Manipur, for the blood and heroism resulted in the survival of Manipur.

It is confirmed that the youths are wholeheartedly active in every issue. To revive our strength again reorganization of all the youth of different belief and outlook, and cooperation between various sections of youth has to be established to set up a unified youth organization. It would lead to a gain in strength for the next lap of the struggle for our “genuine freedom” and the safety of our civil rights. This will also make it possible to raise the methods and aims of youth work to a new and qualitatively higher level.

It is a right time for us, the young generation of Manipur, to unite in aims and action to combat for our civil rights and “genuine freedom”. Unity will give us new hope, the enthusiasm and new optimism for our struggle. Since the majority of the young generation is more or less infected by drugs addiction, HIV-AIDS and remains unproductive, it might be a complicated task to reorganize all the youths.

The best possible way of preparing the soil for the foundation of a unified, free, democratic mass organization for youth is to first bring together all young people of various outlook and beliefs and teach/learn them how to bear responsibility and –irrespective of social origin, political affiliation and outlook- to think and act in the spirit of progress.

We, the young generation, should be conscious of the fact that working for human rights and freedom today is one of the most important and supreme task of us to develop a new society where we have a feeling of peace; a feeling of freedom; a feeling of confidence and also of harmony.

Building up of such a society, free from violence, genocide terror, oppression exploitation and social discrimination colonialism can make good progress only when the whole of society is transformed as a homogeneous revolution progresses and when we, the young generation, have the comradely attitude, the strength of unity and when we work tirelessly. We should also not be afraid of anything - to speak, write and do what many people thought and craved to say or do for many years but dared not. We ourselves also should get rid of all the unspeakable vile and degrading ruler into which hands are evil faith has delivered us.

The future of Manipur depends on the spirit in which we work today. Our highest duty should be concern for the future and fight for our human rights, peace and freedom. We all know that the road to a guaranteed “genuine freedom” is still a long one beset with many obstacles. However, we should neither give a pause nor a let-up in the struggle for “real freedom” so that the future generation will remain strangers to terms like oppression, genocide terror and militarism.

Let us work together to tear out all the genocide terror, oppression exploitation, social discrimination, colonialism, militarism and all the draconian laws by the root from our society.

I am writing in the hours before dawn, sometimes we hear shots but they no longer frighten us, we have become hardened. We are under complete oppression; the ruling régime introduced curfews. A new day will dawn, a day we shall live to see as oppressed people but we are profoundly convinced that in the final consequence, our struggle for “genuine freedom” and progress will be crowned with victory.

* RK Somorjit resides at Imphal and can be contacted at

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