TODAY -

E-Pao! Opinion - Be Manipuri and buy Manipuri

Be Manipuri and buy Manipuri

By: KshetriMayum Imokanta Singh *



Any self-respecting Manipuri is painful to walk down the main markets of Paona Bazar and Thangal Bazar. The colonisation of the market by non-Manipuri traders is complete and heart wrenching. Yes, I am not blaming them for this slow and firm intrusion into our bread and butter. The blunder lies in us who allowed them to sneak thinking that they are harmless and poor people as if we are the benevolent saviours of the cursed ones. See, now we are paying the price of our innocence and ignorance and also lack of entrepreneurship. In Manipur everything, from needle to trucks, seems to be imported from outside. The surprise is the command these traders have even in the cultural spheres of Manipur for commercial benefits. For instance, how could coconut be an indispensable part of Ningol Chakouba in this land where it is not grown at all?

Ok, leave aside this and look at the Moreh market. Anything Moreh is cheap and stylish. There is Moreh T-shirts, jeans, jackets, shoes, toys, almirahs, perfumes, goggles and the list is long and yes Moreh chanam (garlic), Moreh tilhou (onion), Moreh mairel (pumpkin) etc… That day is not far when there will be Moreh ngari (fermented fish) and Moreh made hybridised people. How could people consume the soiled food products like Moreh achars and numitlei maru (sunflower seeds) of various hues as delicacies? God knows how they are made but at least one can judge from the quality it tastes. One thing is sure that the Manipuri society is obsessed with anything foreign, be it Indian or Moreh. There is a serious loophole in our perception of things, which also influences our work culture. Consumerism has already swept across the length and breath of our society when there is negligible amount of production from our side. Anything new is fashionable irrespective of comfort index, be it the culture of CBZs or torn jeans.

Somebody may claim that it would be very taxing to resist the currents of the day when the world seems to have become one specially after all these globalisation and liberalisation. Yes agreed, but what is our contribution to all these new strong movements? Are we going to be only the gobbling pots of these junk products keeping our self-respect on the backburner? Do we think that other people will appreciate our hollow 'high' culture? I seriously and sincerely doubt this self-aggrandisement. Somebody may again reiterate the age-old platitude that Manipur can survive alone given its resources and manpower are effectively explored. But when and how? Are we simply going to wait for the day when we will be 'alone' and reserve all our 'skills' and 'energies' for that D-day?

For the time being we can avoid the self-blaming exercise and defer it for later space. First thing first, extensive and pro-active awareness, nay, aw-akening programmes are need-ed from the side of concerned organisations like local clubs to educate the people about the economic loot our culture is inflicting. Here I am not talking about engaging those NGOs, which exist only in the air while feeding on lots of unaccounted mullahs (money), but genuine ones. It should not be a heavy task given the emotional index of the Manipuris. It is very important that they are encouraged to be true Manipu-ris and to buy Manipuri products even at the cost of certain glitz. But the satisfaction and pride in wearing and using something Manipuri is sufficient. Maintenance of this pri-de is crucial for the sustenance of our society. So, we need to start a new swadeshi movement in Manipur to lift the economic condition and more than this the self-confidence of the people that they can also deliver the goods. This movement will also take into task the Manipuri babus in 'show-business' who are the sons and daughters of Nike, Adidas, Benneton and Honda.

Production of anything, literally anything, is not impossible in Manipur. We have already got firm grip on the textile business, including handloom, and we can manufacture whatever type of clothes we need and our products are not inferior to any other products from outside. One thing, which we lack in this field are the raw materials, which are imported. But if we ponder upon carefully, we do not lack them too, given the availability of the resources such as tsar farming in the wide hilly terrain. Only thing is to systematically sap them to stop the influx of already present products from as far places as Gujarat or Rajasthan or elsewhere. Add to this our comm-and over the handicrafts. Now let us see the spheres of technology specific products like electronic gadgets. Even if we are not able to completely man-ufacture them we can at least assemble the TVs, computers, audio systems, etc. to give a learning opportunity to our people. This way we can march toward the final goal of manufacturing the complete products one-day. And now if we take the area of food products, the whole range is open to us. People should learn one lesson or two from the success story of 'Manifru' and diversify the prism to other horizons too.

The Manipur valley is one of the most fertile valleys and we can maximise its utility by indulging into various forms of farming not just paddy but vegetables instead of keeping the fields empty for the rest of the year after the harvest. We can bring in a new green revolution, which already came to Western and Northern India in the 1970s. Manipur can also start manufacturing agricultural machinery to meet the soaring demands. The ranges of opportunities are unlimited and I cited only a few to attract the attention of the people. The first aim should be self-sufficiency and then we can think of export. The thing is why should we import foldable almi-rahs from Tamu when we have already seen the nuances of its construction? The TV sets of 'Manitron' etc. must try to maintain the standard so that people may not go for Sony or BPL or LG ones. The local manufacturing units must also utilise the good expertise of marketing like convincing people about their products thro-ugh media and also exhaustive use of door to door demonstration technique. It is also the responsibility of the people to stick to these local ones even at the cost of some snags in the products. This will drive the adrenaline level of the small companies to better their products.

Now here comes the main stumbling block. How can we venture into this uphill terrain without proper funding? In this endeavour the Manipur Government, rather the politicians need to be taught little bit of patriotism and need to be educated about the grim future of Manipur, if we are not cautious now, at least to take an exile from their wealth amassing mission. Our Chief Ministers and ministers should try to learn certain sacrifices and entrepreneurship from Chandra-babu Naidu, the present Chief Minister of AP. Easy availability of essential funds should be made to welcome new entrepreneurs of the land. But we cannot always depend upon the Government for a good cause. The initiative must also come from our side and face the hardships of amassing fund from private sources. This may sound little idealistic but if we see the success story of Reliance Company and Sahara Group of Companies it is not an impossible proposition. It should be an eye-opener for us how Dhirubhai Ambani started from the scratches.

The bottom line is that we must be vigilant about various legal sources of fund, which are at our disposal and capitalise on them. Prior to this funding problem and more important than this are the moral height and that willingness to scale the untrodden fields or simply the enterprising nature of our people. If these are ingrained in our inner selves the battle is almost won. Here I am talking about Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) which may cater to the maximum employment of our people. In USA nearly half of the private workforce is employed in small firms and in Japan 78% of jobs are generated by SMEs. We need to have many vocational training institutes imparting the essential skills. In this effort we can bring in many experts from outside the state to train our manpower. But more practical way is learning by doing. This is a prosperous way to save our society and probably a solution to the present political crisis too.

The simple truth here is that we must try, at any cost, to contain the amount of essential goods, which are flooding our markets from outside and must be substituted by the local made ones. If we cannot burn the foreign goods like du-ring the Indian freedom movement we can at least counsel ourselves to change the mode of our taste and avoid the junks. I know it is a difficult task altogether but we cannot defer it for want of right time. No time is wrong time. At least we have to start the journey to cover the distance though tiresome. Somebody may see this whole idea as a dream of an idealist but I can sight the future of Manipur, which is choked with smoke of dependence and chained by the iron shackles of foreign goods and traders.

Even if one individual is moved by this article I will pat myself at my back that I am successful in drawing her/him out of her/his cocoon of complacency. So, Arise, Awake and Stop not till Manipur is freed from her age-old noose.


KshetriMayum Imokanta Singh is a Ph.D. scholar at JNU, New Delhi
He contributes regularly to e-pao.net.

* 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
  • CCpur victims laid to rest :: Gallery
  • UG admission info for Delhi University 2017
  • College Principals' Conference at NEHU
  • Mortal remains of CCpur victims laid to rest
  • Redefining Manipuri Hindu
  • Private tuition : Financial burden on parents
  • Nungbi Chaphu - Ukhrul Pottery :: Gallery
  • International Yoga Day #1 :: Gallery
  • New Government, New Hope #2
  • Auditorium of High Court of Manipur :: 360 °
  • Book publishing as a career option
  • Simplifying the pursuit of happiness
  • Shirui festival: Let us not go with words..
  • Count pigeons around you
  • The Killing Fields :: News Timeline
  • Hill dists : Lagging in Science stream
  • The lesser truth of National media
  • HSE 2017 Result :: Science Toppers
  • HSE 2017 Result :: Arts Toppers
  • HSE 2017 Result :: Commerce Toppers
  • HSE 2017 Result :: Science Stream
  • HSE 2017 Result :: Arts Stream
  • HSE 2017 Result :: Commerce Stream
  • Barak Spring Festival @Senapati :: Gallery
  • Phalneilhing, Sinchui :: eMing
  • Incarnations of Goddess Nongthang Leima
  • Ebudhou Thanjing Laishang #1 :: 360 °
  • Media & Contemporary Manipuri Society #2
  • Cleaning up the air we breathe
  • 'Maj Rati Keteki', an author's insight
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • SC notices in Biren son case
  • Army act extended by six months
  • Timely acted, but need to rethink...
  • Lamkang Cultural Day @Chandel :: Gallery
  • Ambassador Of Japan with CM :: Gallery
  • JNIMS Ortho scripts history
  • Indigenous people are ST, so are Meeteis
  • Grooming security experts in admin service
  • Parents are supposed to be cheer leaders ..
  • Applauds CM for Building Peace & Harmony
  • 2 trucks carrying logs seized
  • Japan to invite 25 people from Manipur
  • Bomb blasts rock border town in Manipur
  • Shirui Lily Festival, Ukhrul #2 :: Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • 73rd anniv of Battle of Imphal :: Gallery
  • Nachom Arts : Encouraging Artists
  • Manipur: In the waiting room of justice
  • Cheiraoba Ching Kaba :: 360 ° View
  • Of storms, flying saucers & lazy thoughts
  • Anti-Terrorism day observed
  • Ex-Servicemen Meet organised
  • Managing natural resources
  • Ksh Bhaktakumar- Mr India 2017:: Gallery
  • Tanglei Music Festival :: Gallery
  • Effort To Bridge The Hills And Valley
  • Colloquium: Japanese Culture & Nationalism
  • Urban flood effective mgmt strategies #1
  • Meet rejects oil exploration at Khaidem
  • Training on Service Marketing in Healthcare
  • Illegal migrant detection with 1951 cut-off
  • Indo-Naga Talks 2017 :: News Timeline
  • Ghost of 2010 continues to haunt
  • Brahmacharimayum Roji - Actress :: eRang
  • Handloom @Temporary Market #1:: Gallery
  • New Government, New Hope #1
  • Nightmares of event management
  • Big data for big impact
  • Free Counselling & Awareness Program
  • One belt one road
  • Jobs: Counseller for Family Court, Ukhrul
  • Sadar Hills Demand 2011-2017 : Timeline
  • Total shutdown against blast in Moreh
  • Tribals reject MoU signed- govt, JACAATB
  • Naga Hoho appeals NIA over arrests
  • First visible step to check corruption
  • International Dance Day :: Gallery
  • Gudui Ngai @Majorkhul #2 :: Gallery
  • Manipur Children Club:: 360 ° View
  • Take smart choice before admissions
  • Love one another ... for living together
  • Shirui Lily Fest off to a grand start
  • On Shirui festival
  • Seminar on 'Life of Gangmumei Kamei' #2
  • Shirui Lily Fest @Shirui, Ukhrul #1 :: Gallery
  • Civil Service Tennis Tournament :: Gallery
  • Barak(Spring) Festival at Senapati
  • When will India cashless island go cashless
  • The winsomeness of human mind
  • Jobs at NIELIT centers
  • Aadhar Registration & Distribution Program
  • Work starts on Trilateral Highway in Myanmar
  • AI plans NE expansion, to inject more flights
  • People's Day Bridging the gap
  • Reality bite - something seems fishy
  • Meeyamgi Numit hosted by CM :: Gallery
  • Andro AMMA FC : Winner of Doon Cup 2017
  • How great is my mother's love for me
  • Boat House, Kangla :: 360 ° View
  • Pinch of love :: Poem
  • Fingerprint & Iris code for Aadhaar
  • Sharmila solidarity with Africans
  • Trust deficit in Framework Agreement
  • Equality in place of majoritarianism
  • A hope for better Manipur
  • Kangleipak Kang Trophy #3:: Gallery
  • Featured Photo for 2017 #2 :: Gallery
  • Gudui Ngai : Festival of Zeliangrong
  • Fishery as an agenda for Barak Festival
  • Supermom :: Poem
  • 2nd Startup Weekend Imphal
  • May Day #2 :: Essay
  • For inclusion of Meitei in ST category
  • NE turning into a hub of Cannabis
  • Muslims cannot dissolve marriage- Guv
  • Police probing 'threat' to SC advocate
  • Hands that rock the cradle rule the world
  • Film Personalities #1 :: eRang Classic
  • Handicrafts of the Zeliangrong #2
  • High Court of Manipur :: 360 ° View
  • From head-hunters into money-hunters
  • Importance of dialectic in Philosophy
  • Binalakshmi Nepram threatened by Police
  • Cleanliness drive conducted at CCpur
  • Gudui Ngai @Majorkhul #1 :: Gallery
  • Bringing TB out of the shadows
  • Women are the salt of the earth
  • Superstition and its side-effects
  • Temples of learning
  • Guidelines of play schools
  • Bucket of cold water after a hot shower
  • Breaking the barrier
  • Lai Lamthokpa @Yaiskul #2 :: Gallery
  • MIMS (MU) - ManFete #4 :: Gallery
  • Impact of October Revolution Manipur #2
  • Bir Tikendrajit Park :: 360 °
  • Nurses are heart beat of healthcare
  • The Sun Behind the Cloud :: Poem
  • Nagas of Nagaland can decide their future
  • 85 unelectrified villages to be lit up by Dec
  • Go to the hill districts too
  • Beginning of a new era; but ...
  • Seminar on 'Life of Gangmumei Kamei' #1
  • OORJA football Closing ceremony :: Gallery
  • May 10, 1942: first bomb hit Imphal in WW2
  • Manipur killings: Amicus Curiae on Army...
  • A white paper on good governance
  • Butterfly a living parable of resurrection
  • Global Manipuri Mega Photo Contest
  • Inquiry on "School Van accident"
  • Inking an MoU with CCpur JAC
  • Calls for human security
  • Laishram Lalitabi - Actress :: eRang
  • Manipur & Nagaland CMs :: Gallery
  • Cheirao Ching Kaba #1 :: 360 ° Photo
  • MLA - defection politics in Manipur
  • Japan interest to develop Education in NE
  • CM floral tribute to Martyred Jawans
  • More than a 'courtesy call'
  • Development & security matters
  • Thongjao potters adapt to modern reqt
  • Prize Distribution- MU Sports :: Gallery
  • Handicrafts of the Zeliangrong #1
  • Imphal Intl Airport : How International?
  • The mystery of nine :: Poem
  • RIST popular talk 29 - Molecular Electronics
  • Gudui Ngai celebrated
  • 122nd rank in the list of cleanliness
  • Consumers' rights
  • Sagol Kangjei Exhibition :: Gallery
  • Musuem, Kangla :: 360 ° photo
  • Keeping workforce healthy-smart business
  • Brief story of Karl Marx (199th Birth Anniv)
  • Manipuri resurgence & Jewish lessons
  • Visit of Japanese Ambassador to MU
  • Poems released at Barapani, Meghalaya
  • CMD, NHPC Visit to Loktak Power Station
  • Right venue for seminar on bridging the gap
  • Landscape of Manipur #6: Wallpaper
  • Impact of October Revolution Manipur #1
  • Climate change: Case study on wildlife
  • Longing for peace in this region
  • Why happiness can be so elusive
  • ShiRock 2017 at Ukhrul
  • Airline Ticketing Consultant training
  • Civil Society Delegation met CM
  • Lai Lamthokpa @Yaiskul #1 :: Gallery
  • Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon #1 :: Gallery
  • Binalakshmi Nepram selected by Colombia
  • Separate time zone for NE : Petition
  • Arbind Soibam - Emerging Singer :: eRang
  • Phaknung rape protest @Kakching :: Gallery
  • MIMS (MU) - ManFete #3 :: Gallery
  • Traditional Thabal @Pourabi :: Gallery
  • River Bank Music Festival :: Gallery
  • Henjunaha - A folk play :: Gallery
  • The Mighty Mystic Manipuri Women
  • Arambai show #2:: Gallery
  • Shakuhachi meets Pena, Manipur & Japan
  • Tributes paid on Khongjom Day #2:: Gallery
  • Laishram Birendrakumar recieve Padmashri
  • Kei Onba Kom Gi Eshing :: Funga Wari
  • 'Nura Pakhang'(Video) @Portugal:: Gallery
  • Mr India 2017- Ksh Bhaktakumar :: Gallery
  • Purul, Senapati :: 360 View Panorama
  • Ethoi Oinam #1 (Actress) :: eRang
  • Nura Pakhang : Music video
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba @Pune :: Gallery
  • Thabal Chongba @Kolkata :: Gallery
  • CM N Biren visit to Ukhrul #2 :: Gallery
  • Manipur Sangai Festival 2016 #4 : Ooba
  • Nungshiba Khongel @Sylhet :: Gallery
  • Maphou Dam :: 360 View Panorama
  • SPONSORED ADS