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E-Pao! Opinion - Can We Rewind?

Can We Rewind?

Mohammed Sirazul Haidar *



This write up was there in my PC since a long long time. Literally speaking, recent responses I received from my earlier write-up have indeed fuelled me to contribute this one. E-pao has been very kind to provide me this platform to relate my ideas with my countrymen. Here in this write up I have tried to discuss the divide among the different communities who have been living in this state since time immemorial.

I have the privilege to tour the nook and corner of Manipur during the late 1992 and early 1993 with my closest friend as part of "National Family Health Survey" conducted by "MODE Research, Calcutta".

It was such an adventurous experiences exploring all those scenic beauty of the various places on mother Manipur's lap. There were hardly any transport available then, most of our journeys were on foot. I had heard and read about the tribal hospitality, now I can say sort of experienced the Tribal Hospitality much more than those mentioned by the writers.

I am lost of words to express their hospitality. All those days were lingering on my eyes, how the youths helped and guide us through the way to the village chief's house.

How refreshing it was at the chief's house after those exhausted long journeys on foot? When it comes to providing information how accurate their answers to our questionnaires of the survey? Most of the households and youths never hesitate to tell that their sons, friends have joined the NSCN, many a learned youths have ventured into Nagaland for job and their distrust in the Government of the land.

We have seen many villages where the access to civic amenities was a distant dream; the government should have been offered the villagers. That's our northern tribal populated districts of Manipur. There never was an instant where a single person had a suspicion about the survey rather they cooperated with the hope that the survey will help them improve their life in those rugged hills.

We have also covered some of the valley areas too; almost every family was so hesitated to give us the right information that we needed. There were several instances where some of the youths started cross questioning about our identity and the job. They suspected as if we were agents of the Indian Army searching for revolutionaries. There were lots of arguments without reason.

There was so much of distrust among us. I didn't know why?

It's has been more than a decade since we had the survey but over the years much water had flowed down the Barak River. I heard of news that drivers who drive through the popular lifeline of our state were attacked on a regular basis, also heard of our sisters being raped. Moreover I have heard of one of the longest economic blockade imposed to us by our brothers, who once were so close us.

There never was such a social divide among the people of the state. First with the Kuki-Naga, then the Meitei-Meitei Pangal, now the Meitei-Naga divide is seen very clearly.

In a state where the Meitei are the majority and never had any problems leading the state by one Muslim and two Nagas as chief Ministers. Why on earth these distrust among us?

Whose interests are being served by the enmity among us? Who had sown the seeds of distrust? For hundreds of year's people of varied caste, creed, religion, culture and language have dwelled in this Sanaleipak. What kind of history are we going to leave for the future of this land?

In my view the possible causes for distrust arising among us were due to dirty politics and misuse of power. Over the years the political leaders or the ruling class has exploited the masses for their personal gain. There never would have been a tussle between the citizens when a fair share of development reaches the masses. Greedy bureaucrats and politicians are governing our present society and immorality is the order of the day.

When greed and envy are used to justify initiating the use of force, politics then becomes perceived as the arbiter of justice. The use of an immoral end (greed/envy) to validate the use of an immoral means (force) will lead to the breakdown of the morals in a society. The state thus imposes immorality on society in a process of politicalization that undermines the economic order.

On the other hand many a youth has taken the path of violence in order to gain independence from the Indian dominion, unfortunately majority of the people are not very clear about their vision and goals of the freedom struggle.

Since the mushrooming of so many different revolutionary groups with their ethnic support bases distrust among our society widened. Many of us are disturbing the freedom of others thereby breaking the status quo in the society.

My view of freedom is that humans are free to choose what they wish to do in life and free to choose what action is required in order to accomplish goal. The power to envision a desirable goal and the power to act upon that vision should not disturb the freedom of others. How that power is used is determined by individual choices.

People make personal choices by perceiving what they can and can't do based on reconciling their power with their freedom in a moral framework. If a general agreement can be reached in a society about what actions are reasonable and just, a standard of conduct is created in that society and a civilization is realized.

The action one resolves to take in order to improve one's conditions can be judged as moral or immoral. An action that restricts the freedoms of others is considered immoral by most civilized standards. Since the use of force restricts the freedoms of others, it is therefore immoral.

But has our society gone too far?

Are we able to turn back the clock?

Is it still possible to purge from our culture the unbridled immorality around us?

Of course, it is possible. But ask yourself: Is it likely? Will our society, as a whole, change for the better? Will this distrust ends? Will Sanaleipak be the same again?

Do you believe that even ONE of these questions will be answered with a "Yes"?

Saying "No" does not mean that all hope is lost for our society. There is coming a system that will change everything! Literally, everything that is wrong with our society will be corrected. You can be part of that coming society. Just because the world around you will not choose what is right, it does not mean you must follow the wrong.


Mohammed Sirazul Haidar, a Librarian for Real Estate developer, EMAAR Properties in Dubai, contributes regularly to e-pao.net
You can email the writer at mhaider@emaar.ae
This article was webcasted on 07th December 2005.


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