TODAY -

E-Pao! Feature - Its a matter of personal choice

Its a matter of personal choice
By:- Geoffrey Ningthoujam *



'DEAR READER,READ THIS!!!'

Dear Reader,the future holds greater prospects for our already great home-state.After all, being a Manipuri, I can't help being concerned at such unearthly prospects.

Ladies and gentleman,I present you,Manipur in all its glory.

Hindi has already been banned. You have to look left and right and think a hundred times before guiltily humming away a tune from some Hindi movie.

Alcohol has been dealt a similar fate in the hands of the same bigots. Though caught offguard, the government, not to be outdone,followed it up with Prohibition. Many have ben shot in the ankle(read ankles,knees,thighs,toes,ears,et cetera for the habitual lot). Many more still sneak off to Kakhulong or Sekmai. The more influencial with just the right connections turn to any of the numerous military canteens.

Betelnuts too have been baned. Wicked as I am ,I had hoped that people caught chewing the nutritious delicacy would have their yellowed teeth pulled out @ 1 tooth for 1 nut, with of course concessional liberty for the unsuspecting culprit to decide which tooth first and in which order. My high hopes were belied as the ban was unceremoniously and silently revoked. But dear Reader,I certainly have no word to describe the inescapable adrenaline rush I experienced when the ban was back in place.

Hundreds of our poor paandukan-owners will now have to exclusively rely upon mantu beedis, bandora beedis and a wide array of assorted imported dietary supplements from Moreh.

Dress codes are in place. One second,it was ' no sarees ';the next second,it was ' no salwaar kameez '; and still at other times,it was no ' no jeans ' or ' no skirts '. These not-to-be-opposed regulations are being doled out seasonally and intermittently in various permutations and combinations(These guys are great mathematicians).

It is apparently a religious obligation for all manipuri women to observe these heavenly decrees - the reason being that such garments degrade the age-old manipuri cultural legacy. No such decree is ordained for the Manipuri male; he is supremely virtuous, incorrigibly right and culturally peerless (God himself stands second to the average manipuri male on all these counts). Therefore, he maintains an entirely different standard for himself. Dear Reader,it's called double standards.

For those of you still unemployed and bleary-eyed chasing a dream,here's a way to cut short that dream:

Step 1:Get a photocopier(or better still-steal one,it's the 'in thing' in Manipur)
Step 2:Get hold of someone close to someone close to the Education ministry and of course someone close to someone close to the right organisation.
and the rest is history ,dear Reader. You'll be laughing your way to Zurich. Believe me, there's gold here for the digging.

Considering the fact that the spineless govt., passively sanctions a 3-year Bachelor Degree course to be drawn into a protracted 5-year romance, the govt.'s priorities appear to have gone haywire here. Maybe unknown to the rest of us fools, an extra two years sound stupendous in one's resume to a prospective employer.

We humans are born to imitate what we sense around us. Psychologists cal it Modelling. Though it does not mean we are copycats throughout our lifespan, this is one trait that enables us to adapt to a multitude of varying environmental stimuli, a trait that has contributed to our emergence as the dominant species on this planet.

The interaction of this psychological framework and the value system provides vital clues to understand the drama of social censorship. Such an interaction is inevitably energised and intensified by the hectic pace of globalisation.

The reach and spread of globalisation in various degrees has been accentuated by the concomitant advancement in scientific technology. Science provides us the technological marvels such as the television,the radio, the internet and the cinema to name a few.

These marvels in turn provide us access to events around the world and valuable information from across the globe-inventions, discoveries,lifestyles of the glitterati, the making of nations...In the specific context of Manipur,they expose us to novel ideas from beyond the confines of the surrounding hills and break the isolation.

These ideas seldom fail to tickle and arouse our senses.Some of them get adopted without a moment's notice. Some as a passing fad. Yet others linger on and become an integral part of the fabric of one's enriched culture.

This is what we know as cultural evolution. Many of these ideas that get permanently adopted have a common characteristic: they are a superior cultural element -superior from the perspective of their instrumentality in the progressive march of civilisation. And superior because they enable man to adjust comfortably to a fast changing world.

However cultural change is not always that smooth.Many an idea however progresive they may be, are in direct opposition to firmly entrenched set of beliefs, ideals and values called the value system.

The dynamics of these opposing forces gets translated into competing groups:in some of us, the urge to imitate dominates,in the rest,the resistance to change. Conflict arises when one group is intolerant of the other ,or when both groups are intolerant of each other.

But yes, it is certainly a thought-provoking question with deep philosophical implications whether low-cut jeans or mini-skirts better serve a similar purpose. If these unmentionable garments provoke your singularly noble mind, dear Reader, please shut down your PC and go join the nobility up the trees. It is a matter of personal taste and best left a personal choice.

Some of us are more chauvinistic than the rest - some religiously more fundamental, some culturally more hardcored , and of course some mentally flawed. Disregarding the fact that they unwittingly spice up our otherwise humdrum mundane lives, these self-appointed watch-dogs of culture and morality and their strange bed-fellows must realise why the truck replaced the bullock-cart, and why the cotton cloth replaced the twigs and banana leaves and so on and so forth.

This is not a case for the thoughtless imitation of the so-called Western culture , but merely that our thinking ought to be more flexible, accommodative and tolerant. Unfounded insecurity over the so-called death of identity and the consequent misdirected intolerance augurs ill for any society.

In a state like Manipur where poverty and lack of economic development has relegated economic identity to an inferior position,the significance of cultural ethos has been magnified preposterously out of proportion and this mentality sadly informs the status and identity of Manipuri society today.

Cultural identity has to acquire a peripheral position to economic identity in due course. Therefore the sooner we come out of our medieval hangover, the better. It is ultimately economic strength that decides our bargaining power and not how many centuries of history we can boast of.

We can inculcate a healthy pride over our own cultural attributes by making the various aspects of cultural study a part of the school curriculum. We can organise more cultural melas. All these in lieu of the cultural-cum-moral policing that we see today.

One cannot refute the fact that liquor,paan,etc. are injurious to health. The ban could be appreciated on that count alone. But the concern here is not the merits of the individual cases,rather it's the ever increasing trend of insalubrious censorship that we Manipuris have come to accept meekly.

No individual or group has the moral right to impose his/its will upon the rest by sheer display of brute might,barrel-derived or otherwise. Such self-opinionated dogmas are antithetic to what we pride over and brag about-a society capable of absorbing the many shocks of history, its defeats and failures and what not.Our fears and our pride are contradictions that must be properly balanced if what we intend to portay is that of a healthy civil society.

However though whether we allow our short lives to be dictated, mutiliated and asphyxiated by semi-literate mobsters and other similar species is again a matter of personal choice, I prefer to speak out.


Geoffrey Ningthoujam, graduate degree from Delhi University, writes regularly to e-pao.net
The writer can be reached at jeffia2000@yahoo.com
This article was webcasted on August 05, 2005.


* 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
  • Gaan-Ngai @Chingmeirong : Gallery
  • Gaan-Ngai - festival of Kabui #1
  • Protest against CAB [Jan 15] #2: Gallery
  • Gaan-Ngai, Festival of Zeliangrong
  • Understanding Mao Tse-Tung
  • Of Vernacular & my Enlightenment..
  • Teacher wanted at Tekcham High School
  • Demanding release of Kishorechandra
  • BJP's Agenda : Curtain raised
  • Topping in enrolment in pvt schools
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #1 : Gallery
  • Gaan Ngai :: Flash Presentation
  • CAB Protest [16 Jan] : Gallery
  • Dr Thokchom Asha: Teacher Award
  • Cry of a Dying River - 62 :: Poem
  • Occasion & festivity as career choice
  • Rejoinder to NDPP on CAB by NPF
  • Saving tomorrow for our children
  • Open invitation to Mission schools
  • Women's Intl Polo [Jan 17] : Gallery
  • A Hymn for Goddess Emoinu
  • Manipur tops enrolment in private schools
  • Variance of laboratory results
  • A Christian perspective on solidarity #2
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Naga International Trade Fair at Dimapur
  • Has Loktak mortgaged to Company
  • CAB: Lining up public convention on Jan 20
  • Purnima Ngangom (Printmaker) :: Profile
  • CAB Protest [11 Jan] #3 : Gallery
  • Poetry Of Manipuri Women Authors #2
  • CAB & scoring 21 out of 25 ?
  • Complications :: Poem
  • North East Business Summit at Delhi
  • Almond oil is the ultimate skin care
  • The Bill that haunt the government
  • Over 50 police personnel chargesheeted
  • Insurgency related incidents in NE states
  • Myanmar border fence going nowhere
  • Protest against CAB [Jan 15] #1: Gallery
  • CChongkhong, Apanthou :: eMing
  • Crop diseases & organic way of managing
  • War and Poetry :: Poem
  • Landeng-Pena yakaiduna Poster Campaign
  • The Killing Fields 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • Condemns communal nature of CAB 2016
  • PCC, Arunachal Pradesh on CAB, 2016
  • CAB and other issues before LS polls
  • Sit-In against CAB [Jan 14] : Gallery
  • CAB : Our Identity & Culture is at stake
  • Re-Imagining the Naga Peace Process
  • Demand for ILP :: Articles/Photos...
  • Northeast Startup Summit 2019
  • Ponder them to live like human beings
  • No Shield for Manipur against CAB
  • Missing link: NE, CAB & obscure assurance
  • JCILPS Protest against CAB : Gallery
  • AMUCO Rally against CAB : Gallery
  • Poetic Justice - II :: Poem
  • Makar Sankranti Musing
  • Biren should release Kishorchandra
  • New archaeological site in Senapati
  • A Christian perspective on solidarity #1
  • New craft gallery to promote NE products
  • Rights body warns Nagas on Article 371 (A)
  • NE Black Day against CAB : Gallery
  • CAB Protest [11 Jan] #2 : Gallery
  • Narendra Modi @ Imphal #2: Gallery
  • Myanmar-India Business Summit, Sagaing
  • Cry of a Dying River - 61 :: Poem
  • Preventing the Dengue threat
  • NPF on Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016
  • Nagaland Chief Minister On CAB 2016
  • Hijacking by pseudoscience
  • Mr. CM, you can't fool people on CAB
  • CAB 2016: Adoption of foreign citizens
  • CAB Protest [11 Jan] #1 : Gallery
  • CAB & question of India's North East
  • Poetry Of Manipuri Women Authors #1
  • Local actions for #GlobalGoals
  • Know your HIV status
  • Pope Francis - the last Pope!
  • CAB is unsecular discriminatory bill
  • When Govt. disregard Constitutions...
  • Citizenship Bill: An exceptional exception
  • The Walking Lady : A Short Story
  • 4th Convocation Ceremony of CAU
  • The Voice of Silence :: Poem
  • Against CAB 2016 : 6 Student Bodies
  • Need for a separate time zone
  • BOOM MMA : 'Manipur Top Team' members
  • Against Citizenship Bill Act 2016
  • Lt Gen Rajeev Sirohi at Spear Corps
  • Is the middle man responsible
  • Economically weak at Rs 8 lakh per annum ?
  • Umanglai Haraoba: Traditional Institution
  • Strike against CAB : Gallery
  • People - animal conflict
  • Fine on relieving in public
  • Flawed/divisive Citizenship Bill dangerous
  • Broken :: Poem
  • Meetei gi mayokta leiba Political party..
  • NE uniting under shutdown call : CAB
  • Trains in NE to get 'glass-top' coaches
  • Yubi Lakpi #2 : Gallery
  • Freedom's fault lines
  • Traditional Manipuri Curries
  • Governance in Multi-Ethnic States
  • Understanding animal welfare
  • Unite against corruption for development
  • Manipurgi Maraibk Kari Oihougani
  • On restoring of director of CBI
  • Citizenship Bill : scourge for NE
  • Feel good factor from UNC
  • New Year picnic at Sekmai #2: Gallery
  • A tale of two falcons
  • Artificial Insemination in livestock
  • The Naked Truth :: Poem
  • My itinerary visit to Veeranapalya
  • Test for Free Coaching for IIT/AIIMS
  • Critique of Transgender Persons Bill
  • Press Rejoinder from NPF [7 Jan]
  • Nagaland Cabinet on Citizenship Bill
  • Can we expect something from govt
  • Mova Cave, Ukhrul #2 :: Gallery
  • Sangai Fest: Sumo Wrestling #2 :: Gallery
  • Maipaksana RK: Entrepreneurship Award
  • Poetic Justice - I
  • IIT-G Technology Incubation Centre
  • Sana Chahi Ahum & 1857 revolt #2
  • Economics of climate change & growth
  • Singhat Students tour to Delhi & Agra
  • Congress against Modi on Rafale Deal
  • Press Club celebrates foundation day
  • NSF to impose 11-hr bandh on Jan 8
  • 518 drug traffickers arrested in 2018
  • Gangmumei Kamei Memorial lecture
  • Taking the Street Vendor seriously #1
  • WWII museums in Japan: Gallery
  • Schedule : HSLC Examination 2019
  • Schedule : Class XI Examination 2019
  • Schedule : HSE Examination 2019
  • Caste System in Contemporary India: Book
  • Save energy and save your skin
  • Benefits of henna for beauty
  • Coronary In-stent obstruction treated
  • A take on PM visit to Imphal
  • No over the top promises, assurances
  • Narendra Modi @ Imphal #1: Gallery
  • Management of commercial broiler farming
  • 61st CC Meet Football Tournament 2019
  • Noise Ruins & Blights Lives
  • Social media & freedom of speech
  • Cry of a Dying River - 60 :: Poem
  • Declare war against air pollution
  • Winter relief at Thanga
  • Of monologues and conveniences
  • Raising posers before PM's arrival: Cong
  • Irengbam Bedamani :: eRang Photos
  • Poireiton Chakhao at Loktak Lake
  • Hojang :: Poem
  • New Year: Challenges & opportunities
  • One Rank One Pension Paper (OROP)
  • Fasting before diagnostic tests
  • Open Mic. event at Agartala
  • Happy New Year '2019' :: NPF
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Respecting life & the trust deficit
  • Need to look beyond New Year-2019
  • New Year picnic at Sekmai #1: Gallery
  • May the Year 2019 bring integrity of Manipur
  • Sangai Fest: Evening Prog #2: Gallery
  • What I learned from Kishorchandra detention
  • Charlie, the angel :: Story
  • Against NSA to Kishorchandra Wangkhem
  • Quality New Year
  • Reminder to PM on Pravish Chanam death
  • What is there to be happy on New Year
  • Nupi Lal Ningsing Lamjel #4: Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Village Authority in Hill Areas of Manipur #2
  • Sana Chahi Ahum & 1857 revolt #1
  • Local leaders commit to #endTobacco
  • Transformation of China in last 40 years
  • Boys Hostel for Pangal Students
  • From the diary of an insomniac - II
  • From nomenclature conflict of oral tradition
  • Gearing up for Parliamentary polls
  • Dimapur Meetei Council donates
  • Bye Bye 2018 !!! : Gallery
  • Manipuri Calendar for 2019 : Download
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2018 #6: Gallery
  • Unforgettable Revolutionary NK Sanajaoba
  • Life's pain :: Poem
  • New Year resolution of our honorables
  • Certificate distribution at Namsai, ArP
  • Indo-Myanmar Relations : Talk @ MU
  • Butchering a Pony for meat! Shameful
  • Top 5 Indie/Alternative Picks of 2018
  • Sangaithel Park @Sangai: Gallery
  • A view of Ukhrul Town #1: Gallery
  • January Calendar for Year 2019 :: Tools
  • National Mathematics Day & Ramanujan
  • Thougal Jagoi @Sangai: Gallery
  • Snowfall @Tamei, Tamenglong : Gallery
  • China spreads across Indochina Peninsula
  • Ningol Chakkouba Shopping a#2: Gallery
  • Cry of a Dying River - 59 :: Poem
  • Match words with actions to #endTB
  • Hacking : Base of all cyber crimes
  • Illegal adoptions in hospitals
  • Controlling the school transporters
  • Detention under NSA : Stand of MUSU
  • Xmas: Churches @Lamphel : Gallery
  • 27th Imphal Book Fair #2 : Gallery
  • The Crying Call of Motherland :: Poem
  • Kwatha Festival #3 : Gallery
  • 12th Manipur Polo Intl #2 : Gallery
  • Oinam Dilip : Rising Star Award 2018, Delhi
  • Harvard Leadership Program at Don Bosco
  • Christmas @Churachandpur : Gallery
  • UN Rapporteur briefed on Kishorechand
  • Nupi Lal Ningsing Lamjel #3: Gallery
  • Irengbam Bedamani - Actress :: eRang
  • List of Restricted Holidays for 2019
  • List of Public Holidays for 2019
  • List of General Holidays for 2019
  • Ningol - mapam lamdam : Gallery
  • Fabrics of Bangladeshi Manipuri: Download
  • Manglandasu Nang - OST :: e-pao Radio
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS