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Kini Yumnam response to Science and Technology in Manipur
By: Kini Yumnam*



A simple friendly criticism on S&T by Khwairakpam Gajananda.
Very nice and very interesting article on S&T in Manipur!


["Science and Technology (S&T) in Manipur is progressing in a very slow pace since it gets its independence.]
Author put a left double quotation mark, but he missed to put the right quotation mark. I was thinking and searching which part of his article is a quotation. I couldn't find the reason why the author puts left quotation in his writing. Was it necessary? I also got confused about the phrase "since it gets its independence" in the first sentence. Whether it is the independence of science and technology or the independence of Manipur. From the context, it seems to refer to the independence of science and technology, I am not sure if Iam wrong.

[Since time immemorial, the scientific and technological innovations of Manipur are notable in many spheres like sports, defense, medicine, energy conservation, conservation of environment, sustainable agricultural development etc.]
I don't want to accept it as true. Yes, we might have some good knowledge on some fields but they were not scientific. But all knowledge are not scientific. We don't have our own word to mean science, nor did we have any scientific institution before 19th century, so how could we have noticiable scientific and technological innovation, that too from time immemorial?

Our traditional medical practioners were maiba and maibis, their way of treatment based on "chaban thaba and mantra jantra" can't be taken as scientific one. Even if they have some knowledge of meidcianl herbs, their way of making medicines were all unscientific. We have our knowledge of making houses but that is now shun by people because of its being unscientic and today we could hardly find any house in traditional sangaiyumsa style. Now let's come to the agriculture knowledge we had. We didn't know tiling using furrow. We knew only digging as a means for cultivation which is very prevalent still in senapati and other hill areas.

The simple proof of this is, the word langol used in the cultivation is not a meitei word and the words used in drving cows while tiling are all not meitei words. In terms of food items, we have knowledge of making soijins, Hawaichars, ngaris etc. But are process of making them scientific, probably not. The author mentioned about the water, soil, forest and energy conservation. But I never heard of any historical water reservoir used by our ancient people. What I have heard is that the word pukhri and Guha we used to conserve water is bengali or assamese words. But they are not acceptable as a scientific way of water conservation today. And what about soil conservation, forest conservation? The two terms are somewhat interrelated. When there were plenty of forests in our ancestor's time, who would have taken the plan to conserve forest? I heard from our forefathers that all their surrounding were covered with jungles, they painstakingly cleared those jungles to make cultivable lands and passable ways.

And what about energy conservation? I wonder, would the term 'energy' be known to our grandpa? The author's title is about the science and technology in Manipur, but his article itself seems to fail to be scientific. He jumbled and mumbled altogather that sometimes it appears to be an article on social problem. Political turmoils, cultural shifts, economic cruches, etc are, I suppose, not the relevent terms to be brought in this article. He have suggested researches in various fields. I wonder whether researches on socio-economy trends, commercializtion of handloom and handicrafts, etc also fall on science and technology category.

The authors seems to be interested in the scientific and technological developement in our state. For that he mentioned everything possible, from policitian to cultural shifts, but he missed out one factor that is the insurgency. He never mentioned about the hindrance caused by insurgency factor in bringing the science and technological developement our reason. I don't know whether his was out of fear or out of oblivion.

[In conclusion, to accomplish the objective of this challenging scenario, only the basic science subjects are not compulsory. It is suggested that in all schools, colleges, universities and institutions, multidisciplinary subjects and applied sciences and engineering courses should be introduce in the curriculum, starting from primary level to higher education. With these, it is optimistic that Manipur will develop within a short time frame.]

The expectation of the author in the conclusion is not bad. But the question is, "would the simple introduction of standard multi-disciplinary science and technology books without competent teachers be helpful to the science and technological developement of Manipur?".

Yumnamcha


* The writer can be reached at yumnamcha@yahoo.co.in


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