A brutal Christmas-Gift

Pounamjuan Panmei *

 Christmas in Imphal city in December 2010
Christmas in Imphal city in December 2010

Peace and prosperity is the immediate need of man in his life. No one is willing to live a savage and in oppressed condition, and nature also does not allow itself.

The supreme law of the land "Our Constitution" offers all the requirements and basic needs to each and every citizen to live with dignity, personal liberty, just and fair society etc. But the system of the world often goes beyond the set rules and runs its own course which is really not at par with the spirit and letter of the laws. Violence, war, public unrest and the various possible form of shambles in the society breed from different motives and determination of political ideology in part, if not all. To name a few, it all began with greed, intolerance to the Government policies and in turn paying deaf ear to the public grievances by the former.

Of course, self-governance is what we are inspiring for all these days and age and we should also strive for it and sovereignty is the demand of every racial group including black,white, brown and every section of the society in this world.

We were impressed and admired for the moment to come for ourselves to give the same speech of emotional yet victorious speech by Jawaharlal Nehru in the night of when India got her freedom "LONG YEARS AGO WE MADE A TRYST WITH DESTINY, AND NOW THE TIME HAS COME WE SHALL REDEEM OUR PLEDGE, NOT WHOLLY OR IN FULL MEASURE, BUT SUBSTANTIALLY. AT THE STROKE OF MIDNIGHT, WHEN THE WORLD SLEEPS, INDIA WILL WAKE UP TO LIFE AND FREEDOM.

But shouldn't we find a better and people-friendly way to earn our freedom ? What is it of any use when your brothers and sisters already develop a feeling of hatred and detest to your modus operandi .

The ugly truth behind these are the lack of leadership skill and spirit,evolving vested interest among the leaders and often this arena becomes a melting-pot for some of the leaders who wish to earn a quick buck and the corollary is maintaining a privy-purse. Should we not absorb in our mind the might and fruit of "Truth and Non-violence" that we read in the text book right from our school days ? The principle of Gandhism and the cornerstone to India's Independence, that the political theories which become the most talked and respected across the globe.

This silver line 'truth and non-violence' happens to be the proudest possession every citizen of India can boast of to the overseas friends. If we follow the same principle, no one will show reluctance to cooperate with your move. The situation is more aggravated by the difficulties in implementing any laws amid the grim environment created by the irresponsible and insincerity of Babus and Netas .

The net result is that the rule of law suffers and honesty is at discount. Our Constitution has 22 parts, 12 schedules and 448 articles, but even a single provision enshrined in the Constitution is not at work in this part of the country.

War in Afghanistan is not a unique phenomenon, but it is quite apparent in other parts of the world. The variation is just the coverage of the toll and its lifetime but the severity is more or less the same. That is the adversity and massacre for the former is countrywide, but it is between the factional clash in the ethnic tribes and castes for the latter.

Our State Manipur accounts for the first position in the number of insurgency and militants, at many instance occurred a gunfire and bombing leaving the innocent public to leave home and run for their life even though they are well aware that running would not help but attract the bullet.

People in fear of the golden-coloured cylindrical metal force out from the merciless barrel have no option but to hide in the jungle in search of their safety net in the midst of the RBC-hungry mosquitoes and disturb-loving tse-tse fly, starving for a week or sometime a month and hardly could think of restoring a normal life, losing all hopes and determination of life, encountered invariably in every week interval.

But this is not the end of the story,it is sane to think when there is a gunfire in any place, there would surely be a casualty and property damage. The village folk sometime had to bear the brunt force, taking up the daunting task,collecting the dead body and preparing necessary arrangement for the funeral service whether it may be in the midnight or in the twilight.

And it is often difficult to think about the work of the cruel bullet on the soft tissue of human and their dead position are as good as we remember how we killed buffaloes or pigs in any festival.

Witnessing all these slaughter, one could at times strike in the mind where is the value and dignity of life that we consider ourselves as superior being among all the creature in the earth but place in the same rank in time of taking life with the wild animal we hunt in the jungle.

Sometimes head totally broken into pieces, entrails exude from the stomach,and we are gathering the pieces as if we are collecting the broken window panes which is so inhumane to imagine. Ok lets leave this,one need not go with the bad news.

Life was never been easy for them and life of villagers are in stake.The frequency and intensity of the atrocity that took its toll cannot be solve by a simple arithmetic. Consequences faced by the people in the above scene is just a half story,there are many more to tell trails that leaves behind by the spate of the war. Every family in the war-prone zone has a different tale to tell. The corpse had to escorted to their native village or home by the villagers day and night before the body decomposed. The property damage by the bomb,sometime the house completely burnt out and often family members had to eke out a miserable living through a piecemeal work or meagre income from the labour wages whichever available in the village.

Students are the worst-affected rung of the society,schools closed down due to the insecurity of the children,sizeable students drop out and the worst scenario was the young boys who are easily influenced and impressed by the deadly arms,patrolling and camping in group in the jungle. They consider hiding and shooting each other as fun and often they are an easy-prey to the pretext of the militant group. So, the adverse result is that- the society lost the precious life of youth who are the builder of the society. I think this share a part of the reason why we lag behind and incompetent vis--vis the mainlanders or urban-based students in our higher studies and every dimension of knowledge, because we live a harsh condition in our childhood and lack of adequate nutrition and malnourished which is the net result of weak Intelligence Quotient (IQ).

Suffocating powerlessness and vulnerability created to the local by insurgency reads a sad story even in the festive season. It was in 2005 when villagers after toiling in the field for a year round and family members stayed out of home for earning livelihood come together to celebrate christmas,a joyous moment for them which comes once in a year was offered with a brutal christmas gift by gunfire and killing while singing and enjoying celebration. They found no time to rest in their life,even in the festival they were disturbed and coerced to cancel their programme. Where is the peace for them, what every one is thriving for in life?.

Again the cost of the vehemently killing of the militant had to pay the price by the village youth carried the dead body to his home or village. The onslaught and infringement of human rights taking place in this corner of the country kept unnotice and the Union govt. blame the region for the scape of policy-paralysis,disturb-area or whatever they could called,and remain unearth the reality what is taking its ground and threads which had to faced by the innocent citizen leaves unrevealed.. Feared,mental trauma and lost of livelihood experienced by the people is hidden behind the convenient screen of "Policy Paralysis".

The fate of this people remain the world untold story. The nightmare of the brutality seen in my childhood haunt me again and again even though I'm far away from home staying in the metro city where the way of criminal act is totally different. Of course,our memory is short,we have forgotten our past grief, peace and tranquility come to light gradually but we are kept to our fingers cross whether the calm and peace will last long or revive again. But the gravity of the situation remain blemish in the minds of those who have sixth sense or third eye and care for values and dignity of human life.

I think, instead of alleging some of the Western Asian countries for failure of governance and war crime, working with the allies country to resolve the issue in those countries and in recent instance blaming Sri lanka for human rights violation, India need to redress and settled what is prevailing in her backyard. One living in glasshouse need not throw stone to other. There are enormous to unfold the plight of the common man in this region. Health, Education and food security which is the basic need for subsistence is the need of the hour,not to talk about the decent living standard.

The right ambience for the green light for both the militant group and the govt. is to resort to negotiation-loving and reconciliation from the side of militant group instead of waging a war and responsive and peace-providing will do from the side of Govt.

Life is too precious to lost by the unproductive war when we have limited time to live in this world.

Anyway, Happy CHRISTMAS to you all.

* Pounamjuan Panmei wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was posted on December 07, 2013.

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