TODAY -

Deception and Suicide - a choice

N. Arunkumar *



So, we have heard it repeatedly a million times already. Extortion rackets are a fact of life for us in Manipur, as it provides an avenue to educated, unemployed and frustrated youths to make a living by indulging in the enterprise with the blessings of the hordes of organizations who claim to be fighting for our cause.

Well...that is a noble claim indeed and one that immediately solicits our unbounded co operation and willing participation. But, the foundations on which we are asked to accept these extortions are, due to unemployment and frustration, two premises which we could have easily avoided completely.

Why should there be frustration and unemployment is a question we have to ask ourselves honestly and even explore ways to contain as soon as possible. It can be done and done quickly, believe me. Every economist will agree that economic activity needs the impetus of free market dynamics for it to thrive, independent of recession or boom.

Let us begin by accepting that it is not possible for a single government or system of government to achieve the demanding task of providing gainful employment to all its citizens, without the participation of the private sector in as many enterprises as possible, except military ventures.

Ironically, we have a plethora of arms in the world today, available abundantly to the scoundrels among us due to the clandestine arms manufacturing industries and rogue states who sell arms stealthily to unauthorised persons. Every nation is actually supposed to sell arms only to genuine governments with internationally honoured proper authorized purchase orders, and not to dubious customers shopping for deadly weapons.

However, we can see that this ground rule is only on paper and not followed in letter and spirit. Otherwise, it would not be possible for so many armed groups to have easy access to sophisticated arms with which they create mayhem among the masses. The idea therefore goes exactly counter to the noble intentions of providing gainful employment to the citizens of a nation. Arms dealers are making fortunes while condemning the general masses to hell in various histrionic garbs.

The profusion of armed groups can easily be traced back to arms manufacturers who promote, support and encourage the violent elements within every society to undertake different wars against the state and nation, only to keep their business flourishing even in peace time. These arms dealers are the most ruthless elements in the society, who will not hesitate to establish their own little armies even, to protect their commercial interests in different parts of the world.

In that effort, they have largely succeeded in fomenting trouble for our little state too, and what we see today is a huge breakdown in law and order, all in the name of secession. The Indian army is as determined to perpetrate their stranglehold on us, with military might and whatever other means available to them, and we can hardly dream of fighting a battle to the finish, if that is what these extortions are supposed to achieve.

Far from it, the extorted money is definitely unaccounted for and is an industry that is promoting the lethargic elements within our society and ensuring them a comfortable livelihood without accountability to anyone. As long as commissions are distributed fairly among them, everybody is happy and no questions are asked by anyone.

The industry thrives on the element of fear and not on patriotism, as we are widely told to believe. Freedom is a distant dream today or in the near future for as long as this movement is not spearheaded sensibly by all the people in a unified manner. That kind of unity among the people is highly unlikely today, given the pressures of living in a modern world that is moving forward in majestic strides.

We don't want to be left behind, but we are and, you may call it paradoxical justice. We do not have any industries that will absorb our educated youths and make them work with a work culture to match the rest of the country or even the world. Our armed brothers and sisters have ensured that we do not get the opportunities that others get in the world today. We are to live in the shadow of the gun and the fear of death that can come knocking at us at any time of day or night. If not the security forces, then it will be our own kin who will make us bite the dust for not honouring their demands for our hard earned money.

This extortion is ruining any chance for us to attract investments from outside the state as well, and we shall forever be crying about losing our precious money to the outsiders. What will economists argue about this? There is a money drain naturally, since we do not have even a pittance of what we need to live dignified lives today within our own state.

Our illustrious culture is showcased to the rest of the world only at exhibitions and festivals, as though we are showpieces in the world cultural arena. It is such a depressing situation that tourists do not even think of Manipur as a natural destination to visit, as the press only covers about bandhs, blockades, kidnappings, extortions etc happening in this state perpetually.

We have become the 'les miserables' of the continent simply due to the fact that it is our own people who are now destroying the rich texture of our civilized way of life. We are in deep trouble in fact, unless we begin to take responsibility for our actions quickly. We stand to be annihilated by our own kind, and the government of India will look on with glee.

We are killing our own land, brothers and sisters. We are perhaps going to be wiped out of the face of the earth, if this mayhem continues unabated. The extortionists are not the freedom fighters all, and we know it. We are at their mercy in this vicious venture of effortless money generation.

Beware! Let us determine to call a spade a spade and not a bloom. Self deception is suicide.

God help us! Seriously!




* N. Arunkumar contributes regularly to e-pao.net . The writer can be contacted at hareedesiree(at)hotmail(dot)com
This article was webcasted at e-pao.net on 19 July 2010.


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