TODAY -

Quantum of freedom: The edge of self determination and need for solution
- Part 2 -

Ramvao L Shimray *



The bone of contention between the hills and valleys have since long been always about disparities in all respects developmental patterns on land, reservation policies on government services and even on minor things like admissibility of seat numbers in the educational institutions to name a few, and what else not.

Since the time of break up of our close- knit ties between the people of the hills and valley, right from the time of king Pamheiba (Garibniwaz) till as of date, people of the hills witnessed every now and then the maleficent attitudes from people of the valley be they lays, government officials, learned scholars, businessman, and professionals including the politicians etc.

This shouldn't be mistaken for usual blame games that took place frequently between us, but about the hard truths one couldn't avoid.

Yes, shri N. Biren Singh for one, unlike his predecessor Chief Ministers of Manipur, is indeed doing very good job by giving all out much efforts to abridge the gap on fraternity and on developmental equilibrium including the efforts given for equanimity between the haves and have nots.

His sublime efforts thereof shall not go in vain unnoticed in the days to come and beyond. But because he did something else differently today will never make us equal overnight, but several decades.

We have seen in the past some Chief Ministers who acted like wild elephants, and that could be perilous for integrity to the State of Manipur. We may not need such ill mindsets as chief administrator of the state, but more mature and reasonable temperaments who could hold its reins to the convenience of both people of the hills and valley.

The mood question is for how long shri N. Biren would remain in the chair, and after him who and what type of personality would fit into his shoe ? Yes, there is not an iota of doubt that we all came from the same root.

Even among the Nagas, the nomenclature of Tangkhul is said to have derived from Tatakhul to Takhul and finally as Tangkhul and from Meitheiram to Meithei and finally as Meitei. This folklore stories had been told time and time again for several generations since time immemorial by their forefathers.

But having said so does not meant that all Meiteis and Nagas are blood brothers. Guess work could be easier done by the fact that without any need for side interpretation of its meaning, more than one- third of the over 2000 Meitei surnames could be easily understood in Tangkhul native's dialect because their surnames are self explanatory.

And that tells or rather speak lots about the unbreakable background, relationships, and fraternal ties and connections. But those lovely stories are of bygone days, what we need to focus now is on the ongoing present realities/complicacies that has come to the fore.

If people of the valley doesn't want extension of ceasefire peace of the GOI & NSCN(IM) in Manipur valley, it doesn't necessarily mean they are against the Naga people, but definitely that has to be with the GOI & NSCN(IM) orgn.

But for one thing we need to learn from those handful employees from the valley, who are posted in the hills and have had probably experienced tortures or rather tasted mithai of the Indian army will perhaps explain better about what it's like to receive rifle butting, kicks and blows etc at regular interval in continuity in the hills before extension of ceasefire.

Not to have ceasefire in the hills means to continue torturing and beatings in the hills, and it is more often the innocent public who fell prey to the wrath of Indian armies. In the hills there would be practically at least 4/5 individuals in most villages, having phobia of the olive green army uniform dress.

Some would suddenly collapse or lost their speeches or right senses and some would urinate unconsciously on mere sight of olive green army dresses. All Naga public want ceasefire solution for various different reasons, not because all support NSCN(IM)'s ideology and ideals.

Many loved the organisation but not the hard-nosed attitudes of some of their cadres, and for some people they loathe the organization but loved their cadres dearly for personal reasons and for some they equally hate both the organization and their cadres, but loved the peace initiatives because of their long awaited dreams that peace would arrive soon and so on so forth.

Ceasefire, peace and solution thereof are of utmost importance to the people of the hills of Manipur for their welfare and well being of its people. What is that to the people of valley if there is peace in the hills ? Good, indeed very good for the hill people, but people of the valley definitely have their say to express not to extend Naga peace solutions in the valley part of Manipur.

And these much everyone need to respect and understand their sentiments of their likes and dislikes. In fact we are poles apart not only on this issue but also on culture and custom, as people of the Valley embraces Hindu culture though religiously all are not Hindu.

And people from outside of the state might get mistaken them for Bengalis when they are in their pheijom attires/costume during marriage and other festivities. Religion, custom and culture walk hand in hand in more ways than one, and this is the reason why hill people uphold marriage by wearing gowns and suits instead of the traditional phanek.

We are different in many ways now due to our religion. Even our names are Indrajit, Kumarjit, Shyam, Modhuchandra, Gokulchandra for people of the valley and John, James, Paul, Thomson, Anderson for the hills. So naturally it will take much longer time for both the people to understand each other's Psyches in coming closer to live as one people.

Majority people of the hills are easier mixing up with Meitei Christian brothers, than else who are not, because they have many resemblance in culture and custom with them. This is because religion and culture comes into play without knowing why and what.

To be continued.....




* Ramvao L Shimray wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on April 22 , 2018.



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