TODAY -

Quantum of freedom: The edge of self determination and need for solution
- Part 3 -

Ramvao L Shimray *



Custom, culture and religion define who we are, and they are pretty good to great extend but it has its own limitation and shortcomings. Culture doesn't only define who we are, but it also differentiates us from other people all at the same time.

In a sense, it is a big social evil for other groups of people who do not subscribe to their culture because it enforces stereotype towards other groups who doesn't adhere with theirs. It also tends to divide among people, and lastly it brings social barriers due to cultural differences. So, we also need to visualize these aspects while seriously analysing the hill-valley relationships.

In fact hill-valley divide is an account of long departed story due to Hindu dharma of clean and unclean people, and of course the hill people felt really bad when they empathize about the Loi and Yaithibi communities in the context of Meitei hindu religion. Gandhiji, father of Indian nation said untouchability is a crime against humanity, and yet it's still practiced at wanton in contravention of Art 15 of the constitution of India. This is paradoxically true.

It would have been better had Hindu religion not been built up on the basis of cleanliness on caste-wise. Brahmins being the cleanest caste of all and Dalits or Harijaans the lowest, and so on so forth in arranging their rank and files of casteism.

If religions tends to make one caste superior while another inferior within their Hindu fold, how can one expect cordiality with the "holier than thou, cleaner than thou, greater than thou, superior than thou attitudes" prevalent all the time, anywhere et all. Of all religions in the world, Hinduism is probably the only one that practices or professed untouchability.

Yes, there are quite many groups of people throughout the world who are ostracized and untouched and whose free movements are also curtailed for being outcast (not outcaste) in Japan, China, France and quite some countries but not on religious grounds.

From this standpoint therefore, with due respect to Hinduism, despite all its high philosophies and deep doctrines, it certainly is not commendable as to be a toothsome and appetizing religion because it is divisive and discriminatory, and that could be very dangerous for mankind.

Christianity and Islam doesn't have that kind of higher or lower castes, clean or unclean communities. But when the Hindu Reformists challenged those Islam and Christian converts of India about their continuing castes practices even after their conversions, they simply have no answer because of their castes habituality being put first before anything else, at all times.

One such good instance is that of Christians of Southern Indian churches in particular, as the Brahmin Christians would be seated in front rows of the pews and the rest seated at back rows and the lowest caste seated on floor or kept standing during the whole church services.

This is because they are so deeply entrenched in their ancient Hindu ethos since several generations, so much so, that they are not able to avoid or escape from the clutch of caste practices even after having converted to other religions.

This practices has been imprinted in their brains so thoroughly over thousand years that "Domino effects" took the better them. Funny but true. In India even Buddhist have Casteism unlike their counterparts in Japan and China etc. Hindu in India are known to have 3,000 castes and 25,000 subcastes each related to specific occupation, but this may not be very relevant for now.

Since the moment king Garibniwaz and people of the Manipur valley started embracing Hinduism, it has been more of a bane than boon for people of Manipur.

Of course both the hill and valley people had lived together side by side since the time of Hindu period in Manipur, but they are not without fudges.

And the rest is not far to seek in trying to locate the hill-valley divide, and thereby their likes and dislikes in practically almost everything including on matter of the GOI and Naga peace talk solution. These inhibitions have rather made us realized considerably better and easier in our efforts while trying to digest on points besetting us concerning the Bone of contention between people of the hills and valley.

Therefore, shouting at the top of ones voice for integrity of Manipur would not help much if it is only for territoriality of the land with nothing much for its people living therein.

Real integrity should be spontaneous like the flowing water of streams whereby it concerns for every aspects of integrities viz ; developmental integrity, moral integrity, social integrity, physical integrity, psychological integrity, economic integrity, political integrity and so on.

Even common pets like cats and dogs for example, often leave their houses in search for better shelters and more hospitable places, when they are not treated well. Human beings frequently and promptly react and adjust according to calls of situational demands and needs.

Quite often, hopes like dreams turn out to be illusions, if not big mistakes, and that while one right thing doesn't make two things right, three wrongs could never ever make even one thing right.

And this is what Ms Adinno, the eldest daughter of late A.Z. Phizo said "we have never seen peace and normal life in our lives." Naga people are optimistic that this is the right moment to get reconciled with everyone concerned and get the better of them, with a view focussed towards the future.

Concluded.....




* Ramvao L Shimray wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on April 27 , 2018.



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