E-Pao! Opinions - Human Rights -from MEI-THAABA to MEI-LAAKAPA: The other side of the story

Human Rights -from MEI-THAABA to MEI-LAAKAPA: The other side of the story

By: Dr Krishnananda Samurailatpam *

It is matter of utmost apprehension how we are trying to cope with the innumerable problems we are facing. How people are surviving with such a desperate and frustrating concept about what lies ahead. The question of human right violations, oppression and independence are some issues every Manipuri is so much familiar of, but judging from the conditions of the people it's hard to see the real picture on "Who is violating what kind of right"!

What comprises human right is another issue we need to clear.

What constitutes human right violation? Is it just the arrest torture and killing of our people or does it include the real picture of violations of the right to have a peaceful life without fear in our own place, the right to have a square meal, the right to have at least some supply of drinking water, the right to have at least an hour of electricity in a day or is it a week??!!!

Is it too much of an ask fighting for the Right to have basic education and some amount of income enough to survive, the right to express freely, the right to have transparency and accountability?

Its hard to believe how our people are coping with these issues, with so many people without any (regular or irregular) sort of income or employment, in fact if we take up any hundred houses randomly and look for the number of people having some income, it will be such a shock to all of us, it seems 90% of our people are struggling to make both ends meet and are surviving on the 10% income or resources of the state whereas the elite 10% are enjoying the remaining 90% of the resources , so much like a third world country within a third world country.

And the only human right violations we know are the arrest torture and killing. What about the everyday torture of millions of us, being denied a peaceful fear free life even more so after about 60 years of independence?

Though we think that we are being ruled by external forces, if we go deeper into it. Its always our own people who are ruling us, and all the major decisions (be it thika or transfers or recruitment, widening of roads, pulling down houses Capitol projects), regarding the progress of the state are taken by our own people the ministers and the bureaucrats have always been our people and if they don't do much about solving the problems we cant blame any external forces for our present condition.

It doesn't seem fair to put the entire blame solely on the Ministers and the Bureaucrats for the condition we are facing now. The Ministers/Politicians and the bureaucrats whom we blame so fondly have always been also from the same stock as us and probably we would have been doing the same thing had we been in their position.

They all took the plunge in politics to do something for Manipur, but the system has it that they cant do much and end up doing the same things, the things which they fought so hard against and on which basis they won the elections.

The tradition of indifference in us "eigi shumang bu shoktrabadi touningba toujashanu" reminding the proverbial monkey caught in the wild fire with her baby, in the beginning she embraced her baby so closed to herself to protect her from the fire, eventually when the fire caught up on her, she started using her baby to protect herself".

Though outrageous it may seem the uncanny resemblance cannot be ignored easily. The problems in Manipur are no less dangerous than "Fire".

From the Shumang it will reach Mangon then to the rooms and when it reaches us nobody knows how we will react:
No wonder we are so much familiar with burning "from the burning of the Puya to, the burning of the Geeta, burning of the DC office, burning down of transformers, to the Burning of Assembly to burning of Johnstone School and to the recent burning of various kind books"!!(It seems "BURNING THINGS" runs in our blood)

The awareness about the Human Rights and the political situation and the consequent protest against it shown by the recent events in Manipur were exemplary and the International community has even started appreciating the level of resilience and controlled aggression from our part against our sentimental issues, but what about the real issues ... Of Mei- Laktaba, Eeshing Fangdaba, Thabak Fangdaba, Corruption, Commissions, the alleged imposition of does and don'ts, living in a fearful terror everyday, fighting for just a simple peaceful life??

Have we ever acted or ever thought about giving a protest or demand anything about it? Or is it below our dignity to fight for such real issues, of day today concerns. We are so much used to fighting the hugely sentimental and immensely difficult issues of independence and human rights violations that we take it for granted all the practical issues as normal and accept it without any fuss.

But at the end of any rally or protest we all have to come back and struggle for our meals, amidst the confusion of Mei- Laktaba, the absolutely skyrocketing Kerosene price, drinking water problems Leikhom Thokpa Sorok and above all to find the necessary resources to procure the basic amenities like rice and vegetables!!!

How long are we going to ignore these issues, .If we can rise up to protect our territorial integrity and human rights, why not we rise up against the real issues which are affecting 90%of our population, if out of these 90% even 50% can unite and rally against these issues, no force in the world can stop it..

But like in any third world countries sentiments always come first and by the time we start to realise about the practical issues we are too tired to think about it and after having a sumptuous meal we forget everything, only to wake up the next day with selective amnesia.

Its time that at least " the poor the underprivileged and the deprived who surprisingly constitute almost all of Manipur wake up from the deep slumber, start to act and stop expecting others to fight for us, before its too late.

The blame game has to be stopped after all we all know that we don't act unless we don't have any option., same is the case with our leaders ,bureaucrats and politicians.

Nobody can forget the role of our own journalists in the recent events in making our issues international, giving the much needed push to the whole movement.

For a change let's make the issues of electricity, drinking water bad roads and unemployment centre stage and start working on them and bring them to the headlines of our newspapers after all .

How many times have we seen our issues of electricity, bad roads and drinking water or unemployment for that matter occupy the headlines in any newspaper, are these issues any less serious than some of the issues catching the headlines???

Time has come for all of us to unite and set our priorities straight in facing the real issues of Manipur and the role of our journalist fraternity can never be overemphasized.

After all what we think on a particular day are very much influenced by the headlines of that day ,and with proper support of the masses we can realize our dreams of a "Sana Leibak Manipur" or at least bring a transformation from Mei-thaba to Mei-lakpa,

* Dr Krishnananda Samurailatpam, a practising Physician, writes regularly to
He can be contacted at
This article was webcasted on March 21, 2005.

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