TODAY -

Open Letter To Mr. R.K. Meghen & Other Revolutionaries In Manipur
- Part 1 -

Dr. Robbinson Moirangcha *



Respected Mr. Meghen/Other Revolutionaries,

I, on behalf of the poor common people of Manipur, would like to invite your kind opinion on the following observations from the perspective of the grassroots. Kindly be democratic enough to take the terminologies we have used as purely reflective of the common people's (and my) perceptions about you and others claiming to be on a warpath to fight for liberation from colonial India. Hope the iron-fisted tactics so routine for the revolutionaries like you would not be thrust upon me. I would like to know who is more concerned with people's interests and rights, yourself or me.

http://www.e-pao.net/epSubPageExtractor.asp?src=news_section.opinions.Opinion_on_Effects_of_Insurgency.Militancy_A_Current_Close_up_Profile_1

We do not worry about the "actual origin" or "original demand" of the Revolution. People with different sets of interests have different versions of what happened in the past, what went wrong or what mistakes were done. We need to make sure we have learnt our lessons from our past. That is all that matters for us. We just should not repeat those mistakes now and in future.

We do not see any point in sacrificing our present and future to the altar of some refuted and counter-refuted wrongs of the past. That would mean we have never learnt our lessons and are committing the gravest mistakes of staying fixated to the past about which we cannot do anything now. Timely awakening and action are the need of the moment.

We have had enough of this Mainland India bashing business. We blame Mainland India for everything while we keep protecting the sons-of-the-soil militants who, sorry to tell you the truth, better qualify as dacoits. That is the reason why we are now going to analyze the actual not-unknown-but-untalked-of profile of these dacoits, or militant revolutionaries as some may prefer to call. We do not mean to exonerate Mainland India for its serious historical blunders, but we also should try to understand the compulsions that made Mainland India commit a "blunder" like promulgating AFSPA 1958 in Manipur.

We at the same time like to question the relevance of "scholarly" articles written by three sets of people from the moral high grounds of human rights. First set is that of the Manipuris who possess some academic degrees and stay some 3000-500000 miles away and adrift from people back home in Manipur and who can never relate to the fear, the pain, the angst, the helplessness or the aspirations of the grassroots.

Second set includes the non-Manipuris who can never see what it is to be a common Manipuri in Manipur and hence can never understand the actual problem in practice. The third set is the selfish set of rogue intellectuals who have sold themselves to the militants and who have chosen to delink themselves from and benefit from the pain and sufferings of the common people. These people are being remunerated in cash, kind and favor to espouse the "ideology" of the militants.

These people who are crying hoarse about India's Human Rights abuses need to come up with an explanation for the things these militant organizations are doing for the up-keep of the common man's human rights and as to why they have not said a single word about the human rights record of these militant organizations.

Profile of Cadres:

(1) The Adolescent School Drop-out: (majority)

who joins militancy, initially just for the thrill of instant power that comes with holding a gun or a grenade or with belonging to a feared regiment, and who later on learns the hard way that he cannot leave the militant organization in any way, and who then manages to climb up the ladder of hierarchy and becomes the most ruthless militant himself. The immediate impulse for this young boy to join militancy comes from a minor verbal scolding by his father, inability of his parents to buy him a pair of branded jeans or bike, expulsion from school because of failure in examinations, fight with another boy has stolen his girlfriend (to teach them a lesson!), fight with the neighbors, or rarely inability of parents to pay school fees or simply because of bad company.

(2) The Revengeful Hot Head:

who join militancy to avenge the death of one of his relatives in one of the police firings. His relative may be an innocent civilian, a hardcore militant or anyone. All he needed was a psychological counseling by a counselor, not a brainwash by the militants.

(3) The Local Don:

who has always had very little to do with all things sensible, be it books or school or civilized manners or the virtue of hard work. He has always had things by virtue of his sheer aggressiveness and heavy-handedness. Local people prefer to avoid having to do with him in any way lest they should end up ruffling his feathers! His appetite for power and money has just grown by leaps and bounds with time. He knows nothing of nor does he care a damn about Human Rights. He thinks UNO is actually a "country"!

(4) Semi-Educated and Unemployed :

who has somehow got a degree, has yet managed to end up being just over-literate, was looking for jobs, was afraid of writing examinations or has written many examinations and attended interviews but never got lucky because of million reasons that may include genuine reasons like inability to pay bribe.

(5) Over-ground Sleek Entrepreneur:

who stays over-ground, but derives power and influence in the community from his association a militant organization, plays mediator in ransom negotiations, acts as an agent among the people, bags government contracts through his "contacts" and makes riches.

(6) The Weird Brain:

who has studied a lot of books, but has the nag of interpreting things in weird ways and who is very proud of and obsessed with his ideas in a "frog-in-the-well" way. He has actually never made an attempt to think beyond himself and his interests. That is why he never wants to run a practicality check on his ideas. And, the reason why he is not bothered by the fact that the common people are being massacred by his armed dacoits and security forces and the state is crumbling by sheer dint of his ideas and machinations. Things are not being helped by the fact that he is staying far away from the common people ensconced in the comfort of a king-size life in a far-off corner of the world. His only outlet will be the annual video speech clips where he will talk in a monotonous tone and with an animalistic and lackluster pronunciation with a pathetic reasoning on why we need freedom from Colonial India!

(7) The sundry:

Many of the present hardcore militants joined militancy as orphaned pre-adolescent kids who fell prey to the bad influence. They will talk of their achievements with an ignorant and foolish pride. Things have come to such a pass now that some parents (alas!) are taking pride in their newfound "power" by virtue of their son's association with militant organizations! Little do they know that what people actually have for them is actually an abominable hatred.

A relatively new phenomenon is that of some middlemen brokering the recruitment of cadres for the militant organizations. Militant organizations are paying middle men 2000-10000 rupees per recruit depending on the potential of the recruit. We need to appreciate that this business of extortion is a 500 million dollar business by some informal estimates.

http://www.e-pao.net/epSubPageExtractor.asp?src=news_section.opinions.Opinion_on_Effects_of_Insurgency.Militancy_A_Current_Close_up_Profile_2

Is it revolution? Is it liberation movement? Who are you people fighting?

Activities of the Militant Organizations:

(1) They enter any house at any time of the day or night and demand food and shelter for as many number of days as their discretion allows. Besides being unwanted guests and an uninvited harassment to the family, it puts the members at further risks of being harassed by the Security Forces. And, they take away any vehicle from anybody and leave it wherever they feel free to. If the owner is harassed by the security forces who seize the vehicle, that's not their headache.

(2) These people and their sympathizers brandish their affiliation to these organizations to snatch the upper hand in any type of dealing-personal or professional- with people who do not want to have anything to do with them, be it husband-wife quarrel, conflicts of love interests, family and property feuds, etc. There are many hushed-up instances of the militant cadres impregnating innocent girls and then leaving them to fend for themselves, or of the militant cadres/ sympathizers raping the girls of their fancy to force them to marry them.

(3) None of their personnel is liable to a just trial and punishment. They get away with almost anything under the sun, be it abduction, rape or personal revenge. They carry out these things with full immunity and protection of their organizations that will never raise a finger against them. They commit murders for various reasons. Because a person had a tiff with some of their personnel over some personal or familial matters.

Because the person would not pay the amount of ransom they demanded. Or because the Govt official will not give a job to a person of their choice or pass their candidate/student in a particular examination (when they find it very convenient to claim the official was killed because he was indulging in corruption). If a rival business group pays them enough money, the militant cadres will finish the other rival group.

(4) They massacre the innocent migrant workers from Mainland India to "teach the community a lesson". The lesson? The lesson that if the migrant laborers do not part with a specific percentage of their hard-earned money, they have to leave their work in Manipur and go back. If the workers are not willing to go for any of the two options, they will pay with their lives.

The migrant workers who were brought to Manipur by their circumstances of having to look for a means to feed their hungry wives and small children, despite the knowledge that Manipur is a dangerous place infested with innumerable and omnipresent dacoits. These militants (the saviors of the people) are never bothered what consequences will befall to the Manipuris who had to leave to the state and study in Mainland India mainly because of the non-functioning education system of the state they have destroyed so systematically and effectively.

5) They take up all the PWD contracts for constructing roads, building, etc., and spend hardly 10% of the amount sanctioned for the job while the rest goes to their pockets to pay stipends for their cadres!!! The quality of the works they have done is known to everyone, but no one dares to speak up because they will finish them off!!! We know about the Flyover project in Imphal City? The money that was to be used for a proper construction was usurped by the militants. It had to be truncated and it is now not a fly-over. It is a fly-up-and-fall-hard.

6) They are running business enterprises through third parties. Within the state of Manipur, they have Hospital chains, Laboratory chains and Collection Centers of Laboratories based in Mainland India, Drugs and Medicinal Supply Chains, Grocery Supply Chains, Shops, Real estate properties and what not? The same is true in other states and countries (Meghalaya, Nagaland, Mizoram, Tripura, Sikkim, Assam, Bangladesh and Myanmar).

7) They don't spare even such priceless facilities like RIMS from their extortion bully. The NEC people have been considering moving the facility out of Manipur. Whose loss is this? SAHARA Airlines had to stop their services in Manipur because of them!!! Mobile services are so irregular by sheer virtue of the militants who force them down if they fail to meet their extortion demands. If the Loktak Hydro-Electric Project is being run with Central Fund, the Centre has every right to claim its share of the pie. It is the same rule with any Central establishment anywhere in the country. It is not Manipur-specific. What was the state of affairs when the Project was under state Government? Why was the project handed over to the Centre?

8) NEXUS WITH POLITICIANS: They side with specific political parties at the time of Elections, and play in the hands of their respective candidates, and do such dirty things like extorting money from the rival candidates to hamper their chances of victory!!! Moreover each politician has the habit of nurturing a militant organization mainly because he needs to build a security cover for himself.

9) Nexus with State Security Forces: It is a common knowledge that there is a nexus between IRB personnel, Manipur Police Commando personnel and even the Assam Rifles personnel at multiple levels through an understanding better described a "SYMBIOTIC RELATIONSHIP". Their cadres execute loot and extortion in each other's garbs: Security personnel in the garb of militants, and militants in the garb of Security personnel.

Why do security personnel indulge in extortion/loot? These very people got their jobs after paying hefty amounts of money as bribes to the Government officials that include the Ministers. They got the money many times on a loan from other people or sometimes after selling whatever properties they had. They have to recover their "investment" anyway and anyhow.

10) Multiple taxation enforced on common people: They tax all government employees, businessmen and in effect everyone in the state. Whenever they see a new building coming up, or whenever they get a report (that need not be true in every case!!!) that a person is making financial assets, they will send out demand letters to these people who, despite their non-subscription to their violent ideology, have to cough out the money they earned by toiling day in and day out. Why should they subject people to multiple levels of taxation by extorting money from the whole-sale sale dealers of consumer goods, their transporters and retailers all of whom recover the " accumulated tax" from the common people, the people whose earning capacity is already just minimal. Is this justice?

Why should they force people to support their cause? Why can't they leave others alone so people can mind their own business of earning a living through sincere hard work? And remember, there are nearly 50 odd groups of these dacoits, some with only 6-10 members. They have the guns. People have to fear for their lives.

11) These militant dacoits use the common people as their shield. They keep exploiting people's emotions through Meira Paibi Associations (the innocent Emas who will never suspect the intentions of their sons-of-the-soil!). They drum up agitations, road blockades and many forms of dharnas at the slightest of opportunities, besides conducting seminars where they "encourage" some scholars (reluctant and non-reluctant both) to speak favorably of their "struggle" for identity and independence through the lens of past wrongs and present human rights violations by the Indian Army.

Everything else is a non-entity, be it food, water, electricity, roads, education, infrastructure, economic self reliance, development and progress, or human rights violation of most extreme degree and most savage nature by the militants themselves. If anyone speaks up against them, he/she is forced to issue a public apology or make amends with hefty "donation". If he/she refuses to abide by their diktat, h/she has to pay with his/her life.

Let us analyze the achievements of Militancy in Manipur.

A) Failed Education System

The temples of knowledge are frequent targets of the mindless mobsters and instigated violence. Almost daily routines of strikes, bandhs, boycotts, extortion demands to institutions, etc, mean loss of class hours, loss of academic years and murder of careers of the students whose parents cannot afford their children's education outside. It also means that all sensible parents try their best to send their children outside. Where does the money that those parents are sending their wards go? If we had proper institutions and proper environment, should we have to incur such a huge financial outflow load? Whose fault is this? Mainland India's? Apparently! That's the way the militants want us to think.

B) Dilapidated Infrastructure.

It is true that Manipur does not have adequate infrastructure for a vibrant economic growth. Right. But, it is totally wrong to squarely blame the Indian Govt. for the same. Can anyone answer this question: When were peace and economic development given a chance in Manipur? Never and not even now. It is a fact, however shocking it may be. The community has been largely pre-occupied with the so-called freedom struggle from India, even though it is because they have all along been flogged along this path by the militants with the iron leash.

(1) Perpetual strikes and agitations (justified or most of the time unjustified) that are mostly related to some of the multitude of militant organizations lead to destruction of whatever little public properties we have (State Assembly Building, State Central Library, Government Offices, School and College buildings, etc). Thus the existing infrastructures are being destroyed in a very systematic way.

(2) Since a contractor who is supposed to set up a particular piece of infrastructure has to pay the "cuts" at multiple levels including the militants and since he has to make some profit as well, there is always a compromise on the quality of work since only 10% of the allotted money goes into the actual work. This leads to the premature dysfunction of the particular piece of infrastructure (roads, school or college buildings, office buildings, hospital buildings, etc). Since the contractor got the contract through the militants, the common people can never raise a voice about the work quality. This factor, stretched and empty state exchequer and extremely prolonged incubation time for any project to finish (because of the innumerable number of militant organizations and officials that it has to pass through) make sure that building new infrastructure is an impossibility. Thus new infrastructures are also being prevented from coming up very methodically. Whose fault is this? Mainland India's?

C) Failed Economy.

We are not masters in Economics, but common sense tells us that if our economy has to be alive (Vibrancy is a luxury!!!), we have to have a balanced financial inflow and outflow.

(1)Because of the virtually non-existent educational infrastructure and law and order situation, students are going outside for their education. This means a huge financial outflow burden on the economy. What if we had the infrastructures to provide our children the necessary education within the state?

(2) Because of the law and order situation marked by a constant air of terror and routine strikes and agitations, no investment avenues are open from outside the state for any new business adventures and the few existing businesses suffer from heavy work and financial losses. Indigenous entrepreneurship is also discouraged by the threat of inhibitive extortion. Hence, the industrial and service sectors are non-entities.

(3) It is only the economically well-off families who can afford for a decent education of their children outside Manipur. The vast majority have no other way than keep seeing their children grow into frustrated educational dwarfs who are prone to fall prey to the claws of the extortionist gangs who lure them with instant power and easy money. In general, the overall economically productive potential of the people keeps decreasing in negative logs.

(4) On a different breath, we spend so luxuriously on innumerable numbers of festivals and other unnecessary rituals like extravagant churakarans, house warmings, and other ceremonies of birth, marriage and death (that can be simply and meaningfully performed) while our productivity is almost nil in almost all sectors.

And, our only financial inflow is in the form of Central Grants, the hand-outs from Mainland India! So, what is the outcome? Debt. An ever mounting debt. Shall we blame Mainland India for this as well?

D) Corrupt Political Class.

Meanwhile the politicians are busy lining their pockets. Does anybody care to take notice of the various facts that have been carried in national dailies one of which is the fact that per capita Central Funding is the highest in the North-East? Where does it go? Is it not a common knowledge that they are being usurped by militants and politicians in connivance with each other? Who is not aware of the Politicians-Militants nexus? Militants have been doing everything to encourage corruption, despite their claims otherwise. For details, please see the 2nd part this article webcast earlier.

E) Socio-cultural fall-outs.

Human Trafficking! News to us? We should have expected it long back. The consequences of economic backwardness and deprivation are multidimensional. People are driven to such desperation that they are ready to do anything for money. We have heard many people crying fouls over the Manipuri girls roaming and indulging in immoral activities with Non-Manipuri boys when they are outside Manipur. They are seen in bars and discotheques waiting for moneyed Mayang nupas to buy them wine and take them to the dance floor, and then where not. The general perception is that these girls are loose and cheap college girls or salesgirls. Pity that the hard evidence to prove them otherwise is lacking.

But, we can look at it this way. Who does not want a good life even if it is for a short time? Especially when they are teenagers who are vulnerable to all sorts of temptations and when they have all the freedom, far away from the watchful eyes of their parents' eyes? Cars, money and good looking boyfriend are just a few of the things every girl wants to flaunt. When it comes to the Mainland Indians, we in the Northeast have this inferiority complex that makes us look upto the Mainland Indians as far superior to us. On the other hand, many Manipuri parents (who had only sent their children outside to avoid the bad influence in the community) cannot afford even a decent allowance for their children. These are the major factors that drive these hormone charged teenagers (and even some other more mature girls whose preferences may not be entirely wrong, anyway) towards the Mayang Nupas.

This is not to justify their actions, mind it. It should be noted that a community's moral standards are measured against its female folk. This is not just a sexist statement. The reason is simply because the whole community is born by its female folk. Nobody wants to be known as a son or daughter of a woman with cheap character.

All these fall-outs are a result of our community's continuous free fall in all areas of economy, education, social structure, etc. Who is responsible for this? Mainland India?

Would you be kind enough to see the Plight of the Common Man?

The common people, the helpless common people are the mute spectators in the power tandap of kalyug between the three devil players. The tools in the money making business of the gun touting militants, the smiling murderers called politicians and the paid torturers called security forces. They are also the shields for the militants. They are the punching bags of the three powerful groups who can slap, beat up, rape or kill them at their whims and fancy. The people with administrative power or the gun power are exploiting the common people while each group claims to be the savior.

The common people are a confused and frightened lot in between the deep sea and the devils. They are too petrified to even take full breaths. They are alive but are not sure when their life will be snatched away by the powerful hands of those violent devils. Is it life? Where are our basic rights? Where is the respect for life? What is the worth of our lives? Is it modern civilization? Is it the way the millions of people are to be treated by a handful of heavy handed dacoits in various garbs? Till when? How much is enough? Do you think whatever I have written here are just plain stupid and false allegations? People in Manipur deserve justice and universal human rights. They deserve normal lives.

Honorable Mr. R.K. Meghen, may I request you to kindly take the genuine initiatives towards this end? Or, am I going to end up as a body riddled with bullets of the so-called revolutionaries?

NOTE: At the time of writing this article, Aircel and Reliance mobile services in many parts of the state are non-functioning, and Airtel services are also about to stop unless these mobile companies pay up ransom to various militant organization. Manipuris are the people who have the maximum patience for indefinite atrocities. Commendable.

To be continued....)




* Dr. Robbinson Moirangcha contributes to e-pao.net regularly . The writer can be contacted at dr_robbinsonmoirangcha(at)yahoo(dot)co(dot)in
This article was webcasted on February 25 2011.


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