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E-Pao! Opinion - In Self-Denial

In Self-Denial

By: H Lienzamang Gangte *


"Unless we change the direction we are headed, we might end up where we are going."
An old Chinese Saw

Post-the Moreh flare-up and in the process of providing lame accountance for it, the CM made certain arresting remarks that has become the hallmark of our leaders. He said that all the communities living at Moreh have no estrange feeling against each other and the unfortunate incident was triggered by external forces of both the communities.

How reassuring and inspiring! Only had we been not wet enough between the ears. It's not only the CM who is given to that line of thought, every self-styled leader worth his onions would want us to believe that all's well including the ones that do not ends well.

In a sense, the CM and his notion is a proxy for every god damned one of us. Pressing the self-denial button just when any sort of disturbance erupts is not uncommon. Even the civil societies are an old hand at that. The security forces can never seem to have made the right arrest- it always turned out that they invariably arrest or kill the wrong guy who happens to be innocence personified.

Coming back to the CM's remark, first, it is immature to the point of being silly that he negated what is an open secret.

At first, we thought it was just a figure of speech. But then one realized the way real issues are swept under the carpet time and again.

Without any intent to whet genocidal fire, everything about the spat on the eastern front smacks of communal violence. The selective and clinical way in which the acts of brutality were carried out has communal fury written all over it.

The sooner we admit it, the better it would be for us as that would put us in the driving seat face to face with the real issue. The sooner we face it, the easier it would prove to be for us to address and redress the pain.

To state a common knowledge, the hills have been smarting under severe loss and pain since Operation All Clear at the hands of valley-based militants. That this uninvited intrusion and damage would metamorphed into a communal hue was foreseen, it was just a matter of when.

The boiling point of tolerance was attained not recently; it intermittently erupted in the form of direct encounters and displaced anger. The one at Moreh belongs to both the categories.

Given our liberal, competitive democratic base and the multi-ethnic context upon which it is implemented, it is but a foregone conclusion that skirmishes between different communities would fill the calendar. Liberal democracy without corresponding modernization of social life is more a poison than a balm for any multi-ethnic nation.

The solution to the puzzle is in equitable distribution of resources and opportunities by the state. Deployment of additional Security forces is not exactly the best move. This sort of action- the only one our state can come up with is a mere under-employment of the personnel.

Why should they be made to cover up the absence of political will and civil indifference? It just blunts the edge of their effectiveness.

If so much civil societies, interest groups, NGOs and a cabinet that's on its second stint can do only this much, god help us. It's a sad time for us that the state can only say, with non-chalance, 'folks, it's a friendly fire' when no fire is friendly.

The second component of the CM's the-way-i-see-it wanted us to subscribe that the unfortunate incident was triggered by external forces of both the communities.

Again, who's external? Where's the fence?

By all indications, the CM was referring to the underground groups who have constituted the new class of yuppies in Manipur. The 'external' part of the remark is hard to stomach.

In a scenario where even the press has its mouth regulated by the might of the barrel or where every scheme and sanction has to first pass through the filter of the UG groups, to call them external is a blasphemy.

Remind yourself of the numerous times when the civil societies rise up in arms in defense of a slained terrorist both in the hills and plains. Our greatest curse is that even the fourth estate- the eyes and ears of modern civilization, is under threat. Always.

Sample the front page of the dailies and its contents- how front-page worthy developmental issues are squeezed 2X4" on the third page even as the UGs narcissistically proclaims their virtues of the front page. In color.

It's about time the civil societies roll up its sleeves and show genuine concern for real issues. To stay safely in the boat we need people to people contact. That's when stereotypification could only end.

If the state is too intricately entwined to decide what's under or over ground, let the civil societies infer without fear. Unless that happens, the face-off at Moreh will be just the starter.

Moral of the episode

A man gave up the world and become a sanyasi. All he had was a thin loincloth to hide his shame and to control his sexual desire. But every night his sleep was disturbed by a mouse who gnawed at his loincloth. So he acquired a cat and brought it up. The cat needed milk.

So he find a generous man who gave him a cow. After all, someone had to milk the cow and take care of it. So he needed a woman. Once he found the woman, he felt like marrying her, and did.

So he didn't need the loincloth anymore.
(Chain Tale, A.K. Ramanujan)


* H. Lienzamang Gangte, a freelancer from Churachandpur , contributes to e-pao.net regularly. The writer can be contacted at glienza(at)sify(dot)com . This article was webcasted on June 18th, 2007.


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