Our Grammy goes to Thangmeiso Shinglai

Free Thinker *

 Thangmeiso Shinglai's Haophi On Impact TV's Manung Hutna 20 April 2019
Thangmeiso Shinglai's Haophi On Impact TV's Manung Hutna 20 April 2019 :: Pix (Screen shot) - Impact TV youtube

Frankly speaking I have no idea about music but I am a great listener of everything including songs and music. I heard that the most prestigious music awards are the Grammy Awards; if it is true, I would like to confer the Grammy Song of the Year to "Haophi su lumba malida" of Thangmeiso Shinglai. It touches the hearts of all the ethnic groups who are residing in this beautiful part of the world, that we lovingly called Manipur.

I saw Shinglai for the first time in a Television Show call " Hotrong hona " sorry sorry "Manug Hutna". After listening to the conversation between the best VJ and Shinglai, I realized that he has a point.

The Meiteis kept taunting and harassing other ethnic minorities of the State and still wanted to have an amicable relation. It might be true in the past but at present the new generation Meiteis understand the indispensability of a humane relation amongst the ethnic groups.

Those who believe in the unity and integrity of the motherland, must stand together; as long as Aimols, Anals, Angamis, Baites, Chirus, Chothes, Gangtes, Hmars, Kabuis, Kacha Nagas (Zemeis), Koiraos, Kuki-Chins, Koirengs, Koms, Lamkangs, Maos, Marams, Marings, Meiteis, Lingmeis, Lushais(Mizos), Monsangs, Moyons, Meitei-Pangans, Paites, Poumeis, Purums, Raltes, Rongmeis, Semas, Simtes,Sahltes, Tangkhuls, Thadous, Taraos, Vaipheis, & Zous stand united for Manipur , no power on earth who can break us up.

Even though psychologists, and doctors suggest that we should not listen or watch news these days; I am helpless; I am addicted to news and media.

My stronger half (wife) chided me for wasting time watching news; instead she told me to do some constructive work like dusting or cutting vegetable or washing utensil or cleaning the bookshelves (my collection of second-hand books of the world).

Even for the books she has a grudge 'you simply buy books only to show-off, you never read a book from cover to cover'. She is right to some extent because quite often I read only the cover and jackets if any and sometimes the contents; hardly I read the entire book.

Those who are taking the initiative of preserving the unity and integrity of Manipur must be supported at any cost. Going to the hills is a great idea and it must be continued. This should not be diluted by other things like going to some other places. Hill-valley unity, integration anong the people are extremely important for the very survival of the idea of Manipur.

We must also acknowledge the brave leaders including our Maharaj Leishemba who are roaming in the hills of Manipur for better understanding and cohesion between the hillmen and valley-people. It will be failing on my duty if I don't mention activists of the State who are working ceaselessly for maintaining the unity and integrity of the State.

A feeling of suppression and exploitation still looms large in every nook and corner of our hills. Hundreds of years of Meitei hegemony and dominance made the work more difficult. But today new generation have a kind of guilty feeling. They may not know how difficult it could had been.

Meitei forefathers in the last many years did commit a series of mistakes perhaps because of outside influence. The new GST generation must realize that the hillmen are still not happy because of Meiteis bossy big brotherly attitude.

When we were in Schools, we were taught many tales written by eminent authors of the land; their writings instilled us the value of living together. Some of the writings belonged to the pre-Merger era. Perhaps it was Khwairakpam Chaoba who said that "this beautiful land called Manipur is surrounded by hills and protected by the hillmen" (Chingna Koina pansaba & "Hao" na koina panngakpa ).

The nomenclature "Hao", was not used in abhorrence. The term was an innocuous expression by the valley dwellers for the hillmen believed to be their elders. The writer himself tried to give a positive meaning to this "ahaoba chai haiduna hao koubani", they eat tasty food so they are called "Hao".

I really don't know the reason why hills-men are called 'Hao'. But I certainly feel that it is not a pejorative word. Only some deviant elements in the past might have coined some seemingly obnoxious expressions like "hao naosek" , "hao mairen ", "hao morok" etc.

Why should we be so sensitive about all these expressions which had already inadvertently become part and parcel of our vocabulary? Then, what about "Pangan khamen", "Pangan polang", "Maring sangbai" etc.,.

However, Shinglai has rightly provoked all of us to ponder why all the beautiful things are associated with the Meiteis ?

Perhaps because of the erstwhile hegemonistic attitude of the Meiteis and their control over the lingua-franca of the land. In the post-merger era, the new generation realizes that 'Hao' are much better as they have almost all the requisite safeguards (Constitutional & Statutory) intrinsic to their land, culture, identity and even employment.

So, Meiteis now want to be a 'Hao'. What is wrong with that as long as they don't directly infringe upon the rights and privileges of the other "Haos" of the State (to be worked out diligently)?

I endorse the idea because this is a powerful idea to sustain and protect the unity and integrity of the land its people.

"Haophi su lumba malida, Ching yen su haoba malida, Nung nga su haoba malida".

"Try again, fail again, fail better" those who are trying.

* Free Thinker wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on May 09, 2019.

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