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E-Pao! Opinion - The Third Side Of The Story

The Third Side Of The Story

By: The Third Eye *



Terrorism has plagued the world; no country or state is safe from terrorism today. Manipur is no exception. It is a small state snuggled in the eastern most corner of India. Jawahar Lal Nehru once described Manipur as "The jewel of India", for it's scenic beauty. The capital of Manipur; Imphal is surrounded by hills from all sides.

Manipur is a multi-cultural state. People from different religions inhabit the state. The predominant ones are the Meiteis, the Nagas and the Kukis. Manipur was once a calm and peaceful place. But since the early eighties everything has changed.

The ugly face of terrorism has overshadowed the scenic beauty of the state. The main victims of this turmoil are the people of the state. People have been living in dire straits for more than two decades. The voices and the sentiments of the people are often suppressed.

In the name of counter-insurgency, the so-called Indian armies are often alleged of harassing innocent people or sometime killing them in fake encounter. The alleged atrocities committed by the armed forces are countless. Many innocent people have lost their lives in the past two decades. Justice is hardly served.

The gun toting men in uniform, who suspect every Manipuri as a militant, can be seen in every nook and corner of the state. The fear psychosis of the armies' presence persists in the mind of every Manipuri youth when they venture out on the road. The mainlands Indians (mayang) think the armies are some sorts of heroes because of their heroic portrayal in bollywood movies.

Unlike the northeasterners, they hardly interact with the Indian armies on a daily basis and are oblivious to the atrocities committed by them. But it will be completely wrong to blame the Indian armies as whole just because of few personnel's wrongdoings.

The sad part is that the mainland Indians doesn't know the other side of the story. Hardly any news channel or print medias are interested in covering Manipur. If Laloo Prasad yadav sneezes, it's in the breaking news or front page of a newspaper. But a bomb blast in Imphal doesn't find a space in any media. Because of this lack of exposure by the media, most Indians are ignorant about the happenings in Manipur.

There are more than 20 plus revolutionary outfits in the state. Each with it's own ideology. Sometimes it's hard for a citizen to distinguish the true revolutionary outfit among the lots. These outfits run a parallel government in which the real government is a mere spectator. They have their own sets of rules, which the citizens are forced to follow.

In spite of the 20 plus outfits the citizens have to deal with, there is another problem brewing. There are many imposters or groups who in the guise of existing revolutionary groups extort money from the people. This kind of groups will go to any length to extort money, forcing the civilians to cave-in to their demands

Manipur is a place where the rich become richer and the poor become even poorer, where the politicians wield its power and the bureaucrats hardly wield its pen. Corruption has become so rampant in the state that it doesn't seem illegal. Before any official work is to be done, official's palms are greased. It has literally become a way of life in the state.

The recent burning of the state central library by some nincompoops is a shame in the chapter of Manipur's history. Talking about 'History', we might not have one, considering the recent events. More than half of Manipur's historical records were destroyed on that fateful day. Without any rational thoughts for the future, the arsonists burned down the library to make their point. The act was as stupid as "cutting your own hand when you have a headache".

The current state of affairs is in piteous condition. It's hard for people outside the state to comprehend that in Manipur salaried people don't get paid for 6-7 months at a stretch. This is sad but true. And the education system is in even more pathetic condition. Strikes and bans are popular ways of protests in Manipur. It's often use by all kind of organizations without realizing it's affect on students.

There are more state bans and strikes than regular classes in a calendar year. Because of the irregularity, a degree student takes nearly four years to obtain his/her degree. This causes problem for the students to continue further studies outside the state. It is a major concern for the state, which needs to be addressed.

We, the citizens have a daunting task ahead. To bring back the glory days, we need to unify and fight for a common cause instead of bad-mouthing each other. The problems we are facing are created by us and the solutions to these problems lies with us.

We need MPs who can raise their voice in the parliament instead of benchwarmers who are mere spectators. To a politician society should come first before self. We should refrain ourselves from electing self-centered politicians. The future of the state should not be put at stake.

Lets wake up to a new tomorrow… a new beginning.

'SANA LEIBAK MANIPUR'
'SANA' IS GONE ONLY 'LEIBAK' REMAINS

Let's bring back the 'Sana' and make 'Manipur' a 'Sana Leibak' again


The Third Eye, a pen name is a Management Student in New Dehli , writes for the first time to e-pao.net
The writer can be reached at third_eye_blind0x0@yahoo.com
This article was webcasted on May 27th , 2005.


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