TODAY -

Time for Intelligent & Non-Suicidal Modes of Protest

Dr. S. Pahel Meitei *

14-hour general strike imposed by Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS) demanding implementation of ILPS  :: July 14 2015
14-hour general strike imposed by JCILPS demanding implementation of ILPS on July 14 2015 :: Pix - Shankar Khangembam



Haven't we, the people of Manipur, had enough of these bandhs, general strikes and curfews? At least I think I have. There is uncertainty writ large all the time. We can never make even short term plans: chances are high they will be failed. We have to make do with immediate plans.

We spend most days of the year under house arrest imposed on account of certain issues or the other, the range and variety, and seriousness, or pettiness, of which continue to baffle me. For example, when a girl has been raped (and/or killed), the people vandalize the house of the accused and banish the entire family from the locality.

While one element of insanity is the way other innocent members of the family of the accused are forced to pay for crimes they did not commit, the other element is the way people form a JAC and block national highways demanding arrest and punishment of the accused! Why can't they file an FIR and let the law take its own course?

Similarly, a man is found knocked down death by the roadside, and people come out in hoards to block national and international highway demanding arrest of the unknown culprit! These people hold the Government and the entire state to ransom to find the culprit, unknown even to them, within an arbitrary time frame!

Is there any logic in these cases of mob violence and disruption by people who so frequently take laws into their own hands? Then, we have frequent and prolonged blockades of the national highways, the economic lifelines of the state, by tribal student bodies because they have grievances not addressed by the Government.

But, why should the entire population of the state suffer because of faults on the part of the Government? It is as if all other people than the aggrieved are the culprit! Is it that other states don't have problems? No. There is no state without problems. However, no other state is like Manipur. Not even Nagaland. Why? That is what we should introspect.

Too many senseless people are taking laws into their own hands at the slightest and funniest excuses and subjecting all other people to needless disruptions and harassments. The question is whether we should allow these people to ruin the state still further.

A vast majority of the common people are daily wage earners, vegetable vendors and shop keepers who lose their day's earnings if they remain idle for the day. Businesses have to come to standstill. Black marketers rule the roost and sell items of day-to-day use at exorbitant prices. Offices remain shut.

What are the implications of these prolonged general strikes and curfews for the state's economy? Schools and colleges have to remain closed and the education system of the state has been suffering. What are the implications for the careers of students?

The mad elements among the bandh enforcers are so stupid and indiscriminate that they do not even spare the media and the healthcare workers and damage ambulance vehicles transporting ill patients and women in labour. Many patients from far-flung areas cannot get timely medical help because of the bandhs and many die unnecessary deaths.

Many public properties are destroyed during the general strikes against the inaction by the Government or against certain Government policies without the realization that these properties do not belong to the Government but to the people from whom the Government collects taxes to buy those properties. We can target the government machineries, not properties, but why should we make everyone pay for the government's sins?

How many decades have passed by with Manipur always on the boil this way and with people almost always under house arrest? How many more decades do we want the common people of Manipur to suffer? What are the implications for the future of the state? Are we helping ourselves with constant bandhs and general strikes? Who are we hurting?

Is it not a collective suicide for all of us in the state? Why don't we launch a non-cooperation movement against the Government? Instead of harassing the hapless general public, why don't we be courageous enough to confront the police, politicians and bureaucrats and prevent their free movement? Why don't we keep them under house arrest?

Why don't we excommunicate them? By the way, why did we elect them as people's representatives at the first place? Why don't we punish the corrupt and inept politicians at the time of elections? Why do we keep forgetting their sins at the sight of crispy 500 and 1000 buck notes and allow ourselves to be bought at the time of elections?

When we ourselves take bribes from the politicians at the time of elections, we automatically forfeit the right to complain against corruption or inaction on their part. We cannot dodge responsibility for the entire mess. We have our dirty hands in all the crimes committed by the political and bureaucratic class. We encourage them and glorify them when they make quick big black money and when their unaccounted financial worth sees meteoric rise.

Who made financial worth, rather than intellectual worth, an indicator of one's success in the society? We did. And, who cares more about the means than the end? No one does. Now, why do we want everyone to commit suicide just because we think crimes are being committed against us?

Suicide is not the solution for any form or degree of injustice meted out to us. High time we looked for and adopted intelligent, less-disruptive and non-suicidal modes of agitation. We should stop resorting to bandhs and general strikes for every grievance, genuine or silly. Make bandhs and general strikes illegal modes of agitation. But, first of all, let us come to our senses. As of now, we are a bunch of mindless people who operate at the level of impulses and reflexes.

NB: The JCILPS should take upon itself the onus of ensuring that non-locals are not harassed recklessly. Harassing non-locals will be a self-defeating step and a blot on the popular movement. We should not forget that Manipuris are living in every city of "mainland" India and that they can become targets of heightened hate crimes. Videos of brutality against non-locals by some mad elements are floating on the internet. That can only bring disrepute and counter-brutality against the Manipuris by the "mainland" Indians. If we have to make ILPS a reality in Manipur, it should be pursued tactfully with intelligent planning and with no collateral crimes against the non-locals. You can never win if you turn the rest of the world against you.


* Dr. S. Pahel Meitei wrote this article for e-pao.net
Thw writer is MD (Medicine) Consultant (Medicine & Critical Care) Advanced Specialty Hospital, Palace Compound, Imphal East and can be contacted at dr(doT)pmsoibam(aT)gmail(doT)com
This article was posted on July 21, 2015.


* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Great June Uprising @Kekrupat #1 : Gallery
  • Binota Thokchom at BRICS Young Scientist
  • The Merger of Manipur
  • Improving school management in Manipur
  • Pros & cons of screening tests
  • NPF Rejoinder on 18th June
  • Nagaland CM statement on Aboi ambush
  • June 18 significance: Still living on prayer
  • Need to identify one's strength
  • 18 Immortal Souls Remembered : Flash
  • The Great June Uprising : Read all about it
  • The Pitfalls of Identity Politics
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • All his sons :: Poem
  • Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016
  • Eid bring cheer in flood hit areas
  • Willong Khullen, Maram #1 : Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Defending the environmental defenders
  • Delusion in self - cause of worry
  • Road to Russia: FIFA World Cup
  • It must be love :: Poem
  • 'Future of Naga people is bleak'
  • Give a miss call to Amnesty
  • 'Naga area' bandh on June 18
  • Dzuko valley #4 :: 360 Panorama View
  • Flood in Imphal [14 June] #2 : Gallery
  • Id-Ul-Fitr Festival
  • Letter to PM Modi on Naga Talks
  • Greetings on Eid-Ul-Fitr
  • Rejoinder to NPF statement
  • Rejoinder to Nagaland Chief Minister
  • Flood relief continue on 3rd day
  • India-Vietnam Youth Dialogue 2018
  • MU debacle: Why would it be left unnoticed
  • Spirit of World Cup : Brazil to Russia
  • NEC to come under Home Ministry
  • Manipur NGO hosts summit on LGBTQ
  • Flood in Imphal [14 June] #1 : Gallery
  • Women Struggle in Self-Determination
  • 14 June- World Blood Donor Day
  • Naga Integration not possible- NPF react
  • Naga Integration is not possible- CM Rio
  • Relief work in flood affected areas
  • A day which keeps our spirit alive
  • Ranked 320 in the country : MU
  • Flood in Imphal [13 June] #2 : Gallery
  • Irenna, Zeinorn, Ithoibi :: eMing
  • Sovereignty Struggles in Northeast #5
  • Be alert: It's admission time
  • Yin and Yang
  • Watermelon beauty benefits
  • Temp accommodation for Aligarh students
  • Wrath of Mother Nature: Why challenge..
  • 60 pc is no longer first class : 95 pc
  • Flood in Imphal [13 June] #1 : Gallery
  • Sanamahi Laihui & Sanamahi Laining
  • Kuhi- Essential plant for Nungbi pottery
  • Climate justice is integral to development
  • The bridge :: Poem
  • Lt S Vijaya Devi felicitated
  • Then : Indifferent :: Now : Hyper sensitive
  • Phumdigi Tantha : Dance Drama : Gallery
  • Grief at Xavier Rutsa's demise
  • Modi's India: A descend into Ochlocracy
  • The Philippine Experience
  • Cry of a Dying River #33 :: Poem
  • Community Iftar at Moijing, Cachar
  • Candle Light at DU over Assam lynching
  • Demand replacement of Manipur Univ VC
  • The Tragedy of Higher education
  • Unacceptable points spelt out
  • Teinem Luira Phanit @Ukhrul #3: Gallery
  • RPL-PMKVY trainees @Hojai : Gallery
  • Manipur Sports University in UP ?
  • Coloniality of the Postcolonial
  • Yellow leaves in the autumn :: Poem
  • Prof N Irabanta-distinguished academician
  • Leadership matters
  • Artificial turf for budding talents
  • 2 municipal bodies in NE awarded
  • Who is Arambam Somorendra ?
  • Manglandasu Nang - OST :: e-pao Radio
  • Shirock 2018 - Shirui Lily Fest #3 : Gallery
  • Linthoi's "The Tales of Kanglei Throne" #2
  • Grass root challenge- Education in hills
  • Earth does not belong to us...
  • Sita Mata as test-tube baby
  • What happen to VIP Culture Mr. CM
  • Merchants of education
  • Laitonjam Rajnikanta : Profile
  • A blessing to see :: Poem
  • Sovereignty Struggles in Northeast #4
  • Difference between Hinduism & Hindutva
  • How to choose the perfect fragrance
  • Iftaar party at Lilong
  • Bitter truth of Manipuri society
  • MU, NSU, IGNTU : Students at the centre
  • Amuktang-Ga Haikho #1 : eRang
  • Sangai Veterans' Football #2 : Gallery
  • Pony : A Cavalry Horse Par Excellence #2
  • Issues that keep Manipur burning
  • Cry of a Dying River - 32 :: Poem
  • CM & AR interaction with villagers
  • Certification of PMKVY trainees of Hojai
  • Christian appeals for Peace in Shillong
  • How safe are our women?
  • Riders put up by JAC for talk
  • Khangkhui Cave in Ukhrul #3 : Gallery
  • Pluralism, Democracy & Ethnic Relation #2
  • Irom Sharmila meets with Mehbooba Mufti
  • JRF @ Mizoram University (Biotechnology)
  • Tobacco and heart disease
  • Understanding SOWA - RIGPA #2
  • Campaign "to End Child Sexual Abuse"
  • Implementation of 7th Pay
  • Indigenous street vendor sing gi wafam
  • The crumbling Manipur University
  • Kang Tournament @ Yaiskul : Gallery
  • Zeliangrong orphaned by Nationalism #1
  • A rainy night :: Poem
  • HSLC Exam is the start! What next?
  • World Environment Day: Thoubal, Chandel
  • 1528 cases of fake encounter
  • Shifting tide
  • Sharmila calls on JK CM Mehbooba
  • Linthoi's "The Tales of Kanglei Throne" #1
  • Handloom Weaver @Bishnupur : Gallery
  • Shirock 2018 - Shirui Lily Fest #2 : Gallery
  • Hinduism in Manipur : Political Perspective
  • World Environment Day at Sendra
  • All the World and his Wife :: Poem
  • Two Shaft Handloom Weaver at Bishnupur
  • Career Guidance Workshop at Ukhrul
  • Rejoinder: on Vigilance Commissioner
  • Appointment of Vigilance Commissioner
  • Towards the brighter side of Technology.
  • MU in the news for wrong reasons
  • Tribal Cultural Festival #1 : Gallery
  • Women in CCpur turn to self-help groups
  • Fear and Worry
  • Rongmei Scholars Association formed
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Deteriorating politics in Manipur University
  • Purul Paoki Wrestling : Gallery
  • Sangai Veterans' Football #1 : Gallery
  • Devolution of power to PRIs
  • Khangminashi IV (Lecture) : Report
  • Seminar at MU - Hinduism in Manipur'
  • Northeast: Issues at Stake #2
  • Thietham - A story of grit of a girl
  • Daylight robbery: Will the govt wait..
  • Date with Dy CM : Was it prudent?
  • On FIR against NPF President
  • Yepthomi - winner in Nagaland Lok Sabha
  • Evolution of The Meetei State
  • Heartbreak at Ukhrul: Unfolding Shirock
  • Bacteria, pathogenic bacteria..
  • Drafting Bill for Protection of Manipuri
  • Cry of a Dying River - 31 :: Poem
  • Char saal Modiji sarkar :: WJ
  • Imran Khan signed by FC Goa
  • The mental equation
  • State Level Khurpui-Lam Festival: Gallery
  • June Calendar for Year 2018 :: Tools
  • School Girls Basketball #2 : Gallery
  • Course in Political Science at NEHU
  • Where is Manipur....???
  • 'Manipur' in Google maps : Gallery
  • The Killing Fields - 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • Mama Poktabi :: Funga Wari
  • Veterans Football Tournament #2 : Gallery
  • Kishon & Taka Tamut scaled Mt. Everest
  • Shirock 2018 - Shirui Lily Fest #1 : Gallery
  • Sougrakpam Vijaya makes history sailing...
  • Arunachali unfurled Salai Taret at Mt Everest
  • Panthoiba: 2nd Rank- class XII, Uttarkhand
  • Ras Leela @JNMDA Day : Gallery
  • HSLC 208 Exam Toppers : Gallery
  • HSLC 2018 :: Toppers Listing
  • HSLC 2018 :: Check Result
  • HSLC :: Statistical/Subject Topper
  • HSLC 2018 :: External
  • Poumai Purul Hiimai Paoki #2 : Gallery
  • Kakching Garden :: 360 Panorama View
  • Folk Dance Festival #5 : Gallery
  • Aerial view from Chingmeirong : Gallery
  • Governor's Taekwondo Cup: Gallery
  • Khangkhui Cave, Ukhrul #2: Gallery
  • Curtain Raising- Sangai Fest 2017: Gallery
  • Lainingthou Lai Lam thopka #2 : Gallery
  • Re-visiting Khangkhui caves in Ukhrul
  • Sandrembi Cheishra :: Book Review
  • Ngasepam Nalini : State Akademi Award
  • Gardening @Ema Keithel #2: Gallery
  • Front Page Photo 2018 #2: Gallery
  • Pakhangba Cheng Hongba #2 : Gallery
  • Steelheart @ Shirock , Ukhrul #3 : Gallery
  • A. Halim Chowdhury: A Profile
  • Class XII Exam Toppers : Gallery
  • Class XII Result : Science Toppers
  • Class XII Result : Arts Toppers
  • Class XII Result : Commerce Toppers
  • HSE Result 2018 : District Wise
  • HSE Result 2018 : Highest Marks
  • HSE Result 2018 : Science Stream
  • HSE Result 2018 : Arts Stream
  • HSE Result 2018 : Commerce Stream
  • Kh Sanjita & Saikhom Mirabai :: Gallery
  • Temples of Manipur : Gallery
  • Recipients of Akademi Awards for 2014
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS