TODAY -

KYKL shares thoughts on people's response to COVID-19-I
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, April 24 2020: On the occasion of the 26th raising day (April 25) of Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL), the outfit's Chairman N Oken has shared his thoughts and assessments on two issues, nomination of titular king Leishemba Sanajaoba as a Member of the Rajya Sabha and people's response to the COVID-19 crisis.

While extending best wishes on behalf of the party to all the people of WESEA and Kangleipak, revolutionary groups, CSOs, public intellectuals and media fraternity, N Oken hailed the medical fraternity who have been fighting the COVID-19 pandemic as vanguards.�How far the people of Kangleipak (Manipur) have degenerated as a Nation can be gauged from the comments and response of the people and leaders to the COVID-19 crisis and nomination of the titular king as a Member of India's Upper House.

The titular king's intention to become an MP who is more respected by a far greater number of people than Ministers, MLAs and MPs is something totally unexpected.

What is even more perplexing is the decision of the close aides and associates of the king that there is no harm if Leishemba Sanajaoba wants to become an MP but he must not address the Chairman/Vice-Chairman of the Parliament as 'Chairman Sir'.

Such developments only expose that everyone has become weather vanes, Oken remarked.

The COVID-19 crisis has brought to the fore all the ugly elements and characters of Manipuri people.

Sir James Johnstone once wrote "...certainly the Manipuris have stable and industrious qualities..." which implies Manipuri people were not easily frightened by risky situations and they have the aptitude to handle any crisis with maturity and rationally.

But in the face of the COVID-19 crisis, these National characters seemed to have been lost.

People were panicky and reacted without any rationale.

Closing inter-village roads and lanes on learning about a single COVID-19 positive case in the State was not something expected from people with balanced mind, Oken asserted.

Sir James Johnstone found that there was no sitting of royal palace in 1880 when Manipur was gripped by cholera epidemic.

On enquiry, Johnstone found that the nobles and officials had no time for the court as they were busy cremating near and dear ones.

At the height of the epidemic, Johnstone wrote "...there were no cases of sick being deserted and everyone appeared calm and collected" which means no sick people was left alone and the epidemic was handled quite calmly without panicking, remarked the rebel leader.

Questioning where all these National characters have gone, the KYKL Chairman flayed the objection raised against opening quarantine centres without considering the fact that COVID-19 does not transmit between two persons separated by six feet as contradictory to the National character of yore.

Such objection/reaction testifies that the conviction to face bravely what is inevitable has been lost over the years, Oken rued.

"The recent incidents show that our culture and identity have been severely diluted and this is a result of seeing foreign culture as superior to our own culture", he continued.

If the diluted culture cannot be re-invigorated, the future of Kangleipak is totally bleak, he warned.

One primary factor for the extreme dilution of indigenous culture is the loss of the State's economic foundation and complete economic dependence on outsiders.

Culture, identity and history are all based on economy, Oken asserted quoting Amicar Cabral, "Like history, or because it is history, culture has as its material base the levels of the productive forces and the mode of production".

If there is no productive capacity and a Nation is heavily dependent on others economically, it would not be possible for the Nation to protect its identity, culture and history, he continued.

People's primary concern in this hour is how to get 5 to 10 Kgs of rice free of cost and this attitude only exposes how dependent is Manipur on India economically.

"We are throwing away our own self-respect for some free goods and such characters are natural to people who are extremely poor or heavily dependent on others", said the KYKL Chairman's statement.

Kangleipak used to export surplus rice 90 years back but today the State's rice production is not enough to meet even six month's requirement of home consumption.

There were people who said that no one came forward with any help when the titular king was reeling under severe financial hardships which implied that there is no harm when the king becomes an MP to tide over his poverty.

The idea that the responsibility of safeguarding the Nation's age-old traditions, culture and history can be exchanged with some money and material benefits is another manifestation of a society which is reeling under extreme poverty, said Oken.

One primary factor for the tendency of local leaders to assimilate with mainland Indians is the destruction of indigenous economic base and heavy economic dependence on India.

As such, the most crucial task at hand for the people of Kangleipak is to lay a strong economic foundation, Oken asserted.

"We would be able to protect our culture and identity and lead a respectful life only when we are economically prosperous", he continued.

Oken then asserted that in view of the global and regional economic scenario, economic development would be possible only when native National capitalism is allowed to thrive on the soil of Kangleipak.

Saying that only a vibrant native capitalism can make the people prosperous and regain all the lost National elements, Oken appealed to all the people to analyse his belief and make it more complete.


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