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E-Pao! Essays - What will look Manipur like in 2020s??

What will look Manipur like in 2020s?

By: Mohendro Oinam *



An Indigenous dramatic play in Manipur known as "Sumang Lila" (male artist performing both the role of male and female) had one play called “23rd Century.” The writer of the play imagines the political and social life of Manipuris in 23rd century. The chief minister is a “Mayang” (Non Manipuris from mainland Indians are called as Mayangs in Manipuri) with other mayang cabinet ministers. Manipuri valley 8% of total geographical areas of Manipur states has been dominated by mayangs.

Tribals dominate hilly areas. The constitutional rights of every citizen of Manipuris have been taken away. Any Meitei seeking to work will required a labour license hard to get one. Manipuris to survive their livelihood can word alternative days on the same license. Manipuris suffer at the hands of mayang communities who have captured the economical and political power. The daughters of the Manipuris are forced to marry mayangs who are in the control of political and economic of Manipur.

The above scenario is the imagination of the writer in Manipur in 200 years from now. God forbid that does not take place. What about looking at Manipur in 15 to 20 years from now? What is today is the product of yesterday and tomorrow will be the product of today. What will look Manipur like in 15 to 20 years from now? There are the certain actions, their result and effect comes after a decade or two.

What impacts will be by the scenario prevailing in the small northeastern state of Manipur? Turmoil protest against Arm Force Special Power Act 1991 fuelled by the alleged raped and murder case of Th. Manorama Devi on July 11, 2004 went up to its highest peak – women folk dare in zero naked yielding Indian Army to rape the front of Kangla Assam Riffle Head Quarter on July 15, 2004. Three years ago, another mass protest against Naga Cease Fire extension without territory under the BJP regime.

Lives were sacrificed; the whole political and civil systems were turmoil in protecting the Manipur integrity. Any party for any issues has called public bandh endlessly every month. The news of bloodshed and killing are the headline of the print media. Many unsung events of inhuman, injustice are happening and go unnoticed and untold behind the curtains. Innocent mayangs are mercilessly slaughtered and compelled their wives and children had to flee the state for their survival.

What these scenarios will draw Manipur a kind of picture that will be presented to the world? What I personally see and I would ask the citizen to visualize the kind of picture we will have of Manipur in 15 to 20 years from now if the present situation continues to prevail unless Government and public do some thing to stop and change.

Manipur can become most illiterate state in India!

The prevailing literacy rate of Manipur is 59.89%. What will become in 20 years down the line? Today’s failure in education will not immediately affect the public and state in short time. It will affect in long run from 15 to 20 years’ time. God forbid that happen to us. Intelligent thinker can comment on this. One and most badly effected by any form of protest in Manipur for last 20 and plus years is educational institutions.

To bring transformation in the community and society through education takes minimum of two decades so is the same with downfall of education when it is affected. Constantly the educational institutions remain close for this and that reasons by public bandh, rallies, chaka bandh and protest etc. Bandhs are called by student unions, next day by Naharol (Extremists) for this raising and that raising day, transport union for fuel hike, public for fare hike, another bandh by Meira Paibees (Women Torch Bearers), someone killed by army, call the public bandh. Bandh goes endless and the schools remain closed children remain without teaching. The educational system has badly affected and public has no voice to prevent.

Those parents able to manage will send their love ones for better education to other part of the country from the sources of the hard earns money. The children whose parent could not afford to send out will remain in the state and send their children to most badly affected educational system. The annual examination had to conduct whether the proper studies were given or not. Without proper study, students appear examination through the means of mass copying in the examination. What will this affect?

Once P. Chidambaram, Finance Minister said, “Intellectual poverty is more danger than economic problem of the country.” It will very true for the state of Manipur once the intellectual which is closely connected to education, falls down, the economic life of Manipur will also fall down.

Drop Down in Job Holders!

Manipur cannot only become most illiterate state in India, it can also become least employed state with the limitation of jobs in the state. It is already least employed state with 80,000 service holder out of 2.6 millions of population. Employment in both Govt. and private sectors are recruited on the basis of merit. Students with proper teaching had the chance to get through the examination is through the means of mass copying.

Students holding the degree certificates not through the means of proper studies but through unfair means will fail to compete the national standard while seeking the job in Govt. and private sectors as merit is required. Lower grade jobs might be possible but for grade a jobs will be missing.

Economic Down Fall!

Manipur states annual revenue is less than 100 core rupees. The need of finance annually is 2000 core of rupees and more. Economic development is already affected because the prevailing situation. Harassment from military forces under provision of Arm Force Special Power Act, public protest against the Act, public bandhs called by any organizations, present situation of education system, and extortion by more than 20 extremists group from public and harassment will lead all walks of public life and cause the down fall of economic.

Once economic in Manipur falls down, there will be many side effects. Parents who are able to support their children for study out of the state will no longer able to support. Without economical help, there will not be any developmental projects.

Treat from HIV/AIDS

Manipur is a tinny state in far northeastern state of India. Small in size but what a big image is given because the HIV and AIDS in the sight of country and to the world? It ranks highest in the country.

Today one in 200 adults is affected HIV/AIDS. An estimated 38 million people are living with HIV/AIDS globally. In 2003 alone, 20.9 lakhs people died and another 40.8 lakhs were newly infected with HIV. There are 14,000 new infections each day, more than 40% of which are among young people 15-24 years of age and 2,000 of which among children under age 15.

What is the number of HIV/AIDS affected people living in Manipur. No one knows exactly the number. In national report on AIDS affected state rate Manipur as one of the worst affected states in India. If that is true, AIDS will kill more Manipuri than the guns of AFSPA and undergrounds! What are we going tackle this threatening and alarming situation? Let me ask at this point to the underground and over ground personnel who supports them. You are claiming to serve the community and the land. What can you do against what AIDS will do to community?

The Image of Manipur

What kind of image are we creating about ourselves by our actions of killing one another, looting, extorting money from public and serve capital punishment if they fail to meet what was asked for? How many non-Manipuris were slaughters mercilessly in last few years because they would fulfill the extortion demanded from them?

Although Manipur have not serve the quite notice to non-Manipuris as Nagaland has done to the non-Naga residing in Nagaland. We have created enough images on Manipuris in the eyes of whole nation. By nature we are not that bad but the killing and torture to non-Manipuris residing in Manipur and killings of one another has created an image of inhuman beings, and cruel some people. What this will affect? This will affect to the innocent Manipuris and people working outside of the state.

The wives and sons of those Biharis who have been brutally killed will never a glass of water when they see any Manipuris in their hometown. God forbid that they do not repay back those innocent people when they meet any Manipuris in their hometowns and cities. We need to live in their states for job and study.

What will be after AFSPA Repealed?

The Manipuri public and same with northeastern states have suffered at the hands of the army because of the extra power is given to them. If the Arm Force Special Power Act does not repeal or modify then many more lives will be tortured and killed.

On the other hand we have more 20 militant groups operating in Manipur in the fight of dependant. Indian Govt. will never take lightly to tackles these militant groups. The public and every individual need to ask question within self, “What will happen to Manipur once the AFSPA is repeal.” Will the lives of Manipur better at the hand of militants than at the hands of Indian Army? The public of Manipur is dilemma. The life will never better until and unless both of these powers are removed the Sana Leibak Manipur (Land of Jewel.)

I wonder what kind of life we will have in Manipur once Arm forces are removed. We have political and democratically right to protest and raise our voice when we suffer at the hand of Indian army. But will we have that right at the hand of Naharols (Manipuri militants). Every single right of being a human will be taken away. Today the right of what you want to hear, watch and speak has been taken away from the public. They also tried to take away what dress should wear and should not. The ladies were threaten to face sever punishment if they were any other dress than Manipuri dress. The right to media is also taken away. Any print media speak against them will be severely punished even up to capital punishment. At the same time Army will harassed the print media for same reason. Print Medias will never publish if I request to publish article. Why because they will face the consequences from both Army and militants. I am also in danger. Once they figure out who I am, I will be in the list.

Many innocent lives have been taken away at the hands of Indian army, some of them inhuman manner, like Manorama, alleged rape and murdered by Assam Rifle men. Similarly there are also inhuman way of torture and killing of public by the militants even with reasoning. Today of Imas (mothers) of Manipur at highest peak in the protection of their sons and daughters are protesting against the Indian army and pleading the centre Govt. to bring the justice.

What about when in cruel some and inhuman manner the lives of those at the hands of militants? We have the power of public. We can bring the transformation in our state and society. We have proved it during the cease-fire protest and world heard of us and BJP govt. repeals their decision. I am fully with the public in the protest against these evil forces but not selectively. The time has come and we must raise our voice against the evil powers to save the motherland of every Manipuri.

What will be the development of Manipur?

The public of Manipur need to pay the double of any items cost in the market. Why is it? Is it because of the higher transportation cost in hilly area? It can be one reason. More than that is because of extortion of money by militant groups from business people and service holders. It is a must if they want to continue in business and job.

Everyday nearly 200 Lorries ply in National high way from Dimapur to Imphal carrying the essential live hood items. Militants have collected an average of Rs. 1000 to 7000 iligal tax on the way from Dimapur to Imphal. Annually over 100 cores of rupees are collected there. It is open secrete to all and nothing is done to stop it. It worse in Manipur, every business establishment has to pay when extortion comes. Every Govt. employee will collect and give the money even including police personnel.

What about any areas of development? What is the road condition of Manipur while India was shining? The Govt. employees does not get the salary on time, they had to wait three months or more. Why is it? Is it because State Govt. does not have money? Yes. But the reality is more than that. State does not have its own income not more than 100 cores of rupees. But the needed money is sanctioned from central fund.

While the condition of Nagaland is never better than Manipur’s income, they still get salaries on time and roads are maintained and constructed? There will be many other reasons for this, but one unheard reason because Indian Govt. knows very well that every time money is sanctioned for Manipur, nearly 5% of salaries go to the hands of militants. And almost all the money of any developmental projects is sanctioned; the money goes to the hands of militant. Central Govt. has realized to stop strengthening these militants is to stop sanctioning funds for Manipur. By doing this both the Govt. employees and public suffer.

Conclusion

India needs new kinds of leadership to bring the transformation in economic, education, development, internal strengthening. Similarly to save Manipur we need news thinking and visioning. There is one ultimate answer to end the political and communal crises in Manipur are ending the evil forces. The inhuman torture and threat from excess power of Arm Force Special Power Act and from the militants need to be fought together. As long as the militant remains in India the military power will remain in the state even the present Arm Force Special Power Act might be repeal.

Let every Manipuri start praying to the Divine Being, “Let all those who care doing wrong in the name of mother land, public service and in the name of service be wide away as ashes and let those who truly serves be success.” Let the eyes of the public be open for justice.




Mohendro Oinam writes for the first time to e-pao.net
He can be contacted at [email protected]

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