TODAY -

World Indigenous Peoples Day: A Commemoration with a Protest at Sendra

Mamta Lukram *

Villagers of Thanga Sendra Chingkhong condemn eviction drive on August 04 2016
Villagers of Thanga Sendra Chingkhong condemn eviction drive on August 04 2016 :: Pix - TSE



The commemoration of the World Indigenous People's Day on 9th August, is an advent of cognizance for the need to protect and support the marginalised indigenous communities from possible threats of oppression and extinction due to the expanding horizons of engulfing development. The UN Declaration on the Rights of the Indigenous People (UNDRIP) resolved to commemorate this day on different themes every year, to initiate steps for promoting the rights of the indigenous people of the world.

This year 2016's theme for the commemoration is devoted to Indigenous Peoples' Right to Education, which calls for ensuring equal access to all levels of education, acknowledging there existed a critical education gap amongst the indigenous peoples. It reflects the everlasting endeavour for equality and respect of the rights of the indigenous peoples.

This day is an epitaph in the human history meant to privilege the rights and dignity of the indigenous people. It is observed across the world by different Human Rights based organisations. Redefining the significance of commemorating this day, The Sendra Youth's Club, United Club of Thanga and the Centre for Research and Advocacy, Manipur (CRAM), jointly organised the World Indigenous Peoples' Day at Ithing Sendra, at the refugee camp of the eviction victims where 11 houses are evicted, rendering 60 people homeless including 14 children.

The inherent notion of Indigenous People's Day is to outshine as a ray of hope for the indigenous people. However, this day peeped into the heavy hearts of the evicted victims of Sendra as a grimace. The deceptive empty promises and the coercive acts upon the helpless villagers overturned the day's meaning upside down with futility.

In the midst of the public, at the commemoration ceremony of the World Indigenous Peoples Day, out of distress, unable to express herself, with a heavy heart there stood a young lady; Laishram Sharmila Devi, 26 years, W/O L. Ojit Singh, Thanga Ithing, Sendra Part II, a mother of three (3), whose 10 months old youngest daughter got hurt in the eviction scuffle;

"when the confrontation intensifies during the eviction drive, police personals started firing several rounds of tear gas shells, we run for life....we look for safer places.... I was running along the Classic Hotel side....at the higher place.... my little daughter, I wrap tightly around my back and run for our life....(unable to suppress the emotion, barely able to recover from the trauma..... starts breaking down...) even when we were helplessly running for life, they chased us firing the tear gas shells, in the scuffle....(breaking down in tears.... unable to speak....sobs...trying to utter bitterly in broken syllabi...) my daughter which is barely 10 months old got hurt....(breaking down in utter helplessness.... unable to stand and share..... sits down...still continue to sobs.... forgetting that it was a sharing) my traumatised daughter cried sleepless nights after the incident"

The heart wrenching episodes of life seems to have altered the feeble, ignorant selves into undominatable spirits. The prototypic bitter life experiences of being an eviction victim were explored with heavy hearts in a row. Bewildered children with hazy expressions from the prolonged exposure to the trauma were made to fancied cheerful daydreams, culled together and lying idle over a mat in the corner of the shabby makeshift.

The denial of access to any basic amenities of life like proper food, education, medical facilities, sanitation etc. transformed the lives of the children into living in an ordeal. The clement weather of frequent rain with humid atmospheric conditions compounded their pathetic plight of vulnerability to sporadic diseases. Most of the little children below 10 years of age are infected either with skin disease, flu or other. One young lady called Moirangthem Mona, quoted a remark of an empty promise made by deceptive leaders convincing them to leave the place;

" Pigani, noigi leifam pigani, yumfao saraga piba yabani (meaning [free style translation]- will provide, will provide you resettlement; would have provided constructed houses even, if possible). (.....continues.... in an aggressive tone...) then why chasing away people using tear gas shell? The forceful militarisation and brutality they have committed over the helpless ignorant villagers like us is intolerable. Even if we lost our lives in the struggle to protect our land and rights, we will never take a step back. Where should we go? Are we like birds or terrestrial being that can take off any moment? Watching our kids sitting idle when they saw their friends going to school infuriated us that we can sacrifice our lives for them... all their school books, school dresses and other necessary items have been destroyed in the inhuman destruction. This is our firm final stand that we will never take a single step back from reclaiming our lost land (......pause a while...breaking...) this is the land we inherit from our forefathers (...sobs....getting touched everyone sob....)"

According to one of Moirangthem Maipakpi, most of the victims of that eviction are the doubly victimised groups which have already been evicted from Sendra in 2002 and were made to resettle there after arriving at an understanding with the authorities to settle there for good. However the government served a notice to leave the area on July 23rd 2016. On August 3 the concerned officials came up with a large number of police official personnel and started evicting.

Scuffle broke out between the villagers and the military personals in the villagers' mere attempt to defend their houses and belongings from being dismantled. Curfew was instantly imposed in that area and during the act of brutalities at least 21 people were injured, some during the eviction, some during the lathi charged by Manipur Police, while others by rubber bullets and tear gas shell. She shared condemning views as;

"The day 3rd August 2016, a nightmarish incident took place in front of us...no one would be as much helpless as a person deduced to mere spectator, who can't stop the merciless dismantling his/her own home.....by destroying our houses, they not just simply turn down the concrete walls but ripping apart our intrinsic entirety....."

The forbidden pages of eviction episodes beckoned the World Indigenous Peoples' Day at Sendra to unfold the life's reality of how people are striving for existence only; leaving behind the equal assessment to educational facilities as a far echo.

Militarisation, Eviction and conflict

Gender dimension negates the fact that women are weaker than the men. Nevertheless the social virtue apprehends women to be more emotionally weaker than the man. Emotionally breaking down is a matter interpreted very much as a 'women phenomena'. A social trend of imposition is upon men not to break down in public places to glorify the strength of masculinity.

Whenever a man breaks down in public, the traditional connotation conveys an indepth meaning. A man whose family has suffered the scar of eviction twice shared out one of the haunting life experiences in the eviction;

"my second son stayed at Imphal for his higher studies, when the incident came to light from media report, he returned home the second day of post- eviction......(...pauses a while....continue.....) seeing the dismantled house, in vagueness he enquired, 'Baba kadaidano changgadourisibo' (meaning; father where is the entrance/ where should I get in?) (...breaks down...summoning courage...pause a while....continues...) The stories of the forceful eviction makes him so restless and an avenging spirit seems to guide him the whole day long.....I am much concern about it......this act of eviction is a metamorphosis of exhuming us from the cuddle of nestle...as if we are birds and animals. Such development policies will merely retaliate to more conflicts in the future; it will dump the society in perennial conflict situations....the society will never progress with this type of policies"

Plundering peoples' lives in the name of development will accentuate chaos in the society. The Development politics primarily focus on the infrastructural development upholding the material culture. Its progress check parameter doesn't accommodate the destruction it causes on the non-material culture. Lives, culture, the intrinsic entirety of the innocent villagers is never a part in the infrastructural development policies.

Forceful displacement seems to be the most commonest method deployed in acquiring land for the various projects. Hues and cries from the victimised people cursed every development projects in the state. Development projects thus become the essence of unrest and conflict in the society. Conflict and displacement threats engrossed in the development projects could have minimise through proper consideration of land management patterns of the indigenous communities.

It is a critical concern for the development policy framers and stakeholders that traditional cultures and ancestral domains persisted; therefore consultation, resettlement arrangements must be top priority in taking up projects.

The need to enquire into the real implementation part of the projects have been ringing aloud since the decades back so one can engineered a way out where development projects took up successfully with the wishes showered from the innocent, ignorant hearts of the marginalised people.

As a symbolic support to safeguard and defend the indigenous people's land and resources, without which no children can ever dream of accessing education; the World Indigenous People's Day commemoration at Sendra, Manipur concluded with a Protest slogan of "Uphold Indigenous People's Rights over their Land and Resources in Manipur."


* Mamta Lukram wrote this article for Imphal Times
This article was posted on August 18, 2016.


* 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
  • HSLC (Class X) 2024 : Full Result
  • Violence in Manipur 2023-2024 : Timeline
  • Licypriya meets Italy PM & Pope Francis
  • HSLC 2024 : Pass % : Private Schools
  • HSLC 2024 : Pass % : Aided Schools
  • HSLC 2024 : Pass % : Govt Schools
  • HSLC 2024 : Statistical Abstract
  • HSLC 2024 : Comparative Statement
  • HSLC 2024 : Important Info & Grading System
  • Combined Defence Services Exam 2024
  • Good show in Class X exams
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #3
  • Reviving Lamphelpat : Conservation : Gallery
  • Commemorate Naga Plesbicite Day 1951 #1
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Hojai
  • The Power of Poppy - 32 :: Poem
  • Insights from CUET-UG Counselling
  • International Day for Biological Diversity
  • Unseen force at work: Time to unravel it
  • Sheikh Hasina's revelation
  • The Vanishing Meitei Tribe
  • Building career in defence & strategic study
  • Why example of model code of conduct ?
  • Ownership of responsibility
  • Will pressure mount on key players in NE
  • How to save your foot after an accident
  • Children Camp @JNMDA Imphal #3 : Gallery
  • Education Fair @Imphal #1 : Gallery
  • Project Associate @ CSE, Assam Univ
  • Understanding schizophrenia
  • Advancement in Multi Objective Optimization
  • When will women in voter list increase ?
  • Making 2 plus 2 is equal to 5
  • Changing face of drug menace
  • Scientist of Manipur: Jayanta Manoharmayum
  • 25 yrs since Atal Vajpayee visit to RIMS
  • 4 Lakhs donated to support (L) Maipak Family
  • Clarification: Guwahati Meet on Humanitarian
  • Start UPSC prep after 12th for success
  • Tips to avoid melting makeup in summer
  • Giving a big solid push to ST demand
  • Time to come clean
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba: 1 occasion, 2 narratives #3
  • Khongjom Day @Khebaching #2 : Gallery
  • A year of hostilities
  • Licypriya Kangujam to travel to Italy
  • Declining moral standards in public life
  • Healthy democracy with independent media
  • Why endangered species matter to us
  • Significant Guwahati meeting : 1st visible step
  • The Pallel story
  • Aftermath of ferocious hailstorm #2 : Gallery
  • Ukhrul: Climate change grip on water supply
  • Commemoration of World Eld's Deer Day
  • Indo-Naga Talks (From 2012) :: Timeline
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Hiyanglam
  • Dance of democracy, a miracle in making !
  • Learn to look 10/20/30 years hence
  • The zero FIR, zero lesson
  • 'Ishanou' Selection @ Cannes #1: Gallery
  • MOU signed: MTI-HUB & KIIT-TBI & SAbF
  • Lament of the Mourning Choir :: Poem
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Wabagai
  • RSS-BJP fracas
  • Trials for Canoe Slalom World Cup
  • Poser from a villager says it all Kamjong
  • The cover-up effort
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #2
  • Manipuri women in the arena of politics
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Assam
  • Aimee Baruah at red carpet of Cannes
  • National Defence Academy Exam 2024
  • How digital media changed communications
  • Manipur stands scandalised
  • All eyes on UP battle
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #32: Download
  • Riots to a shrine- Ram Mandir of Ayodhya
  • Handle with care. F.R.I.E.N.D.S inside!
  • The Power of Poppy - 31 :: Poem
  • Celebrate the journey !
  • Career counselling : A life guidance tool
  • Scientist of Manipur: Amom Ruhikanta
  • Conspiracy, thy name is Kuki !
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Thounaojam
  • Ket Meth New Album "Ghost Stories"
  • World Hypertension Day
  • International Day of Families
  • Let the rule of law prevail
  • When donation becomes obligatory demand
  • Tourism of Manipur through Gastronomy
  • Beyond Eternity :: Poem
  • Patriarch subjugation on women
  • Celebrate Manipuri Cinema shine at Cannes
  • Training on cultivation of various mushroom
  • Transformative impact of Ayurveda & Yoga
  • War for over a year : Delhi is answerable
  • The logic behind illogical chargesheet
  • Preserving Thang-Ta :: Rare Photos
  • Regarding Human Rights Situation in Manipur
  • World Hypertension Day 2024
  • Article 355 of Constitution of India #3
  • Disinformation campaign touba thengnarey
  • Deeply mourn the demise of Oja Biren Lamba
  • Water Mimosa for sustainable development
  • Publicity drives of educational institutions
  • ED's revolutionary move!!!
  • Malemnganbi Laishram : Science Topper
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2024 #2: Gallery
  • Thokchom Sheityajit : Arts Topper
  • Aiena Naorem : Commerce Topper
  • AISSE 2024 Exam Result- RKM Imphal
  • Gold, new world currency !
  • Milk for hair and skin
  • Of illegal immigrants & the larger picture
  • The missive from Kamjong
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024 : Science Topper
  • HSE 2024 : Subject Pass Percentage
  • HSE 2024 : District Pass Percentage
  • HSE 2024 : Candidates with Highest Marks
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024: Science Full Result
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024: Arts Full Result
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024: Commerce Result
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024 : Arts Topper
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024 : Commerce Topper
  • Sezo Ringa- Debut Music Video "Revival"
  • Journalism - A thrilling career #2
  • After Class XII where? The eternal question
  • Entry of Arvind Kejriwal
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #1
  • Our nurses, our future: Power of care
  • Screenplay Writing course concluded
  • Workshop on IP & Patent Filing held
  • Let there be less Politics in Sports
  • Sam Pitroda is absolutely white
  • Motherhood: Soul & spirit of family & society
  • Time has come to criminalise ecocide
  • Meiteis, a disappearing community in Manipur
  • World Bamboo Congress @Taiwan : Gallery
  • Ima Manipur should smile more
  • 2nd National Lok Adalat at High Court
  • The Power of Poppy - 30 :: Poem
  • Army impact on Tamphasana Wushu odyssey
  • Aftermath of ferocious hailstorm #1 : Gallery
  • "Dynamic library service" :: Book Rvw
  • Radio E-pao: Manipuri Film OST (130+ song)
  • Artificial Intelligence & Environment
  • Article 355 of Constitution of India #2
  • Integrated Farming Systems for farmers #4
  • Delhi's stand after 1 year of clash
  • A new type of terrorism
  • Scientist of Manipur: Waikhom Vishwanath
  • SRF, JRF, RA @ Assam University
  • The Bleeding River :: Poem
  • Executive Meeting of WMC Assam Unit
  • Journalism - A thrilling career #1
  • Raising the call to replace Minister
  • A storm in a political teacup
  • Cheirao-chingkaba @ Chinga : Gallery
  • Happy Mother's Day
  • Empowering hill communities via U-Mangra
  • African Swine Fever
  • Free Training on Mushroom at Nagamapal
  • Harshit Dhingaun recieves award from Korea
  • Look for ways to restore normalcy
  • The danger of last kicks of a dying horse
  • Preserving Thang-Ta traditions
  • Resolving ST issue by democratic process
  • Top 5 songs to awaken your inner patriot
  • Project Assistant @ Manipur University
  • Leishemba Sanajaoba conferred Doctorate
  • Double tragedy: No time for red-tapism
  • A Youtuber called Dhruv
  • Nupi Landa Thaunaphabishing : Full Book
  • 174th Anniv Maharaj Narasingh #2 : Gallery
  • Challenges in Healthcare in rural Manipur
  • A salute to leadership quality of PM Modi
  • Career in press for freedom of expression
  • One day after devastating hailstorm
  • Understanding the suffering of others
  • A ferocious hailstorm @Imphal : Gallery
  • Article 355 of Constitution of India #1
  • Integrated Farming Systems for farmers #3
  • Election gossip & rumours
  • 'Melodic Minds' Tour in Guwahati
  • Leaving a trail of destruction
  • Political see-saw
  • A brand-new Scientific discovery
  • In memoriam of the happiness we shared !
  • Crop/animal for higher productivity in NE #5
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Sekmaijin
  • Oh Motherland :: Poem
  • Animal life should be treated with dignity
  • '365 Days of Chin-Kuki Aggression' : Gallery
  • Renaissance of politics in our youth
  • TB & tobacco co-epidemics in Indonesia
  • The Power of Poppy - 29 :: Poem
  • Advanced Charging Infrastructure in NE
  • Lessons learnt in the last one year
  • True colour of politics
  • World Heritage Day @ MU : Gallery
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Kakwa
  • Joint Combing Operations in Jiribam
  • Reboot PSUs for jobs: Task for new Govt
  • Ayurvedic remedies to keep healthy eyes
  • May 3, 2023 to May 3, 2024
  • One year of crisis, and what next ?
  • Scientist of Manipur: Nongmaithem Rajmuhon
  • Whither social justice & work for women?
  • Taiwan to enhancing economic ties with India
  • Integrated Farming Systems for farmers #2
  • Athoubasingi Numit #2 : Gallery
  • Privilege trap of While Male Meitei
  • Crop/animal for higher productivity in NE #4
  • 'Chizami Model' working in Gujarat ?
  • Racing towards the one year mark
  • On misattribution & falsifying history
  • Nupi Landa Thaunaphabishing #15 :: Book
  • May Calendar for Year 2024 : Tools
  • 12th World Bamboo Congress at Taiwan
  • Complex dance of democracy in Manipur
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Pangaltabi
  • Integrated Farming Systems for farmers #1
  • Showing ugly face of muscle power
  • Spare the rod, spoil the monster
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #31: Download
  • Socio-Historical analysis on Ethnic Conflict
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Langmeidong
  • Ngangbam Dipapati- Gold @European Cup
  • Crop/animal for higher productivity in NE #3
  • Fresh surge in violence
  • The real culprit
  • National Science Teacher workshop
  • Livelihood Disaster in Mapithel Region
  • Scientists of Manipur : Laishram Ladu Singh
  • Imphal Ring Road Project to Transform
  • Lok Sabha polls in Manipur #2 : Gallery
  • The Happiness Code : Download
  • NH-2 Bridge bombed @Sapermeina : Gallery
  • Khongjom Day @Khebaching #1 : Gallery
  • Id-ul-Fitr @Hatta #2 : Gallery
  • Workshop @ NSU Manipur : Gallery
  • 174th Anniv Maharaj Narasingh #1 : Gallery
  • Lok Sabha polls in Manipur #1 : Gallery
  • Children Camp @JNMDA Imphal #2 : Gallery
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba Chak Katpa #2 : Gallery
  • Scientists of Manipur : Laitonjam Warjeet
  • Community seed bank @Umathel : Gallery
  • Athoubasingi Numit #1 : Gallery
  • Scientists of Manipur : Ngangkham Nimai
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba Chak Katpa #1 : Gallery
  • Kenedy Khuman (Singer) : Gallery
  • Students @ Class X Exam : Gallery
  • GHOST of PEACE :: Download Booklet
  • List of Kings of Manipur: 33 - 1984 AD