Imphal Free Press - Imphal Free Press
Sunday, 08 October 2017 00:00

IMA condolence

IMPHAL | Oct 7

Indo Myanmar Association has expressed condolences over the loss of Ningthoujam Nimai from Kwakeithel Mayaikoibi Ningthoujam Leikai who passed away on September 25.

His service as a life member of the association was acknowledged and a two minute silence was held by workers of the association today, said a release. The association prays for soul of the departed and shares the grief of the bereaved family, it added.

Published in News
Sunday, 08 October 2017 00:00

Union Joint Secretary North East in-charge

From Our Correspondent

LAMKA | Oct 7

One of the top officials of home ministry Satyendra Garg who is the joint secretary, North East in-charge visited three designation camps of UG groups, UPF and KNO, who are under Suspension of Operation (SoO) agreement with the Centre and state government, located in different districts this evening.

The three designation camps are that of UPF's camp Ebenezer located at Nahtheljang of Kangpokpi district and KNO's Cherap camp of Tengnoupal and Salem sesignation camp located at Mongbung of Sangaikot sub-division where the government officials interact with the camp CO.

The joint secretary, NE in-charge was accompanied by additional chief secretary, government of Manipur, Sures Babuoas, Ccpur SP, Rakesh Balwal and IB officials.

Satyendra said that he came to see the actual state of the designation camps who are under SoO with the state and centre government.

The government has been in cease fire agreement with UPF and KNO but for eight years no talk was held with reason beyond my knowledge till 2015, he said adding that now the tripartite talk was started from 2015 which has witnessed two talks so far.

He further said that he expects some sort of settlement soon in the talk which is likely to be continued in November 2017.

Stating that he was in the talk with the Naga yesterday and there is difference between Naga and Kuki issue, the official said that he sees a sign that the issue of UPF and KNO to be settled soon.

Arriving at the Salem Camp of the 2nd Battalion of the Kuki Army, that was inaugurated on the August 18, 2010 which was built at the expense of Rs. 50 lakhs granted by the government, the official reached around 3 pm today where the cadres of the camp had a formal welcome ceremony witnessing participation and presentation from various Kuki organisation.

A memorandum was also submitted by the camp CO, Lieutenant TL Kuki. The joint secretary asked the CO about the problems faced in the camp where the camp CO replied that they are not getting their stipend for last three years till now, barrack building are ruined.

Defence secretary of KNO also told the official that they had three barrack initially which are now inhabited due to improper maintenance while joint secretary told that he will forward the same to higher authority asking them to put in the notice of the Joint Monitoring Group (JMG) while minutely asking about shortcoming of the camp and assured possible help.

Kuki's civil society leader like president of KIC, Danial Gangte asked the joint secretary, NE in-charge to expedite tripartite talk between the KNO and government and lamented that it was only the Kuki who are left out and not given their land.

It may be mention that even VDF under police are paid double of what the UG  are paid as stipend and at present no stipend was paid for the past three years and one official of KNO, on condition of anonymity,  told IFP that they have been in UG from long  time but when they talked with the government and signed SoO,  the people had  high expectations and all were happy but when the government  does not take the cease fire agreement seriously and fulfil their promises, they feel like going back from where they started.

Other UG leader also told IFP that they are just confined to the designated camp and without their stipend had to find a way to work so as to survive as the government has failed to fulfil their promises.

Published in News

From Our Correspondent


Joint secretary, ministry of home affairs (Northeast in-charge), Satyendra Garg visited the designated camp of Kuki National Front, Ebenezer Peace Camp at Natheljang in Kangpokpi district today.

People accorded a symbolic traditional welcome when the Satyendra landed in a chopper at around 9:45 am at Kholjang TAYA Playground with trumpets blow and gong beating while the Kuki chiefs presented him a traditional shawl ‘Saipikhup’ apart from the Kuki women garlanding the senior IPS officer. 

Satyendra, who is also the first person to chair the Kuki political dialogue with the Centre was accompanied by J. Suresh Babu, additional chief secretary (Home), government of Manipur, who is also the chairman of Joint Monitoring Groups of the SoO groups along with other department concerned officials.

The Kuki leaders of various civil voluntary organisations under the aegis of Kuki Inpi including leaders of Kuki National Front greeted the visiting team at Ebenezer Peace Camp Satyendra signed on a monolith erected by the KNF in memory of his historic visit before having a brief interaction and visiting the camp to take stock of the situation.

Satyendra said that his idea to come here is to take stock of the camp, how it looks like, how it runs and how people live here.

He continued that it is right that political talks has been initiated after eight years of signing SoO but the government has appointed separate interlocutor talks without much delay. He said he is working on it while visiting the state and studying the issues interacting with the Kuki leaders.

“Whatever issues about the Kukis, the government is very much aware about it that is why we started the political dialogue and the Centre will do whatever is just from every section of society including the Kukis”, maintained Satyendra.

He also said that Centre wants solution as it is the key to prevail peace and the ultimate key to development and everything is for peace.

KNF general secretary, Aaron Kipgen, who is also the spokesperson of UPF said that the reason why they took up arms and fight for statehood is because they have a political issue. “We feel our custom, culture and tradition would be preserved within the framework of Indian Constitution in free India”, he added.

He continued that over the years the government considered the issue of Kuki arms movement, the signing of SoO and confining at the designated Camp as law and order issue which is why the problem have not been resolved on time.

“I want to reiterate today that the issue of Kuki arms movement, the signing of SoO and confining at designated camp is not a law and order problem but a political issue”, asserted Aaron Kipgen.

He also recalled that when Suspension of Operation was signed eight years back in 2008 and the designated camp inaugurated in 2010, the aspiration of SoO cadres as well as the Kuki people in general was to start political talks by initiating a peace process.

“But, things were not going that fast as expected and we have been waiting for more than 8 years for the political dialogue to be initiated”, he added.

The Kuki Inpi Manipur also submitted a memorandum to the joint secretary apprising him to bring an honorable solution to the Kuki political issue while appreciating and conveying gratitude of the Kuki people to the government of India for initiating the much awaited political dialogue with UPF and KNO.

Published in News
Sunday, 08 October 2017 00:00

Natural Skin Glow for Diwali

Shahnaz Husain

The festive season is here again.  Diwali, “row of lamps” is just around the corner and  Most of the women  go busy  for  cleaning, shopping , decorating and lighting   houses  to celebrate the festival of lights with complete feasts and festivities. The newly wed and youngsters   go crazy looking for trendy  and fashionable ideas to look their  best in Diwali Pictures. This year diwali is being celebrated on October 19, the    15th day of Kartik, the holiest month in the Hindu lunar calendar. Diwali ,the  festival of lights falls during  winter season which  brings on its own woes and pleasures. The dryness that comes with cold can wreak havoc on skin and hair.  one needs to keep the skin moisturised and also protect it from sun-exposure.While most of the women wants to  enjoy it in their prettiest forms ,some  homely herbal  remedies  will  ensure sparking pores and  festival glow on skin.  Right there, on your kitchen shelf, are many ingredients that can add a glow to your skin.

Tone the skin daily with chilled rose water, using cotton wool pads. Keep rose water in a bowl in the fridge with cotton wool pads soaking in them. First use them to wipe the skin. Then, stroke the skin with them. On the cheeks, use outward and upward movements, ending each stroke at the temples and applying gentle pressure. On the forehead, start from the centre and go outwards on each side, again ending at the temples. For the chin, use circular movements. Then, pat the skin briskly with the rosewater-soaked cotton wool pads.

A “pick-me-up” face mask can leave your skin clean and glowing. Mix honey with egg white and apply it on the face. Wash off with water after 20 minutes. For those with very dry skin, mix honey with egg yolk and a little milk. Leave on for 20 minutes. Rinse off with water. After washing off the pack, give the skin a compress with the rose water soaked cotton wool pads. Applying a compress on the face with cotton wool pads dipped in chilled rose water is extremely refreshing. It removes fatigue and adds a glow.

Use a facial scrub twice a week. It can work wonders on the skin, helping to remove dead skin cells and making the skin brighter. Mix ground almonds with yogurt. Add dried and powdered lemon and orange peels. Dried and powdered mint (pudina) leaves also help to add a glow. Apply the mixture on the face and leave on for a few minutes. Then, rub gently, with small circular movements, washing off with water.

Or, make a facial scrub with walnut powder, honey and lemon juice. Apply the same way.

If your hair is looking dull give it a quick conditioning treatment before your shampoo. Mix one teaspoon each of vinegar and honey with one egg.  Beat them together well. Massage the mixture into the scalp. Then wrap the hair in a hot towel for twenty minutes, before washing the hair. Your hair will have more body and look shiny and manageable.

Mix honey and lemon juice in equal quantities. Add egg white and apply daily on the face. Wash it off after 20 minutes. It leaves the skin very soft and glowing.

Fruit packs are great for adding radiance to the skin. They can also be applied daily. Mix grated apples with ripe papaya pulp and mashed banana. Yogurt or lemon juice can be added to the mixture. Apply it on the face and leave it on for half an hour. Wash off with plain water. It not only adds a glow, but also removes tan and softens the skin.

Dried and powdered curry leaves (kari patta) can also be added to face packs, as it is said to add a glow to the skin. It can be mixed with Fullers Earth (multani mitti) and rose water into a paste. Apply on the face and wash it off when it is dry. Multani mitti also clarifies the skin and is particularly useful for oily skin.

The skin is called the mirror of the body and rightly so. No other organ reflects the state of internal health as faithfully as the skin. An unhealthy lifestyle, lack of sleep and exercise, stress, nutritional deficiencies all reflect on the skin, in terms of dull lifeless skin. Indeed, good health and physical fitness are imperative for radiant skin. It is also directly related to the kind of nutrition the body receives. Include a variety of natural foods, like fresh fruits, raw salads, sprouts, yogurt, fresh fruit juices, leafy green vegetables, “dalia”, oats, green tea, in your diet. Fresh fruit juices should be diluted with water. Drink plenty of water. Foods like these remove toxins and cleanse the system, adding a glow to the skin. Indeed, internal health and external beauty are two sides of the same coin.

The author is international fame beauty expert and is popularly called as Herbal Queen of India

Published in Articles
Sunday, 08 October 2017 00:00

Pot on the boil

By Yambem Laba

In the early hours of 13 September when the villagers of Makhan, Kamjong district, not far from the Indo-Myanmar border, heard the sound of gunfire they must have thought it was yet another ambush by militants on an Assam Rifles column. But, after the daybreak when the villagers went to the site of firing, they found five bodies, four of Meiteis and one of Tangkhul, to which community NSCN (I-M) general secretary, Thuingaleng Muivah belongs. Their bodies lay on a raised platform in a hut and about 200 empty bullet shells were found scattered on the ground. None of them was wearing the familiar camouflaged fatigues.

By the time the news trickled into Imphal it was late in the day and the initial information was that four members of the valley-based banned People’s Liberation Army and one belonging to the Manipur Naga People’s Front had been shot dead in an ambush by cadres of the NSCN (I-M), whose leaders are on the verge of signing a final settlement with the Government of India. It took three days for personnel of the Kamjong thana to retrieve the bodies and bring them to Imphal for autopsy.

Kamjong was the happy hunting ground of Muivah’s cadres and it was here that leaders like Livingstone and Atem made their mark as master tacticians of ambushes. I visited Nambisha in 1994 after Livingstone led an ambush on the 9-Grenadiers of the Indian Army, killing 14. Some parts of their bodies were mutilated and it was Livingstone’s reply to the rape of Tangkhul women by personnel of the Indian Army.

Lt-General Chiman Singh, then Army commander at Fort William, came to Imphal by helicopter the next day. I overheard him instructing his junior officers “don’t let these gentlemen (press squad) stay too long.” Two of them had come from Delhi.

Ever since the start of the peace parleys between the NSCN (I-M) and the Government of India, following the July 1997 ceasefire agreement, the guns had, more or less, been silent as the militants no longer viewed jawans as their enemies. Then about four years ago the ambushes on the Assam Rifles resumed, followed by IED bomb blasts and the like. Then it became clear the vacuum left by the NSCN (IM), the bulk of which has converged at the Hebron designated camp near Dimapur, was being taken over by the valley insurgents, namely the PLA, camped just across the border in Myanmar.

Then came the creation of the MNPF, comprising mostly Tangkhuls who are opposed to Muivah’s tactics. It has a united Manipur on its agenda as opposed to the plans of Muivah for a greater Nagaland comprising his own home district of Ukhrul apart from Tamenglong, Senapati and Chandel.

And although on paper there are no designated camps of the NSCN (IM) in Manipur there had been instances of them clashing with the Zeliangrong United Front in Tamenglong district. The latter’s demand for autonomy of the Zeliangrong people runs counter to that of the NSCN’s dreams of a greater Nagaland. There has been skirmishes between the NSCN (I-M) and the MNPF with the latter accusing the leaders at Hebron of cornering all the developmental contract works in the Naga areas of Manipur.

But the latest ambush cannot be viewed as just another piece of statistics in this troubled region. As a matter of fact, relations between the NSCN (I-M) and the PLA were cordial and at one point of time they even shared the general headquarters in the Somra Tract of Myanmar, with the PLA guarding the western gates to ward off attacks by the Myanmarese army. Their top leaders were provided shelter by the PLA when they ventured out into the valley areas. This was some time in the 1980s. But the new ambush has shown that the NSCN (I-M) is unwilling to part with any area of their former dominance.

The PLA is also not likely to take things lightly and could be putting pressure on the NSCN (I-M) as operations in the valley region, mostly in terms of collecting taxes from the business community, runs into hundreds of crores a year.

The assistant secretary, publicity of the Revolutionary People’s Front, the political organisation of the PLA, Bangkim and Thomas Numai of the Manipur Naga People’s Front, in a press communiqué, made available on 14 September, have confirmed the death of sergeant major Richard (A- 3075), Sergeant Lalloi (A-2878), privates Sinthouba (A-3292) and Nanao (A-3290) of the PLA and Private Raikhan Jajon of the MNPF in the early hours of 13 September. They accused the NSCN (I-M) of colluding with the Assam Rifles to start striking out at their fellow kinsmen who are still struggling for “independence” in the Western South East Asian region and have thus exposed their true character.

Sergeant Major Richards was first recruited in 2008 and was a battle hardened veteran and was attached to the 252 Mobile Battalion of the PLA and the rest were attached to the general headquarters. Raikhan Jajo is also from Nongdam Tangkhul village. The communiqué also charged that a combined force of the NSCN (I-M) and the Assam Rifles had laid an ambush on the team when they were on a mission. But judging from the photographs it appears that they were all gunned down as they lay resting in a jhum cultivation hut. The assailants were said to have decamped with four automatic weapons from the deceased.

While the PLA cadres paid their respects to those killed, at all its units speculations are rife of a possible fratricidal war between the NSCN (I-M) and the PLA. The latter is also a member of the CorCom ~ the apex body of the valley-based insurgent groups. And the rest are not likely to stand as mute spectators.

Perhaps the NSCN (I-M)’s longdrawn-out war with the Indian Army is finally going to be over and a new one, with the other rebel groups, seems to be in the offing. The Chanakyas in New Delhi’s North Block must be smiling thinking that the indigenous rebel groups will finish each other off now.

The writer is The Statesman’s special representative based in Imphal

Published in Articles

By Urikhimbam Jenisonand Laimayum Sevananda

Since the last many decades, the Game of Lagao (dice gambling) has been culturally evolved by the communities of Manipur to be part of rejoicing activity during the celebrative festivals like Durga Puja, Diwali and Ningol Chakouba. However, the enjoyers of this game have behind its cultural flavor slings with it an open secret of involving into a lucrative business wherein monetary cream greases their hands.  By the closure of these festivals ritually, the withdrawal symptom from the savour of such lucrative spree seems to continue even after the end of festive time for over two months.

As a matter of maintaining law and order tinged with moral policing imposed against the participants of dice gambling, the law enforcing agencies are to reel under endless efforts to curb the execution of such activity by raiding and swooping to disperse the gathered participants in every nook and corner of the state by exercising its power to prohibit such gambling activity as referred upon under the Public Gambling, Act 1867.

It could be seen that large number of law enforcing officers are engaged to arrest those people who are partaking in Lagao for which they under the guise of being law enforcers seized the material equipments used in activating such game as could be informed in the daily news papers.

In the midst of intense absorption both psychologically and mentally in such games and also due to uncontrolled practice of this game by the state instruments occasions/instances did occur costing lives and safety of participants and bystanders without justifiable reasons. Reference could be made on the dreadful incidents of  14th November, 2015 in which 6 persons died after having run over by a speeding car near Babu Bazar, Thoubal District of Manipur who have been playing this game at the side of the main road at 1:30am and of the incident on 25th October, 2014 that gave serious injury of two persons by ultra moralists by being shot of a firearm at Kakwa, Imphal West District, Manipur which of course could be counted as some vivid examples of the negative impact of uncontrolled and unbridled game of dice gambling (Lagao).

Taking a view by an assumed admission, there cannot be a denial of the fact that in the name of curbing this game of dice (Lagao), there are and may be instances of some officers misusing their authority to gain illegal gratification by way of charging greased tax from the participators of the game therein earning huge unsound amount of money.  

Exemplifying such greased lucrative perks draining into the hands of the law enforcers are such occasions when on the day of Diwali, some officers in their uniform use their own personal vehicles with a team of some of his colleagues drive across the prospective areas of dice gambling (Lagao) so as to  quench  their illegal gratification.

The suggestive information viable for sharing may be that the law enforcing agencies instead of restricting the running of Lagao (dice gambling) during these festive seasons by application of law could be also limited by bringing out a harmonious strategy  wherein legal relaxation by way of amendment in the provisions of public gambling act during these festive seasons as to the extent of creating a common centre where such game is permitted legally and the time duration of the game could be controlled by the administration and security provided to partakers of this game.

Turning on the other side, addiction of Lagao has become deeply rooted that in almost every locality in the State of Manipur largely impacting on the growing up children surprisingly to the extent of absenting themselves from their academic institutes or schools by hardening its psychosis with jilted involvement  in such trade of dice gambling (Lagao) during the season further adding fuel to the fire by the shallow thinking parents of such growing children by directly encouraging their children to rather engage with the game with expectation of earning hefty.

Ironically a moralistic perception if taken on the ground of livelihood and employment, this game of dice may not seem to be of a degrading activity if leverage is given by controlling it legally instead of netting it with strict law.  

All said and done, in the transgression of many a periods of time, the governmental instruments and the civil societies at large have been giving tremendous effort to curb this kind of game on the perception of moral degradation of the community as a whole but to no effect till date as rather the culture of dice gambling seem to be on the rise and spread out.

As mentioned earlier, the Law enforcing agency excises its controlling power over this genre of gambling with the law of Public Gambling Act, 1867 which is 150 years old. In adopting and adapting from such parent Act, the state of Assam has enacted a legislation by the aegis of the Assam Game and Betting Act, 1970, the state of Maharashtra has the Maharashtra Prevention Of Gambling Act, 1887, Goa has The Goa, Daman And Diu Public Gambling Act, 1976, Sikkim has Sikkim Regulation of Gambling Act 2005, etc, which is completely a law restricting the gambling of any kinds including dice gambling except in Goa and Sikkim.

However, the caption question is here is whether a law which is as old as 150 years serves the changing kaleidoscopic time which stands today where many a generation has evolved and with it the mental spirit itself has changed by reason of which, has not the time arrived to bring progressive amendments in such legislation keeping in consideration of the changes occurring today whereby the culture of dice gambling is maintained keeping in view the interest of the community but with a controlling legislation of the state so that harmonious and symbiotic rapport is secured accruing gains in both ways as with the interested gamblers being fed by a control of law framed by the state and the state in exchange receives  revenue legally.   

The Government of Manipur could give a trial shot to frame a state policy wherein Lagao (Dice Gambling) is made a game recognised by law in a systematic and well organised manner under certain guidelines by way of issuing licenses to the interested gamblers for a certain period of time with specific area of carrying such activity with a supportive protection by the state police for necessary disciplining and control over these legalized gamblers.

The State might opportune to take this game of dice gambling as a revenue earning activity with wisdom to clothe upon controlling mechanisms over the licensed gamblers.     

(The writers are right activist and lawyer, respectively)       

Published in Articles
Sunday, 08 October 2017 00:00

Withering privacy in India

By Garga Chatterjee

On 24th August 2017, the Supreme Court of India ruled that privacy was a fundamental right of a citizen.  The hearing was triggered by the Union government’s mass biometric registration programme of citizens as part of the Aadhaar programme. Through the unanimous 9-0 ruling of its full bench, the Supreme Court basically trashed the BJP led Union government’s argument before the court that privacy was not a fundamental right of a citizen. The BJP led Union government’s lawyer said before the court that a citizen could be forced to give his/her iris scan and fingerprint to the government, claiming that, “"the concept of absolute right over one's body was a myth".  Pause for a moment and think what that means. Is it outrageous? Is it fine? Well, the answer will be different because the citizens of the Indian Union belongs to various linguistic states whose political culture and consciousness and hence opinion are different. It is not accidental that the BJP led Union government said that an individual, you, do not have absolute right over your body, your own hand, your own legs, liver, blood, breasts, shoulders, head, hair, eyes. It made this claim confidently because most of its MPs were elected from states where such an opinion would not create a backlash. The problem is, the non BJP states, which are largely the non Hindi states,  did not sign up to be represented by people holding such ideas. The social and political consciousness of states with and without Khap panchayats, with or without cow based lynching with impunity, with or without habitual female foeticide, with or without vegetarian terrorism, with or without large number of women dominating the streets every day cannot be the same and are not the same. Sadly but predictably, in the Delhi centric “national media” narrative, this heterogeneity was ignored.

Thus the case and its verdict became a direct issue between the Supreme Court of India and the BJP led Union government. But the Union government is not the only government that exists. State governments with its own autonomous powers and representing an autonomous set of political aspirations and political will exist. Thus, the Delhi narrative is blind to the fact that numerous State governments have opposed the Union government stance. They have put up their separate legal team in the Supreme Court and have argued that they consider privacy as a fundamental right of a citizen. This is because the social and political consciousness of Haryana or UP and its opinion on individual liberties ought not to be imposed on the people of West Bengal. It is precisely this difference that the West Bengal government and other governments like Kerala, Punjab, Karnataka and others underlined their dissent with the Union government’s opinion of privacy. The Supreme Court heard all of this and then delivered the judgement. The judges have come to be hailed as heroes by the metropolitan Anglo-chatterati, as if this were a vindication of their class, with the judges being an extension of their class. This very smoothly hides which parties and states voiced huge concerns about Aadhaar and privacy issues related to it, inside the Union parliament and outside for that is the real site of politics, not the Anglo-Hindi social media sphere. Those in BJP ruled Hindi states who believed that privacy ought to be a fundamental right should be thankful to the government and the people of West Bengal, Karnataka and Kerala for the Supreme Court judgement. The people of West Bengal, Karnataka and Kerala should be very concerned about how cow belt majoritarian ideology and vested interests can affect them in their own homeland and the Supreme Court will not side with them every time, as was clear in the case of NEET.

In the aftermath of the privacy as fundamental right ruling of the Supreme Court, the ‘national’ media has focused on two sides, one, the Supreme Court and two, the Union government led by Narendra Modi. One should not forget at this time that the idea of taking very personal information including biometric information of common citizen was a Congress idea. So when today the Congress tries to appear holier than thou and tries to score points over the BJP, one should also remember the political forces like the Congress which led the citizens of the Indian Union down this slippery slope. Once that process was initiated, the BJP, which is a non-believer in the absoluteness of individual rights, took such a process to its natural next level. Let us make no mistake. The UIDAI, the Aadhaar and all such citizen’s information grabbing schemes, voluntary or compulsory, are tools of mass surveillance today at a level of sophistication and breadth that would make the much demonized East German intelligence agency Stasi look like amateurs. However, one must not that there are other parties involved in this situation beyond the Supreme court and the Union government. The Indian Union, is, after all a union of States and the individual State governments of States formed on a linguistic basis represent a particular stream of autonomous consciousness and hence a particular collective view point. This emanates from the political and social standard and historical trajectory of the ethno-linguistic nationality that constitute that state. Thus, the strong deposition from numerous non Hindi states also signaled to a Supreme Court that has previously given verdicts to satisfy “public conscience” that there was no consensus among the citizens of the Indian Union even though the Union government would want to make it appear so.

West Bengal ,the homeland of the Bengali people in the Indian Union, said in its representation to the Supreme Court of India that it considers privacy as a fundamental right. Hence, the people of West Bengal chose not to be represented by the Union government on this issue. This was true for Karnataka, Kerala, Punjab and others too. The union government said to the Supreme Court that privacy is not a fundamental right and moreover, even individual body parts of a human being or a citizen or not completely owned by the individual and is not fully and rightfully protected from encroachment by external agents like the government. There is no way to distinguish that view from the likes of those who run Guantanamo Bay or the North Korean regime. The viewpoint of the government of West Bengal, which represents the collective democratic will of the people of West Bengal, stands starkly different to this totalitarian police state view of society. West Bengal is not alone. Karnataka, the Kannadiga homeland, also maintained that privacy was indeed a fundamental right. So did Punjab, the homeland of the Punjabi people, which has seen flagrant violation of human rights by the by government agencies for decades. Thus, among States, there was no unanimity.

One must get rid of the idea that Delhi is the exclusive repository of all noble ideas and intentions with States being pesky irritants and obstacles in the implementation of such good things. This has been proved on the privacy issue as it has been proved most of the times before on various issues. By now it should be clear that Union government brainchild NEET is a devastating blow on inclusive medical education, on mother tongue medium students of non Hindi states, public healthcare and the federal structure of the Indian Union. Similarly, when the previous Union government hatched the plan of a ‘National counterterrorism centre’ (NCTC), with overarching powers that sought to undermine the independent law and order maintenance rights of the states, it was individual states, including Narendra Modi ruled Gujarat, which stood up to Delhi. Yes, States can be corrupt and they are but that is nothing compared to the corruption of New Delhi and the Union government. Yes, a State government can be sleazy, but nothing compares to the sleaze of New Delhi and its Union government. Yes, State governments can be authoritarian and they are but nothing compares to the all-encompassing authoritarianism that the Union government has tried to impose time and again on the people. No Sate government ever declared a state of emergency. No State government has led sick and hungry citizens to war preparation. No State government has said that citizens do not have an absolute right over their own body parts. The Union government had.

The Indian Union exists because the State exist. The homelands of Bengalis,Tamils, Kannadigas, Marathis, Malayalis, Telugus and others predate the Union. The constitution represents the covenant of freedom and cooperation between the States. To make the Union government a tool of domination of the States is a grave breach of that covenant.  Without the States, the Indian Union becomes a paper construct. The constitution ought to reflect that reality. Unfortunately at present, all such important issues like security and various other points under whose excuse the right of individual citizens can be hijacked, the Union government has near exclusive powers. This is a result of the over centralised structure of the Indian Union where most major powers reside with the Union government. This situation has to end. The exclusive domain of the union government has to be pushed back or made contingent on concurrence of the State government such that fundamental and wide ranging decisions should only be implemented in a given state when the given State government agrees. Because, only the people are sovereign. And that is non-negotiable.

Published in Articles
Sunday, 08 October 2017 00:00

Sky hospital free heart surgical closure

IMPHAL | Oct 7

Nine children underwent free operation for closure of various “holes in the heart” successfully at Sky hospital, Imphal west, from the month of May till September.

A release said such free surgical closure of hole in the heart is provided at Sky hospital, RIMS road Imphal west under Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK), National Health Mission, Manipur for children below that age of 18 years who are born with Congenital Heart Disease (holes and other birth heart defect).

Chairman and chief cardiologist, Dr. L. Shyamkishore stated that majority of these patients will not survive if not diagnosed in early life and treated appropriately, it said. Services are provided every Thursday at Skyu hospital, Imphal for early diagnosis and counselling, it said adding parents can contact either district RBSK team or public relation officer of sky hospital number 7085053082 a few days in advance.

Published in News
Sunday, 08 October 2017 00:00

Mission Indradhanush launched in Ccpur

From Our Correspondent

LAMKA | Oct 7

Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) was launched today at Churachandpur District Hospital campus by the deputy comissioner of Churachandpur, Shyam Lal Poonia in the present of CMO, Dr. Kim Simte, DIO, Dr.VC Pau, MSC, Chunglenmang Kipgen and the SDO of Henglep and others including medical  officers , NHM staff and  health workers.

Shyam Lal Poonia, who is also the chairman of IMI declared the mission launched and told the workers to be cautious so that no children are left behind.  

“Awareness and information is the key to the success of the mission where each had a part and I request our media friends to help us in disseminating the news like it is purely a health effort that is done with a well-targeted approach where children and pregnant women should be immunised 100 percent”, the DC said.

The SDOs of the district, who are directly involved by the mission chairman, represented by SDO of Henglep who shared about his personal experience of importance of timely immunisation.

Henglep SDO said that the target at Henglep sub-division of immunisation for those children below two years of age is 227 with 39 pregnant women.

Kipgen also said that he will personally soldier the task of informing the people to get immunised and told the IMI team that he will make sure that at Henglep they will see children, pregnant women to participate in the drive and be immunised.

The CMO on the occasion told the staff to fulfil their task and immunised all children stating that higher chances of attack by disease was witness with unimmunized and semi-immunized children.

The IMI focussed on children below two years and pregnant women who must be immunised which will protect them from nine diseases that include Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Hepatitis-B, JE, TB, poliomyelitis and measles. The immunisation staff and doctor will go to villages for the mission in phase manner.

Published in News
Sunday, 08 October 2017 00:00

Right to information seminar held

IMPHAL |  Oct 7

A one-day district level seminar as a part of the celebration of Right to Information Week-2017 (October 5-10) was held at the multipurpose hall of the deputy commissioner, at Kangpokpi today.

The seminar was organised by manipur information commission in collaboration with the District Administration, Kangpokpi District.

Th. Ibobi Singh, State chief information commissioner, T. Ranjit Singh, deputy commissioner, Kangpokpi and M. Pradip Singh, superintendent of Police, Kangpokpi were the chief guest, the president and the guest of honour, respectively.

The chief guest spoke on "The role of MIC towards providing information to citizen" while in the academic session, resource persons Dr. Ch. Narendra Singh, senior advocate and S. Inao Singh, deputy registrar (Jydicial-I) spoke on "The concept of RTI" and "The responsibility of the PIO and FAA" respectively.

In the interactive session, the participants discussed various aspects of RTI, the problems which the RTI is facing, strategy to establish people's right to know and solutions of the problems in effective implementation of the Act etc.

Public leaders, social workers, representatives of CSOs, NGOs, DLOs and students of JNV, Kangpokpi also participated in the seminar.

Published in News
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Imphal Free Press is a widely circulated English daily published in Manipur, North-East India. Started in 1996, it has relocated its head office from Sega Road, Imphal to Palace Gate, Imphal.

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