Imphal Free Press - Imphal Free Press
Monday, 09 October 2017 00:00

Jirbam polling officials express gratitude


From Our Correspondent


The polling officials for Jiribam district who were assigned in the 5th general Panchayat elections yesterday have lauded all concerned for the successful polling at 57 polling stations that was carried out peacefully.

The 5th general Panchayat elections at Jiribam was conducted yesterday from 8 am till 4 pm for the posts of two zila parishads, six pradhans and 96 ward members. 

The polling officials also expressed appreciation for handing out the payments for their duties as well as the payments for conducting rehearsals and trainings, which is something Jirabam has not witnessed before.  

The officials further expressed that they had not experienced such hospitality before in the previous elections. Not only there were paid but also were transported back to their homes by vehicles provided for the job. 

It may be mentioned that there are a total of 23052 voters including 11868 males and 11184 females. For the election, 342 polling officials were employed.

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Rh. Raising, convenor of steering committee which is the highest decision making body of NSCN (IM), said that the “Framework Agreement recognises the sovereign right of the Nagas”.

Rh. Raising said this while speaking in the “Joint Council Meeting on Indian and Burmese Colonialism” on October 6, according to NSCM (IM). His speech was made available to media houses this evening.

According to Rh. Raising, the ‘Framework Agreement’ “has recognised the unique identity” and the history of the Nagas. “It has also recognised the territory of the Nagas by stating that Nagas are the owner of their land. It is also mutually agreed upon that integration of all Naga territories is the legitimate right of the Nagas”, he maintained.

Bringing an honourable and acceptable solution to both parties, co-existence of the two entities and share sovereignty of the two entities are mutually agreed, Rh Raising said.

“We can assure you that the ‘Framework Agreement’ will be our political wall that protects our land, our identity, our rights, our culture, our history and our future from all impending dangers of hostile raging waves roaring against the Nagas on the one hand and it will also be a strong durable bridge between India and Nagalim on the other,” the speech read. 

“And that Nagas will decide their future by themselves, not by others anymore. Hebron will be the Centre of Naga politics, government, culture, civilisation and the seat of their high command”, the NSCN (IM) leader’s speech added.   

According to the convenor of the steering committee,  the era of building the infrastructures of a social system for creation of a positive social environment, scientific education system for production of generations of scientists in different fields, material and spiritual developments of our land and people, building industries for massive productions, marketing, trade and commerce for generation of revenues and others for making our country a land of peace and progress and a society of higher order has come.

“It is now the time of building the damaged psychology of our people; it is the time of building relationship with our neighbours, it is the time of reconciliation with India, it is the time to go to the house of the Lord and praise and worship the Creator of Nagalim,” Rh. Raising added.

The NSCN (IM) leader continued that the “waves of Indian and Burmese colonialism in Nagalim have been covertly or overtly wrecking the land, the mind and the culture of the Nagas without ceasing”. The Indian and the Burmese states have already established their political out posts in Nagalim in the guise of development and security threat, Rh. Raising added.

According to Rh. Raising, the forces of colonialism are rampant everywhere in Nagalim. “They are: the Muslim immigrants from Bangladesh, the Nepalese from Nepal, the Kukis from Burmese Chin state, the Chakmas from Chittagong hills, Bangladesh, tea gardeners from Bihar and Odisha and various business communities from Indian sub-continent. If we do not take strong political and legal steps to check them today, our children will face insurmountable problem from them tomorrow,” the NSCN (IM) leader added.

According to the NSCN (IM) leader, “Indianisation of Nagalim through import voters” from Indian mainland by the Naga politicians is a matter to be viewed seriously. He added that “status and money-monger politicians don’t care for the future of their people”.

Rh. Raising also said that “colonization of Nagalim” through Indian political parties is another established policy of the government of India. “The Nagas of Congress party, BJP party or other parties are consciously or unconsciously the agents of Indian colonial policy. Hypnotized or drunk with the deception of tempting political bait of the enemies they become advocates for the wrong cause of the aggressors. It is so because all Indian political parties are Delhi oriented which always stands diametrically opposed to the concept of Naga nation,” he added.

“We hope all the rational Nagas understand the reality that the Nagas are now placed in a safe and secure position by the Framework Agreement,” the convenor of the highest decision making body of NSCN (IM) added. 

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By Amar Yumnam

Looking at the evolving social dynamics of Manipur (by the way, Manipur has always shown a social dynamics unique to herself despite the continual interaction with exogenous cultural, economic and political forces), I felt rereading the classic of Ricardo Haussmann and his team on The Atlas of Economic Complexity: Mapping Paths to Prosperity. The social thinking of the world was immediately impacted by the publication of this study five years back. The core argument of this study is the differential emergence into complexity of different societies and ultimately the differential welfare achievement:   ”Over the past two centuries, mankind has accomplished what used to be unthinkable. When we look back at our long list of achievements, it is easy to focus on the most audacious of them, such as our conquest of the skies and the moon. Our lives, however, have been made easier and more prosperous by a large number of more modest, yet crucially important feats. Think of electric bulbs, telephones, cars, personal computers, antibiotics, TVs, refrigerators, watches and water heaters. Think of the many innovations that benefit us despite our minimal awareness of them, such as advances in port management, electric power distribution, agrochemicals and water purification. This progress was possible because we got smarter. During the past two centuries, the amount of productive knowledge we hold expanded dramatically. This was not, however, an individual phenomenon. It was a collective phenomenon. As individuals we are not much more capable than our ancestors, but as societies we have developed the ability to make all that we have mentioned – and much, much more. Modern societies can amass large amounts of productive knowledge because they distribute bits and pieces of it among its many members. But to make use of it, this knowledge has to be put back together through organizations and markets. Thus, individual specialization begets diversity at the national and global level. Our most prosperous modern societies are wiser, not because their citizens are individually brilliant, but because these societies hold a diversity of knowhow and because they are able to recombine it to create a larger variety of smarter and better products……The social accumulation of productive knowledge has not been a universal phenomenon. It has taken place in some parts of the world, but not in others. Where it has happened, it has underpinned an incredible increase in living standards. Where it has not, living standards resemble those of centuries past. The enormous income gaps between rich and poor nations are an expression of the vast differences in productive knowledge amassed by different nations. These differences are expressed in the diversity and sophistication of the things that each of them makes…” This is a strong and robust argument of what Eric Beinhocker wrote in 2006 in The Origin of Wealth : Evolution, Complexity, and the Radical Remaking of Economics: : “The most startling empirical fact in economics is that there is an economy at all. The second most startling empirical fact is that day in and day out, for the most part, it works. It provides most (but sadly not all) of the world’s 6.4 billion people with employment, food, shelter, clothing, and products ranging from Hello Kitty handbags to medical lasers. If one thinks of other highly complex human-made systems, such as the International Space Station, the government of China, or the Internet, it is clear that the global economy is orders of magnitude more complex than any other physical or social structure ever built by humankind…….The economy is a marvel of complexity. Yet no one designed it and no one runs it. There are, of course, CEOs, government officials, international organizations, investors, and others who attempt to manage their particular patch of it, but when one steps back and looks at the entirety of the $36.5 trillion global economy, it is clear that no one is really in charge…………..Yet how did the economy get here? Science tells us that our history began in a state of nature, literally “without a shirt on our backs.” Our immediate ancestors were hominid protohumans who had large brains and nimble hands and who roamed the African savanna not far from where I sat with the Maasai tribespeople. How did humankind travel from a state of nature to the stunning self-organized complexity of the modern global economy?”

The rethinking along the lines argued in these examinations of global scenarios in the context of Manipur has been emphasised by two recent personal and collective experiences. First, the Economics Department of Manipur University started the new academic session in a uniquely wholesome way; not only the Admissions Process completed at one go but the classes too started in full swing from day one. The seriousness of the new students is something we have not seen for many years, and it heralds a kind of revival of the keenness of the students of the 1990s and the beginning of the new century. Second, the Freshers’ Meet showed something very significant: the presence of students from the heterogeneous ethnicity of Manipur revealed in clear-terms the generalisation of the process of strengthening of social capability in Manipur; this is a wonderfully healthy sign for the future of Manipur. Third, Manipur does not constitute even One percent of the total demographic profile of India. But this small province has not only been dominating the National Games of the country, but the boys from here constitute more than 38 percent of the players in India’s First Time participation in a World Cup Soccer of any edition. Capability in sports is a robust human capital of the people of Manipur coupling that in higher and technical education; the sports capability is more generalised across ethnicities than the one in Education.

Now the issue to ponder is whether there is something in the culture of the people of Manipur to create and sustain this strength. Are there something in the values and ethos of the people of Manipur which enable people to create a kind of individual preference in a unique way and subliming it in a collective context? Well, there definitely is a very robust social atmosphere for enabling individuals to exercise their preferences and work on that for enhancement of familial well-being in a societal milieu. It is fundamental that Manipur’s development is founded on this and not on anything designed by exogenous forces. Let me end with a quote from the just publishedWorld Development Report 2018 of the World Bank. On education policy, the Report writes: “The gaps between evidence and practice signal promising places to start, rather than the end of learning how to improve learning. Interventions cannot simply be exported from one country to another. Indeed, at times the effectiveness of an apparently similar intervention can vary even within a country, depending on how the programme is implemented.” By the way, one Indian pride is that it is almost a sub-continent. It is imperative that it behaves like one in policy formulation and implementation as well besides the political claims.

Published in Articles
Monday, 09 October 2017 00:00

ST versus tribal

Can there be any doubt that the new waves of demands for inclusion of more communities in the Schedule Tribe list of the Fifth Schedule of the Indian constitution are all about the benefits reservation and nothing to do with a backward march to tribalism as many seem to think. Let nobody be fooled that those demanding tribal status for their communities truly believe they are primitive hunting-foraging communities left outside the paradigms that define the modern world and its economy. In Manipur sections of the Meiteis, a proud people with long history as a unique Zomian state and peoplehood defined by this status, known for their rich art and culture, theatre and cinema, are demanding it. There are also other sections of the same community who are either indifferent or even opposed to the demand, but that is another matter. In Assam, according to reports, none less than the Prime Minister  Narendra Modi has given yet another assurance that a proposal by the Assam government for inclusion of six communities, namely Koch-Rajbongshi, Tai-Ahom, Chutiya, Moran, Muttock and the Adivasi tea-tribes, for inclusion in the Schedule Tribe (ST) list will be taken into consideration. According to the same report, Union minister Ramdas Athawale confirmed this and said that once the Schedule Tribe Commission has examined the proposal and given the green signal, a Bill will be introduced in the Parliament to take the matter forward. Interestingly, according to the same report, high caste Assamese Hindus, the Kalitas and Brahmins would also be provided reservation as many of them are economically backward. This news probably will come to those amongst the Meiteis demanding the ST status as encouraging. Already the state government has agreed to institute a committee to examine the matter.

There have been opposition to the demand, especially from those already in the ST list, and again especially in Manipur. The reason for this too is obvious – nobody wants new competitors on turfs they consider as theirs exclusively. The allegation is also that the communities now demanding to be listed as tribal had long detribalised and stepped into the new reality of the modern economy and polity, therefore they would be garnering undue advantages from the reservation system should they be allowed to be classified as STs again. Probably there is much truth in this, and there obviously is something very wrong in this new race for classification as primitive. But the fault is not entirely with those who are demanding to become ST. If it is agreed that the society is a living organism given to learning, evolving and organising itself into progressively more sophisticated economies, cultures and polities, and that at one stage all societies were tribal, somewhere down the line, under the incentive structure of the Indian Constitution, this evolutionary process has been deemed frozen. Regardless of economic and social progresses made by individual tribal persons, catalysed by the positive discrimination guaranteed by the Constitution, the detribalisation process is deemed no longer relevant. It is fine for a tribal person to benefit from reservation to enter the top and best paid government professions, becoming judges, professors, civil servants etc., but if the children and grandchildren of these successful professionals – now longer compelled to eke out a living from subsistent slash and burn agriculture, or go hunting and foraging from the forests for additional nutritional needs, whose associations and fraternal bondages now extend beyond the spheres of clans and tribes, who are no longer engaged in hostilities with other clans and tribes but make thousands of friends on social media, who live in swanky flats in the country’s metropolises and attend the best educational institutes, who have long left behind the barter system as mode of commerce and are more comfortable with credit cards and internet banking – are still considered fit to reap the benefits of the Constitution’s guarantee of positive discriminations for STs, it was only time before others outside the ST list begin to say, why not us too for these benefits. This is precisely what is happening.

No, we do not endorse the demand for Meiteis to become tribal again. But if the elite amongst ST communities and their progenies continue to be entitled to positive discrimination, then we must say it is difficult to rationally oppose this demand. To be Scheduled Tribe and to be tribal are longer the same thing. Indeed, circumstances being what they are, for people in the same economic class to be segregated and one section permanently given a head start in the competition for jobs and livelihoods, will ultimately begin to be seen as social injustice. The answer as we see it is not in tribalising more, but detribalising those who have step out of the tribal world. The distinction between ST and tribal could be made official, by which anybody is given the freedom to call himself tribal, but only those among them who are trapped in the primitive tribal economy are given the Constitutional benefits of the ST status.

Published in Editorial
Monday, 09 October 2017 00:00

ACODOM organises medical camp

MOREH | Oct 8

All Community Development Organisation (ACODOM), Moreh in association with Voluntary Help Unit, RIMS organised a medical camp at Leibi Primary School, Moreh today. Around 800 locals of the area comprising of old aged, women and children had medical check-up along with free medicines.

As part of the medical camp, veterinary treatment was also conducted to the domestic animals of the area.

President of ACODOM, RK. Sanayaima stated that the camp has been organised concerning the lack of proper medical facilities and hospitals in the remote areas of hilly region of the state. Secretary of Leibi village, Kh. Korung extended his appreciation to ACODOM for the valuable initiative.

Published in News
Monday, 09 October 2017 00:00

Poster contest postponed

IMPHAL | Oct 8

Lions Club of Imphal central has postponed the peace poster contest previously scheduled to be held yesterday at Brighter Academy, New Checkon on October 22 due to inconveniences.

A release said poster contest will be held on the theme “The Future of Peace” for school students within the age group 11 to 13 years at the mentioned location from 8 am to 10 am. cash prizes of Rs. 2000, 1500 and 1000 shall be rewarded to 1st to 3rd position holders respectively and Rs. 500 each to the 4th to 10th position holders along with certificates of merit, it said.

Students residing within the jurisdiction of Imphal central may further submit the required documents on or before October 20, to the convenor N. Binabon Singh, Chingamakha Yanglem Leikai or contact through 9774266068, it added.   

Published in News
Monday, 09 October 2017 00:00

Retired teachers honoured

IMPHAL | Oct 8

The Lions Club of Imphal honoured four retired teachers at a function held at Lions Service Centre, Sangaiprou.

A release said, the honoured teachers were, (Retd) headmaster of Kha Imphal High School, Oinam Chaoba Singh, (Retd) teacher of Sainik School, Imphal, Ningthoujam Budhi Singh, (Retd) principal Ram Lal Paul Higherr Secondary School, Ningthoukhongjam Ibechaobi Devi and (Retd) principal, Keisham Ongbi Haorokcham Rashi Devi.

The club also organised a peace poster contest on the theme ‘Future of Peace’ for school students at the same premises. Earlier in the day, the club also donated food items to students and inmates of Dhananjoy Home for children with special needs, Khongman as observance of ‘Lions World Service Day, 2017’.

Published in News
Monday, 09 October 2017 00:00

Police arrest KNA (I) active members

IMPHAL | Oct 8

A team of district police commando, Imphal West arrested three alleged active members of KNA (I) in a search operation at Taj Hotel, Masjid Road, Paona bazaar on October 6, said a release by PRO Police.

It said the arrested cadres were identified as Latkholal Haokip (37), son of (Late) Ngamkhai Haokip of Datejol village, Luminthang Haokip (27), son of Letkho Ngam Haokip of Phaisan village and Letminthang Haokip alias Hemin (36), son of Tongjapao Haokip of Twisomjang village, Churachandpur district.

On their revelation, another active member of KNA (I) was arrested from Genova hotel, Paona bazaar. He was identified as Nehjang Haokip (44), son of Mangkholhum Haokip of Tuisomjang village, Churachandpur district. A case has been registered at City police station and investigation is going on, it added.

Published in News
Monday, 09 October 2017 00:00

AR organises medical camp at Lilong

IMPHAL | Oct 8

Assam Rifles Mayang Imphal COB of 5 JAK RIF of 9 Sector Assam Rifles along with Manipur Muslim Mirror, All Manipur Muslim Doctors and Students Association and The Peace Hospital and Research Institute organised a free medical camp at Lilong, Thoubal district today, said a release by PRO IGAR (S).

It said the medical camp was assisted by 20 volunteer doctors apart from the army doctor (RMO) Captain J. S. Dhillon and Dr Firoz Ph.D (CTVS). The medicines for the camp were provided by Manipur Muslim Mirror and the overall administration was supervised by 5 JAK RIF. A total of 1050 patients from all age groups were checked and provided medical assistance.

Meanwhile, a security meet was conducted by 6 Assam Rifles at Andro and Canchipur Company Operating Base of 9 Sector Assam Rifles, said the release.

The programme was attended by all prominent personalities, headman, youth organisations and locals of the area. A total 38 persons attended the meeting.

It said the aim of the meeting was to discuss all the security aspects and necessary measures to be undertaken by the locals and security forces to prevent any violent incident in connection to the Panchayat election in the area.

During the meet, the company commander urged the villagers to remain alert, vigilant and inform any suspicious move of persons to the Assam Rifles.

Published in News
Monday, 09 October 2017 00:00

BJP Tamenglong, Tamei units clarify

IMPHAL | Oct 8

Bharatiya Janata Party, Tamenglong and Tamei units have clarified on the statement of secretary, BJP Nungba unit which stated that the “Autonomous district council Tamenglong is smoothly functioning” is irrational and baseless. 

A release said that the autonomous district council, Tamenglong was formed as Democratic Alliance Tamenglong (DAT) with the coalition partners of BJP and NPF in 2015, had been reduced to minority since March 2017 after the withdrawal of several officers from DAT government. Therefore, the incumbent chairman Namsinrei has no moral and legal ground to continue as district council chairman, it said.

The mentioned statement of the secretary is wrong and illogical as the TADC government has remained defunct from the date of putting ‘No confidence motion’ against the incumbent chairman by the BJP ADC members in March 27, it further said. Since then, various development programmes under TADC have been stagnant and all business transitions of TADC had been blocked, it continued.

As per the constitution of BJP, Article XXV, secretary BJP Nungba unit, Poudinlung should be removed from the party for violating the constitution and rules of the party and distorting its image, it said. Regarding the bandh called at NH37 against TADC, the release appealed the authorities concerned to bring an amicable solution, it added.

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About IFP

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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