From Our Correspondent
TAMENGLONG | Oct 9
Naga People’s Front (NPF), Tamenglong Division strongly condemned the Tamenglong Noney District Citizens’ Welfare Forum (TNDCWC) for their motives in creating alarming confusion to the people through media and inviting attention of the chief minister of Manipur to look into the matter.
President of NPF, Tamenglong division, Adim Panmei said that a press note that appeared in the local newspapers dated October 6 by one self-styled president of TNDCWC, Rangam Thoitak claiming Democratic Aliance of Tamenglong (DAT) as non-functioning is baseless.
Adim Panmei further stated that Rangam Thoitak also threatened to block national highway and national projects on October 11, however the threats should not continue in the interest of the alliance parties and general public.
DAT is a local self-government of ADC Tamenglong and it was formed on the September 14, 2015 with Naga People’s Front (NPF) and BJP in the alliance. The alliance has been smoothly functioning as usual under the chairmanship of Namsinrei Panmei, said Panmei.
He also appealed to the people not to cooperate with TNDCWC for their untruthful revelation of ADC Tamenglong.
Meanwhile, in another joint press statement issued by Zeliangrong Union, Tamenglong zone, Rongmei Naga Council Organiser, Tamenglong zone, Village Authority Chairmen Council, Tamenglong district, Zeliangrong Women Union and Chairmen Association Tamenglong strongly condemned the allegation made by TNDCWC.
The joint statement claimed that Rangam Thoitak statement’s has created confusion and further urged all civil voluntary organisations and general public not to cooperate with TNDCWC.
IMPHAL | Oct 9
The proscribed People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK), on its 40th foundation has offered revolutionary salute to all the indigenous people of the hills and valley who have been living together as brothers, to all comrades of the party, member parties of CorCom and leaders of revolutionary organisations of WESEA.
A release signed by acting chairman, People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak, Kh. Sathy said when Kangleipak becomes an independent and sovereign country, she will be able to advance herself through all round development and stand as a distinct nation in the world.
PREPAK firmly believes that with self-determination and self-governance, we can make Kangleipak a prosperous and egalitarian nation, it said. So in order to restore the lost independence of Kangleipak, and to bring self-rule, it’s the primary duty of every citizen to root out the colonial rule of India, it added.
To defeat India, we need to take the struggle for liberation to the international level, politically and make it known to the world community, and our brave revolutionaries should carry on the struggle with more dedication and sacrifice, it said.
Therefore, time has come for all our fellow countrymen to join the united struggle for liberation, it continued. To do this, we need to think of better ideas and strategies which are relevant with the modern times, it further said.
India has been trying not only to break into pieces the age-old boundary but has also been playing divisive games amongst the indigenous communities to divide them, it said adding as a result, mean and selfish thoughts have emerged amongst the Kanglei people who have lived together with love and brotherhood for 2000 years.
This is itself India’s “divide and conquer “policy, it said. Since all means of survival had been removed, the close affinity and dependency on each other that used to prevail since the early times has also almost disappeared, brotherhood has been almost forgotten, and people have been forced to consider the outsiders as friends, it added.
The hostility and mistrust that emerged among the people of the hills and the valley, who have coexisted for thousands of years, had been created in a short span that is only after India forcibly annexed Kangleipak on 15 October of 1949, the release further said.
In this regard, it’s necessary for hills and valley people to sit together and thrash out the differences amicably, it said. In issues such as ‘Separate State’ or ‘Alternative Arrangement’, ethnic identity, extent of participation in administration, resources, question of land ownership, etc will have to be discussed, it added
Causes of conflict amongst the communities, manner and proportion of participation in administration, mode and extent of using resources, ethnic identity and question of land ownership, etc are all creations of the Constitution of the colonial government, it said.
For this, our educated experts, intellects and civil society leaders need to have far-sighted visions beyond the Constitution of the colonial masters, it further said. PREPAK firmly believes that if these issues are discussed beyond the colonial Constitution, a situation and a solution could be found for all the communities to co-exist as before, it continued.
But as of now, all the communities are bound by the Constitution of colonial India that doesn’t suit the soil of the region; it said adding it will never be possible to bring a new social order, new political and economic system as long as we remain as colonized part of India. This is where restoration of independence of all the indigenous communities becomes the most important agenda in order to have a government as all Kanglei people desire, it added.
Education in our society has not been able to rise above the colonial level and has not been able to produce fit people who love their motherland, it continued. Nobody seems to be able to produce one’s own ideas, it said. The nation that once did not have to depend on others for survival has been reduced to the level of a beggar who can’t live without begging for everything, it added.
One of the great things that modern democracy did has been to break the knowledge monopoly that the ruling elites zealously guarded through the ages. This theses is argued with power, clarity and conviction in a well-researched, sadly not published paper, by a scholar of repute and a former director of programme, South Asia Federation for Human Rights, the late Ram Narayan Kumar. We recall this paper in view of Manipur’s own modern debate on what should constitute good education and knowledge bank, especially in the wake of the government’s initiative to steer education a little away from obsessive hunt for mostly worthless degrees, towards empowering the younger generation with knowledge that have a direct bearing on not just their suitability for modern jobs, but also their ability to link the skills they acquire with real world problem solving. The pre-democracy politics of education which sought to empower only the ruling elite is a universal story. It happened in the West, it happened in the East and indeed everywhere else. The denial of the enlightenment of knowledge to slaves, foreigners and women was openly advocated even by some of the greatest minds of the West, starting from Plato and Aristotle. This mean legacy, though disguised in benign and neutral guises, lived on through Hobbes and Weber and even to the present times, as witnessed in various xenophobic laws designed to deprive non-mainstream populations of any state power lever. The central intent of this outlook all along has been to ensure that power remains eternally with the section of the population which formed the ruling elite. As democracy deepens this structure has come to be challenged and indeed the purpose of rights activists must be to ensure that it is not merely challenged, but also defeated, implies Kumar in his paper.
Kumar also powerfully argues how the story has not been any different in any other parts of the world, including in the Indian subcontinent. The whole strategy of the Brahmanical order, with a tradition that stretches back to the Vedic age, has been precisely this. The manner in which in the epic story of Mahabharat a talented tribal archer Eklaviya was not only denied tutelage under the great teacher of martial arts, Dronacharya, but also through guiles forced to self-amputate a thumb so that he may never excel in the empowering martial art of archery that the Brahminical order believed should be the exclusive preserve of the ruling classes is the most pronounced statement of this oppressive tradition. While it may be argued that the Mahabharat belonged to the mythical era and stories in it should not be with justice translated or read literally, there are other documented evidences that such a discriminatory order was actually advocated aggressively even from ancient times, all in the name of maintaining order. Kumar picks Shankaracharya, one of the greatest philosophers of ancient India, who some scholars say was an atheist for divinity does not have a place in his philosophy. Very briefly, the basic tenet of Shankaracharya’s philosophy was that human life is an illusory trap, a maya, and the only way he can be redeemed from this predicament is through the attainment of knowledge, and this knowledge can only come through the shastras. But he also explicitly stated that under all circumstances must sudras (lower castes) and kiratas (tribals) be forbidden from reading the shastras. The implications are obvious. Redemption must remain the exclusive privilege of the upper castes, and the lower castes which form the vast majority must be denied this and hence be eternally condemned to misery, ignorance, and subjugation. This was the recipe for maintaining social order and harmony. This was the formula to ensure that the minority ruling elite always had control of all levers of state power.
And indeed it worked for aeons, until democracy came about in modern times. Even then, its legacies are still around. True to what Kumar argues, the circumstantial evidence that almost 80 percent of top Central government jobs are still held by 12 percent of its high caste population, is deafeningly loud. Deepening democracy hence must also be about devising strategies to unwind this entrenched injustice, not necessarily through carefully measured positive discrimination policies only, but definitely by giving everybody, regardless of ethnicity or religion, equal access and opportunity to quality education. Democracy makes way for such a condition, which is why so many of us have been arguing and campaigning that there is a lot beyond democracy as merely a political process in which leaders are mandated by popular votes. It is this too no doubt, but it is also a value that seeks to guarantee universal justice. Campaigning for democratic rights hence must necessarily be also about campaigning for this value.
IMPHAL | Oct 9
A public meeting organised by Youth Pioneers Association was held today at Hiyanglam Hiranmei Meira Paibi Sanglen in protest against the recent sexual assault case against two minors by a school teacher, Elangbam Sulendro Kumar.
The JAC appeals to the public to draw their attention to the matter and provide help in bringing the guilty person to justice, said a release. The baseless statements made in media by the accused teacher must be stopped immediately, it said.
IMPHAL | Oct 9
A peace poster contest under the theme, “The Future of Peace” was held at Sacred Heart Higher Secondary School, Porompat, Imphal East yesterday.
A release said that the contest was organised in the state by Lions Club of Imphal Greater as a part of the worldwide-contest held in many parts of the world on the theme.
It said that a numbers of students of different schools took part in the competition where Moirangthem Bronson, Class-VII of the Sacred Heart Higher Secondary School bagged the first position while T. Maliba, Class-VIII of Top Awang Leikai and Ningthoujam Regan got second and third position respectively.
The contest was organised to inspire young people to think about peace, creatively and what it means to them and to share their own unique visions with the world, it added.
IMPHAL | Oct 9
A state level RTI quiz competition was conducted by Manipur Information Commission today at L.M.S Law College, Chingmeirong in connection with the observance of RTI Week, 2017.
A release said that RTI activists, W. Joykumar Singh and K. Sharat Singh have been adjudged the first position, Dijendra Singh and Athokpam Shrinivash representing LMS Law College and Kr. Mayanglambam Thourani Devi and Yanglem Mahesh Meitei of D.M College of Science bagged the second position.
It said that Nongmiathem Puinyachandra Singh and Elangbam Lalleiba Meitei of LMS Law College took the third position while Kr. Vidyalaxmi Chingshubam and Kr. Dolly Potsangbam of Manipur College were adjudged with consolation.
IMPHAL | Oct 9
A combined team of Bishnupur district police commandos and 13th Sikh LI arrested an alleged self-styled corporal of KYKL organisation from Ngaikhong Khunou bus stand along Tiddim road during counter insurgency operation conducted yeaterday, said a statement issued by PRO, Manipur police department.
According to the statement, the arrested individual has been identified as Oinam Bidyasagar Meitei alias Tiger alias Ibungi (25) son of O. Mangi Meitei of Thanga Haobijam Leikai.
On his disclosure one Chinese hand grenade was recovered which was kept concealed at Loktak Lake, Keibul Lamjao.
From Our Correspondent
THOUBAL | Oct 9
Seventeen students, studying at Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Umathel under Kakching district were forced to run away from the boarding school today after being allegedly subjected to frequent ragging from their seniors.
Chairperson, Child Welfare Committee, Thoubal, A. Jotindra said that the runaway students were rescued by CWC, Thoubal. They were given counselling and handed over to their guardians, safe and sound.
He appealed that the ragging culture at schools must be stopped.
From Our Correspondent
THOUBAL | Oct 9
World mental health week was observed today under the theme “mental health at work place” at a function jointly organised by Indian psychiatric society (IPS) Manipur state branch, district mental health programme (DMPH), Thoubal and Slopeland Group of Education at 1.30 pm at Slopeland Public school, Salt village Khongjom.
The function was attended by department of psychiatry, RIMS and honorary secretary, IPS, Dr. R.K. Lenin, psychiatrist, district hospital Thoubal, Dr. Kh, Robindro Singh, and principal, Slopeland Public School, Nahakpam Babulin.
Babulin gave the welcome and inaugural speech at the function. Robindro spoke on the theme of this year and kinds of mental disorders. Dr. Lenin spoke on issues related with adolescence, impact of drugs and information technology.
The observance was attended by 258 students of class XI, XII and 100 teaching and non-teaching staffs of the school, staffs of DMPH, Thoubal and officials of IPS.
From Our Correspondent
KANGPOKPI | Oct 9
National Handloom Development Corporation Limited (NHDC), Porompat organised 'Hastkala Sahyog Shivir' for the first time in Manipur today at Navin Gorkha Youth Club Hall, Charhajare Motbung, Saitu Gamphazol Block Level Handloom Cluster in Kangpokpi district.
The camp was organised as part of the pan-India Handloom Camps across the country under the initiative of ministry of textiles, government of India. It was sponsored by office of the development commissioner (Handlooms), ministry of textiles, government of India in coordination with Manipur Handloom and Handicrafts Development Corporation Limited, Imphal.
Deputy commissioner, Kangpokpi district, T. Ranjit Singh director of handlooms and Textiles, Manipur, K. Lamlee Kamei attended the occasion as chief guest and president respectively. While assistant director (Design), Weaver Service Centre (WSC), Porompat, C. Rajasekaran and assistant manager (Commercial) NHDC, Imphal, Y. Shantikumar Singh were the guests of honour.
The camp was also attended by assistant regional director of IGNOU, Imphal, Dr. Mayonmi Shimray, branch manager of SBI, Sapormeina, L. Premchandra Singh, designer of WSC, Porompat, Landhoni and district manager of CSC-SPV, Senapati, Maisilungbou Chawangtingduimai, along with participation from around 450 weavers and artisans.
The event was organised with an objective of promoting awareness to weavers and artisans or concerned stakeholders for providing various services to weavers like issue of Mudra loans, technology upgradation, issue of Yarn Passbooks, enrolment under IGNOU, access to services provided by Common Service Centres (CSCs) and others.
Addressing weavers and artisans, T. Ranjit Singh said that officials of around over 40 districts across 17 states had a video conferencing with union minister, Smriti Irani about ‘Hastkala Sahyog Shivir’ last month which was webcasted across 228 districts to give an official insight on the importance of the camp for weavers and artisans.
He continued that the initiative is dedicated to Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Garib Kalyan Varsh, the birth centenary year of Pandit Deendayal Upadhayay. The camps will be organised across the country from October 7 to October 17, he added.
He also said that the camp is proposed to organise in more than 200 handloom Block Level Clusters and Weavers’ Service centres and more than 200 handicraft clusters in collaboration with state governments which will benefit over 1.20 lakh weavers and artisans.
The services that will be provided during the camp to weavers and artisans include issuance of credit facilities through MUDRA scheme, assistance for technological upgradation, distribution of modern tool kits and equipment, enrolment under IGNOU/NOIS courses, access to CSC facilities, issuance of Yarn Pass Book, buyer-seller meets and expos among others, said Ranjit.
The DC also handed over Yarn Passbooks to various weavers and artisans in the occasion while many handlooms and handicrafts stalls were opened during the camp.
- Premchandra Singh, Landhoni and Maisilungbou Chawangtingduimai also gave their speeches during the programme.