By Jinine Lai
No doubt, the Meeteis, in comparison with the other NE India communities, stand well ahead. It is both of physical and intellectual display. Possessed knowledge bank of Puya written in our own script is not happened to many peoples of the world. The martial character that introduced the game of polo to the world is a precious legacy. Many sports men and women make power house of sports in the Indian sub-continent. The instinct of independence that fought back the British colonial power inked the Anglo-Manipur War and Nupi Lan. The historical exercise of universal franchise which had installed the first people government in the whole of South East Asia, the movement of revolutionary Hijam Irabot, unique Meira Paibis, phenomenon Irom Sharmila, undaunted Pebam Chitaranjan and individuals who take part in the struggle against the injustice highlight elevating endeavors for democracy and human rights. Rich art and culture, women-market, Sumang Kumhei, a good few professionals and plenty of journalistic works are recommendable domain.
Yet we are getting bogged down somewhere due to our own weaknesses not merely external forces.
Hypocrisy: Since late 80s during the college-student elections, the youths were active in violent and corrupt tone. They had to spend a huge amount of money for the activities on the election day and days prior to the event. They opened camps, offered tea parties, dinner, blue films and to pick up students. Such self-inflicted practices at the height of armed opposition movement have been continuing. Even guns are active and many armed groups involved to get their ones won. How far they are qualified to condemn the same principle of sick and unfairness of the bigger size?
Quality of the voluntary organizations is of the very obvious dismay among the student bodies and civil societies. The office maintenance, paper work, finance, executing programs and administration are at lowest bottom, very pathetic indeed.
The attitude of majority of the volunteers who are coming out assuming themselves to engage in social upliftment and to fight against the social injustices sounds radical, gender bias and less educated. They are very reactive, they make their harsh voice against the female morality and the alcoholic beverages. They often attack small drink-vendors run by low income families. They love to check private activities of men and women in rendezvous. They assault the individuals found suspicious of having sex and humiliate particularly female. They demand female to maintain dress code. Many of them act themselves as mediators in private affairs of others and enforced monetary charges as penalty upon the victims. The manner which policing moral of others does more harm than the reformation desired, and they proclaim themselves more patriotic.
On the other hand I know some men, women who have concern about social injustices, corruption, failed government; most of them are young, do drink, are educated and liberal. They do care for others and take part in work of women empowerment. They love Manipur, have local aspiration, and look forward to good society. Are they patriotic enough?
The saying that Meeteis are lion is not case anymore. Real courage was not seen at the height of fake encounters killings. Particularly male siblings have not displayed their true courage when their dear ones got tortured and killed so unfairly. They have not reacted to the perpetrators as supposed to. They usually succumbed to the challenge and compromise the condition with the perpetrators. In fact, least number of human rights workers have come out to respond to the daily killings.
Polarization: What we generally perceive as an activist and as a public was how responses have to be made towards the social injustices, controversial merger, militarization, human rights violations, mis-governance, corruption, etc. I had been participating meetings and actions ever since Apunba Lup was formed in a Sangoi of the Thangjam Manorama’s neighbors after she was killed in the summer of 2004. What I found among the civil societies and groups was disputes and distractions. More energy and time have been given to the group oriented-non issues than real issues of the collective endeavor. I had assumed the polarization that active was among less academic community with narrow window outlook whom I had been mingled with. Sooner I got closer to more scholar, intellectual circle of all ages; yet plenty of split and polarization churning individual ego have been seen.
Then the time of social media which yields me more English versed young people of all sexes. I was hopeful to see their neutrality, liberal and more importantly their concern about the existing issues and challenges of contemporary Manipur. Oh my god! They are not less imperative in displaying their Id- ego which gradually repelling themselves from building a synergic force. To work themselves together for a collective bigger cause is appearing a real challenge. This split and polarization cannot be taken for granted with excuse of enjoying democracy since it does not help to mitigate the challenges and move the things forward to favorable direction.
Worst Blood: Militarization by Indian Government has caused multiple damages to Manipur - ranges from of the sovereignty to human rights. Having said that even though the activities of the Indian armed forces and imposition of AFSPA underlie implications towards the unfavorable atmosphere, the role, behavior and character of Manipur Police Commandos have been found at the worst and at the most condemnable too.
The attitude of the individual personnel of Police Commandos is far ugly and brute in comparison with regular Indian army, CRPF and sometimes even with those notorious Assam Rifles. The level of atrocities, abuse of power, and the manner in which dealing with civilians is much disheartening, so terrifying indeed. They speak same language, eat same food and they have grown up on the same soil and environment. They are the product of the same society which produced the victims of torture and fake encounter likewise.
Are they shaped by the precedent behavior of the colonial typical police, or influenced and encouraged by the exemplary actions of legendary IG Romen, Cammando Lokhon, Jotin, Mobi, etc. In fact, the most killings and tortures were occurring during the reign of Chief Minister Okram Ibobi and DG Y. Joykumar. Ibobi encouraged the police so horribly that Joykumar also got rid of reluctance in checking the police excesses prevailed. Thus sooner than later commandos personnel have not cared the damned formalities and words of their senior officers. Even some higher rank English educated officers hesitated to deal with such notorious commandos.
Very interestingly army, CRPF and even some Assam Rifles men who speak different language, don’t share similarity yet usually deal with the public in less tensed way. They ask questions in responsible manner and in less hostile way. If someone can speak Hindi in functional level there is of course tension free and can deal such road frisking or house raid somehow. Yes, Assam Rifles are found usually much dangerous particularly if they are coming for late night house raid or operation.
For pretty long years, we have been rowdy and unrefined. Although I did not know about the Nagas and Kukis well, recently I do know they are not different from the Meeteis’. Pangals are likewise. This is evident that mobocracy is one living example kicked by this same sick trait.
The common character connotes various challenges encountered by contemporary Manipur. Hardly have we counted it as a serious heavy concern. This has been a suicidal act upon ourselves. Mere the game of blaming towards the other, external forces, Government of India has not been productive so far. Lack of retrospection and not acknowledged our own weaknesses do not help us in anyway.
(The Author is Asst. Professor, University of Suwon, S Korea)
IMPHAL| June 10
In a release, the manipur state film development society has informed that the society is going to organise the 9th and 10th Manipur State Film Awards and invited interested film producers (features and non-features) and writers to submit entry forms for participation in MSFA.
It further informed that the regulations will be available at MSFDS office, Palace gate from June 19 and should submit the entry forms on or before July 8.
Newmai News Network
DIMAPUR |June 10
Many organisations and leaders expressed their shock and condoled the demise of NSCN (K) leader, SS Khaplang who passed away at Takka, the outfit’s headquarters in Myanmar yesterday evening.
NSCN (IM) general secretary, Thuingaleng Muivah, who was late SS Khaplang’s comrade one time, in his message condoled the passing away of the latter and shared grief with bereaved family members.
“The NSCN invokes the blessings from the Almighty to give comfort and sustenance to the saddened and pained hearts of the bereaved family and grant eternal rest to the departed soul of the leader”, the condolence message said.
Also sending out his condolence message, Chief Minister of Nagaland, Dr Shurhozelie Liezietsu said that he was saddened on learning the sudden demise of SS Khaplang.
The Nagaland CM continued that “such an important Naga leader like Khaplang has expired considering the fact that the protracted Naga political problem is on the verge of being resolved, and the need for all different Naga political groups to come together to air our views and aspirations to the government of India in one voice is absolutely imperative.”
According to the CM, after the group abrogated the ceasefire with the government of India in 2015, in consultation with the Centre, the government of Nagaland has been sending delegations to meet the NSCN (K) leadership in Myanmar in recent times to convince the group to re-enter into the peace process.
It was encouraging to learn that Khaplang had, a few months back, conveyed his willingness to have dialogue with the government provided ‘issues of substance’ were discussed. However, before things could be taken forward to its logical conclusion, it is calamitous that the Naga leader could not live long enough to see the proverbial promised land,” he added.
Further Dr Shurhozelie Liezietsu said that in memory of the departed soul, and before the mortal remains are interred below ground, “I appeal to all grieving Nagas to resolve and dedicate ourselves to endeavour with renewed vigour and determination to find a solution to the Naga political problem which is honourable and acceptable to all stakeholders; and that this protracted problem be resolved during our lifetime and not to bequeath it to the future generations”.
He also stated that in memory of the departed leader “who had dedicated all his life to the cause of the Naga people, let all Naga people dedicate ourselves to strive for peace, harmony and well-being of the entire Naga family so that we and our children can march ahead with the rest of the world as equals in the 21st century and for ever more”.
Joining the condolence, Naga Hoho, said life of SS Khaplang was marked by trials and tribulations wherein he stood tall building the Naga nation. SS Khaplang was a man who dedicated his entire life for the cause of Nagas till his last breath. It further said that he safeguarded the Naga nation against massive adversaries and thereby his life and leadership transpired inspiration and conviction to uphold the Naga nation.
The United Naga Council (UNC) said that the demise of the leader is a “great loss to the Naga nation to whom we affectionately called him Baba Khaplang”.
It shared the grief and pains of “Baba Khaplang’s famiy, his near and dear ones and everyone who stood by him always and prayed to the Almighty and wish that his soul rest in peace.”
The Nagaland Tribes Council (NTC) in its condolence message said that it “is deeply” saddened and grieved by the sudden demise of SS Khaplang, “one of the tallest Naga National leaders at Taka, Myanmar on June 8. “The departure of our legendary leader at this critical juncture in the history of Naga National Movement is a great lost for the Naga people as a whole”, it stated.
“The vacuum created by his demise is immense and cannot be filled for a long time to come. May his legacy continue to inspire and cherish by the Nagas for generations,” it also said.
By Sanjoo Thangjam
It will be very unanticipated if I say that Buddhism is still a very well developed religion in Manipur and I, therefore, do not agree with Prof. M.S. Ningombam’s article on - “Buddhism in Manipur”, stating that “Curiously Buddhism did not flourish in Manipur; perhaps Hinduism of the later period had absorbed it, as the political climate was not favourable and Buddhism in Manipur has never been well developed in spite of its geographical proximity with Myanmar”.
Buddhism got access to Myanmar via sea en route from Sri Lanka so, yet again, I do not see eye to eye when Prof. M.S. Ningombam further marked that Buddhism spread to Myanmar passing through Manipur by successive waves of Buddhists from mainland India.
Buddhism is still a very well developed religion in Manipur as the number of places in the valley where worshipping of the Buddha is clearly seen in Inggawrok Mahaadeba (Shiva), Thongngaam Mondum, Kwaarok Mahaadeba, etc... consciously or inadvertently by the worshippers which thereby couched by modern historians as statues of BODHISATVAS.
As per my Venerable Master Prof. Yumnam Mohindro Singh’s proclamation , the Meiteis inherited a large number of old manuscripts written in archaic Meitei alphabets in connection with the existence of worshipping the Buddha which are tranquil in the safekeeping of the Manipur State Academy and State Archives, an autonomous body of the State and Government agencies respectively apart from concealed individual curators so far as the number of manuscripts are concerned. Moreover, there are also numerous bare bones of Buddhism found widely in the hills and valley of Manipur long before the advent of Hinduism.
The marble statues of the Buddha collected from different places of Manipur which are well preserved in the State Museum, Imphal and the drawings found in the Subikaa, a book on astrology in archaic Meitei language contained Buddhist elements too.
Moreover, Gangmumei Kamei in his history of Manipur stated that- “In Manipur Bodhisattvas are worshipped as Shivas “; and as a testimony to statement, it is well documented in a well-known novel called “Paanthoybi Khonggul” and also in “PAANTHOYBI NAAHEROL” written in archaic Meitei language.
The myth, “ after walking all the way round “ of the throne of Shiva by his off-spring, Ganesh and Kartika has also been adeptly introduced in Manipur in disguise of Sanamahi and Pakhangba, appearing to have nipped the growth of Buddhism in the bud.
So, the system of the religion called the Third Kind of Buddhism is considered as the Sanamahi Laining (li-religion of the Sanamahi) and have been ubiquitous in Manipur prior to the advent of the Hinduism in the State which dealt with the chief god and other gods of the Sanamahi Laining and they are:
Laithak,Leikharol,Pudin,Iyeng Puwari,Leisemlon,Sanamahi Laihui,Sanamahi Naoyom,Sanamahi Fangkhom,Sanamahi Khongoon, Sanamahi Thirel, Pakhangba Naoyom and Nongsaba Leihui.
After critical analysis of the above mentioned manuscripts which are still taken care of as “Holy Books”, it is revealed by some devotees of the Sanamahi Laining that Atingkok, Sanamahi Pakhangba and Nongsaba are the same gods which eventually comes to connote that there is existence of only one God
Because according to “Leisemlon”, Atingkok which literally means “The Sky” where ATING represents STRAIGHT and KOK as CLEAR , and thereby concluded that “THE SANAMAHI”, is the only son of the Atingkok whose name was specified by Asiba/Awang Phatlou Leimakhomba with the literal meaning of SANA in Manipuri as “GOLD” and MAHI as “Liquid” which eventually signify the fundamental power.
The Royal Tree also known as the Golden Banyan Tree or the Sana khongnaang in Manipuri could convincingly represent the tree under which Prince Siddhartha attained his enlightenment. This Golden Tree or Sana khongnaang is considered sacred to the ancient meiteis as they bowed down to it before they start any journey as a result this could also mean that there is some strong bond that ties together with the worshipping of the Buddha.
The royal fruit or the Sanamahay in Manipuri has always been obscure to the quintessence of the teachings of the Buddha. Over the time, the connotative meaning of it could have been disappeared into thin air owing to the impact of Shaivism though. Therefore, conceivably the term Sanamahi could have been derived from Sanamahay.
Saikyamuni, for the Buddha in China, is known as Kawtumuni (Gautam Muni) in Manipur. It is a term familiar to the common people of Manipur before the advent of Hinduism (C. 17th century)
And as per the record maintained, the circumstances how Sanamahi was given the name to Asiba are narrated in the manuscripts of Sanamahi Laikan and PAKHANGBA to the second son of Ating Kok or Maru where the literal meaning of “PA” is Father and “KHANGBA” to Know which means, the one who knows his father?
After examining the various activities of these gods, a big question that arises is to which system of philosophy this religion belongs to, considering the fact that Manipur lies in the Indian sub-continent of the Asian Continent where the study of the two most ancient civilizations i.e., China and India is called for.
The Indian Civilization contains the complete aspects of the Sanamahi Laining though the early civilization of China does not have any aspects of it nonetheless there were a few at the later part. So coming back with reference to the existence of Buddhism in Manipur, the Third kind of Buddhism which is known as Vajrayana or more properly known as the Tantric Buddhism which is rather self-identified in its nomenclature viz. Tantricism and on the other hand the Buddhism founded by Nagarjuna of South India during the second century A.D. which entered the Mahayana is the second kind of Buddhism thereby producing what we called “The Tantric Buddhism” where it is believed that there is existence of God in contrast to the non-existence of God in the Hinayana, the first kind of Buddhism.
The supreme God of the Tantric Buddhism is known as the Adi-Buddha from whom all subsequent Buddhas descended as He is the origin of all matters and at the same time the origin of the spiritualism. Therefore, the theory of Adi-Buddha satisfies the materialists and the idealists as He evolves the Five Dhyani Buddhas who represent the primordial elements of the Universe.
Taking into consideration the books written by Kanhailal Hazra (Delhi), entitled “Adi-Buddha” a renounced scholar of Kolkata University on the religions of the South-East Asia and Indian Buddhist Iconography by B.Bhattacharja (Kolkata) gives the description of the Dhyani Buddha in connection with the other distinct features of the Tantric Buddhism along with the old manuscripts written in archaic Meitei alphabets which are tranquil in the safekeeping of the Manipur State Academy and State Archives.
Now coming to the point and to simplify the matter in Manipur’s context, it is believed that in 1470, the king of Pong (of Myanmar), Chawphaa Khekkhomba presented a statue (perhaps of Buddha) besides other gifts, keeping it in a silver cascade to king Kiyaamba (1467-1508) of Manipur.
King Kiyaamba is said he was neither a Buddhist nor a Hindu, but a worshipper of Sanamahi by faith. Therefore, when studied comprehensibly, it indubitably could mean that Sanamahi Laining or the Pakhangba Laining could have been none other than Tantric Buddhism or the 3rd Buddhism which King Kiyaamba was worshipping.
Moreover, it is worth mentioning that the first and the most ancient Dhyani Buddha is Amitabha where the predominantly interesting occurrence known as the Meditative has complete similarities with The Sanamahi, God of the Meitei (Manipuri) and the other Dhyani Buddha. For example Akshobhaya has complete testimonial with the Pakhangba of the Meiteis therefore from logical point of view, it can rightfully be said the worshipping of Sanamahi could probably mean worshipping the Buddha or the 3rd kind of Buddhism.
(P.S. I am of the opinion that many people would disagree with my findings about the worshipping of the Buddha which is still prevalent in every household of Manipur therefore/in case if any interested person who wish to know more about the subject better than I would be obliged if you could spare your precious time and meet my Master Prof. Yumnam Mohindro Singh of Yumnam Leikai Lairembi Maning.
But then again, I am in deep pain to know that it is going to take a pretty long time for the people to understand my message which I have thoroughly studied. Moreover, I also know that some people would mull over me as paranoid nonetheless if I happen to hurt the sentiment of any people then please do forgive me moreover I think I have not mentioned anything unscrupulous against or about any religion.)
The writer is a lay Buddhist.He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
IMPHAL | June 10
In a press release, All Manipur Government Drivers’ and Technician’s Association has informed that the organisation has organised today, a general body meeting at the training hall of Agriculture Department, Sanjenthong. This was also, the 2nd north east state government driver’s federations meet hosted by Manipur.
IMPHAL | June 10
The united development association (UDA) has informed that the association is organising a painting competition at Khangabok High School on June 25, 10 AM. The release informed that students can come before 9 AM and apply for spot registration on the said date, and requested to arrive with identity cards issued by the school, passport sized photographs and their painting materials. Details can be obtained from the number 9407665090 and 9436023659, added the release.
IMPHAL| June 10
As a gesture of appreciation and gratitude, the Saikot sub division demand committee (SSDC) has felicitated Pu V Hangkhanlian, minister of Vety and AH for winning the last assembly election and presented him a Hmar traditional shawl of Thangsuopuon, said a release.
On June 9, representatives of SSDC met Pu V Hangkhanlian at his office at Imphal and requested him to forward their memorandum to the chief minister. On hearing the problems faced by the people of Saikot Sub division, Hangkhanlian immediately prepared a letter and forwarded the memorandum to the Chief Minister of Manipur, to which he happily complied, the release added.
IMPHAL | June 10
In a press release, the nungba area joint action committee on demand for full functioning of CHC Nungba, has informed today that the JAC has locked down the community health centre with immediate effect till further notification.
At the meeting held today at Nungba, the nungba area JAC on CHC Nungba, resolved to take further course of action without hesitation to block the national Highway 37 and dismantle the present CHC Nungba if the concerned authority fails to meet the demands being made by June 7, said the release.
Presently, only one Doctor is managing the entire CHC Nungba for weeks along with few staff nurses. The JAC has also witnessed several incidents of emergency causing even death due to lack of doctor and proper required infrastructure, it added.
IMPHAL | June 10 (NNN)
All Manipur Tribal Union (AMTU) is convening an emergency meeting of all village chiefs on June 13 at TRI (Tribal Research Institute) in Imphal from 10 am on the agenda of "current ban on Gazette Notification of hill village recognition. The ban was initiated by the then Congress State government owing to a politically tussle between Revenue department and Hills departments on the Gazette Notification. In this regard AMTU said they will also discuss things on the day to meet the Chief Minister, the TD minister and the HAC chairman on the matter.
By A Staff Reporter
IMPHAL | Jun 10
Reception cum felicitation for meritorious of Nareshkumar Naorem who stood 14th in the HSLC examination was organised today at Social Development Club complex, Samurou Makha leikai organised by the club.
The felicitation was also given to all the 1st divisions of Samurou Makha Leikai. Students were honoured with mementoes.
Speaking on the occasion, Salam Joy, ex-MLA said students are the pillars of the nation and the students who came out with flying colours should aim for the higher level in order to get fame of the state in the nation.
Chief guest of the function ex-chairperson, Samurou Nagar Panchayat honoured Nareshkumar Naorem with memento with cash award.