Imphal Free Press - Imphal Free Press
Sunday, 18 June 2017 00:00

Training for farmers held

JIRIBAM | June 17
One-day training programme for farmers entitled “Within District Farmers’s Training Programme on Crop Management of Rice” was held today at the farm office of New Age Global Garden, Nongdam. The training was organised by Agricultural Technology Management Agency (AMTA) and was attended by more than 60 farmers.
The training was attended by block technology manager, Sawombung block, W Roshan Singh, assistant technology managers, Thanky Chungkham, Th Nabdarani Devi, H Krishan Singh and in-charge of Plant health clinic, Kh Nimaichand as resource persons. Resource persons lectured on various plant diseases, how to increase productivity and difficulties faced by the farmers.

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IMPHAL | June 17
In the second session of annual prize distribution of BoSEM and CoHSEM, 2017 cum interaction programme with headmasters/principals of school education, certain educational issues were discussed for improvement and better functioning of the education system, organised by the department of Education.
The topics for the discussion were: Infrastructure in government School, Human Resource/Employees Related Issues, Management At School Level, Educational Bureaucracy, Improvement Of Bosem & Cohsem and the Performance of government Schools.
The speakers of the sessions were Gopimohon Maibam Jt. director Education (S), W. Chandrakumar Singh addl. director SAT, Dhanabir Laishram, Social Activist, Prof. W. Nabakumar Singh Manipur University, Prof. Mc Arun Manipur University and H. Jayantakumar Singh HoD/Maths (Retd.).
In the sessions, the resource persons pointed out the overall need of the teachers to carry out their duties with dedication and sacrifices to better the education system of the state. Emphasis on need to work with vision and mission to produce best students from the government schools was pointed out.
In the infrastructural session suggestion on the need to have fencing, proper gates in the elementary schools, proper demarcation of school lands, building and furniture were pointed out.
However, the need for transparency in teachers’ transfer and posting issues, timely need for filling up of the post of the retired teachers, requirement of clerical staffs, caretakers were the most common issue brought up during the interaction.
On transfer/posting/utilization of teachers, the headmaster and principal hints out the need to avoid transfer and posting of teachers after the schools sessions are started. Moreover, suggestion were made on need to take into confidence the headmaster and principal for transfer and posting of teachers to avoid inadequacy of teachers and staffs of specific subject teacher in schools after the teacher is/are transferred.
Another concern, which was the burning topic in the discussion, was the CPIS updating of the teachers or faculties when they are transferred or posted, the service books maintenance, the pension procedures and retirement’s termination order process, which haunts the government schools teachers, was also addressed.
The need to digitize the whole of the service books and office records was brought up.
To improve the education in a qualitative way the capacity building for all faculties through training in the education department was another point taken with a serious note in today’s session. To this, certain positive views to make training programme available at the school itself after certain period were suggested.
To set rewards and punishments for teachers based on how they implement and utilised the methodology and training that they have received in the functioning and in class was another point on the serious note.
For better functioning of BoSEM and CoHSEM suggestion to do evaluation rather than examination, need for change of syllabus periodically to be able to update the syllabus and need to provide textbooks on time are some of the main things discussed on today’s interaction programme.
The interaction programme was held in the presence of Education minister Th. Radheshyam, principal secretary, Education, S Vineet Joshi and officials of education department, headmasters and principals of high schools and higher secondary.

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Sunday, 18 June 2017 00:00

Biswajit and team attends 2017 ssaceif

IMPHAL|June 17
The Indian team led by Th. Biswajit Singh, commerce and industry minister attended the 2017 South and Southeast Asia Commodity Expo and Investment Fair (2017 SSACEIF) at Kunming Dianchi International Convention and Exhibition Centre today, a release signed by L. Bashanta Sharma, coordinator to chief minister, said.
The minister was accompanied by Dr. Ranjan Singh, parliamentary secretary for tourism, L. Lakher, principal secretary commerce and industry, M. Luikham, director commerce and industry, L. Inunganbi Devi, councillor Imphal Municipal Corporation Ward no 18, L. Bashanta Sharma, coordinator to chief minister, Chandrakishore Singh, Rajen, R K. Sherjit Singh from North East Federation on International Trade Development, Manipur chapter.
The release said the 2017 SSACEIF is organised under the theme "Creating new opportunities for new development." The 2017 SSACEIF aims at showcasing commodities from South and Southeast Asia countries, promoting cooperation between China and these countries.
It said the event is committed to enhance shared vision and development of countries and regions engaged in the belt and road initiative through facilitating policy communications, infrastructure connectivity, trade flows, capital circulation and people to people exchanges.
The 2017 SSACEIF is co-sponsored by China Chamber of International Commerce, South Asian Association Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Chamber of Commerce and Industry, ASEAN-China-South Asia Expo and Kunming Import and Export Fair Secretariat.
It said the event is co-hosted by Yunan International Expositions Bureau, Yunan Provincial Department of Commerce, Yunan Provincial Bureau of China promotion of investment & cooperation, Yunan Chapter of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) and Yunan People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries.
With an exhibition area of about 170,000 sq m, the 2017 SSACEIF has 8000 standard exhibition booths in 17 pavilions including ceremonial and cultural events and countries of honour and guest of honour pavilions, South Asia pavilions, two ASEAN pavilions, international production capacity cooperation pavilion, manufacturing industry pavilion, health and marine biopharmaceutical pavilion, tourism pavilion, South Asia & international sister cities pavilion, China Taiwan pavilion, China pavilion, highland agriculture pavilion, electromechanical equipment pavilion and stone crafting pavilion.
In the meantime, two pavilions are used for 2017 Kunming -South Asia International wood culture expo, the release said.
Thematic pavilions account for 50 percent among all the pavilions. These pavilions attracted advanced enterprises with high standard, distinctive feature and good quality from China and abroad according to their own characteristics.
Fifty-one countries are participating in the 2017 SSACEIF. Over 4000 enterprises open booths with 41.2 percent of them being from abroad. Moreover, "Rotating chair country" and "Country of honour" systems are adopted in the China - South Asia Business Forum.
The Indian team today participated in an international organisations' meet invited by one of the co-host CCPIT, Yunnan branch and joined a discussion on suggestions for investment for the growth of trade and commerce not only between China and the South East Asian countries but also with other countries of the world.

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By A Staff Reporter
IMPHAL| June 17
Chief minister N. Biren Singh today urged government teachers to make serious efforts towards improving the condition of government educational institutes.
He was speaking as the chief guest at the prize distribution function for top rank holders of class X and XII examinations conducted by Board of Secondary Education, Manipur (BOSEM) and Council of Higher Secondary Education, Manipur (COHSEM) respectively at City Convention Centre, Palace Compound.
Prizes include citation, a cash prize of 3000 for HSLC students, Rs. 10000 for arts and commerce and Rs. 50000 for science stream students and mementos.
The chief minister stated that parents nowadays are spending huge amounts of money in children’s education in the state. It is mainly due to emergence of coaching/tuition culture and degradation of government institutes, he observed.
The chief minister contended that common people’s wish of giving proper education to their children at affordable cost can’t be fulfilled until the condition of government educational institutes are enhanced.
Although, education is one of the thrust areas of the new government apart from health and infrastructure/communication sectors, no improvement in education sector is possible without the sincere and serious effort of teachers, Biren observed.
As one of the initial steps for bringing improvement in the education sector, completion of 50 schools (41 schools under SSA and nine schools under RMSA) had been included in the 100 days programme of the new government.
Stating that the government is planning to introduce vocational training in 40 colleges soon, the chief minister said that deliberations are being made to consider enrolment of even school dropouts in these courses.
He said that there is an alarming rate of dropouts in the state and the impact has been really bad, giving rise to unemployment. It will be even made available to classes 9 and 10 level.
He further said that the government would open a District Institute of Education and Training (DIET) centre for Imphal East district soon.
The government is also planning to bring out a transparent transfer and posting policy for teachers and head of institutions under the directorate of education (S) as soon as possible, he added.
Biren further said that in order to streamline the education system and to have proper control over the mushrooming of private schools and coaching centres, the Manipur Private Schools (Registration) Bill, 2017 and the Manipur Coaching Institute (Control and Regulation) Bill, 2017 would be placed before the state Assembly in the next session.
Education minister Th. Radheshyam said that the new state government led by Biren Singh had decided to give thrust to education and health sectors.
As such, a brainstorming session with ZEOs, headmasters/principals and teachers with the top officials of the State Government would be held after the prize distribution function to find the ways of uplifting education sector, the minister said.
He further said that for the first time, the government also decided to organise joint prize distribution for the rank holders of Class X and XII examinations conducted by BOSEM and COHSEM respectively.
The minister expressed hope that the prize winners would motivate other students to work harder and achieve better milestones in future.
Stating that one should not get discouraged with failures, the minister observed that students should not forget to learn lessons from their mistakes.
During the function, the chief minister also launched a website namely,, which will immediately connect all the stakeholders with the government to foster decision making and public participation in the education sector.
Later, the chief minister distributed commendation prizes to the top 10 position holders of Class X examination conducted by BOSEM and Class XII examination conducted by COHSEM.
He also feted the top 10 students of government schools, who secured highest marks in these two examinations, with prizes at the function.
Principal secretary (Education-S) Vineet Joshi, education (S) director Th. Kirankumar Singh and COHSEM chairman L. Mahendra Singh also attended the function as guests of honour.

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Sunday, 18 June 2017 00:00

Feet that sets off explosions

By Joshy Joseph
It's better to stay away from poetics to present in prose someone who wrote in verse that his poems have no forewords, critical studies or words of adulation. My patron saint in this endeavour is writer N S Madhavan, who dribbles with words when he writes on football,a style interspersed with quotes and blows of vuvuzela. One can take it or leave it.
'For men, hitting at objects before them with feet seem to be a predisposed genetic trait, like the webbing gene in spiders'
The poet and I were reminded of ringworm infections when the 2010 world cup football was on.  M.S.Banesh's 'UllamkaalMeghangal' (Sole clouds) had already albumed itself in my as one of my favourites. It was in the same season of rains that my Ammachi, fit as a fiddle, opened her eyes one fine morning only to close them a short while later. Later, watching a small film I made, in which the body of Ammachi was lying with a framed bespectacled picture of her above, one of my disciples quipped an aside: ‘One can have photos taken with eyes open and shut’.
… ‘It stood with us
till the time of depart,
in company of yellow
frogs from dear homes
lighting fireworks
on nightly puddles
with their feet to celebrate
the rain's Vishu fest…’
- (Sole clouds)
I could feel an itch spreading from under my feet as I read this poem, which took me back to the childhood days in Kadamakkudi spend stomping through slush, the mad scrapings between the pale wet toes and junction violet anointments of naked feet camaraderie. Now the staccato tap-tap of polished shoes on marble surrounds me. In films, naked feet are not assigned sounds, but they gain them in poems. This poet plays the game of cooking rice-gruel and curry not in a pot, but the crucible of time. Time with shoes on its feet and ring worm-infected soles.It perhaps steps on earth to search for earthworms, to cook organic biryanis.
… ‘I waited bathing
legs in water
warmed by a smoky
hearth, gazing at
the awning’s
wintry weaves and
the night-yards where
the rain rollicked.
Scratching, scratching
scratching as I read,
skipped meals
and wept,
the insufferable itch,
love’s canker, would
subside…  ’
- (Sole clouds)
A poet, an amputee beneath the knee, once said he can't help stretching the arms to scratch the shin and it dawned on me suddenly - memories can be stored in your fingertips.

The relation between father and son is something cemented by football. In this worldcup too, thousands of sons - mostly from Europe - were spotted in the stadium with their fathers, sporting colours of their favourite teams. 'Ole, Ole, one of them was patiently trying to transfuse the Spanish tune on to his son. While on their way to football matches fans are likely to feel the warmth of a thick finger in their palms. Football often instils memories of your father. You don’t have to look elsewhere to find the emotional foundation of the game.
I saw M.S.Banesh first on a TV screen well before we gotacquainted, but I knew him through his poems. Hails from the hometown of 'Vijayanmash' (Prof M N Vijayan), his father, now a taxi driver in
Kodungallur, steered the car as M N Vijayan, a powerful orator and public intellectual, went around giving lectures. On the day 'Vijayanmash' died, a strange fate would befall him: anchoring television debates, which reduced his multi-faceted persona to that of a mere university professor. He tried to make amends for the sin by making his father drive a car to Vijayanmash's residence, both throbbing with his absence.
… ‘When the grandmother
wet herself for the fifth
time, turning a puddle
of pee, the roar we let
out sounded like a sea.
Younger brother came
with 'Snuggy'
for adults. We drove
cars into the humdrum
of our daily lives
aided by amnesia
of excuses.
On day 7
immaculate worms
took the cot leg route
crawling up from
deviceful diapers
pointing their
punishing fangs
at us like Thakshakas
set against the Pareekshits… ’
- (Sleep)
It was Vijayanmash who said the poet's grandfather used to dabble in poetry. Watching one episode of the weekly TV documentary series anchored& directed by him that celebrated for nine long years, people caught in the news and those in the margins excluded by it, I was shattered to the core. The lines from the poem 'Sleep' had done the same to me. In a decrepit house in Thalassery a mad woman had delivered a 'fatherless' baby for the second time. The horrific news reached the public because of the stink. A cocktail of lochia and breastmilk-vomit. One doubted how such an astutely political being, who understands the power of words, and a poet-lunatic together found a hiding place in this handsome anchor, narrating without emotions that the child died sucking the breast, sucking, sucking, sucking again and again. Vijayanmashperhaps sought the answer to this particular question in his rustic-fantastic grandfather,who had in him the skill of instant poetry. One word he heard was enough to set forth waves of poetry that mounts a horse, turns into wind or spins a yarn. The family lore has it that the playfulness with words found a physical extension in his philandering persona. While delving, known or unknown, into the theme of Rasaleela, this understanding seems to have helped the poet silently resolve against following the old man’s footsteps and instil the audacity to put on trial even his grandma through 'deviceful diapers' in the poem ‘Sleep’. But being unsettled is something he could not help.
… ‘If the slightly
distended belly of
caught between the blue
jacket and verdant skirt
in that film poster
had an identity of own
what would it tell us:… ’
The poem Greenflag, which begins with these lines ends withnature extending its scalpel to the navel: a natural keyhole surgery.
… ‘Today,
after several weeks,
from under the wall
the wet shoot
of an unknown plant
touches your navel.
Beyond the bleached flour
gluten and Sivakasi gilt
You lie in the buff
sucking a thumb, amply
touched by a green sun… ‘
- Greenflag
'To play football is to partake and share;the pass is the soul of the game'
The passes that he employs while presenting news are deeply poetic. The news about breaking the Ramzan fast would suddenly grain new ground with a pass to Manipur.  An effortless and elegant pass that shoots the question when will IromSharmila break her political fast, on for 11 years? But a photoshop intervention is necessary if he is to make it to the cover story of Malayalam poetry.
The reality show of poetry runs on matted beards and phony music. It has not stopped scouring the pockets of a poet who dropped dead in Thampanoor. They may desist from editing poetry, but the publishing pundits have no two minds whentamperingwith titles. The poem called 'Girl examining excrement', when published, turned to 'Girl awaiting offerings to deity'. This reality show of publishing fixated on appearance worships false excitement over excrement, stops poets from combing their hair. Among the pragmatics thatplays safely, afraid of displaying even a modicum of the hideous or grotesque, his effortless passes would not easily pass muster.
'Semi-finals are the most boring games in a world cup. Both the teams would play defensively, afraid of defeat'
I am not sure if the poet M S Banesh gets down on the ground having rehearsed his moves in mind. But I know one thing: In him is poetry that tilts the scales and a playfulness that can set off explosions on water with feet, bottled together with melancholia and oodles of cheer. It has a nipple the reader in me wants to suck again and again.

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Sunday, 18 June 2017 00:00

Needs and June

By Jinine Lai
The rain of June cannot flush out the ethnic scum and rather the air around June 18 breathes like toxic again. Groups are grasping every bargaining straw in such sultry summer. Sudden emergence of new Chief Minister from BJP has endeavored to ease the bad weather yet showdown seems unpredictable.  A couple of delusions come in my mind; “delusion of grandeur” of the valley and “persecutory delusion” of the hills.
Perhaps it is rather of the delusions because we, the stakeholders are not able to see real things with us. The Meeteis feel more Manipuris, more important than other communities. Jingoistic attitudes are often reflected in many ways. On the other hand, the Nagas and other communities perceive that Meeteis are doing harm to them. We ignore our common destabilizers of the bigger power of the New Delhi and mammoth force of globalization.
The preserved prejudice of the Meeteis towards other communities are something to be reviewed and rectified to gain happy tune with the future harmony. In fact, it is amidst the hostile air inflated with by some hills based armed political groups.
No doubt, the Naga armed political movement was able to climb up a good height in a relatively short period of time. It has become history, pulsated aspiration and apprehension to the diverse stakeholders, even triggered emergence of armed groups among non-Nagas, and unfortunately the energy is fading in to unproductive engagement, the domestic violence. It all happened before Meetei could not prepare themselves to rectify the past screw-up coupled with prolonged indigent governance. Thus, anti-Meetei campaign has been permeated and retained in the landscape.
There may be some good contents in the proposition by the some Nagas and their armed group regarding the Exclusive Naga Administrative Arrangement or Unification kind of, and of course there may be some beautiful thoughts too in the opposition by the Meeteis regarding Territorial (and Organic) Integrity of Manipur.
Together we can re-identify the “Needs”, “Interests or Positions” and “Causes” if this is a case of conflict involving the peoples of Maniur. It does not mean that the role of the Government of India, its complex behavior and alleged question of sincerity is ignored. Let’s just keep it out of the picture for a while. Having said that, luckily new Chief Minister, Nongthongbam Biren has shown some positive gesture and endeavor.
There has been advocacy from stake holders that display the idea of needs and interests or positions. For instances, from the Naga’s view point– no to June 18, self-determination towards political status and freely pursue economic, social and cultural development; single administrative unit; free from exploitation and discrimination; and from the Meetei’s – yes to June 18, retention of the territorial (and organic) integrity of Manipur; continuation of coexistence of (hill-valley) communities under same political, economic administration.
We ought to keep our minds on process-driven orientation focusing on dialogue rather than advocacy. There is a critical importance of the dialogue among the peoples at various levels. So far, most of the communication has been of the advocacy in the local media, and unfortunately this communication is predominant with our pre-determined solutions, articulated demands, rigid stances and limited awareness of real needs.
If we look forward to a favorable future, little way to avoid the conflict or to compromise it either.
Either the Meeteis or the others will lose or win or all will lose if the conflict mode continues in contesting one another with our “Interest” or “Position” but some other third parties from far and near will gain in terms of extractive industries, controlling water, other natural resources and utilization of political economic conditions.
Let’s realize that we will enjoy the Win-Win experience out of this conflict if we are able to adopt the “Collaborative” approach.
Therefore sitting together, starting dialogue, not debate about the needs and values; awareness and appreciation of complexity – complex needs, challenges, emotions; and openness to negotiation and flexibility is prerequisite.
For sure, it will be desirable in case we can make a breakthrough in distinguishing what are the needs of the communities and which are the interests or positions of ours. Theoretically, towards resolving the conflict we need to be omni-biased to identify them. “To eat food is a need and eat it on table or floor or with finger or spoon is interest.” Peoples of Manipur in general are principal stake holders of the conflict – so what are the needs for the people? Fundamental Human Rights for Individuals, Restoration of Sovereignty, New Political Layout of NE India, or all of these?
Will it be a better example of “Needs” for all of us? – An indigenous mother works and earns decent income like other families across Manipur. Today she is visiting an old college friend who lives in a village bordering another hill state. So she comes out of her house to catch a late night public bus. Her teenage daughter is seeing her off as she wants long walk to maintain her healthy shape. The girl would return home alone treading the clean sidewalks of the streets where well-lit lamps flanked. After a week mother returns home enjoying the trip through the highways and roads where no military, no gunmen, no bumpy ride, no dust experienced. She has seen her friend’s family enjoying organic harvest satisfactorily in the year there comes no rain, all the kids go to a government schools cleaner than temples and the sick people get adequate medical attention from the nearby health centre.
(The author is Asst. professor, University of Suwon, S Korea)

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By Kh. Ibomcha
Beef ban signifies Indian bio-politics over a section of its population whom they consider ‘other’ in the union. It is via this means essentially tied to disciplinary power that Hindu right wings extend their power over the physical and political bodies of beef eaters.
Words never communicate ideas in vacuum. So, the words ‘beef ban’ and the tenet ‘cow is sacred’ are closely linked to a power. As important as what is banned, who decides what is banned, for whoever determines what is to be banned, exercises its power over the bodies of those toward which the ban is directed.
The only reason why India uses bio-politics, exercising bio power is to defend Hindu upper castes and to realize their dream of theocratic bigger Hindu state against ‘the other’. Saying “we will hang those who kill cows” by an important person like Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh is no less than involuntary sterilization of coloured woman and the use of repressed peoples as subjects in medical experimentations. This can also be seen as a way in which India demonstrates the biological inferiority of the people or the other, a kind of scientific racism as Nazis did in Germany.
What is being discussed here can be viewed as a process wherein a more powerful group of people decides ‘who lives’ and ‘who dies’. This is to exclude those people viewed as other on the basis of their biology so that politics can be used to destroy their existence and replace their being by that of those controlling over their body as widely seen now in India, where Hindu upper caste forces non-Hindus and low caste Hindus to eat, drink and sleep like them.
This directly relates to BJP’s official ideology of Hindutva that aims at building India a Hindu theocratic state whose population is racially to be composed of Aryans. If what we have witnessed now is anything to go by, we can say that they have felt the need to control over the body of ‘the other’ to attain their goal of one nation, one people and one culture.
Beef ban is only one example of how sovereign power controls over the body of minority people in India. Here, it is worth recollecting why Nido Taniam was killed; if I remember correctly he was slain by some people in Delhi just for the reason that he had small eyes, having no double eyelids, and a flat nose unlike the facial structure of those from mainland India.
Is there any bio-politics bigger than vasectomizing of Kanglei males and tubectomizing Kanglei females in the name of family planning, making them unable to produce children anymore? Now our bodies have been controlled to such an extent that our reproduction is at Delhi’s mercy.
Yes, eating beef and being a mongoloid soon attract death penalty. Therefore, if you are going to Delhi and want to come back home alive and in one piece you need to go for a rigorous cosmetic surgery to look like Narendra Modi.
Without directly proposing death, we are threatened to stop living as we are to complete their nation-making process, that is to build a Hindu nation at the cost of smaller group of people they consider other. And here in India making a people stop living with its unique identity is called national integration.
Now what is seen crystal clear is that they take this technique of power (bio-politics) as the most indispensable element in building their long imagined India where non-Hindus are to be metamorphosed into Hindus. Those opposing the process have been viewed as something that needs to be repressed, liquidated and caged.
So, killing our boys and girls in the name counter insurgency, caging our youths who cry for better changes and resist subjugation of all forms, unchecked inflow of Mayangs into Manipur, dictating what can and cannot be eaten must be understood as India’s bio-political control over our body attempting to meet their ultimate end—construction a Hindu state—transfiguring us into what we are not.

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Sunday, 18 June 2017 00:00

Delhi must rethink OBOR stand

By Garga Chatterjee
The One Belt One Road (OBOR) mega project, now renamed the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is arguably the greatest trade connectivity and infrastructure project in the history of mankind. It aims to connect all of Eurasia and also Africa in a well-knit zone where trade, industry and commerce will not be bogged down by infrastructural and political bottlenecks. The main force behind this initiative is the People’s Republic of China but it is much more than a Chinese project – it is veritably the network on which future economic development of much of Eurasia will lie. To isolate oneself from this network is to be at a huge competitive disadvantage. OBOR in many ways is the principal economic axis of Europe and Asia, on land and on the seas. The recent meeting about the OBOR in China attracted huge number of heads of state from all corners of the world, from Russia to Chile to Sri Lanka. If one looks at the map of Asia and colours the countries that have decided to join the One Belt One Road project, it will be clear that much of Asia will get coloured. In that grand Eurasian economic union, one landmass will look very isolated. That is the Indian Union. Staying out of One Belt One Road is set to have grievous consequences for future economy of the Indian Union. More importantly, this staying out will sabotage the great geo-economic potential that eastern territories of the Indian Union have.
West Bengal and the North-Eastern territories of the Indian Union will be huge economic beneficiaries in terms of revenue, infrastructure and much more if the Indian Union joins One Belt One Road. But Delhi decided to stay out the recent meeting and was virtually isolated in the international stage. Even USA joined the meeting as did Vietnam which has many border disputes with China. Vietnam did so because it is sane enough to prioritize its real world economic develop in comparison to territorial claims which have no effect on the daily lives of its citizens in any practical, objective sense. Delhi cited a part of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), an important axis of the One Belt One Road project, as the reason why it decided to boycott. It is true that a stretch of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor actually passes through areas that have been held by China and Pakistan for a very long time but are claimed by the Indian Union. In practical terms, for the last 70 years or so, Delhi has never had any practical jurisdiction over the area except the comic charade of having empty seats in the Jammu and Kashmir assembly that correspond to those areas that are not under Indian Union administration. In terms of extending its administration to these areas, Delhi’s activities have been limited to doing anti-Pakistan PR that very few listen to (very few countries unequivocally share Delhi’s position on the Kashmir issue) and going after the random map which might have drawn the area according to ground realities and not according to Delhi’s fantasies. Neither does Delhi have any practical roadmap to acquire these territories from Pakistan and China. Vietnam has maintained its territorial claims while it has joined One Belt One Road. Indian Union could have done the same it did not. So to cite this completely impractical position as the reason to boycott One Belt One Road is completely self-defeating.
But then the question arises, what is this ‘self’ when I said self-defeating? It is an important question because the long and continued presence all the Beijing administered but Delhi claimed territories never stopped then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi from going to China to seek investments. Neither has that stopped the outsourcing to China the manufacturing of the giant Ballabhbhai Patel figure, the so-called “Statue of Unity” (comically, “unity” here means the Indian Union’s territorial unity). Nor will that stop the $1 billion China Industrial Park in Gujarat. The long and continued presence all the Islamabad administered but Delhi claimed territories have not stopped Delhi from bestowing the “most favoured nation” (MFN) status to Pakistan. Why then, when the question of development of West Bengal and Indian Union’s north eastern territories are involved that all these questions are raised? If Delhi has the money to bank roll the infrastructure and connectivity development in these states, why doesn’t it? The truth is quite the opposite. If anything West Bengal is fiscally looted by Delhi and this has been the reality since 1947 with particular egregious things like the Freight Equalization policy that were designed to destroy any economic and industrial advantage that the East, primarily West Bengal, but also Jharkhand and Odisha, had. If Delhi takes such a hypocritical attitude vis-à-vis Chinese engagement, then it is unfortunate. Delhi can order that all trade with China will stop. But it won’t because it can’t. China’s manufacturing strength and market hold is so deep compared to the Indian Union that there is no comparison. It is only in Delhi’s sycophant media and PR like media that something like Sino-Indian rivalry and comparison exists. To rest of the world, there is no comparison. Which is why when Delhi boycotted, hardly anyone cared. Except Bhutan. But wait, Delhi controls Bhutan’s foreign policy. Every other nation in South Asia deserted Delhi and joined the OBOR – Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka. This also shows that the Indian Union is not only isolated internationally on this question but isolated even in its immediate neighborhood. This is a sad testament to the performance and judgement of Delhi’s policy wonks and diplomats but most importantly, it shows how the high octane foreign connect of Indian Union’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi is for domestic jingoistic consumption.
Delhi must do a re-think on OBOR. Coining other alphabet soups in the name of some African Economic Corridor or some US-Japan sponsored Indian Ocean centric mini project is no match to OBOR. No one will be fooled by these, just like everyone understands that BIMSTEC, BCIM or BBIN type of regional connectivity plans have only earned frequent flyer miles for policy makers on junkets. They have not yielded much else. Even Bhutan has refused to be part of BBIN’s crucial motor vehicle agreement. If the Indian Union has to prosper, it’s states must prosper. Delhi is holding back the real world economic development of the Eastern and North Eastern states to satisfy some position on the sovereignty issues of territories where the Indian flag has never flown ever in history. With a Gujarati at the helm in Delhi, one would have thought that the Indian Union would have worked out a good bargain. But that has not happened. Indian Union’s eastern states might have lost the biggest economic rejuvenation possibility in a generation while Gujarat’s own wooing of China goes on. These double standards are by now shamefully stark.

Published in Articles
Sunday, 18 June 2017 00:00

RIMS notifies

IMPHAL | June 16
Medical superintendent, RIMS Hospital, Imphal has informed that the routine biochemical test in the department of Biochemistry, RIMS could not be done due to technical problem.
A release said that biochemical investigation will not be done in RIMS, Imphal for a few days until further order and appealed the patients in particular and public in general to bear the inconvenience till the repairing of machine is completed.

Published in News
Sunday, 18 June 2017 00:00

Police transfer

IMPHAL | June 16
The director general of police, Manipur has ordered the transfer of various MPS grade-II officers of Manipur Police department in public interest with immediate effect.
A release said that Shankerjit Singh Loitongbam has been transferred from deputy SP, Imphal East to SDPO, Porompat, Ningomba John from DSP (CDO), Bishnupur to DSP, Vigilance and Roni Mayengbam from SDPO, Porompat to dy SP, Imphal East.

Published in News
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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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