Imphal Free Press - Imphal Free Press

By Sanjoo Thangjam
The following quotations written below are the sayings of the founders of several religious teachers as well as great philosophers, thinkers, scientists, historians, psychologists, politicians, free thinkers and from some other publications, too.
Their names and references are given below each quotations. There are also many other sayings where references are not given. Most of them are extracted by me.
Buddhism teaches us that all of man’s unhappiness comes from the greed for things such as pleasure that money can buy , power over other men, and , most important of all, the things, the inherent desire to go ‘living for ever’ even after one is dead.
The desire of these things makes people selfish, so much so, they come to think only of themselves, and do not, for a moment, mind what happens to other people. And since invariably they do not get all that they wish for, they become restless and discontented.
The only way to avoid this restlessness is to get rid of the selfish desires that actually cause them. This is very difficult; but when a man achieves it, it reaches a state of mind, which is the end of suffering.
–     The laws of conflict is nothing but selfish craving
Verily, due to selfish craving,
Conditioned through selfish craving,
Impelled by selfish craving,
Entirely moved by selfish craving,
Kings fight with kings,
Princes with princes,
Priests with priests,
Citizens with citizens,
Mothers quarrels with son,
Son with father,
Brother quarrels with sister,
Sister with brother,
And friends quarrel with friends.
Thus thereby they suffer death or deadly pain.
Buddha –M.I:86
–     Why a man gets angry
Very often when a man is wrong and does not admit it, he always gets angry.
–    The nature of man’s craving
Man is never satisfied with his life. The purpose of life will elude him even after gaining the whole world.
–    People feel lonely when they work for their own benefit
People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges.
–    Why worry?
For every problem under the sun
There is remedy or there is none
If there is one to find it
If there is none, why worry about it.

– Retaliation is not the solution
The policy of an eye for an eye will make the whole blind.
Mahatma Gandhi

– Observances of precepts supports others to live
Observance of religious principles or precepts not only benefits the one who observes them, but supports others to live peacefully. It is just as one who erects a fence or wall to protect his own house from the neighbour’s house, serves to protect the neighbour’s as well.
–    Try to harmonise with others
If we do not know how to live up to the expectation of others, how can we expect others to live according to our expectations!

–    Calmness is the nature of a cultured mind
Calmness is not weakness. A calm attitude at all times shows a man of nature.

–    Sensual pleasure and mental happiness
To experience sensual pleasure there must be external objects or participants but gaining mental happiness does not depend on these.

–    People’s mentality differs
Dogs like bones, not grass, cows like grass but bones. In the same way some people like excitement more than peace; for others, peace is more valuable than excitement.

–    Live in harmony
It can only come about when we live in harmony with the natural laws, which bring us health, success, contentment, and tranquillity. When we live in discord with these laws we experience sickness, failure, discontent, worry and insecurity.

–    Peace comes when we cope with conflicts
Peace comes not from the absence of conflict in life but from the ability to cope with it. War is not an unavoidable law of nature.

–    Principles give happiness
Nothing can bring you peace but yourself; nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
–    You are the cause of your happiness or unhappiness
It is not your position that makes you happy or unhappy; it is your disposition.

–    How important is laughter
A good hearty laugh is worth ten thousand ‘groans’ and a million ‘sighs’ in any market on earth.
Napoleon Hill

–    Health and hope must work together
He who has health has hope;
And he who has hope has everything.
–    Learn how to smile
If you can smile at life, life will always smile at you.
–    Health is more important than wealth
The health of nations is more important than the wealth in nations.
Will Durant

–    Make the whole world happy
Individual happiness is conducive to the happiness of society, while the happiness of society means happiness of the nation. It is on the happiness of nations that the happiness of world is built.
–    Contentment is the real wealth
I have great wealth that can never be taken away from me; that I can never squander; that cannot be lost by declining stocks or bad investments; I have the wealth of contentment with my lot in life.

Napoleon Hill
–    If you can trust yourself that is enough
If you can trust yourself when others suspect you that is enough for you to maintain peace in your mind.
–    Law and weapon
Laws kneel down in front of the gun.
Mao Zedong

–    Man’s conflict is the cause of fear and worry
o    Man is in conflict in nature;
o    Man is in conflict with other human beings;
o    Man is in conflict with himself.

Buddhism says, the worries and suffering that we experience are nothing but a clash between our selfish desire and changing worldly conditions. One who develops one’s mind to understand this can overcome worries and suffering.
The winds of the cold war are blowing all over the world. This dangerous situation can wipe out mankind from the face of the earth.
In the end, there will be nobody left in this world to win the battle.
The  writer is a lay Buddhist. He can be reached at

Published in Articles
Saturday, 03 June 2017 05:30

The Big Lie

By Robert A. Silverstein
“In the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses...are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods.”  Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, vol. I, ch. X
“The principle is sometimes translated and abbreviated as the pithy saying: 'Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.'”  “Big lie – Wikipedia.”
In the Imphal Free Press and the Nagaland Post there is a press release, quoted from and paraphrased by the papers distributed by the NSCN(IM) (hereinafter IM), dated June 2, 2017.
In the Nagaland Page and the Morung Express, the full press release is printed, verbatim, The Morung Express article dated June 2nd, the Nagaland Page article dated June 3rd.  As these articles are, word for word, the exact press release, I will be quoting from them.
There are historical references in the press releases which I do not intend to comment on.  They are the same inflammatory accusations that constitute sedition under the Indian Penal Law that all activists in the nationalist movement have been saying for decades, and there is no reason to discuss them here.
It is the substantive clauses and sentences I intend to comment on, and it is my contention that they are, at the least, double-talk and deliberately ambiguous, and the rest, and this is true with most of the statements, clear lies, the same lies that the IM has been spouting in article after article, and, in total, constitute one BIG LIE.
My response to the IM press release is aimed at the small group of Nagas who may have the capacity to think critically.  The vast majority of Nagas, in my opinion, do not have the capacity, or perhaps just the willingness, to recognize the truth on the subject of Naga nationalism if it was staring them in the face.  To those people, don't waste your time reading this: you're beyond redemption.
I will go, one clause and sentence at a time, first quoting the press release and then explaining why it is either deliberately misleading or an outright lie.
First.  “,,,the GOI [government of India; I will continue to use the press release acronym] and Nagas had [sic]  [When I add “sic,” it means that I think that there is something wrong with the word, and that it is in the original press release, not my error] finally agreed to co-exist with shared sovereignty.  The GOI had [sic] also recognized and had [sic] accepted the Nagas as a different entity having equal status, meaning, India is not above the Nagas nor Nagas are above India and to live as two different friendly Nations with absolute ownership rights over their own lands and its resources both beneath and above the earth's surface.”
The above passage is a mixture of double-talk and lies.  The IM does not go into detail as to what “shared sovereignty” means.  It certainly may include sharing rights and powers over Nagaland's own resources, but it always will be subject to eminent domain, that is, the right of the nation to take the land or its resources in the name of the public good.  But the details are not important here.  It may be that, for normal  purposes, the Nagas may have rights to their resources.
But “shared sovereignty” does not include “having equal status, meaning, India is not above the Nagas nor the Nagas are above India and to live as two different friendly Nations....”  The two political entities are NOT equal and never will be equal.  Nor will they ever be “two different friendly Nations....”  This is a lie repeated time after time by the IM, with the hope that if it says the lie enough, it will become the truth.
The Nagas may have certain rights over their land, but they will NEVER have equal rights with India over defense, foreign affairs, interstate commerce, communication, or transportation.  India will always be a sovereign nation and Nagaland will always be a state within that nation, subject to the Indian Constitution and all laws passed by the Parliament, excepting those rights given to Nagaland by the so-called “shared sovereignty,” such as certain rights related to Nagaland's “own lands.”
Second.  “The framework agreement is political in nature which is the preamble of the detailed final political agreement expected to be completed and signed very soon by the two different entities.”
The above is all evasion and lies.  Notice that the IM is not calling Nagaland a nation here, but a “entity.”  That's because the IM knows that Nagaland is not, nor will it ever be, a nation.  Also, the IM has been saying, every few weeks for months now, that the “detailed final political agreement [is] expected to be completed and signed very soon....  The “very soon” part has been “very sooning” for months, and it will never come!!  It will never come, because if it ever came, it would show the Naga people that the IM was lying all along and that the Naga people are never getting a sovereign Naga nation  nor Nagalim, which has been a dead concept for a while.
Third.  “Govt. of  India has finally recognized and had [sic] accepted that, Nagas are not Indians but a different entity with equal status, having separate and distinct identity, with unique history and Cultures [sic].”
The above is double-talk meaning nothing, because many peoples in India have a “distince identity and unique history and Cultures [sic].”  The Muslims, the Sikhs, the adivasi, even the dalits can say the same thing about their history and culture, and all, including the Nagas, are protected by Articles 14 and 15 of the Indian Constitution, part of the FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS of the constitution, and guaranteed equal protection of the law and no discrimination based on religion, race, etc.
In other words, the IM's sentence, above, insinuating a status which will lead to a separate Naga nation, means no such thing:  the foundation of the insinuation is a lie.
Fourth.  “...while we anxiously awaits [sic] the inkling of the final settlement with India.... [I]t would be wise to partner with India for larger economic growths [sic]. Infrastructure and all around developments [sic} of Nagalim.”
The whole sentence (two sentences in the same paragraph consolidated by me, with no misrepresentation) is a lie.  The “inkling” will always be a “inkling,” as the final settlement will never come, for the reasons I stated above.  And the “partner[ing] with India is permanent, and the only way Nagaland will go forward, period.  Lastly, the word Nagalim in that sentence is meaningless, as it will never happen, as I also stated  above.
Fifth.  The press release ends with this warning.  It asks that, “the people not to be misled by the builders of Babel Tower and Pharaohs of Egypt but to continue with your unflinching supports [sic] towards the political negotiations to reach a Final Solution in the common interests [sic] of the Nagas and the Naga Nation.”
As a (lapsed) Jew, I find it ironic that the IM, an organization that has a well-earned reputation for murdering its enemies, which even now extorts money from the Naga people, and has an illegal private army, closes its press release with a not so subtle warning to the Naga people not to listen to those who may have a different viewpoint than the IM, and should patiently wait the Final Solution to their future.  For those who are unfamiliar with the term “Final Solution”,  it was the term used by Hitler and his closest followers as the terminology used for the extermination of six million Jews during World War Two.
I think it is the perfect ending to the IM's press release.

Published in Articles
Saturday, 03 June 2017 05:30

Conflict of Manipur: Hope and Fear

By Jinine Lai
Towards initiating a dialogue, does the armed conflict situation of Manipur demand a conducive atmosphere, Confidence Building Measures? Why there fails collaborative approach to win-win experience? Is N. Biren sensitive enough to move this historical discourse towards a progressive direction?
New Delhi says Manipur is part India but political armed groups of the soil deny this status quo. Thus they are heading to different directions. It appears incompatible goals between New Delhi and armed groups causing conflict in the region. There have been violent activities claiming one another because of the other side is.
Narrative about the conflict sounds irrelevant nowadays, for we are looking forward to violence free and economically wellbeing direction. However, if roots not are not properly dealt the offshoots will sprout now and again.
New Delhi is waiting for natural death of the armed movement. Yet it is unlikely, maybe because of patriotic retention among Manipuri bloods, and seen and unseen forces of China and others. Even the form of movement may migrate from armed struggle to democratic endeavor. Does Delhi mind the strange character of this tiny community – introduced the game of Polo to the world, Meira Paibis, owns a script, power house of sports in south Asia and a good few professionals?
Also Armed groups are waiting for crumbling of India on her own, splitting into three or more territories or political paralysis triggered by Hindu fundamentalism, colossal corruption, indigent governance, corporate game, etc. (Although the recent Modi-wave is working at some extent in fixing Hindu nation.)
Root Causes:
The violence and tension have been seen on a landscape of Manipur where Hinduisation drew a sticky backdrop, haunted by the controversial merger to India, militarization (and hill-valley dichotomy).  They have imprinted their own roots in the socio-economic-political layout by displaying fractured justice, peace and human rights. They are sources of fear and conflict for the communities in the region. They are the structural violence of Manipur that have deprived the rights of indigenous peoples in terms of safety, respect, participation, economy, identity and culture. Interestingly the former Home Secretary of India, JK Pillai has also acknowledged this kind of violence.
Again, the continuous acts of racism and violent incidents against North East people by the mainlanders have generated clamors. Definitely, the situation causes mixed contemplation on an alternatives, reconnecting the dim dots to visualize a different North East layout in the political map.
Too big is India to acknowledge fairly the torment of North Easterners and attend adequately the woes of the others. Has India already got galore of complicated haywire of system for their own in the mainland. The disability is too big to reset the legislation, executive and judiciary in places. Hence, realizing the fact of mammoth limitations of India, it will be a rational move for patriotic bloods to initiate something towards mitigation of reality bites from the mainland.
Needs, Interests, Positions:
Theoretically, towards resolving the conflict we need to be omni-bias to identify – what are the Needs, Interests and Positions for the stake holders involved. “To eat food is a need and eat it on table or floor or with finger or spoon is interest.” People of Manipur in general is a principal stake holder 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?
What about this example of Needs? When a good governance shows up; 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.
If we are able to enjoy the above condition under the status quo, will it continue protesting against New Delhi or will the restoration of sovereignty be able to deliver the same condition?
The Needs that people should entertain are usually – right to decent life, freedom that do no harms to others, protection of individual and community, the access to fair trial and political participation.  
Internal Weaknesses:
Sick and weak soldier should not cry out to the enemy for what he is frailty now is because of the enemy. What soldier must do is to regain his own strength, not to blame the fixed enemy. The multiple weaknesses are seen among the armed groups. Party first, Manipur second has been the popular modus operandi. Non- issues put on the table and real issues leave aside. Party oriented and infight way of operation among themselves have paralyzed the desired collective force.
They let the corruption remain uncheck or rather be cooperative to proliferate such practices to justify the real intention of Indian colonial governance. Under the so called system, the majority of the people are becoming badly corrupt, corrupt in almost every aspect. It has been evident mere a suicidal experiment. How far can fishes sustain themselves in toxic water?
Necessity Evil:
The1000 strong men-New Delhi hurls their power over the 10 weak men- stake holders of Manipur often by ignoring the principle of universal human rights, international norms and undermining people’s aspirations. Delhi deal the complexity of the North East by playing communal card, divide and rule policy, they handle the situation with no serious and sincere response; confidence building measures are not taken into account, mere a bargaining oriented move to retain occupying position over. On the other hand to counter the bargaining strategy, armed groups also use available means by hook or by crook. For them making noise with armed propaganda and violent response are becoming necessity evil. Thus the situation continues rattling in a cycle of violence.  To end necessity evil and resolve the conflict, New Delhi and state government are to be keen on meaningful response.
(Author is a Asst. Professor, University of Suwon, S Korea)

Published in Articles
Saturday, 03 June 2017 05:30

Prohibition in Manipur

By Richard Kamei
The state government’s inability to effectively enforce liquor prohibition in Manipur over the last two decades and its need for additional revenue has compelled it to mull over the option to lift the ban on alcohol in the state.
Lifting of the 17-year-old prohibition on alcohol in Mizoram, and the decision of the Kerala government to implement a phased ban on alcohol in the state in recent months, has brought the issue of prohibition in the limelight. The former move is seen as a step towards curbing illicit liquor production and consumption and generation of revenue for the state, while the latter is seen as a move to gradually curb the selling and consumption of alcohol.  Both these states are ruled by the Congress party. The issue of prohibition has come up for discussion in yet another Congress ruled state, with Manipur recently signalling that it will reconsider its stance on prohibition, which has been in place since 1991.
In July 2014, Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh stated in the Manipur state assembly that the state government was looking at the option of lifting prohibition in the state. He also suggested that the country liquor produced in Manipur could be sold in other states, and he sought support across  political parties to implement the proposed plan. Voicing his opinion in the assembly, the opposition member Th. Shyamkumar of All India Trinamool Congress emphasised  the easy availability of local liquor and its huge consumption along with that of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL), which was thriving in the state despite its dry state status. He supported the chief minister’s proposal by stating that prohibition needs to be lifted, and the focus should be  on producing quality country liquor to be sold to other states to strengthen the state economy.
Both the ruling and the opposition party seemed to be on the same platform in regard to revoking the dry state status of Manipur. The ruling party’s intention has spurred a debate on the liquor policy in Manipur, and the participants range from members of Meira Paibi – a women’s movement – to other civil society organisations to people who brew and sell country liquor.           
The decade prior to the declaration of Manipur as a dry state in 1991 witnessed   strong anti-liquor campaigns by various civil society organisations. Meira Paibis spearheaded the movement to stop sale and consumption of alcohol. The objective of the anti-alcohol movement was to curb social evils like domestic violence resulting from alcoholism. With the passing of the Liquor Prohibition Act in 1991, Manipur officially became a “dry state”, with an exemption granted to scheduled caste (SC) and scheduled tribe (ST) communities to brew liquor for traditional purposes. The excise department was given the task to regulate and implement the prohibition.
Thriving Alcohol Business
The alcohol business has thrived in Manipur irrespective of its dry state status in the last two decades.  Despite crackdowns by the excise department and vigilantism practised by civil society groups, alcohol is freely available in the black market. Other than locally brewed alcohol, which is easily available, IMFL can be sourced from several places, including canteens of Assam Rifles and Manipur Rifles. Foreign-made liquor is also smuggled into Manipur from bordering states and from Myanmar via Tamu.
The indigenous alcohol industry – the main source of country liquor – provides employment to many people. Interestingly, women are actively involved in this industry. Illiteracy, lack of access to health services, and poverty are some of the main reasons why they have taken to brewing alcohol.  This occupation is an age old one and is integral to their culture, custom and tradition. A local from Namthanlong village in Imphal narrated that the tradition of selling alcohol spanned several decades and narrated an account where British, Japanese and Indian soldiers came by to drink country liquor there during the Second World War.
For ST and SC communities, brewing liquor is to do with upholding their customs and traditions, and they are allowed to do so under the 1991 Prohibition Act. But most of them are selling liquor illicitly to make ends meet, as they have no alternative livelihood options to bank upon. The skills they possess – of weaving cloth, rearing cattles/pig etc – do not provide them with means to support their family. They are used to crackdowns and raids by the excise department and civil society organisations.
Country liquor, which is made from rice, is popular among customers because of its quality and affordability. However, the younger generation prefers IMFL to country liquor. The reason for this shift could be attributed to rising prosperity and exposure to drinking cultures prevalent in other parts of India and the world. The rising demand for IMFL has led to an increase in its smuggling from adjoining states – Assam and Meghalaya – and across the border from Myanmar to Manipur. The government is toying with the proposal of lifting prohibition in the state because of two reasons – one, it is unable to enforce prohibition and two, there is an urgent need to expand the state’s economy.  So far the sale of IMFL has not been made legal in Manipur due to the strong opposition voiced by many civil society organisations. Exercising vigilante justice, these organisations have resorted to punishing both the vendors and consumers of alcohol. It was chiefly the civil society’s anti-alcohol drive which was instrumental in passing of the Prohibition Act by the state in 1991.
Local response
Many locals in Namthanlong village, Imphal voiced their opinions about lifting of prohibition and issuance of licenses to sell IMFL in Manipur. Many believed that this move would result in opening of wine shops and possibly bars in the state. They maintained that if this proposal came into effect, the indigenous alcohol industry will be affected negatively. They held that the demand for country liquor would dwindle eventually leading to a steep decline in its sale. The state government’s assurance of exporting country liquor to other states finds no takers among the locals; they asserted that with youth preferring IMFL over country liquor, the proposed market for country liquor is just lip-service. They were skeptical about the government’s assurance that employment would be generated with export of the local brew to other states in the country.
However, a few people believed that introduction of IMFL would have little effect on the indigenous alcohol industry as country liquor caters to a different set of customers. There were also a few who opined that the civil society organisations like Meira Paibis, which are very strong in the state, will be vehemently opposed to the proposal of introducing IMFLs and lifting of prohibition and would ensure that the government does not take such a step.
Before the state government takes concrete steps to revoke the dry state status of Manipur, it should thoroughly analyse the pro and cons of such a move keeping in mind the ground realities which exist in the state.

Published in Articles

By Garga Chatterjee
The death of J. Jayalalithaa has created a flux in Tamil Nadu politics where potential political and ideological re-alignments are in the works. Some of these can have long term implications not only for Tamil Nadu but also for the Indian Union itself. BJP is playing the role of a deal maker between the AIADMK factions. Megastar Rajnikanth's name did the rounds about him joining the BJP – a rumour that was squashed by the star himself. At the same time, the closeness of the BJP and AIADMK has thrown the Dravidian political space to the DMK like never before which, under the leadership of M.K.Stalin, has been upping the ante on Centre's renewed Hindi imposition policies. Next week, large sections of the non-BJP opposition, especially the various state-based political forces as well as the Congress and Left will converge in Chennai on the occasion of the elder Tamil statesman and DMK supremo, the Kalaignar M Karunanidhi's 94th birthday. The political significance of this conggregation cannot be under-estimated. While this happens, the government of Tamil Nadu has come under serious criticism for bowing to the Centre, something that has been a point of utter shame in Tamil Nadu politics for decades.
Since the transfer of power from British hands to select native hands in 1947,  the Union government  has systematically sought to destroy the autonomous powers and rights of States. Delhi has been largely successful in this in most places but it has always faced stiff opposition in Tamil Nadu. This is not a walk over state. Tamils are not a walk over people. Delhi's infringement on any rights of the Government of Tamil Nadu and hence of the Tamil Nadu people have typically met with stiff resistance, in political circles and among the public at large. Ever since the Congress was booted out of power in Tamil Nadu in 1967, no Delhi headquartered party has ever been able to wield any kind of central position in the Tamil political narrative. That continues to be true to this day. In terms of raising the first alarm on most issues of Delhi steamrolling state rights, Tamil Nadu has been the leader for decades and it marks the sophisticated understanding of the nature of the Indian Union and the relationship of its constituent ethno-linguistic nationalities to the Union. It has often marked the red line that Delhi dare not cross. It is this context one has to keep in mind when one looks at the furore that has erupted in Tamil Nadu about Union cabinet minister Venkaiah Naidu's recent interference in Tamil Nadu state government's internal affairs.
Like an imperious sultan who has come down to a conquered area to take stock of activities, Venkaiah Naidu, made a statement while talking about ongoing projects in Tamil Nadu where the Union government has some money stake. He said, “Our co-operation depends on your operations. Otherwise there will be separation”.  This is an extra-ordinary statement that goes against all rules and decorums of federal structure and is a slap in the face of the much touted PR line of “cooperative federalism”. Let us be clear about what this statement means. It means that the Union government is threatening to refuse to cooperate with a State government. Of course cooperation here means money. Central funds are not generated by Delhi. It is revenue it grabs from states. The states have a right to these funds – these are not acts of kindness or alms. This is especially derogatory to Tamils as Tamil Nadu contributes a huge amount of revenue to the Centre and gets a very small amount in return – no state is fiscally victimized by Delhi to the extent Tamil Nadu is. It is no secret that non Hindi states produce revenues. Delhi hands these revenues largely to Hindi states by using bureaucratic smokes and mirrors like the Finance Commission. So when Venkaiah Naidu said that to Tamil Nadu, it naturally struck a very raw nerve.
But it didn’t end there. Venkaiah Naidu really overstepped the line when he was found in the Tamil Nadu State Secretariat reviewing scheme progress! And what was a sign of the compromised nature of the AIADMK at present was that Chief Minister E Palanisamy was found alongside Naidu during the review!  The respected veteran bureaucrat M.G. Devasahayam said, “There was no need for a Union Minister to jointly review government projects with the Chief Minister. The Chief Minister’s post is high in stature in the States and at the most, such review can happen in a common place and not in the Secretariat. This is only [an instance of] a Union Minister trying to dominate a Chief Minister, against the federal structure of our country.” Naidu claims that this was only a “departmental review” but never clarified why Karnataka or West Bengal or Kerala or Odisha never call him on such departmental reviews. Naidu is the Union Cabinet Minister for Housing and Urban Development. These two subjects are in the concurrent list and the role of the Union government is of a financer. The State is not constitutionally obligated to share details of its autonomous decision making. Delhi is not some owner whose contractor is Tamil Nadu such that it can go in and question Tamil Nadu on project progress. Just like, Tamil Nadu or West Bengal ministers cannot go to Delhi and sit with Union cabinet ministers in their departmental meeting and demand an explanation why funds were not released. Delhi routinely witholds funds without any explanation. It is sad but not illegal. The Union government and the State government do not share some parent-child or boss-underling relationship. They are equal stakeholders in a system where each stakeholder has a different function – that is the basis of Union, Concurrent and State lists. Within the Union affairs list, the Union government is autonomous. Within the State list affairs, the State  government is autonomous. Neither is accountable to each other. Peace is maintained by one not stepping into other's domain. Venkaiah Naidu by his action and pronoucements in Tamil Nadu last week did just that. The fact that now Tamil Nadu government has given up so much space voluntarily shows the depth of political compulsion that AIADMK faces vis-a-vis the BJP. Given that BJP is only a marginal political force in Tamil Nadu, this disproportionate influence of BJP in government matters is a subversion of democracy. However much each faction of the AIADMK tries to claim Jayalalithaa's legacy, in practical terms, both O.Panneerselvam and E.Palanisamy have capitulated and bowed in front of Delhi on issues that Jayalalithaa as Chief Minister took an uncompromosing pro-Tamil Nadu rights stand. These include giving up opposition to GST, not challenging NEET, signing up for UDAY scheme and most importantly, not protesting the allocation formula changes of the 14th Finance Commission that hugely transfers money from Tamil Nadu to high population growth states of the Hindi belt. It is indeed that when rights a state is bartered in exchange for holding on to political power. BJP has never had it so good in Tamil Nadu.
While the first rank state in terms of protection of state rights gives up its core principles, one can witness the rise of other non-Hindi states who are asserting their constitutionally guaranteed state rights like never before. And in that West Bengal is fast taking pole position. Both West Bengal and Kerala have now made respectively Bangla and Malayalam compulsory in all schools of all boards. IAS and IPA officers of West Bengal cadre have now been instructed not to share any information with the Union government without prior permission on the State government. If that sounds odd, try the opposite test. Does any Union government bureaucrat in an official capacity share any Union government information with a State government without permission from the Union government? The answer is no. West Bengal has simply asserted a right that it had and one that the Union government always enjoyed. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. West Bengal has severely curtailed central deputations of its bureaucrats. The official reason is that there are a lot of vacancies in West Bengal and not enough IAS officers. The real reason as discussed in political circles is that West Bengal wants to prevent an unholy nexus developing between West Bengal cadre IAS officers on central deputation and the Union government on sensitive matters of the State government that can be used to destabilize the state. Mamata Banerjee has also made it clear to West Bengal civil service officers that they work for West Bengal government and that Delhi cannot independently order them around. She said at the annual general meeting of West Bengal Civil Service (Executive) Officers Association, the West Bengal chief minister said that "Instructions are coming from Delhi these days. Remember that you work for the state (government). You inform us but do not implement things on your own." States do not have any similar advantage of getting state civil service officers to be sent on central deputation on a large scale to get information about inner workings of Delhi and reporting it to the State government. Any imbalance of power in a federal system is a recipe for disaster. In fact, regarding a situation very similar to Venkaiah Naidu's “review”of projects where there was a central funds component, West Bengal showed the door to 2 Niti Ayog officials that Delhi had sent to oversee “funds flow monitoring”. Mamata Banerjee responded strongly to this unilateral interference stating that "In the name of State Treasury Integration they (Centre) are trying to control the financial system of the state. This is undemocratic. They are an elected government, so are we. They don't have any right to interfere in our affairs. Previously they sent two officers for this purpose but we didn't allow them and now they are forcing it upon us."
While Centre-State tussles are part of any federal system. We are increasingly witnessing deep structural invasions by Delhi into State government affairs. There are protests in many states with some being especially vocal like West Bengal and some erstwhile vocal ones like Tamil Nadu becoming silent due to the compromised political position of the ruling party. These times are crucial times for the long term future of the Indian Union. Federal structure is part of the basic structure of the Indian Union. An assault on the federal structure by incursion on state rights and interference in state government affairs in an assault on the unity of the Indian Union itself.

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By A Staff Reporter
IMPHAL | June 3
All Manipur Village Level Worker/ Lower Divisional Clerk selected candidates Association of Rural Development & Panchayati Raj 2016 today demanded that appointment letter be given to them at the earliest and do the joining soon.
Speaking to media persons at Manipur Press Club, president of the association, Ibo Khan said that the result of the selected candidates were declared on December 31 last, but the fates of 189 selected candidates are still undecided as they have not received the appointment letter till date.
“It has been five months since the result was declared and we remained neglected till today”, he added. The president of the association also urged the government and authorities concerned to give them their appointment letter before June 10, failing which they will take up strong democratic agitations to meet their demand.   
It may be recalled that the notification for the post of VLW and LDC were first declared on August 4, 2016. The written examination was conducted on 25 September and it goes on and the final stage interview result was declared on 31st December.
The association also appealed to the Chief Minister and ministers concerned to take their issue seriously.

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By A Staff Reporter
IMPHAL| June 3
As a part of transgender communities’ on-going movement for economic inclusion in various economic aspects of life, All Manipur Nupi Maanbi Association (AMANA), Enabling Trans Ability (ETA), CORE Manipur (Centre for Organization, Research and Education), SAATHII and Sussex Social Science Impact Fund, University of Sussex have jointly organised an orientation workshop on ‘Economic Inclusion Advocacy Project of Gender and Sexual Minorities of Manipur with the business communities and entrepreneurs at Classic Hotel, Chingmeirong today.
K Saroja, Deputy Director (Training) Department of Social Welfare, Community members from AMANA, ETA, Social Awareness Service Organization and Maruploi Foundation, research scholars, activists, and entrepreneurs from various companies like MOBIMP, Target Foods, Mangaal, Shared Grounds Foundation, Spongeheads Advertising, Swerve India Private Limited and Nachom Arts Foundation took part in the workshop.
In response to organizing team’s request to explore the possibilities of pilot skills building and employment programs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) community representatives from the companies and entrepreneurs assured for providing job opportunities, organizing workshops, giving trainings, scholarship for sexual minorities, sensitization program at various institutes and skills development in various sectors to the community.
Santa Khurai, Secretary, AMANA pointed out the need of Transgender Welfare Board to be a fully functional body so that transgender communities get support and benefit through government schemes and policies.
Community members shared their discriminations and challenges faced in workplace and families, and forceful terminations from their jobs because of Gender Identity crisis; financial and socially exclusion, difficulties in their livelihood activities.

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From Our Correspondent
Smile Train Shija Project Kangpokpi Mission was successfully flagged off this afternoon by deputy commissioner of Kangpokpi, T Ranjit Singh at DC Office Complex, Kangpokpi district, in the presence of ADC, H Balkrisna, SDC (HQs) Kaigoulal Kipgen and other DLOs of the district.
General manager of Business Development, Santosh Shekher and deputy manager L Premjit, of Shija Hospitals and Research Institute, Imphal and programme coordinator of Shija Foundation, Ningthoujam Luganis, took part in the programme, organised by District Administration, Kangpokpi District in collaboration with Smile Train Shija Cleft Project.
Seven Cleft Lips and Cleft Palates patients have been identified by ASHA workers and the local media person in Kangpokpi district and they were identified as Prasan Gole Tamang, son of Raj Kumar Gole Tamang of Gorkha Jhil, Irang Part-II, Paovanglen Dimngel, son of  Kaikhomang Dimngel of M Ngamneh Village, Saikul sub-division, Thangnga Doungel, son of Lalminthang Doungel of Puleijang Village, Saikul sub-division, Lhaingaichan Doungel, daughter of Khaiminlun Doungel of N Mollen Village, Saikul sub-division, Priya Tamang, care of Bhim Limbu of Chautari village, Kangpokpi sub-division, Kapil Tamang, care of Prakash of Middle Kalapahar, Champhai sub-division and Vahjahat Singsit, care of Lammang Singsit of Gopibung village, Champhai sub-division in Kangpokpi district.
Out of the seven patients, Kapil Tamang had undergone the surgery earlier while Priya Tamang could not participate owing to her ongoing academic examination.
T Ranjit Singh said that an awareness programme was organised in connection with the Cleft Week observation on April 20 and the objective of the programme was to identify more children who have cleft Lips and Palate defect in the district so that they are given a new chapter of life free of cost under Smile Train Shija Cleft Project.
The DC also urged the people to bring Cleft Lips and Palate patients to the notice of the District Administration for free treatment as Shija Hospital.
Later, the DC awarded certificates and incentives of Rs 1000 each to three ASHA workers for identifying patients in their respective places, and the workers were, Chochoi Singsit of Gopibung Kuki village, Dil Kumari Rai of Gorkha Jhil and Lamkhohat Dimngel of Puleijang village.

Published in News
Saturday, 03 June 2017 05:30

Police arrest thieves and drug smugglers

IMPHAL | June 3
A team of District Police Commando, Imphal West arrested two thieves from North AOC near Fashion Dresses on June 2, said a release by PRO Police.
The thieves were identified as Wahengbam Premjit Singh alias Abung, 32, son of (Late) W Tomcha Singh of Kanglatombi Bazar Board and Heikrujam Naocha Singh alias Ango, son of (Late) H Ibohal Singh of Khorsan Awang Leikai.
Induction Heater, Laptop, computer keyboard and mouse, joystick, pen drive, DVD player and a disposable syringe were recovered from them, which were stolen from a quarter inside DM college campus. A case has been registered at Imphal Police Station and investigation is going on, said the release.
On the same day, a team of District Police Commando, Thoubal intercepted a Maruti Van bearing registration number MN-01 W/4423 at Tangjeng along NH 102 and seized five bags containing 1,02,240 capsules of Spasmo Proxyvon.
It said, the van was driven by Md Baniyamil, 42, son of Md Amuthoi of Sora Awang Chingya Leikai along with Md Akbar Khan, 35, son of (Late) Md Abdur Rahman of Sora Awang Leikai and Md Imam Ajam, 34, son of Md Imam Ali of Sora Awang Leikai and they were arrested. A case has been registered at Thoubal Police Station and investigation is going on.
Moreover, a team of District Police Commando, Thoubal arrested one drug smuggler during frisking in front of Pallel Police Station and seized six packets containing 1200 of Amphetamine (WY) tablets on June 2.
The arrested smuggler was identified as Ngakneitai Singson alias Tatai, 44, wife of (Late) Lunkhohao Singh of Lhangkichoi Veng, Moulhoi. A case has been registered at Kakching Police Station and investigation is going on, said the release.

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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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