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Imphal Free Press - Imphal Free Press
Sunday, 04 June 2017 05:30

WSF environment day

IMPHAL | June 4
World Social Forum, Manipur is observing “World Environment Day” on June 5 at Imphal Press Club. A paper titled “Mahousa Lairembina tengthaba” as a part of the observation will also be released.
A release said WSF had started observing a month long world environment day programme, by planting 100 tree saplings at Santipur Sanjenbam since June 1. It will continue organising various environment related activities at different locations in Manipur, added the release.

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By Amar Yumnam
June 15, 1215. This is a date which I learnt in 1970 while in Class X in the local High School. The teacher who taught us the significance of this date did so with so much enthusiasm such that it has remained stuck in our memory and knowledge framework since then. The trust and relationship milieu between the teacher and the taught during those days were so robust that anything of significance would not call for further scrutiny and would remain registered in the mental framework of the taught. These days the significance of this date – June 15, 1215 – is being rekindled all over again. It was on this date that the Magna Carta was signed. We learnt the significance of it in the emergence of modern democracy and democratic rights. Above all we learnt the imperative of the separation between the state and the church; religion and state should not be confused.
The social consequences of the recent changes in political centres of power and the consequential interventions of governance across the country have rekindled this recalling of what we had learned way back in 1970. In the second decade of the twenty-first century, India is now caught or rather made to get caught embroiling in issues of religion and state. Further, in the contemporary world of red-herring race of knowledge dominance, the country is now preoccupied with cattleomania, beefomania and cowamania. Still further, the differentiation along religious lines is getting sharply aggravated. In a much more threatening way, celebrations of leadership are taking shape instead of deepening the roots and coverage of any positive governance dimension. In a democracy, it is healthy and goodness enhancing if we collectively appreciate the good work being done by a leader. But, instead, if we start celebrating the leader, it would not augur well for the future of the polity.  
Now all this is happening under a government which can invariably claim credit for instilling a feeling of presence of government among the citizenry within as well as pride of this presence before the comity of nations. This is a very facilitating environment for any government to evolve encompassing policies cutting across ethnicity and regions in a geographically large and ethnically heterogeneous country. But the governance in this country manifests signals of diverting away from this primary necessity for shared advancement towards religious based strategies for dominance by sects with doubtful commitment to equalisation of opportunities, tolerance of diversity of group identities and appreciation of multiplicity of social ethos; there is denial of the reality that while fundamental canons of justice are neutral to ethnicity and religion, there could be diverse processes of reaching the targets.
The emerging consequences of this social orientation of the political governance in this country have not turned out to be healthy. First, what is happening right now in the northern part of the country cannot be without context – politically, socially and ethnically. Second, the governance has larger and country-wide challenges to be attended to. The latest data are revealing that the economic expansion rate in this country has slowed down. The scenario on the employment generation front has not been encouraging either. The conversion of announcements into implementation has not shown any sign of betterment over what it was before the commencement of the new political dispensation at the union level three years back. Instead, in addition to the evolving socially disturbing scenario, institutions of various variants are being compromised in their functioning by converting them into purely agents for the one agendum of homogenisation and dominance by sects of a particular religious leaning.
The firing up of hope and the consequential potential for networking and collaboration at the national level by and large in 2014 have not yet shown signs of being taken towards fruition. Of course, there is a definitive sign of presence of a government. But the emergence of a common framework of governance functioning and the conversion of the original firing up into power for socio-economic transformation for shared wellbeing are yet to happen.
Contrary to the country-wide scenario, what is happening in Manipur shows signs of positive milieu and shared commitment. While the firing up in India has mostly been exploited for widening and deepening of antagonism and revival of outdated issues of state, what is happening in Manipur consequent upon recent change in political centre of power is definitely positive in all the signals. In Manipur, the previous atmosphere of antagonism in socio-political functioning has now been replaced by a healthy one of networking, connectivity and collaboration. Now the flame of this firing up in Manipur should not be allowed to get reduced to flickers. This is exactly where our greatest fear also resides. The atmosphere of connectivity and convergence in emotions has to be sustained and can be sustained. However this would not happen in a vacuum. There is both imperative and urgency for putting in place a structure for a longer term sharing of efforts, processes of functioning and networking of institutions. This is something which cannot be achieved by one shot packages. The longer the time before the creation of a structure for performance and achievement, the packages would turn out to be nothing more than the contemporary political scenario of signing of agreements with JACs on any issue. If this turns out to be so, it would be very unfortunate.
In sum, at the country-wide level, it is not required now to generate politico-social turmoil which were long considered settled for good by the world on the basis of lessons learnt from the Magna Carta. While fortunately for Manipur, this aspect has been absent and in its place a facilitating milieu for shared transformation has been generated. But the milieu cannot be taken for granted but rather needs to be made flourishing with a structure for shared performance and achievement for enhanced wellbeing. Development trajectory anywhere in the world tells us that catching the moment is paramount.
(The author is a Professor and Head: Department of Economics, Manipur University)

Published in Articles
Sunday, 04 June 2017 05:30

Law makers or breakers

Thus far, it has clearly been a favourable tail wind for the new BJP-led coalition government in Manipur. Much water has flowed down the Imphal River ever since the masterstroke of the party’s Central campaign managers in the immediate wake of the February election in bringing the BJP to power although the party won only 21 seats in the state’s 60-member Assembly, using its clout as the ruling party at the Centre to beat its arch rival Congress which bagged 28 seats to emerge the single largest party. Now that the ruling coalition is firmly on track, it is time for it to start thinking of nurturing democracy back to health after the understandable, though not desirable, bruises delivered to it in the rough and tumble of the electoral battle. Indeed, nobody can claim everything was played by the rules of the game in the government formation process. The breach began from manner the state Governor Najma Heptulla rather enthusiastically decided to invite the BJP first to form the government, putting her faith in the party’s claim of support of all other non-Congress winners. This was not all. During the trust vote for the newly formed coalition, for unthinkable reason, the voting was done by a voice vote. How could anybody have allowed a hairline majority in a splintered Assembly be decided by voice vote. Yet, the spin has been so successful that most national newspapers reported the BJP-led coalition won the confidence motion by 32-27 votes, with one early Congress defector reportedly having lent his voice to the ruling formation. It must have taken the ears of a master conductor of a choral symphony to distinguish individual voices in the din of 60 voices saying “aye” or “nay”.
Probably the result would have still been 32-27 by any other means but this should have been nonetheless determined officially by ballot voting to know exactly who voted which way, and if disqualification questions arose, to ensure irrefutable evidence or the lack of it. Let whatever happened be. In all probability, the Congress, though the single largest party then, would not have had the chance to return under any circumstance, given the fact of the fickleness of loyalty of our politicians, most of whom are perpetually sniffing for the buttered side of the bread and have no compunctions about betraying their parent parties and the ideologies they fought and won their seats in the Assembly, just so they are in the camp which wields power. Politicians here are also always acutely aware the real power in the case of weak and dependent Northeast states like Manipur lies with the Centre. True to this image, once it became certain the Congress is out of power, the party's once self-declared loyal servants began abandoning the party to flock into the waiting arms of the ruling BJP. In four batches, seven Congress MLAs have crossed the floor so far, the last coming as a cross vote in the election to fill the state’s lone vacant Rajya Sabha seat on May 25, leaving the Congress candidate with 21 votes against the BJP candidate’s 38. As a generation taught by our elders to abhor betrayal and treachery, something in the general sense of justice jars when politicians defect so casually. This is so even when this defection happens before elections, but in this case it is just a moral stain. However when politicians defect after election, the question goes beyond the morality of their action, and acquires legal implications as well. Politicians are still free to leave their parties and join another, but they have to forsake their membership in the Legislative Assembly, as clearly specified by the 10th Schedule of the Indian Constitution.
It is still too early to make any conclusive verdict on the performance of the current set of leaders, but there can be no denying they have made a good start under the dynamic leadership of Chief Minister N. Biren. Practically each day there is a new and innovative policy announced. The push for transparency, accommodation of public opinion, effort towards equitable development, and the fight against corruption are quite starkly visible and welcome too. Not all of these initiatives may succeed in the end, but one thing is certain, nobody can accuse this government of lacking in intent and energy to take governance forward. At this moment the people are indeed loving the promise of change this young set of leaders have given them, helped of course by the lingering hangover of anti-incumbency sentiment against the Congress which ruled the state for 15 long years. But at this juncture, it will do well to remember the lesson from the great bard, William Shakespeare in his historical play “Julius Caesar”. Marcus Brutus who was a close friend of Caesar, join the conspiracy to kill Caesar, and his reason was “I love Caesar, but I love Rome more.” In other words, he decided to go against Caesar because he believed Caesar, loved as he was by the all, was destroying Rome’s democratic rule by inching on towards becoming emperor. Taking this cue, let the people of Manipur also insist this government, appreciated though their style of governance may be for the moment, to restore democratic rule. Let the matter of defection be dealt with as per the provisions of law. The government too will do well to remember the saying: “What goes around comes around”. If as law makers and law enforcers they begin their innings by breaking the law, they would have forsaken the strength of moral legitimacy that any government needs so vitally in dealing with law breakers in the days ahead. This has been Manipur’s endemic problem for a long time, so let this government not add to perpetuating this condition.

Published in Editorial
Sunday, 04 June 2017 05:30

Books released

By A Staff Reporter
IMPHAL | June 4
Organised by Iramdam Meeyamgi Apunba Khorjei Lup (IMAKHOL), two books were released today at Manipur Press Club, Majorkhul.
The books were Athokpam Umabati’s collection of poetry ‘Thamoinung-gi Thamoisida’ and essays of Abujam Ibopishak Luwang ‘Angangsing-gi Khorirol Phidam’.
Asso Prof of DM College of Arts, Lanchenba Meetei and president of IMAKHOL Kesho Singh Irengba attended the function as chief guest and president respectively.
Koijam Shantibala Devi, assist prof of MU Manipuri department and Kunjo Singh Ningomba, former president of NOHAKHOL were the book reviewers.

Published in News
Sunday, 04 June 2017 05:30

SSUM opens branch at Thoubal

IMPHAL | June 4
Socialist Students’ Union of Manipur (SSUM) has opened its committee of Thoubal district and the committee shall take charges of the responsibilities in Thoubal.
A release said, seven members of the committee have also been unanimously elected and the elected members were N Arbin as president, Y Rakesh as secretary, S Hemjit as treasurer and Th Gunshan as publicity and other three executive members.

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Sunday, 04 June 2017 05:30

KRSU counselling programme

IMPHAL | June 4
The Kom Rem Student Union (KRSU) has informed all the successful Kom Rem students of Class X and Class XII examinations that a felicitation cum career counselling programme will be held at the end of June.
A release said, the union has requested all the candidates to submit photostat copies of their mark sheets or certificates at the KRSU information centre, opposite Grace Academy, from June 4 till June 24.

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Sunday, 04 June 2017 05:30

Officers encourages Chinglemba

From Our Correspondent
THOUBAL | June 4
A group of officers from MPSC 2014 batch visited Chinglemba Chingtham at his residence at Chajing Khunou, Sugnu and contributed a sum of Rs 50,000 today.
Chinglemba recently stood 11th rank in Class XII examination of Science Stream under COHSEM and his story has been inspirational.
The contribution was made by officers from MCS, MPS, MFS and Jr MCS of the batch so as to assist Chinglemba for higher studies, in small ways possible. The initiative was purely on personal level taken by the group.

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IMPHAL | June 4
The killing of an indigenous woman labourer by an alien (s) from Myanmar who are provided sanctuary in different Indian occupational Army camps is well known to the general public of Manipur, said the outlawed Maoist Communist Party, Manipur in a release.
It welcomes the initiative taken up by the government of Manipur in forming an enquiry to investigate not only this particular incident, but also of the brazen attack on the worshippers of the indigenous celebration of “Umang Lai Haraoba” at Kwatha recently.
The Maoist strongly believes that these incidents are intertwined in bringing social disharmony to the fabrics of Manipur by certain vested persons/groups, it added.  
The Maoist however would like to convey the authority that though forming an enquiry committee is a good initiative, it can also be hogwash if the accused individuals (s) are not given a befitting punishment, it said.
“The MCPM will no more remain a mute spectator to all these atrocities even if the rest of Manipur remains to choose mum as we believe the riddling of an indigenous worker (that too, a woman) with bullets, an attack on the worshippers of indigenous beliefs etc. are the direct assault on the indigenous population and our integrity”, the release maintained.

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From Our Correspondent
TAMENGLONG | June 4
Roland Kamei, president of JAC of All Manipur refreshed written test successful candidates of Police constable male civil 2013 batch, Tamenglong district has appealed to the government of Manipur to declare the final results on or before June 15.
He also appreciated the state government for conducting the viva-voce for the remaining district after the state assembly election.
A meeting of written test successful candidates of Male Police constable was held today at IB Tamenglong and decided to make the appeal to the government, said Roland Kamei.
He also warned that if the government declare the final result of 2016 batch of fresh recruitment before 2013 batch, the JAC will take up democratic form of agitation till the demand is met.
The next meeting was fixed on June 9 at Jadonang Park Tamenglong at 11 am and discussions will be carried out on the line of agitations and the JAC president has appealed the successful candidates of the written test to attend the meeting without fail.
There are 510 written test successful candidates in both Tamenglong and Noney districts, he added.

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Newmai News Network
DIMAPUR | June 4
 Kekhrie Yhome, a 41-year old academician from Kohima (Nagaland) who is also the brother-in-law of sitting Ukhrul assembly constituency (Manipur) legislator Alfred Kanngam Arthur has declared his candidature in the by-election where Nagaland Chief Minister, Dr Shurhozelie Liezietsu will be contesting to become an MLA.
Dr Shurhozelie Liezietsu who became the Chief Minister of Nagaland on February 22, is not an MLA. He has to become an MLA within six months which period lapses on August 22, 2017.
The declaration made by Kekhrie Yhome to contest the Chief Minister has ended speculation of the latter’s winning uncontested in the Northern Angami-1 assembly constituency of Kohima district.
Kekhrie Yhome's wife Yirmiyan Shangshakwoshi Arthur is the younger sister of sitting Ukhrul assembly constituency MLA Alfred Arthur. Alfred is the son of A S Arthur, former Manipur minister. Kekhrie Yhome was a former guest lecturer at Nagaland University, Kohima Campus, and also a former Assist Prof at the University of Delhi (2007-2014) and Headmaster of Khedi Baptist School, Kohima Village.
Interestingly on May 24, Nagaland Chief Minister, Dr Shurhozelie Lizietsu’s son Khriehu Liezietsu who was a sitting Member of Nagaland Legislative Assembly (MLA) had tendered his resignation as Member of the Legislative Assembly apparently vacating the seat for his father to contest. The Speaker of the Nagaland Legislative Assembly had accepted the resignation of Khriehu Liezietsu.

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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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