Date:
Imphal Free Press - Imphal Free Press
Wednesday, 12 July 2017 00:00

Monitoring cell opens in Tamenglong

TAMENGLONG | July 11

Deputy commissioner of Tamenglong, Armstrong Pame inaugurated district monitoring cells at its office complex yesterday.

The DC said that the monitoring cell is a new concept in the district to coordinate all the department works in the district.

He said that he had 30 to 40 people dedicated staffs under IWMP to monitor the work progress of any government departments in the district on daily basis.

Within two or three days, telephone help line will be opened where they will receive and directing to the concerned department, added Armstrong Pame.

He also informed that he had selected Chunchamliu Kamei as officer on Special Duty (Legal) on contract basis for a period of 11 months which is extended upon performance to assist the DC, Tamenglong.

All write up regarding legal activities will be done in the next room. Judicial stamp paper will also be available, he added.

He also stated that the district administration will start issuing domicile, tribe and income certificate with colour printing and pasting of photos on domicile will be stopped.

Published in News

From Our Correspondent

KANGPOKPI | July 11

An awareness programme on Goods and Services Tax (GST) was conducted for the first time in the hill district of Manipur at Kangpokpi district.

The programme was organised by district administration in collaboration with taxation department, Government of Manipur with a motive to impart awareness and familiarise the new law of tax to the people of Kangpokpi after the enactment of GST Act, 2017 in the country on July 1.

Dealers, shopkeepers, VLEs of common service centres (CSCs) functioning in Kangpokpi district and other concerned stakeholders participated in the awareness cum interaction programme held at conference hall, DC Kangpokpi district.

Assistant commissioner of taxes, Government of Manipur, RK Khurkishore Singh attended the programme as resource expert in the presence of deputy commissioner of Kangpokpi, T Ranjit Singh and SDC Kaigoulal Kipgen.

The deputy commissioner asked the participants to register under GST Act, 2017 at the earliest for smooth functioning of their respective business and stressed the important roles of VLEs of CSCs in helping the concerned stakeholders in the registration process.

‘Do not take the enactment of GST lightly as those unregistered dealers and shopkeepers could encounter tremendous problems in their business operation’, asserted the deputy commissioner.

Khurkishore Singh highlighted on the meaning of GST, shortcomings of present tax structure, silent features, benefits and structures, its works and benefits for Manipur and on how to register under GST Act, 2017.

He said that GST is a single tax levied on supply of goods and services right from manufacturers to consumers and a consumption tax based on destination in which revenue will accrue to the consumption state while it is essentially tax on value addition at each stage which is achieve through the benefit of Input Tax credit (ITC) of the tax remitted at previous stages.

He also said that there are two components of GST which included Central GST (CGST) levied, collected by the centre and states GST (SGST) levied, collected by the state and both would collect taxes on all transactions of supply of goods and services within a state, that is intra-state supply.

He further said that CGST and SGST will be levied simultaneously on goods or services transactions with dealers registered within the same state whereas Integrated GST (IGST) will be applicable on goods or services transactions with dealers registered in different states.

Replacement of multiple taxes into a single tax, set-off of prior-stage taxes would mitigate the ill effects of cascading, tax burden on goods and services would decrease, benefiting common man, make out products competitive in domestic and international markets, simpler tax regime-fewer rates and exemptions, transparency in taxation system, boost foreign investment and make in India campaign are few among many others benefits of the new transformational tax reform, added Khurkishore.

In connection with the benefits of GST in Manipur, the assistant commissioner of taxes said that state will start getting part of tax levied on B2C (Business to Consumers) consumption in Manipur and will get significant percentage of the service tax collection. Improve compliance would lead to higher tax base and 42 per cent of CGST collected by the centre will be apportioned to state, he added.

He further said that facilitation centre has been open at taxation department headquarters to ensure smooth migration or registration to GST and it has been decided to have the centre at all the sub-divisional offices in valley districts and district level at hill districts while 16 private facilitators will be trained to help dealers in migration and new registration.

All concerned stakeholders more particularly businessmen, dealers, shopkeepers conveyed their sincere gratitude to the district administration and the taxation department over their concerned and initiative in educating them about the new tax reform.

Published in News
Wednesday, 12 July 2017 00:00

Why actor Bala should not retract

By Deepika Gurumayum 

Bala is fine as long as she follows the ‘script.’ She is a beauty who sings, dances, and acts, but how dare she speak publicly on such a taboo subject as ‘Meitei Nuja’ marrying an ‘outsider’? Right?

Men and women are equally outraged by the fact that she showed the temerity  to speak her mind on such a subject. She is a young and brilliant actor, who may not be aware of the entirety of her star status and that anything she says publicly will have extreme repercussion in a society like ours, conservative and even hypocritical as it is. She may lack the tact and wisdom to deal with such situations, but nevertheless, she is entitled to have ‘an opinion of her own.’ She chose to differ and not appease or fall in line with common and convenient narrative expected of her, and that is what jolted some sections of our society.

We proudly proclaim to the world – ‘Look! We have the world’s only market run entirely by women and these women are so empowered and enjoy their freedom like men!’ It is the same with the Meira Paibi narrative; I choose not to say further. How many of us still believe that the Ima Keithel is an exclusively female space, and the Imas empowered in the true sense of the word? Why do we still live under the illusion that these Imas get to choose whether they like to go out to the Keithel? Yes, there are exceptions but the larger picture is that they do so out of compulsion, to earn a livelihood.

Society is never comfortable with those who choose to differ from the majority; they are a threat to the dominant power structures which underlie its functioning. One may or may not endorse her viewpoint, but does not what happened to Bala sound like Big Brother’s diktat: ‘We are happy as long as you keep your mouth shut’? This kind of misogyny which hides behind the garb of empowerment and freedom is just appalling. It could only prove to be more detrimental to a society which sings the glory of its women. Why did so many people get upset? Why did the popular actor suddenly become the subject of a hate narrative and social media trolls? Why is she being abused by every Chaoba, Chaobi, Tomba, Tombi who may not be even aware of the gravity of an issue as such? We need not answer these questions in public, but we certainly need to introspect on them.

On the other hand, regardless of the fact that the actor’s take resonates with the public or not, this could very well be a healthy sign. After all, how often do we get to hear about ‘artists’ and actors taking a stand on the various issues concerning the state? Rarely.

Bala’s ‘confession’ (as she calls it) is proof of women being oppressed and silenced, of women being harassed for voicing their opinions. Dear Bala, ‘confessing’ would mean bowing down to the system that is trying to crush you and me, and other women. It would only strengthen the imbalanced power structure which patriarchy thrives on, and further push us down the social ladder. Many people stand with you, and you should put up a brave fight against such oppressive forces. I hope your ‘confession’ does not defuse the support you have garnered, and that you continue to stand your ground firmly. Being apologetic for having one’s own voice would not only be an injustice to oneself but to an entire generation of young people who look up to you. As a public figure, this is an opportune moment for you to take the lead in advocating a more just and equal society.

Only a society deeply entrenched in patriarchy, and still denies it, would shamelessly propagate the oppression and subjugation of women in the twenty-first century. It is up to us as a people to decide whether we want to move backward or forward. Not only Bala, no woman should have to apologize for having her own voice. Ever.

(The writer is a doctoral candidate at the North East Hill University, Shillong. Her area of study is on Manipuri women writer)

Published in News
Wednesday, 12 July 2017 00:00

Book review on ‘A village called Nbena’

By Newmai News Network

‘A village called Nbena’ is an interesting book presented with lucidity about a typical Liangmai Naga village.This small and yet remarkable book contains so much of everything that provides important insights as to social dynamism and the characters of the Liangmai village.  In other words, the book contains so many threads, which blend the social practices of the villagers and challenges of the day with vision for the community welfare.

The author of the book, Anna Sireiliu Charenamei harps on the vulnerable and the source of strength of a progressing village. In the same time, the author makes it loud and clear that tradition, culture and belief system were strictly adhered to by the villagers in those days. They are these lucidity, rich insights and aliveness of the villagers which make this small book so remarkable. Another unique aspect of the book is that, the aliveness of the presentation by the author makes readers feel as though a lived experience as the author traces the root of the village. The author of the book also captures rich natural resources of Nbena village.

 In fact, the book takes readers on a journey of various stages of Nbena village from ancient to modern, too.

Nbena village is now put under Kangpokpi district of Manipur. The book foreword is done by Dr Kamei Aphun, Senior Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi.

 The author of the book, Anna Sireiliu Charenamai beautifully presents so many aspects of the general ways of life of the villagers, and in the same time, she also throws light on the villagers’ belief system, situation of their surroundings, food habits and their social engagements.

In the book introduction, the author says, “This book is a humble endeavour to record oral history of her village in a literary form.”  Anna Sireiliu Charenamei, a product of Lady Shri Ram College (Delhi University), also says, “The interest was culminated through the stories told to me by my father and grandfather with much passion and nostalgia, and subsequently the need and desire to have a written history was realized…” The author further says that her “main aim in writing this book is to encourage people to write or make effort, small yet significant, for preservation of our culture…”

The book gives important insights on why the people of Makuilongdi villagers had to desert their grand village of 7777 (seven thousand seven hundred and seventy seven) households. The book then dwells extensively on how Nbena village was founded by a group of people after coming out from Makuilongdi. The group was led by one Nbebou, and thus, the village was named after him. The book based on the narratives of the elders claims that Nbena village is about 1000 years now. The village is located along the present IT Road.

The book gives important information to the readers on how the “some kukis came in search of land in the Liangmai territories”. According to the book, some of the Kuki people were “permitted” to settle in “Nbena territories”.  The book also heavily presents ‘mysteries’ surrounding the early life of Nbena village. The book dwells on the myth of Chingpui, the goddess of wealth. “Every creek, stream, hillock, valley, meadow, cliff, monolith, range and ridges are not without names. Some of the mysterious natural monuments are the Charapa Chakuipa, meaning the footprint of man, god and tiger imprinted on a stone…” mentions the book.

Somewhere in the middle of the book, the author narrates us about the heroic or legendary figures and their activities in one of the chapters. One notable story the book cites is about two orphan brothers—Namphung and his younger brother Marinang who went on to become symbols of admiration and savior. One interesting story in the book was about the adventure of Chakungbou of Nagaonamai clan who travelled to a far off place bordering non-tribals. “The people of Nbena believed that the location could be somewhere beyond Mizoram and bordering Bangladesh”, says the book, adding, “It is also told that on his expedition in search of the border Chakungbou went on erecting monoliths and setting up villages in the western horizon beyond the hill ranges of Manipur and Mizoram.” The book also narrates about mysticism surrounding the birth of Prince Khewang by an aged and widowed queen of Nbena.  

In the other half of the book, the author presents readers the rich life of flora and fauna that was found in Nbena area. The author passionately describes it complete with names of animals, birds and the types of vegetation/forest.

The book also talks of food/delicacies and festivals of Nbena village.

In the latter parts of the book, the authors highlights on the coming of Christianity and its impact in the life of Nbena villagers.

The author then presents us about the mystic Zaimeng Lake of Nbena. “The most unique character of the lake is that, not a single leaf (dry or otherwise) is found floating on the lake as there is a bird (not identified yet) which always swoop down to remove any floating leaf,” the book claims. According to the book, a greater part of Zaimeng lake is a “marshy mass” of thick grass-like weeds, combined with reeds and green mosses. Literally translated into English from Liangmai, Zaimeng means “lake puzzle” or “lake perplex”.   The book narrates that the name of the lake was believed to have been given by forefathers of Nbena village who passed by the lake but they could not find their way out as they kept returning to the same spot around the lake.

‘A village called Nbena’ is one book that is many-in-one. The book is an unmissable read of the time.

Published in Articles
Wednesday, 12 July 2017 00:00

Letter to “those concerned”

They say truth triumphs. But how can anybody be so sure. After all, one gets to know of only those truths that have actually triumphed and not of those that failed to make a mark, and who knows there may have been plenty of these in human history – as a touchingly beautiful tragedy, so well encapsulated in a Manipur folk song about a mountain orchid, Ingellei, which blossoms seasonally in the wilderness and dies without anybody getting to know of its captivating beauty or fragrance, depicts. The poetry will probably find little parallel, and the mystique about the flower is stuff for legends. Poetry however has little to do with truth prevailing over untruth, instead it is only a reflection of the inner subjective life of a society or individual, and we all know very well tragedy can be a part this life. What about the Incas or Aztecs or Native Americans, and all the other exterminated races of the world? Did truth prevail for them? Or is truth a relative term? We have no answer to these questions, but looking at the way things are in Manipur today, it is easy to doubt there is any certainty about any positive, optimistic, answer that truth triumphs. Right and wrong, truth and untruth, today have become merely a matter of decree by those who hold the reins of power – the official state power as well as the power that flows out of the barrels of the guns of non-state challengers to state power. Obviously, truth also has been reduced to a factor of liberalism (or the lack of it), which in the very fundamental sense is translated as the willingness to honestly investigate and introspect dissenting voices. In our situation, where authoritarianism has become the rule, dissenting voices are either reviled as “reactionary” in the so called “revolutionary” rhetoric, or else scorned as anti-national propaganda by those at the helm of the establishment. Nothing as a freedom to assess any given social situation independently exists.

History is proof that it has always been the intent of authoritarian states to prohibit dissent and in the process monopolise the definition of truth. In history, no other episode exemplifies this more than the gagging of Galileo of Galilee. Galileo, as all of us who can recall our high school science classes remember, confirmed the Copernican heliocentric model of the universe which went against Ptolomy’s geocentric conception of it, through observation using the telescope he invented. But the authoritarian church of the time which built its idea of the cosmos around Ptolomy’ conception of it, saw Galileo’s interpretation as a challenge to its authority and threatened the scientist to retract his discovery on the pain of being declared a heretic and suffer death on the stake. The inconvenient fact before all who believe in the strength of truth is, Galileo actually did what he was told and disowned what he discovered and believed in. It is another matter that an age of scientific liberalism was soon to descend on the Western world and Galileo’s discovery survived the discoverer who was not willing to give up his life for what he knew was the truth. Does this imply that truth is also a matter of personal conviction? This question is interesting and extremely relevant today with the emergence of the idea of “post-truth” which encourages scepticism of the definition of fact as what are perceived by the sensory organs, especially in the age of the digital media. This has now been taken to absurd limits with the arrival of Donald Trump and his advocacy of “alt truth” which has since been termed Orwellian. In “alt truth” what the authority says is truth becomes truth.

The story would come across as strikingly familiar to many in Manipur who have seen over the decades how in certain cases even extracted confessional statements, regardless of whether made under duress or captivity, were treated as irrefutable proofs of guilt even to the extent of being punishable by summary execution. Only recently, there was much fuss over a film personality’s frank expression of an opinion and how she has had to confess later in a letter addressed to “those concerned” or in Manipuri, the ubiquitous “mari leinaba”, in anticipation that her statement may end up interpreted to mean what she now says she did not. It would also come across as uncannily familiar to those who have always held as an axiom that truth and goodness always prevails over untruth and dishonesty, and yet have witnessed before their very own eyes that the corrupt and unscrupulous have inherited the world. It may very well be that beyond the immediate world, truth will ultimately prevail, but as economist John Maynard Keynes so famously put it, “in the long run we are all dead.” In other words, if something doesn’t concern the present at all, it does not really matter. Truth indeed is also about the present and not just of the distant future. Galileo’s truth may have come to be celebrated 400 years after it was first discovered, but should it not be a matter of concern that Galileo himself might have died a miserable death, knowing fully well that he cowered under pressure to lie to himself and the world? Should we also then be content with resigning to the complacent thought that fate will ultimately take care of the problems of our present?

Published in Editorial
Wednesday, 12 July 2017 00:00

Free health camp organised at Ishok

BISHNUPUR| July 11

A free outreach camp was organised today by PHC Leimapokpam under the supervision of chief medical officer (CMO) Bishnupur at Ishok Laibung.

The camp was organised for the people who are suffering from diseases caused by the flood. Medical consultation and treatment were given by a medical team led by Dr.P. Umakanta, PHC Leimapokpam. The camp was assisted by four doctors and a paramedical staff. Around 200 people who were suffering from flu, fever, diarrhoea and other skin disease were given treatment along with free medicines.  

 Meantime, PHC Oinam has organised a one day outreach camp at Keinou, under the supervision of CMO Bishnupur.  Around 160 patients were given treatment along with free medicines. CMO Bishnupur district, Dr Babychand visited the camp personally and said further health camps will be organised, if the need arise.

Published in News
Wednesday, 12 July 2017 00:00

Kakching police seize illegal drugs

THOUBAL | July 11

Under the supervision of SP of Kakching police, W Singhajeet, a team of police led by Kakching police SDPO, Thingnam Deshorjeet seized numerous illegal drugs and banned products from Kakching and Hiyanglam and disposed today at Kakching Uyok Ching, Thoubal.

The councillors of Kakching Municipal Council, SDC, Food Safety officials, police personnel of Kakching and Hiyanglam police station along with other officials were present at the time of disposal.

The disposed items would approximately worth Rs. 28 lakh in the local market.

Published in News
Wednesday, 12 July 2017 00:00

World Population Day held

From Our Correspondent

CCPUR/TML | July 11

District Family Welfare Department, Churachandpur today observed World Population Day at YPA hall, Hiangtam Lamka, followed by inauguration of Service Delivery Fortnight by the chief medical officer (CMO) of Churachandpur.

The observance was attended by Shyam Lal  Poonia, DC of Churachandpur as chief guest, Dr Nengkhanmang, deputy medical  superintendent of Churachandpur district hospital  as functional president and Dr Kimngaihching Simte, CMO  of  Churachandpur attend  as guest of honour.

Shyam Lal Poonia said that each individual must take their efforts for the positive growth and development in all the different sections of the society and further emphasised the need for more effort by the medical department and the district administration.

Dr Nengkhanmang talked about the importance of population control for the betterment of future generation while the chief host spoke on the importance of spacing and family planning. Some officials also spoke about eligible couple registration and ASHA incentives. World Population Day Service Delivery Fortnight was inaugurated at the Churachandpur district hospital by the CMO.

In connection with the World Population Day, health department had been doing massive campaign from June 27 to July 10 and sterilisation has commenced from today till July 24.

Meanwhile, district Health Mission Society Tamenglong today organised Wold Population Day at Shekinuh Inn, Tamenglong district.

Deputy commissioner of Tamenglong, Armstrong Pame attended the function as chief guest and DTO Guidiathiu Kahmei as president.

Armstrong Pame said that he is taking huge risk in health sector which the last two years failed in its infrastructure and also said that his engineer could not function freely and he himself had to go 50 bedded hospital construction site with bullet proof.

The commitment to complete the health sector has been taking care and many other issues in the district will be looked after in the future, he added.

He further assured all doctors and nurses present in the function that he would provide best infrastructure and urged them not to ignore even smallest health problem.

Published in News
Wednesday, 12 July 2017 00:00

MCP commemorates Thangjam Manorama

IMPHAL | July 11  

The proscribed Maoist Communist Party, Central Organising Committee has informed today that the outfit has observed a memorial function for Thangjam Manorama Devi.

Under the management of the members of the Standing Committee, a two minute silence was held at the function to pay respects to Manorama, said a release. The day is considered very important to the party, it said adding, the incident occurred during a time when the organisation Manipur Forward Youth Front (MAFYF) was very active in its efforts to fight against fake encounters.

The public revolt against the killing was initiated when the president of the organisation Sapamcha Kangliepal returned from the morgue and held a meeting at the former office of MAFYF at Kwakeithel, it further informed.

The party informed that they had supported such public revolts and will continue to do so. However, the public still has not seen justice in the last thirteen years, it lamented. Punishments are given by the Indian laws when rape is committed by a civilian, but when the army is raping and killing innocents, they remain a silent witness, it said adding the issues are not raised by the national media, political parties or any other organisations. This is the reason many colonised nations in the South Asian sub continent including Manipur remains oppressed, it added.

Since the colonial court is closed, there is a need for a people’s court, is said. The only possible means for our survival is through a revolution, and requested the people to realise the need for a united struggle for independence on this day when Manorama was mercilessly murdered, it added.

Published in News

From Our Correspondent

BISHNUPUR| July 11

A house belonging to one Moirangthem Bhagat Singh (24) son of Ibosana from Ithing Khunjao was destroyed in a landslide today, caused by the incessant rain.

Bhagat informed, when he left his house to visit a lake his pregnant wife was at the grocery shop they opened at their house. When he returned from work around 12:30 in the noon, he found that his house that was built on the back side of Ithing hill had completely collapsed along with other houses at the area.

Fortunately, his wife had escaped the landslide as she was in the tea shop near their house.  There were 30 ducks and 20 ducklings in the house when it collapsed, Refrigerator, TV, cooking gas set and other items kept in the shop amounting to around Rs. 5 lakhs were lost. The public toilet and bathroom shed built on the side of his house were also swallowed by the landside. He expressed his hopelessness regarding the situation as his wife is in advance stage of pregnancy.

The pradhan of Thanga Part-II gram panchayat,  Kh. Binarani said that it will be extremely difficult for the pregnant wife to live without a house and requested authorities concerned to provide support as soon as possible.

Also, two houses at locality are also in a dangerous state, after the landslide.

In another natural calamity that occurred yesterday, a house was badly damaged by the landslide occured at Yairipok Changamdabi Sagol Lou.

The pradhan of Changamdabi gram panchayat, Md Imran Khan said that the landslide occurred due to excessive rainfall in the last few weeks, making the road around the hill completely blocked.

The road was later cleared by the pradhan and the locals. The pradhan has requested the state government to provide necessary help to the 22 year old, owner of the house, Md Ashif Khan.

Published in News
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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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