Many in our society seem to have misunderstood the recent rise of youths in the backdrop of more than four-month-old unrest in the state. A few even tries to brush aside the ultimatum laid down by the ‘Youths of Manipur’ (YoM) as it is still a loosely organised congregation and therefore the reason for taking it lightly. Some even think that they would simply fade away after a mild rebuke or reprimand from the ‘elders’ a term which can be interpreted in whatever way one chooses.
We like to say, they are thinking so at their own peril as they have failed to see the raw power and energy underneath among the young. They are not only angry with the powers that be, but also with the way the general public’s energy and response is being channelized. There have become extremely frustrated with the utter lack of resolve of the elected representatives and their meaningless political stunts.
As they say, action speaks louder than words. They might give countless number of pledges in the name of Manipur and its ‘sacrosanct’ territorial integrity or its people. But, they are always hesitant when the time of reckoning knocks at the door. The word ‘political sacrifice’ does not exist in their vocabulary and their only prayer is political survival at any cost.
The frequent trips to New Delhi and the drooping heads on return to Imphal are all telltale signs of a subservient mentality, afraid to speak boldly not for themselves but for the people. They continue to live in a dream world of political fantasy. Yet, they find time to devise ways to either upset the (power) applecart or cling to the power.
Most of them are afraid of antagonising the central BJP leadership lest they be singled out for punitive action. When they meet the all powerful Union Home Minister Amit Shah, it is a one way ‘conversation’ and even a fool knows this. Imagine, they have not been given an audience by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi till now and still they are reluctant to voice the same in protest.
It would be unwise to even think that the young people do not know this detestable behaviour. They have been patient all along. But now, they cannot remain in the shadows as they understand. The joke of a session had finally ignited the latent energy of our youth. That is exactly why, they are asking for a ‘real session’ to discuss the existentialist crisis facing the Meitei community and for Meitei MLAs to commit to take up any challenge which threatens the integrity and body politic of Manipur inclusive of a resignation pledge.
Every day, the members and ever-increasing volunteers of YoM are visiting the homes of MLAs and extracting a pledge from them and they aim to visit every Meitei MLA. So far, it is good that they are peaceful in their approach and appeal. It is indeed surprising that our teenage youth are capable of controlling their anger and frustration. They do not go about mouthing slogans or dispensing hate like the usual rabble rousers. But, for how long?
A time will come when the latent energy explodes and everything is blown to smithereens. Their frustration is not only with the elected representatives, but also with the CSOs also who pursue different strategies and who all claim to be apex bodies. Ideologies may differ, but if the goal is one and the same what is the hitch in uniting for the sake of the cause. For the sake of Manipur, unite and achieve the goal. Then, go to whichever direction one likes. And respect the voice of the youth.
Read More: IFP Editorial