Of Fear-Power-World View and Master Puppet Power Relation
By Kh. Ibomcha
Episodes that we have witnessed in our state in the last two, three years, be it the midnight raid in Manipur University and picking up of students and teachers, or arresting Wangkhemcha under NSA for criticizing the government reminds me of the concept ‘culture of fear’ or climate of fear where a group of people, rather the ruling class incites fear in the general public to achieve political goals through outright bias.
As often seen in societies living in fear, here in the state, the powers-that-be resorts to inciting fear of retribution to control the people. This fear-power-world-view, psychotically driving the Biren led government, along the similar line followed by the Ibobi led one in the past also focuses on physical domination.
For instance, Ibobi led government killed Rabina-Sanjit duo and murdered Manorama after being raped, while the current government arrested a journalist for merely expressing his views against the ruling dispensation. In both cases, the state focuses on physical domination to achieve their hidden or open political goals, colonial or noncolonial.
Now we as a people begin to ask ourselves, will the government come and arrest anyone if he or she speaks their mind, despite the fact that we are aware of freedom of expression as guaranteed by the constitution.
Our lived experience, rather the Kanglei lifeworld, which experienced and is experiencing both Ibobi’s the then murderous government and present hypersensitive Biren led government, tells us to give both the leaders the sobriquet of petty tyrants.
Both exercises a tyrannical style of governance resulting in a climate of fear in the state. But why Petty tyrant? Here they are petty because as we all see there above these chhota dons sits a bigger tyrant, the Delhi mandarins, directing them what to do, and what not do.
With what has been said above, I am attempting to say the very nature of state government, be whether it be Congress or BJP, which mainly focuses on creating a society living in fear with the ultimate aim of ruling over the people without voices of dissent from the latter.
Once a citizen gets such a sense that criticizing the government is not tolerable, but punishable, the government has succeeded in creating a climate of fear, a fertile ground for authoritarian leingak.
If analyzed, both Ibobi led government and Biren’s hindutavaic brand of government from a historical perspective, it will be seen crystal clear that they are running a kind of project manufacturing fear to create fear society, rather than serving the people. Now is the time that we the people, urban workers, peasantry, and grade III government employees, other progressive classes, including de-classed rich and educated people, as the creators of history must explain this objective reality, the climate of fear, by pointing to our lived experiences, rather our material life as well as spiritual life, where we consider raising our own voice against the oppressor, state or non-state, to be unsafe whereby only furthering the inauthentic life we are living for a long time with no progress.
Why the powers that be implemented a culture of fear as a part of political repression can be understood, as some conscious Kangleichas do, referring to the master-puppet kind of socioeconomic and political relationship between Delhi and Kangla showed down in post-merger or annexation political history of Manipur. So these events and episodes that constantly manufacture fear in the collective consciousness of Kangleicha connects to the political relation borne out of the Delhi funded grant-in-aid type of political economy wherein Kanglei material and spiritual life anchors on to. The fear which the state government has been constantly feeding us is not for nothing but to protect the interests Delhi mandarins so that they can get power to rule over the people, serving their self-interests—appropriation of public fund.
India as a political entity, yet to complete its nation making process needs to erase the historical memories of Kanglei people and replace it with Aryan history. They do this by using our own people. Their modus operandi is such that they give powers to those who would do whatever they dictate to do. And this becomes the character of Indo-Kanglei political relation producing puppets like Nupamcha, Ibobi, Biren, and so forth.
The Ibobi led government killed more 1500 people to satisfy Delhi mandarins, while Biren put a journalist behind bar for saying the truth ‘Rani Jansi has nothing to do with Kangleipak’. As they have to please the center, they resort to all means, human or inhuman, to hold the power including even distorting their own history and identity. So they equate raising voice against the government or dreaming of a new society with anti-national involving risks of death, arrest and torture. Here it can be argued that ‘NSA tajaniko’ is intended to generate a culture of fear deliberately, for it “obscure reasons, intensifies emotions and makes it easier for Kanglei political class, the petty tyrants, to mobilize the public on behalf of the policies Delhi pursues”.
The more fear these petty tyrants can create in the society, the more will they be accepted by Delhi mandarins ensuring power to ride roughshod over the people.
Thusly, our politicians, little dictator or petty tyrant, who will never become a big tyrant because of current master-puppet power structure existing between Delhi and Imphal, have used our fears to increase their power and control over the society.
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