Leader writer: RK Lakhi Kant
In Manipur being anti-terrorism means being anti-Manipur today. The effect of rampant terrorism over the years and the large support which it enjoys has made sure that people in Manipur have acquired an extremely violent mindset – something which has filtered down to even the young children and the elderly. So much so that mental games and psychological harassment of those who are outright against the culture of savagery are part of the community’s daily life in some cases. Since it is a small polarized community spotting out detractors is all the more easier. And while the local palate is actually able to digest all the savage fun, it is dangerous for those on the receiving end as this organized crime tries to do things like leading upright People into road accidents etc. by causing sly coordinated distractions on the busy roads. A mass psychological ailment – or to be more truthful – a criminal mind frame (since it involves organized violence) affects the people here. The leaning toward the global trend of terrorism has made sure that a culture of deceit has taken over from the sober yesteryears of Manipur and the upright Manipuri is today lost in the wilderness of people who have no sensible mooring. The common Indian on the street looks up to this state as traitors and the consequent aversion makes it difficult to bridge the gap between this remote part of India and people from the rest of the country. There are other examples too of how we are breaking basic human trust. Boys from this state are given good accommodation in decent colonies in cities like New Delhi, Pune, Bangalore etc., but people later find out that these boys are stealing their pet dogs for their dinner party. And the gentlemen and their families are so shocked, scared and repulsed that they have total mistrust for any Manipuris in future. Manipur’s isolation is quite palpable now. The government, and the people, are not willing to accord acceptance to the legitimate existence of other people or communities in the state. How long will this kind of mental block last and how long will we hate our neighbors. This is a new world. people are not interested in differences. Take the example of Japan. How well it has adapted to the post World War situation. Today it is one of the greatest business allies of its most ferocious rival, the USA. And the process started just after the nuclear holocaust in Japan perpetrated by the US. And here we are in Manipur, too proud to discard our old mantle of a sub-regional power although the place is suffering chronically from endless problems in just about every field we can think of.
Why can’t people here just be friendly and accommodating to other people outside their community. There’s no need to be so obsessed about political events of a bygone era, like the paperwork concerning the joining of the state to the country. That is all history now. Whose interested in knowing what a puppet king did in a completely different age. He acted according to his judgment. Monarchy is a different system altogether. The king takes responsibility for his actions. Now we are living in a democracy. These two are miles apart. From what we understand the whole of India including Manipur were subjugated by the British and when they left they handed over the administration to the new Indian government. It’s a simple matter. But here we are, crying foul more than six decades later. What people fail to gather is the fact that we fought and we lost. The rest is history and the inevitable change that comes with time. It is more honorable to accept defeat when you have lost fairly and squarely rather than feign something. We are fortunate we didn’t suffer atrocities like in the “seven-year devastation” etc. considering the fact that we were the only state in India that hurt the Bristish pride by killing some of its top officials. The British never had any overt reason to love us. Otherwise they could have given us a status, like Nepal enjoys, post-Independence. Today we are in a free world in a free country. The cool breeze of economic and social freedom will be pleasant only when we concentrate on our work and sweat for our bread. But hardly anyone in Manipur is working, and those who are seem to be making away with all the public money at all levels of the state’s functioning. One has to start working righteously. Whatever he can do. Doesn’t matter what. One has to keep the mind and body active with whatever useful work he or she can do – at home, or office, or with friends. Monetary returns matter, but for a start one has to be active, and believe in the principle of life and the goodness of things – much better than being a stubborn thorn in other people’s flesh. We also take opportunity of these columns to ask those in the proper know to give the people here something to cheer up about, like some good education and association, before they complicate their lives even further. We suggest political parties, NGOs etc. station some of their non-local experts here for a beginning. Modern age is not only about flashy cars, high paying jobs etc. but it is most importantly about the freedom to think and act without too much interference in our lives. And for this we need to interact with those who live in places where this liberty comes naturally due to a better living environment.