By N. Arunkumar
The CM of Manipur, Shri. O. Ibobi Singh has made a significant observation at a public function recently, about the strong possibility of the draconian AFSPA being re – imposed in the AC’s of Greater Imphal. No doubt, his statement comes at a moment when all of us living here in Imphal are experiencing the trauma of extortions, intimidations, random killings and other forms of extreme life threatening conditions born out of the total disregard for law and order in the entire state, besides the areas from which the Act was lifted a few years ago. It is certainly a fact that the lifting of the Act has not in any way reduced the various forms of violent activities that have been the hallmark of our existence here in Manipur over the past many decades now.
When the people revolted against the Act, it was popularly supported by all of us, believing that it was on account of the statutory powers of the Act, which was causing us the hardship that we were faced with as the security forces were hell – bent on erasing us as a civilization from the face of the planet. We agree that it was perhaps the secret game – plan of the so called security forces. However, in retrospect, we have to now reconsider as to who is out to annihilate whom? The ongoing revolutionary movements, in fact more than one revolutionary movement that is progressing simultaneously like caterpillars growing on plants profusely in Manipur, is so baffling that we are totally lost about who is who and what is what about this thing called a peoples war against a colonial master. In this battle it looks like the guns are entirely pointed towards the people by the people, for the people and of the people. What are we to understand about the likely end to this tumult in our midst? The situation has become so hugely counter – productive that we are now witnessing the act of women and children too being targeted by our armed brothers and sisters in a perhaps lackadaisical justification that ‘all is fair in love and war’.
Are we to then accept that this war will end with our supreme victory or continue to wallow in dreams of such victory, while we provide the licence to every Tomba and Chaoba to run amok amongst us with guns and gunpowder? We are hopelessly facing the devil now, and we have no recourse to any sensible legal course of action to rectify our grievances or even hope for security from blatant dacoity in the name of revolution. The unaccounted crores that are being collected by dubious groups claiming to be fighting for us are almost certainly living life king size, while those of us who toil and earn our living are targeted to sustain their lifestyles. The war is therefore an unconvinced struggle to push us further and further into the abyss of desperation and penury, while the few who have weapons in their hands rule us like cattle. We are the cattle today folks, and have no doubts about that. The time has perhaps come over us now, for us to consider these proliferating groups and read between the lines of their agenda.
Of course, if at all anyone dares to do that then the results are only too well known to us. A bullet will silence the inquisitive nose and the investigation will abruptly come to a close, with more fear instilled thereafter about the particular group. So, we are today lost and hopelessly out of sync with our own society. The CM had also mentioned that the social organizations who had spearheaded the movement to have the draconian AFSPA lifted from Manipur have peculiarly responded with silence to the ongoing fratricidal war being waged against our own folk. They have done their job for someone or something and decided that it was enough. The repercussions of the act are still there for all to see, and the activities of our own brethren in the given scenario goes invisibly accepted with a sigh of resignation. We are doomed and doomed real good folks. When a society loses focus and ambition to excel, the life – cycle of that society becomes stagnant. We are today in such a predicament and let us be brave enough to accept it. Our problems stem from the fact that we do not accept responsibility for our own mistakes.
Let us be mature and brave enough to accept that our society today is in serious trouble due to our own mistakes and, simply catalysed by mistakes committed by other people over us. Everyone is taking advantage of us today due to the fact that we are not looking at ourselves before blaming others for our hardships. Are we to continue living like this for the rest of our lives? Are we to accept that we shall be victorious in death only? Does every sacrifice mean death by choice?
This statement stems from the fact that at the present instance, our battle is against ourselves and the security forces are laughing away in glee at our own self determined concentration camps mushrooming all over the state. The masters of these camps are mysterious and predatory ideologues stalking our streets and watching, not on the enemy, but over us. It may even be our own neighbour watching us while someone in our family may be watching over that neighbour too. The cat and the mouse are very much within our own boundaries today, and we are led to suppose that the enemy is on the other side of the fence? We must be joking with ourselves. Think about it folks. Seriously!