IMPHAL, Nov 19: A musical concert organised yesterday by All Clubs Organisations of Manipur, ACOM, Lup featuring prominent artist of the state, Tapta, at the Biehgyachandra Open Air Theatre, BOAT, was cut short by police as the permit for the concert was only valid till 8 pm. In direct contrast another concert organised by the government for the inauguration of the three newly inaugurated Keithel buildings at the same time ran till the wee hours today.
The Tapta musical concert held in culmination of the decade long hunger strike of Irom Sharmila was postponed earlier this month following similar permit hurdles, and was finally organised as part of the festival of justice, peace and hope by the Just Peace Foundation.
The musical night at the Ima Keithel was attended by cabinet ministers and other officials of the state including MAHUD, PWD and engineers of SIMPLEX, who carried out the construction of the three market buildings.
A huge crowd was further enthralled when Thongju constituency MLA Bijoy Koijam came up on stage to serenade three old popular numbers including ‘Taniklae thamoi ngashigei ahing ‘, a song by renowned singer, late Nongmaithem Pahari.
Even as the MLA performed, currency notes were showered on the MLA turned singer by works minister K Ranjit and education minister L Jayantakumar bewilderment at the actions of the MLAs.
“This is amazing that an MLA should come up on stage to sing in a public arena, they are the elected of the state and have to maintain a certain degree of decorum especially in public. The wanton display of wealth by the minister is also below the dignity of a public figure, this sort of thing happens only in Manipur, if only they would show similar enthusiasm regarding developments of the state “, a concert goer said.
In direct contrast of the merry making at the bazar musical concert, state police closed down the Tapta concert held in observance of Sharmila’s decade long fast.
Usually, musical nites at the BOAT go unopposed by the government authorities, even if the programmes continued even after the permission time was over.
Tapta, known for his non conformism and unconventional style, presented more than twenty songs to entertain the large crowd yesterday evening.
All the songs were dedicated to Sharmila.
One narrated the innocent reaction of four year old Russel, son of pregnant Rabina Devi, who was shot dead in the controversial shoot out at Imphal Khwairamband Bazar in broad daylight on July 23.
Tapta presented the songs during yesterday’s peace concert and performed for free. Normally he charges from Rs. 45,000 to 50,000 per concert including fees for his orchestra.
It may be mentioned that several human rights groups had decried the police action of disallowing the Tapata concert and the rally scheduled earlier showing solidarity to Irom Sharmila.