by Bobo Khuraijam
Work is worship. Some loud thinkers must have said it. Or else we would not find it written and pasted in so many places. We find these saintly words being put on view both in private and public spaces. Now these words are put into practice. That is what invokes the interest of all Leipung members. We are not sure if the meaning of the words is lost or not when it is translated into action. But there are works and works to be seen around us. Most of the leirak-khulak is flooded with works. Allow us to caution you that these works are not the one taken up by the sarkar and its machineries. It is a kind of work taken up by humanist crusaders who have pledged to serve the mankind with benevolence and uprightness.
SERVICE BEFORE SELF: is the mantra which drives our crusaders. We can understand the kind of struggle they had to undertake to be able to come out from their domestic humdrums. Look at us. We are nothing but petty self-satisfied creatures in front of them. We are contended with our everydayness of existence. We live in our own imaginary heavens of nonchalant idleness. A two square meal with the seasonal yongchaak(s) and ngarou(s) would soothe us to a good night sleep under the blanket. A DVD from the pavement would warm our hearts. With utmost sense of concern we would listen to the AIR taretmakhai pao. We would switch it off along with our sense after passing some comments. Come early morning, we would read the newspaper like a pupil preparing for matriculate exam. We would sell it off to the bheiya along with our souls. We would give an affirmative nod when a fellow sitting next in a thoudok-wathok says that time(s) are really bad. We would come back home leaving behind our conscience to the host or karmadhari. And look at them. They have travelled a long journey. A journey filled with ordeals and hardship. They have gone through the kind of trial that only the one with the golden heart would pass. They have gone through the test of fire that only the one with lofty moral value would endure. It seems they have decided far too well in advance. That one day they would come out and be born again in front of the people. To serve them with sincerity, simplicity and kindness unbound.
SOCIAL WORKER: as they are popularly called. They are loved by many and hated by a few. Those who hate them would throw pointless accusations against them. Some have even gone public by caricaturing them on public media. They have become cartoonist’s delight and editor’s punch bag. It was very unethical to ridicule them saying that a SOCIAL WORKER PARTY is formed. It was spiced up with another made up credentials, purported to be mandatory for joining the party. That one should posses three to four JCBs, two to three dumpers, five to six trucks and other heavy machineries that could be use in social works. Silly! Are not they? Could they please tell us? How on earth could one do social work without these heavy machineries? Let us clear things out. We cannot do social work with the pen, or with a computer and an offset printing machine. Tell us. Have you gone through the hardship of running here and there looking for ‘work orders’? Have you played hide and seek inside the secretariat building? Have you ever run marathons looking for engineers and other Angam-Athou(s)? Have you ate, slept, breathed and smelled cement dust along with sand and iron etc? Besides, have you ever flooded a musical artiste from head to toe with hard currency notes in a musical party thrown by the powerful(s)? What not they have done to be able to stand in front of us today? Here, we are not interested in ascertaining whether your answers is no or yes to the questions which we have thrown up. To cast a true light to the true spirit of social work taken up by our crusaders is our endeavor.
SO NOW: they are born before us, to a birth full of sacrifices. They have come out of their stoic silence. That is why they have taken up the supreme task of doing social work all over the leirak-khullak. Yet again, they are put into ignominy. An illogical theory has been doing the round. That in the time of elections they have to spend a huge amount of money. They have to donate each and every candidate of different hues. Moreover candidates either burrow money or pawn assets in return of money. So, the accusation is that instead of funding all kinds of candidate it is better to take an opportunity; the opportunity of projecting oneself as a candidate. We cannot but laugh at that theory. Let us put it on record that their hearts are as pure as the Sekmai machin, perhaps even purer than that. To win or to lose is secondary to them. Yes, we do agree that they have incurred a vast amount of wealth much beyond their own count. What will they do with the wealth? If rich people like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet can, why not they? Social work is the ultimate work. They are not hungry for power, as they are alleged with. They do not yearn for salutes from the ranks of Khaki uniforms. They do not wish to travel in vehicles with siren and beacon light. A Leipung member who is a student of Philosophy adds that they are the perfect example of Niskama Karma Yoga! Meaning: duty for duty sake, without any desire for the fruit. They want to serve the people in the form of worship. No hard feelings if many of them win in the coming Assembly Election, by any means.
FOOTNOTE: the mobile cellular phone network came to a halt much to the chagrin of everyone. We almost become paralyzed without the service of techno-communication. Leipung Ningthou calls it, “san gaari da nuclear missile purubagi dosa”.