No One Is Smiling In Manipur!!!

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Z. K. Pahrii PouWelcome to SMILE-LESS state – MANIPUR. No one is smiling here. If you smile in this part of India, you could be suspected as abnormal being. ‘But’, you may say: ‘I use to see Chief Minister Ibobi Singh smiling from time to time’.  Don’t take me wrong. I tell you, those were not natural smiles. Those were fake smiles – smiles of deception. He only smiles when inaugurating new developmental projects and during the induction of more armed forces in the state. Those were forced smiles and hardly last for 10 to 30 seconds. Not even a minute! He has to smile for taking pictures for newspapers and send to UPA Chairperson Ms. Sonia Gandhi to give impression that “ALL IS WELL” in Manipur.   What about his ministers? Do they smile? Once in a blue moon. Only when they were offered grand portfolio in the ministry and when they were invited to be the Chief Guest or Guest of honour in special occasions they smile. Sometimes, in such occasion they were overjoyed and fired bullets and hit their own friends!!! But their high status and money did not even allow them to go to prison. What about the members of Autonomous District Council (ADC) who are almost equal in rank to ministers? Are they happy? No. The hill tribes did not accept the election of ADC. The ADC members are caught between Manipur government and Hill tribes. They cannot even come to the hill areas. How will they develop the hill tribes (areas) when they cannot be there? Manipur government has put their life into risk. They were given crores of rupees and few administrative powers but not empowered to legislate laws autonomously to protect the hill tribes and their resources.  Who is happy in Manipur? Who is smiling? 
What about civil bodies in Manipur? Do they smile? Certainly not! Look at Meira Paibis (Torch Bearers), one of the best organised women organisations in the world. They were forced to fight against the excessive militarization in the region. Their sons and husbands were killed almost every day by Indian armed forces on the pretext of one or the other; their daughters raped, houses and livelihoods destroyed. They were forced to go for protest ‘naked’ in front of Assam Rifles’ Camp (2004). Everyday, Manipur local dailies’ front page is filled either with a picture of women holding banners, some with tears in their eyes, protesting against violence or Ibobi Singh with a fake smile. Everyday a child is born with uncertainty whether s/he would be able to grow up or would be killed in crossed-fire or fake encounter. In individual level, Irom Sharmila Chanu is on fast since 2000 to protect life and bring justice to Manipur. Just a sight at Sharmila is enough to break down your heart. Who is happy in Manipur? Who is smiling?
What about the United Council of Manipur (UCM) who is spearheading for the protection of Manipur integrity? They don’t smile. They are angry with the state government because the state has completely failed to bring cordial relationship between the hill tribes and the valley dwellers. So enraged were they that they burnt down Manipur Secretariat Office. What about United Naga Council (UNC) and Kuki Inpi of Manipur (KIM) who represented the hill tribes?  They are not happy as well. Frustrated with state’s negligent attitude towards the hill tribes, they want to sever all ties with Manipur government. The state sometime tried to flare up ethnic conflict between these two ethnic groups. What about various student bodies? Many tribal students Union are ever ready to impose economic blockade against the state’s failure to implement reservation for tribal people both in government jobs and educational institutions. The Chief Minister Ibobi Singh, who is a non-tribal, has taken the portfolio of Tribal Development – an insult to tribal ministers.  There are no good government schools and hospitals. With such discrimination, naturally smile will not come out from one’s heart. Who is happy in Manipur? Who is smiling?What about youths? Are they happy? No. There are 5,48,704 unemployed educated youths in the state (2006). The economic survey report 2007–08 says that the problem of unemployment continues to be a matter of serious concern to the state economy. Do they have future in Manipur? They are restless. Many have joined insurgent movement. Do the school children happy? No. Their teachers have all gone to protest against the state’s negligence towards their salary.  Students have burnt schools. They have locked class rooms.  They threw text books in front of the governor’s residence gate. Are they happy? You tell me. What about the pensioners? The state government did not spare them too. The State has denied many pensioners especially from hill areas their due share for many years. Many have died before the case is settled in the court. Simply because of 2 or 3 corrupted persons, many pensioners in the state were held ransom for many years without payment. Who is happy in Manipur? Who is smiling?
What about those police commandos and IRB which are mostly comprised of local youths? Do they smile? No. Many of them hate to hold guns and kill their own brothers and sisters. But that was the only employment provided by the state for their survival. They torture and kill others to earn their living. How will they smile with such profession? What about state armed forces such as CRPF, Assam Rifles, etc? They feel posting in Manipur is like experiencing ‘hell’ on earth. However, Assam Rifles have cunningly called themselves as “Friends of Hill People.” They pretend to be “Good Samaritans” by distributing few cheap computer sets to schools, NGOs, etc. But they use to frisk our vehicles and check our bags almost every 7 to 10 km travel. They have power to shoot us without any provocation or reason. Where is the security for common people? Their action makes us very suspicious whether they are our friends or foes. Guns and bombs do not bring smile on the innocent face. Who is happy in Manipur? Who is smiling? 
What about the insurgents who have taken up arms? Do they smile? No. They were completely separated from their family members and loved ones. How will they enjoy their lives living in a plastic-hut deep in the forests where mosquitoes, snakes and other reptiles and dangerous animals threaten their life every hour, every day? They were completely cut off from normal life. They were being hunted by Indian armies like a dog chasing a rabbit. They have joined insurgent movement to build a better future for coming generation who, they think, should not suffer like them. With bombs fasten in their waist and guns in their hands, it is difficult to think that they are enjoying their life. They dream of smiling one day. But the road to freedom is not easy… who is happy in Manipur? Who is smiling?
Do the common people in Manipur smiling? No. An estimated amount of Rs 20 to 25 crores are lost every day in the state due to strikes, blockades and shutdowns called by different groups across the state. The cracks and potholes of National Highways in Manipur are a nightmare for vehicles’ owners and drivers.  Everyday, in Imphal Valley, people have to do shopping as fast as they can because at any time curfew could be imposed to maintain ‘law and order’. The flooding of cheap consumer goods from bigger national economies and international borders with its unequal market competition has degraded the local economy of handicraft and handloom based industries. In the hill areas, except those negligible numbers of government employees, the state does not contribute anything for human and economic development. Livelihoods of the fisherfolks in Loktak Lake, the Hmars and Nagas in the Tipaimukh dam area and the settlers along the bank of Barak River in Jiribam, are being destroyed in the name of development. The ongoing referendum on plebiscite in Valley area is a startling example of mass dissatisfaction with the present system of governance.  Who is happy in Manipur? Who is smiling?
Is the writer of this article smiling? No. Why?  Although, he is a tribal student, like many others, was denied post matric scholarship because he studies theology. Till his Master’s degree (2006), he was granted the scholarship but now as he joins research programme (Doctorate in Theology), he is denied scholarship when he needed it most. Theological students never disturb government by seeking government jobs. Instead of denying them the scholarship, they should be even given more than secular students. My theological friends in Nagaland are enjoying handsome amount of government scholarship.  The Nagas in Nagaland are enjoying milk and honey. The Mizos in Mizoram are enjoying peace and prosperity. How many more months/years should we (in Manipur) wait to live like our neighbours? Who is happy in Manipur? Who is smiling? If anyone has genuine reason to smile today, share with us! We will smile together and change the gloomy face of Manipur!!!Contact: [email protected]

13 COMMENTS

  1. No one in this world are really happy except some few people who give up this material world. we all will be happy if we know our reality and make it change. I think complaining is very easy but doing something constructive is no so. why always blame to our parent? we also ve some responsibility of our self . it will not make our just by blaming to our parents. hope we all ll do something for our future generation.

  2. Our forefather rode “ponies” and fought against the mighty British guns and canons with their swords!(I said British not India). Thats our plight and “history” .But we don’t ride ponies anymore, interestingly the ponies of Manipur are near extinction.

    What do you mean by originality? what to reclaim and what to regain? You fooled yourself again there and the one who have a wicked, wiser and clever grey cells are making the best use of people like you. If you don’t start from the basic then don’t expect to construct a skyscraper from the top floor! Your personal explanations are well written but remember the air are also best suited for igniting the fire.

    You contradict yourself with Manipur’s dependence on India and trying to direct it to some emotional outpour which are caused due to our own mistakes. Have you ever asked yourself “Why the Indians treated Manipur so badly?” Your “fair” knowledge seems to be “fair” enough with your own self emotional opinion rather than reflecting to the overall “Picture” . Remember if you wear glasses of green color you will see everything green, red glasses all red and vice versa. You seemed to have confused at the first place before wearing any glasses. The hatred towards India has been filled in our minds right from the beginning but many of us doesn’t know why we hate them. One individual’s bad experiences cannot be the same with other but having said so none of us never tried to understand why we have those horrible experiences. By saying this I am not supporting India or concluding India either good or bad. Initially, the paramilitary, the army, the Indian occupation forces were the nuisance to the Manipur society, killing many beyond one’s understanding in the name of counter insurgency. However, look at the records – How many Manipuri(all people residing in the state) got killed by another Manipuri? If the records don’t give you a thought than I would say you are just a head in the crowd who ll never make it to the podium. Presently, we are not scared of Indians but we are more terrified of ourselves (I believe this will expand your fair knowledge on your state “Kangleipak”). Nevertheless, we are struggling to free ourselves for our own society. My friend I would still say, have a look and think we ought to make ourselves better before blaming our neighbors and friends.

    I respect and I genuinely wish when you say “We are far better than India”, we do and on the contrary the Indians thinks they are better – you and I cannot deny this. When you say about ruling and being ruled by India – my reply would be – you are still confused between independence and being dependent. But it would be wrong to bring in the war of Khongjom and the culture when you compare “yourself” with Indians. I wonder your views on this comparison. Maybe you are too patriotic to be pragmatic. My friend I don’t worry what clothes I wear or what food I eat. Maybe I am ignorant and a novice not to consider this but interestingly If I ask you what do you wear and eat? I wish you won’t give me that “shoot oneself in the foot” look.

    Surprisingly, your conclusion made me feel sad. You talk a lot about a driving force, you compared a lot with the ones you hate, you gave examples of our forefathers but you accepted at the end that you are a slave before even mentioning who your master was. Yes, I am naive, I am ignorant, I accepted I am a Manipuri and Manipur so far in the books is in India but I never felt that I was a slave nor I work, think, eat, dress, sleep etc like a slave. When you are doubting the way i dress and eat I am doubting your mental stats and what good you can bring to yourself(forget the rest)? You have great skills of writing although its generally based on emotional and personal thoughts but your conclusion is all air.

    “Don’t ever think you will be here if you don’t breathe”

    -who listens, hears but still remains ignorant!

  3. Any sensible person who has the knowledge of the outside states and lives in manipur , who knows the ups and downs of Manipur will never smile…. Only fools will drown in their unfounded pride and say I am happy….. bandh (almost half of the year), Gunshots, bomb explosions, murder, kidnap (every day affairs both from security forces and militants), salary after 5-6 months, JAC for this and that…. dharna….. rough road with full of dust (you cannot wear white shirts without being soiled with dust in no time) , garbage dumped everywhere…. corruptions rampant etc etc etc….. who will smile in such a place? MANIPUR = HELL Only fools will say this is SANALEIBAK …..

    • Hey Gongs,
      Your friend knows you are very sad and not smiling. What are you doing to make yourself smile?

      Is Manipur = hell making you smile?

      I believe, if you are not a fool than you must be out of Manipur. (no serious offense)

      I pity your white shirt – Did you try Ariel ultra?

      Well I am not here to answer and ask questions to you but I wanted to point this out that many of us still think that its outsider (if i say india then my real message will go in different directions) who has made our roads dusty, who came and called bandhs, curfews, now and then, killing many of our brothers and sisters.
      Have we ever realized the mistakes we have done? I wish all of us become wiser and make it a clear point that it was us who spoil our own “SANALEIPAK” (“not sanaleibak”).

      “Wake and rise, be wiser and productive”

  4. We always talk about sovereignty, independence becoming a republic and a democratic “country”. The word country is “big”, even bigger when you add the prefix “independent”. Cannot imagine the complexity when you add another pre prefix “Democratic”! This sounds good “Democratic Republic of Manipur” or “The democratic republic of Kangleipak” and vice versa. But no body is aware what it takes to become an independent state, country. Where and what will we feed our brothers and sisters? I believe we cannot eat independence. As a matter of fact the revolutionaries are surviving with the money of the Indian government. I am not lying here and all of us know very clear the source of income of the insurgents. Take a deep thought and look at the cycle of the financial flow in the Manipur society. You definitely will get an answer why the crime rate is increasing, the development getting slower and slower, unemployment issues etc.

    Who don’t want independence? I too want independence but my meaning of “independent” is quite different from those of my fellow countrymen. I wish we get the meaning of independence before fighting for independence. Let me ask you a question – What if India gives Manipur independence tomorrow? (Tomorrow never dies) All of us die of hunger less than a year. All the money we have will exhaust in less than a year. We cannot think of another flyover for the next few decades, we cannot see the university developing in the present pace neither we can see salary being paid very 4-5 months(maybe no salary at all) these facts are relative with the present situation. The rich will escape the wrath of being “independent”, the poor and the common people die a “miserable death”.

    Eventually, we ll end up being miserable and poor. Ultimately our race might perish from this human race and the ones which we dominate presently flourish in our fertile fields once we are gone. Think about it! The idea of independence is just a strong patriotic feeling but none of us has ever thought of making our lives better in our own home.

    I would say we haven’t done the home work and its high time we do our home work properly before things get out of our hands. “The world would not not listen to us if India doesn’t listen to us”. Let me tell you this – “When did the UN, US, UK, EU interfere in many of our heartfelt uprising and incidents?” – the answer is an emphatic “Blank” – so far.

    “Rise and wise, lets clean our house before mowing others lawn.”

    -who listens doesn’t hear.

    • Your base of conviction solely is personal and eccentric.You hail high and up so much for a reason is quite visible.

      Lets get to the basic,Kangleipak issue is not about food and clothes.Its about regaining and reclaiming the originality.Its about cliche but nevertheless about a value which has been the driving force and will always be.Where complacent has no place.Hence,at the moment Kangleipak has greater and preemptive measures that she can not abandon.To attend the higher goal one has to forgo certain things that she knows well.

      You have missed to look at the world where you live which’s truly based on action and reactions.You believe so much in a messiah that seem to represent a incarcerated mortal who never dare to see sunlight and see the world around.You have a great faith that we are desperately needed to be looked upon and look after by the world by large.Wake up!Whole definition of independence is mangled that way.Its about learning and to stand all alone.

      You also have in wrong notion that Kangleipak is sustaining because of centre’s largess.Looking at rather perspective and larger nuances that Indian Govt. has been on with its endeavor,one with fair knowledge about own knowledge and a bit of feeling will be able to see that clear picture.Intention of starting from coercion to present turmoils are just one of those outcomes.At this is point you mean to say we’re destined to be led and ruled by only Indian?(wow,that’s I called it true herds).But dont forget as I mentioned that a driving force still exist which’ll never stop until a solution is drawn out based on fact that Kangleipak was coerced and which is not acceptable to sane people.(forget about herds).

      Eons of years we the people of Kangleipak’re independent and are today too(till we we keep our voice clear that we have no string attached with Indian and India).Our forefathers better thought of not exist without freedom.Khongjom and many unsung battles are manifestations and truth about solitary souls.You mean to say that we fought with bloods and flesh for Indian?Are you gone nuts!We are far better than Indian(I dont think its comparable) in many fields.You know,its our sweats, face,and culture that critical representation that comes in great disposal for this Indians which they never mince so far in taking pride of.(If you ask then you are just naive and need to learn).At last I would clear doubt about your “food and clothes” stuffs dilemma which you think is a great point to corner novice “herds”.But who talks about “breathing”while one does some crucial work?.Yes,that it!Hence,food,clothes,weapons,houses,papers,dances,songs,business were some of the part of the culture which it had flourished quite well until(time came) we were made to “not to learn” and rather acclimatized with what master wanted.Destroy the culture and rule!Its so simple formula.Yup,Its like that.Some are quite aware of all these.Only remains is clashes among two ideologies.

  5. Mr ZK Pahr!

    Although most of the words you are speaking are true, your conclusion about not everyone smiling in Manipur is very judgmental and wrong. Let me not get into that but let me point out few hypocritical or should i say “contradictory” points you have made in your blog.

    1. Your angst against the govt. for not doing enough for you and your own tribe renders all your previous good points worthless. You seem to have highlighted all the greeds that’s surfacing in Manipur which is true but you don’t seem to feel wrong to ask govt. for alms even to fund your higher education. What haven’t you learned as a Ph D pursuer to realize you have to learn to stand on your own feet and stop asking the Govt. to feed you. At least you have mentioned that except for your subject there are scholarships. So it means you are asking the govt. to extend more support which is exactly what our politicians are doing in Delhi: begging for more and more alms to serve their selfish needs.

    2. Don’t try to compare your privileges with that of a Naga or Delhities for that matter. Try to learn and earn with dignity. The more you dig into what didn’t you get from the govt. the more spiteful you will become towards the govt. and who knows others who felt the same way you do are spearheading some anti-Manipur campaign to demand some goodies not sympathetic of the common man like you who’s to fork out Rs.140 for a litre of petrol.

    The least you and I should do in this present situation is to Introspect and do some sacrificial work. Come out in the street with genuine demands like corruption free society but don’t come out asking for more share of the pie. Instead of targeting the same old small pie, let create hundreds of pies together and you can have your good share.

    All the best to your quest for knowledge and your career.

    http://www.manipurtalks.com/index.php?members/brajamohan.46/

  6. Very simple answer to your little monster nagging you,here,the respective states that you are trying to depict it as greener pasture are all,not derogatory meant but are TRIBAL states,rather self proclaimed(so not a question of subjugation but bringing chaos to scrambling lost herds for Indian Govt) .Kangleipak and its society as a whole with respect to culture as main driving force are in great transition.This transition will take time and it’ll also take people’s lives too.Not yet road map to accomplish but sure that great change is running deep under still water.

    Kangleipak will never accept and compromise with sovereignty because we have clear goal and objective unlike any tribal provinces which have great propensity to be swayed by the changing time.Take any instances.Present and coming days will be more boisterous ever because of too many confusion have been seeded but again to fight back the confusion truth will emerge out as a victory.Interesting thing about the world we live is all that about.

    Hence,too early to infer or verdict or even claim to talk about “laugh” smile etc here in Kangleipak’s context!

    Kangleipak

  7. No one indeed is smiliing in Manipur… The worst state in India. The most backward state full of corrupted peoples….. A state where you will get your salary after 5-6 months, a place where bomb explosion is heard everyday, a place where encountered is like air to the lungs for the people of manipur, a place where you cannot enjoy a one minute smooth ride without complaining the pathetic condition of the roads, a place where electricity is off most of the time….. ahhh the list goes without ending.. help me complete it……………………………..the worst state …. lagging far behind neigbouring states like Nagaland, Mizoram and meghalaya…

  8. Hi,
    It would be a an insult to the whole human community if I ask “Who is smiling in this whole world?”. I definitely know you wont shout out “Barack Obama”. The shallow selfish thinking of the whole community is the major issue of your “answer” to your emotional breakdown – “No One Is Smiling In Manipur!!!”. In fact you are so obsessed with what the minister are doing rather than advising/enforcing your friends and family that paying bribe to get a job in the sate services wont bring any kind of the so called “delayed” development in your motherland which you are desperate to see “one fine day”. “I” not “we” cannot deny tomorrow that you joined a state department after selling out your parents/family savings and property. “You” cannot deny that you are not a citizen of the society which you really hate to associate with.
    Eventually you end up with the phrase “The hunter becomes the hunted”.

    You also cannot deny “Everyone is smiling in Manipur”. You will now ask me why I am wasting your time, the fact is we are surviving in free money – free money from “India”. Why I am saying the money is free – because eventually you end up paying buying everything from India for free. All of us are so ignorant that we try to cut off ourselves from our own umbilical cord. Who generates true revenue in Manipur? Don’t tell me Shija Hospital, Hotel Classic, Hotel Airlines…… Btw aren’t these owners smiling? You make your own guess, I don’t get affected by their “money” or “happiness” or “your meaning of smiling”.

    The criticism/debate can go long with loads of air and no substance and finally a unsatisfied conclusion which we all know. I would advice you myself and the rest to be more ignorant on what the ministers are doing and pay more attention on the education and cultural richness of the whole society while India feeds our stomach.

    Keep yourself happy. I know you are one hard nut to crack.
    Smile please, say cheese!

    -who listens doesn’t hear.

  9. it is interesting to read your article regarding ” who is smiling” in Manipur. although i may be little late to share my experiences i thought its better rather then never.
    i totally agreed the reasons each individual faced today in Manipur however i smile at least once in a day for the two simple reasons.
    1) i am happy and smile for the reason that i was borne as a mentally and physically fit.( keeping a chance for reformation rather not revolution)
    2) i am happy and smile for the reason that i am earning without any corruption and without relying any favour from any one.
    but now another reason has added to make me smile , the reason is that i am happy to know your completion in Doctorate in Theology.
    thiyam.

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