Editorial – Dastardly Crime

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The blast yesterday at Sangakpham in Imphal at a crowded market which killed four, including two children, and injured seven, was dastardly and deserves to be condemned universally. The fact that the bomb was planted near the newly established Autonomous District Council, ADC, building, does indicate a motive likely to be behind the atrocious and mindless assault, but in all fairness, until guilt is definitely and conclusively proven, let everybody refrain from jumping the gun and passing judgments, much less conducting trials on the media and other public forums. This however should also mean the police and other law enforcing organs of the state must probe hard and come up with the answer as quickly as possible before media speculations and public rumours take over. But leaving aside the search for who was responsible, let us condemn the act first. This is not the first time such atrocities happened, and we all know practically every militant organisation in the state is capable of doing this. So let nobody be too hasty in pointing fingers. Let more evidences come out first before anybody with certainty claim to know the answers to all the who’s and why’s of this despicable crime.

What has however also become a pattern is for all to join the condemnation until the perpetrators of the crime, in the most atrocious way, come clean and claim responsibility explaining why such crimes are a necessary way of their wars. When this happened every time, all the most vocal protestors would suddenly retreat into their shells with their tails between their legs, pretending complete innocence of having ever participated in the protests. This is the tragedy of the place. It is a petrified society we live in today, thanks to the proliferating number of revolutions and even greater number of self proclaimed revolutionaries who would shoot first and then pronounce judgments posthumously. Brutality has come to be internalised and ingrained in the mind of the society and it is not going to be an easy job to exorcise this demon. The first and foremost task before the society then is to shed this fear and come out and let its mind known. If there are risks involved, it must be taken. Such a resistance, in history as well as in religions, has always demanded the courage to sacrifice. Nowhere is this more pronounced than in Christianity and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. In historical time, we know well, his sacrifice ultimately even lead to the change of heart of the Roman Empire, building the unshakable foundation for the religion not only to stand firmly but to spread across the globe ultimately. Sharmila’s resistance is another example. These acts of extreme courage seldom fail in dismantling the edifice of fear from the minds of people.

What is however discouraging is the silence of our so called opinion makers to commit themselves to bring about changes. They can write but only to attract attention to what they believe is their intellectual prowess in analysing and dissecting the society’s ill, and seldom to take the issues to their logical end and thereby bring about a resolution. True they are not supposed to be activists, but they should also listen to the beckoning of the times. At this moment, the call is for them to leave their ivory towers and be on the streets if need be to pitch in their mite in purging the society of the terror in its heart. It is also discouraging that the vocal articulators of the society’s problems are satisfied living in small corners of the insular virtual world of the internet with their virtual “friends” and virtual “friends of friends”, making fiery statements on social networking sites such as facebook, complementing each other’s comments with a “like” thus stoking each other’s ego and getting thrills out of it. Watching (or listening) to these fashionable cacophonies, one is reminded of the idea of Freud’s “pleasure principle”. The goal is no long problem solving problems but masking them with ego thrills and false gratification in making rhetoric. It is time for some “reality principle” now and for everybody to get down to grappling real issues on the ground and get rid of them conclusively. Let us be reminded of the calls of the time so well encapsulated in the haunting Manipuri tune: “Pari Imom Shamu Pangalba-sa; Napam lamdam khanbi meihoure; Chaklakle meise, laona khongna; Khambi meikal houro-ne” (Listen sons and daughters of the land with the strength of elephants; Your fatherland is on fire; come out and save the land from the fire).

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