By: Sanasam Uniananda
August records yet another important chapter in the annals of Manipur on a sultry afternoon of 1st August, 2011 at about 2.00 P.M. at Saugakpham Bazar at the periphery of North ImphaL This, is in addition to the previous two epoch-makers which have tinges of patriotism and self-sacrifice. The 13rh August and the 27th August verily occupy important places in the long history of Manipur.
Although a little different from the above two in terms of martyrdom and sacrifice, the Sangakpham incident also cannot be viewed as a mere massacre of innocent lives by an act of terrorism. It may ultimately be more than that and the bloods that are shed may be a cementing force for a stable Manipur.
From the statement of the State Government it was an act of violence by an outfit which swears by annihilation of the A.D.C. members who defied the call of non-participation in the A.IXC election held last year. Instances of attempts towards this objective by the said outfit are galore according to the statement. The latest and the most gruesome, according to the State Government is the one near the guest-house complex of District Councils because of the proximity of the blast-site with that of the place where the District Council Members reside, it is also further added that the powerful explosion occurred lust after the Members of the District Council crossed the blast site. We may believe it or not. But any action motivated by a political conviction cannot be objectively judged and cdm83.en.ted upon. Only subjective judgments will do the rounds which persons of wisdom generally avoid to indulge in. But heartless acts are not admired by anybody, anywhere and in any period of human history.
Well, the morning or tfte ili-ratea aay i.e. 1st August did not give the slightest indication of an impending catastrophe that awaits Manipur in the middle of the day. It was like any other day. Only thing was that to the Manipuris, August normally evokes an emotional feeling. One, for its serenity as a harbinger of a tidy new season, bidding good-bye to the rainy season. Two, for the observance of two great episodes of Manipur history that cast a cathartic experience to the Manipuris— the 13th August and the 27th August.
That day the Sangakpham Bazar, as was its wont, was humming with life with commuters doing their jobs, shoppers purchasing their wares and School boys and girls coming from the school after a day’s hard study in the classrooms.
The longer hand of the clock was still 10 minutes more to reach 2.00 P.M. mark when the loudest bang of the year ripped through the crowded bazaar. It was a powerful I1D explosion which took a toll of 5 lives and injured about 12 with pieces of human flesh and mutilated limbs strewn all around. It was an unbelievable nightmare.
But the most heart-breaking and moving sight was the lifeless limbs of two school-children and a father-son duo who came to Manipur for a living and also another unrecognizable one. The large number of wounded persons and mutilated limbs spoke volumes about the intensity of the explosion.
Be that as it may, but the two friends—both girls of the same age reading in the Chingmeirong Primary School in Class-III, one a Tangkhul girl and the other a Meitei girl should not be made to die in vain. From the family records it is revealed that they were bosom friends with medical professions as their aims of life. Sounds sweet to hear. But it may be more. Who knows their last dialogue might have been— “Philaso, i love you so much. The Tangkhuls are so honest and so good. How I wish to visit your home village “Marou” at Phungyar and enjoy association with your near and dear ones there”.
“Dear Neha! I also love you so much. The Meiteis are so kind caring and affectionate to us. Let us live together forever and forever. Let no one can separate us”.
We are told that they clasped their hands tightly on their return journey homeward from the school on that fateful day. But it was their last journey homewards that they never reached. It may, however be a blessed journey towards Heaven where they should live together without separation.
Martyrs are the unifiers and consolidators of a people. They leave behind sweet memories for the posterity.
Now, the multi-million dollar question before us is: “Which words should we use to mourn their death”?
Condolences are aplenty from every nook and corner of Manipur.
But instead of condolences our best pledge is:
We should make a unified Manipur so that their souls may rest in peace.