By N. Haokip
God created man in his own image (Gen. 1:27), which means, the mortal man is undoubtedly the most powerful of all His creations. Man has been gifted with unequal measure of intelligence, abilities, qualities, etc adequate enough to do anything and everything he wants on this earth. Except God no creation on this earth has the power to challenge man’s abilities and his authority. Therefore, it is a great privilege to be a member of the human race who is nothing but the god himself. Each individual of mankind is gifted with all the abilities of varying capacities needed for taking care of all God’s creations. If that is so, no human being can be expected to be forgiven for not doing his duty when all the abilities with authority have been given to him. With all these abilities and power man has the primary duty to take good care of God’s creations on this earth.
But, power and greed have corrupted the very man whom God created like His own image and now man is responsible for causing many of the avoidable tragedy on this earth. History has taught us many lessons why we should shun violence and embrace good if we have to prosper on this earth. Man by virtue of being a social animal, it is normal for him to fight for his space and rights if any injustice is being subjected to him. However, when the fight is due to sheer greediness and without application of one’s conscience the outcome is only misery. There are no winners but only losers. As Gandhiji said, “The world has enough for everyone’s needs, but not for everyone’s greed”, it is indeed our greed that creates problem and more so when we want every damn thing without knowing how to take care of it.
In the context of the spiralling unrest in the remotest corner of an Indian state, Manipur, it is nothing but due to sheer greediness and let me have it all syndrome hiding behind the misplaced ideology of nationhood which are largely based on exclusivity and lacking rationale application of the human intelligence. As I said, it is alright to fight for one’s legitimate rights as long as it is for the common good, but when it comes at the cost of many innocent lives due to greed and senseless acts the move become illegal and unacceptable. Today, our biggest enemy in Manipur is poverty, corruption, unemployment, extortions, killings, AIDS, etc. It is the collective responsibility of every community and individual to fight these menaces. Tragically, we are more focus on our differences based on man-made ethnic divides rather than solving our common problems. If we have to trace history holistically then only we can realised how foolish and shallow we are.
The ongoing blockades and counter blockades in Manipur have caused so much misery and hardship for the common people while the government of the day has failed to come up with any solution. At this juncture, the crisis in Manipur remains unabated due to the uncompromising posture adopted by the contending parties trying to negate over each other on the issue of Sadar Hills District demand. The common people irrespective of the community they belong suffer for no direct fault of theirs whatsoever, but I do feel that everyone who is affected including the majority Meetei brothers have a great role to play in diffusing the tension instead of blaming and name calling the bandh supporters. Again the govt at the centre and the state is almost silent on the issue and the crisis is allowed to do further damage by pitching one community against another. There is sheer lack of strategy and insight into the future of Manipur. There is clearly lack of visionaries among the people who are looking after the affairs of the state in Manipur. The short-sightedness and the inability to resolve any crisis at hand is the hallmark of Manipur govt and the so call civil organisations. Therefore, I see this is the time for us for action.
Now my friends, we have great opportunities because of the challenges thrown right at our nose. We are called out to lead from the front from now onwards. Our past and present leadership had failed us, our future has been imposed on us let us not sit idle by doing nothing. Some past leaders have gain popularity through their exclusive politics by creating distrust and enmity between Christian brothers like Nagas and Kukis. I see no reasons why Nagas and Kukis including the Meeteis, Nepalese, etc cannot progress together under one roof, for they are victims of past history for one reason or another due to the presence of external dominant forces. We share the same history and we need each other for our collective survival more than anything else. It is pointless as well as stupid to call ourselves Christians while our action do not suggest remotely of the teachings of Christ. Let us raise the standard of leadership which is meaningful and inclusive.
Countless words and sermons have been written and lectured on UNITY and PEACE, but each of us expects someone else to practice it while we remain mute spectators. If we look at the story of Esther in the Bible, we see that she was chosen by King Ahasuerus as his Queen as a replacement of queen Vasti who disobeyed the king’s dictate. When the situation came where the King had to passed a decree to destroy all the Jews, the reaction and action of Esther can be found in in the Bible (Esther 4:16) which reads, “Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.” Esther, using her status as queen with great courage and conviction found favour in the King’s sight that saved the Jews from the jaws of death. Esther was placed by God with a purpose which is to save the Jews. Likewise, you are also destined to save the people you love. The job you got, the education you got, the place you are in, the name you got are not for nothing, God wants to use it for His purpose let’s not miss it. You have a unique position and responsibility in the society that no one else can take. Therefore, let us unleash our gifts and talents to the benefit of mankind as well as the environment we live including fauna and flora.
Now, if we are call for action, it is also imperative to identify and know what shall be the desired action based on our abilities and talents. Say, if you are a good orator with good listening capacity you could be the future leader in waiting. If you have good writing skills you could be the journalist in waiting, etc so on and so forth. Therefore, our collective action based on each one’s unique talent is what God wants us to use at this point. We have seen more than enough of the mistakes of the past, if we don’t correct it now our future survival is at stake. Let us take this pledge right now, “God give me every privilege I needed to be successful and make myself and my people proud, and let me not waste it.” Let us begin the process more vigorously. Let us start to look for solutions to our problems. There is no time to be wasted; let us not wait for free food to eat; let us have self respect and dignity to create what we need; we shall not allow self serving leaders to prosper; we shall not allow our people to be gullible. Let us be the people with principles, ethics, hard working, courageous, etc to withstand the storm coming to destabilised us. Let us start today right at our Hearts. Right now!