The Union Home Minister certainly misunderstood us. It is not about special treatment for the northeast students and peoples. Rather it is about nation building and taking right steps toward acceptance of the northeast peoples in the India mainstream. Till now, the minister and the Union government refuse to understand what is the northeast all about. The Northeast is not only about the scheduled castes or scheduled tribes; it has various other communities included in the general category, scheduled castes, minorities and OBCs. For instance, Manipur’s population comprises of the Meiteis, the Meitei Pangals, the Lois, the Tangkhuls, the Thadous, the Hmars, the Kabuis, the Old Kukis and several other tribes. The Union Home Minister P Chidambaram and the powers that be in New Delhi must first understand this fact before speaking about the issues in the Northeast or for that matter Manipur. P Chidambaram while giving his reply to a Calling Attention Motion by Opposition leader Arun Jaitley in the Parliament on issues of racial profiling of Northeast students spread across the country had mentioned about according highest importance to development of the Northeast as well as prevention of atrocities against scheduled tribes while denying the existence of racial discrimination of the Northeast people. This statement was followed by actions like the recent instruction to the states and Union territories to book persons responsible for racial discrimination against peoples of the northeast under the Scheduled Castes and Tribes Prevention of Atrocity Act. According to the instruction, the offenders of racial attack and discrimination could be imprisoned upto five years with non-bailable provisions and the police personnel who fail to act under the act or refusing to file FIRs could be imprisoned upto one year. Commendable indeed, yet patronizing. The Northeast is one of the most neglected frontiers of the Indian nation. The case of Tripura and Manipur’s merger into the Indian Union is still being debated and major opposition armed groups are up in arms against the ‘merger’ which they termed annexation. Yet after the so-called merger, Manipur was relegated to a Part-C state a status below the Union Territory. It took a few years before Manipur was converted into a Union Territory to be finally granted statehood in 1972 after a long movement. Even though Manipur was officially integrated within the Indian Union, the Indian mainstream is still not accepting the people of Manipur and the northeast into the Indian fold and imagination. The mainstream simply refuses to accept the fact that there are also mongoloid groups among the Indian citizenry which is why they treat us as aliens or look upon us as Nepalese citizens. They hate our food habits which are akin to countries in South East Asia. We like fermented fish and bamboo shoots which they are deadly against even going to the length of issuing police advisories in New Delhi. There are several instances of racial profiling and cases of racial discrimination. And this cannot be solved by laws alone. The issue here is about a controversial merger and an India refusing to accept the people of northeast within its fold. India is shouting from the rooftops against the northeast groups demanding secession from the Union and inviting them to join the mainstream. While on the other hand, the mainstream is not accepting people from the northeast. And certainly it is not the fault of the northeasterners. It is about the failure of the nation building process of the Union or the absence of it following the mergers. The onus is on the Union and not with the peoples of the northeast for a nation building process to start. And we will certainly not pray for it. If the mainstream do not want us northeasterners, we are ready to separate ways.
Photography Credit and Copyright: Rashingam Ngoruh Siroi hills/ Shirui hills ranges in the Ukhrul District of Manipur, India, at an elevation of 1730m–2590m above sea level. Picture speaks itself the beauty of the Siroy Hill
Kankhui Cave – Sculpted by Nature – Ukhrul Manipur Photography Copyright: Rashingam Ngoruh Khangkhui Cave is a remarkable natural lime- stone cave located at Ukhrul, Manipur, India. The big hall in the cave is the darbar hall of the Devil … Continue reading
Unique Manipur Yaoshang Sports – Bor Keina Competition – 2013 Photography and Credit: Loyangamba Khundongbam All types of sports are held during Yaoshang Sports meet at Manipur or different parts of the world for women, men and children namely Chaphu … Continue reading
View of Manipur Valley during evening time Photography Credit and Copyright: Moirangthem Ranjit This is the valley where we live. Surrounded on all sides by mountains and hills, once upon a time, this valley was submerged underwater. All waters were … Continue reading
Manipuri Meitei Association Bangalore – Yaoshang Sports Meet – 2013 – Bangalore The Annual Yaoshang Sports Meet, 2013 at Bangalore organized by Manipuri Meitei Association Bangalore was held on Sunday, 24 March at Country Club Lakeside, Attibele Hobli. 350 plus … Continue reading