Manipur never runs out of festivities or of trouble, beginning from the start of January till the yodeling time of the December picnickers, there are scant states across the Globe which can boast of such a festive status as ours.
The state being inhabited by various ethnic communities and each one having their own festivities, the different religions provides a smorgasbord of colorful activities throughout the calendar year. Besides the earmarked ones, there are the foundation days, anniversaries, weddings, observations, picnics, parties etc. In fact, despite the troubles faced by the plebeians from various quarters inclusive of from the state actors and the people under the ground, the merriment continue as the bad tidings are always washed in the surf of the myriad festivals.
However, to throw a monkey wrench to it, the time of the exams specially the metric and higher secondary exams curtail the merrymaking and the responsible guardians and the student unions ban the music. Those working in the entertainment sector face a time of starvation for at least more than a month. The month of February sees a vacancy in music concerts and other form of public entertainment. The obvious pitfall is for the musicians and the artists. There are no engagements for the month and they dare not go for any events unless they warrant being hauled up for explanations. A popular artist Tapta , once said with a cynical note that the frequency of going to the toilet lessens drastically during the month.
Well ! In one way of looking at the situation, the parents could heave a sigh of relief as their children runs out of avenues to let their hair down and they would otherwise be preoccupied with their lessons during the crucial examination time. But, on the flip side of the coin, can entertainment be truly halted in this internet age. There were times when local youths would gather and chat together plus indulging in boyish activities, now the youths can be observed sitting together quietly. The communication has lessened or rather broadened. Being no longer confined to the physical space, the smart phones on their palms and surfing the internet waves, they seem all lost in a world altogether. Facebook being one of the most entertaining medium and other goodies that the world wide web offers. Can the smart generation be totally bereft of entertainment ?
Hypocrisy is the word here. Our society seems to be pervaded by it. For instance, Manipur is a dry state officially, but on the other corner and in the peripherals, there is free-flow of liquor. Police and excise are supposed to check bootlegging but instead extort from the liquor vendors. Police have recently started a drive to check drunk driving but they sell liquor at the Manipur Rifles canteen. The shops at the western side of Polo ground sell naught but liquor and every brand under the Sun is available.
Many Petrol outlets supply the public with adulterated petrol, kerosene and industrial solvent is mixed together to make Petrol and the tankers deposit it to the depot. The kerosene supposedly for the economically backward public is sold off to make petrol for the fast buck. Cooking gas is sold off in the black market whereas the common man is deprived of his monthly quota and the story goes on. Government jobs are still sold and bought by the able fortunate. The well connected gets the government contract and the black tarred roads blossom with green grass in no time at all. This as stated is just the tip of the iceberg and the list goes on. But, come the next month and the festival of Yaoshang will fill the air with colors and the bands will start playing again. One hopes that the issue of skulls found at Tombisana High School can outlive for that long.
Leader Writer: Paojel Chaoba