Read the sequence of the posts related to this letter.
1. Read the first post in the series – Delhi Policeman: People from Northeast don’t speak Hindi and eat humans
2. Read Johnson Rajkumar’s note in response to the above news story in which a cop tells JNU students that people from Northeast eat human.
3. Read Angellica Aribam’s response to Johnson Rajkumar’s note, with special references her experience and upbringing in a Meitei-Bamon family in Manipur.
4. This letter was sent to KanglaOnline as a response to above article by Angellica Aribam
Dear ‘Always A Chinky Girl’,
Since both of us are from Manipur, Meetei Nupi to be precised (though you are a Bamon) I would like to write a few rebuttals to your response categorically. But before that a slight reminder – you see it is a biological world we live in and exceptions are an integral part of Biology.
So, when I say there is no female infanticide here in North East India there will always be some human like organisms who practice it. But you cannot say female infanticide is a problem in North East India. Admit this and gulp it down deep in your gut.
Now lets walk the talk with your article:
1. About Preference of Male Child: If our previous generation preferred male child and not the present generation, isn’t that a good change? I don’t see any good reason for you to wail here.
Dowry? Partly true – Just that in our case the groom’s family does not have specifics. But hey! We do have this custom of “nupa mayum da hongba” where all the expenses are borne by the groom. Rings a bell????
Menstrual taboos are there and the mangba sengba thing is very much in vogue, at least in the Meetei community. But sleeping separately from her husband during periods is not patriarchy darling. It is ahem… something else.
2) FORCEFUL MARRIAGE: Here I say with a strong obligation. YES, WE DO NOT EAT FORCEFUL MARRIAGE (not MAYBE as you said).
And about the elopement part, we women are no less. We truly have gender equality here. We deliberately go to the guy’s place and make them elope us ;). Where in the world will you find such gutsy women? We know how to put men in their place.
So, you playing the victim card which is taught by your environment there in Delhi loses significance. Your attempt to make us North East women the cry baby, sanskari type as in Hindi soaps is damning and derogatory to the dignity of North East women.
3) Caste System: Why? Do you doubt that we don’t eat caste system? Okay, for your convenience let me put it this way…”. The Bamons who do the cooking and Mantra-Sonba will never eat the food touched by Meetei in public”. The food is already impure/ mangba (though youths like you will not do it). This is the only caste system I am aware of.
I agree with the marriage part (though I doubt if it is truly a decision made from the heart or a matter of following trend…. you know what I mean)
4) Moral Policing: I conform with you on this point. But our idea of CHENBA is completely different from the English version of elope.
And about wearing Phanek, I proudly wear it because it is not a mere piece of cloth but has a deep philosophical meaning attached to it. And if I wear a Phanek, I am making a statement with my money that I support the local economy and the hardworking weaving sisters. You know baby it’s a bad choice if you plan to give your money to Vero Moda, Zara, Meena Bazaar etc.
So dear General Secretary of NSUI, NorthEast women never play the victim card as you have so mercilessly portrayed. We are a resilient lot unlike your masters there in Delhi.
And if you Mademoiselle chinky girl, is so much concerned about our daughters and sisters, then why don’t you tell your masters there in Delhi (congress) who have imposed AFSPA in North East to punish your honourable Indian army who rapes our mothers and sisters.
Is Manorama, Muinao, Rose and many more incidents too trivial for you to lay your benevolent eyes upon? How many more nude protests do you want in front of our sacred Kangla?
Be true to the chinky self that you are. Be brave and don’t play the victim card.
A Proud Indigenous NorthEastern Girl
An indigenous Northeastern girl who lives in a place where women take the lead in any cause. Where draconian laws like AFSPA have failed to dampen our spirits, where our foremothers fought against the British, one who knows the difference between CHENBA and ELOPE. And that Chenba actually has no exact English translation, because it is beautiful and unique to one community of the Mongoloids.
PS: The original post was meant to highlight Delhi police’s absurd stupidity when it comes to NorthEast people. Sorry that it has turned into a feminist issue.
[The writer can be contacted through her email id northeast(at)journalist.com]