Autumn Festivals 2017- A Chauvinist’s Delight!

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Sanatombi Angomcha

Autumn finally packed up and left for the year with a mixed feeling. Winter barges in the seasonal gate and along arrives Mr. Yongchaak from Moreh ready to satiate the ‘yongchaak crazy’ appetite of Manipuris especially that of Imphalites. Amid potholes and leikhom leinaang, autumn festivals were held across/outside the state with great pomp and show. The rich and the poor lavishly spent crores to import bamboola for Diwali and dokhina and various mapaamda punaba items for the annual Ningol Chakouba ceremony. After all these years, the quintessence of Ningol Chakouba still remains the same in and even outside Manipur except that it has become more of a commercialized ceremony.

Every Hongba, Chaoba, Tomba basked in good times pre and post the festivals but for some the jovial spirit of the two major autumn festivals celebrated in and outside Manipur was of a short-lived nature.

On the fateful night of Diwali, when the rest of the Imphalites were engrossed in lagao thaba/khaoba and bamboola thaba, some Imphalites, in pursuit of a good time, went to a restaurant where there was supposed to be a live music show. But that show turned out to be a nightmare for many as a particular CSO took a bold initiative and reported about indecent acts which were carried on that particular night inside the restaurant. One of the dailies based in Imphal published about the incident as if there was a sex racket busted in the restaurant. The eye-catching headline of that particular news left many in a puzzled state. Well, after all these days the puzzle of the incident at Puzzle restaurant still remains a puzzle to many. What really happened on that fateful night at the venue will forever remain a puzzling question. Maybe we have to wait for another Diwali night to crack it eh?

A few days after the Puzzle scam in Imphal, there was another puzzling incident in Delhi. A girl who took part in a thabal chongba ceremony as a part of Ningol Chakouba celebration in the capital, was deliberately victimized. She was accused by many ‘moral police officers of dress code branch’ for indecent dressing in public place. Some retards with a little skill in photography edited the girl’s picture on purpose and later uploaded it on social media. A particular revolutionary group did not waste a single second to give its stern verdict on the indecent dressing sense of ‘Manipuri nupi’ who study or work in various cities across the country. No wonder there are many who accuse indecent dressing sense of the fairer sex as the sole reason behind the rising number of crimes against women. And these people even dare to talk about change, reformation, revolution and what not.

The Delhi incident clearly reflects the barbaric mindset of a chauvinist Manipuri society where women’s sexuality or dressing sense is rigorously criticized and blamed on illogical grounds. Ironically, many of these chauvinists are none other than those good for nothing black sheeps of the family who burden the shoulder of their own mothers, sisters or wives with responsibilities that they are supposed to shoulder. Period!

PS- Which revolution are we dreaming about in a society where women do not have the liberty to think, act or dress anything that they like? Which sense of freedom are we referring to when the fairer sex has been denied her freedom from chauvinism and so many stereotypes? Manipuri women play so many active roles in social, political and economic activities and yet their value is belittled at the flick of a finger over the issue of an ‘innerwear’. Or does it suffice that the value of a woman’s innerwear is greater than all those collective talks on reformation, revolution or this and that movement? Whatever!

Source: The Sangai Express

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