Making it to the news for the right reason.
Not bad for a State like Manipur which has been making news across the country for all the wrong reasons.
Fifth safest place for women in the country and this is clearly reflected in the fact that unlike other parts of the country, Manipur has nothing like dowry deaths, bride burning, female infanticide etc.
It is also the only State in the country which sets aside a day to pay homage to the heroines of the place in the form of Nupi Lan.
Again there is a reason why Manipur is home to Ima Keithel, the only market place in the whole world which is solely run and managed by womenfolk.
No wonder this particular market place continues to be a major destination place and to anyone visiting Manipur for the first time, this is a must see place.
Apart from being a place run and managed solely by womenfolk, this place also reflects how women have been contributing to running a family, how she has been helping to keep the family hearth burning and to see it in the modern context, how she has been contributing in maintaining the family, which include sending the children to schools, paying their tuition fees and giving a new understanding to the term family and home.
Other than this, women here have also been taking a proactive role in all social issues and the presence of Meira Paibis in each leikai stands testimony on how womenfolk have been at the forefront of so many issues.
The genesis of the present day Meira Paibis may be traced to the Nisha Bandh movement, when womenfolk came together and penalised all drunkards loitering around each and every leikai and leirak.
Today Meira Paibis are there at the forefront of numerous issues, leading the way in coming out against the atrocities and excesses of the security personnel.
And talking about the stand against the excesses of security personnel invariably brings back memories of the historic nude protest in front of Kangla which then housed the Assam Rifles, after the battered and bullet riddled body of Th Manorama was found after she was picked up by Assam Rifles personnel the previous night, more than ten years back.
If Th Manorama was the rallying point against the excesses of the Assam Rifles and which led to the State Government revoking the Disturbed Area tag from the municipality areas of Imphal and which led to making the Armed Forces Special Powers Act redundant in the municipality areas, Irom Sharmila was the lone person who came to be symbolised with the stand against the continued imposition of the Army Act.
The position of where women stand in society may again be seen in the fact that it was Mary Kom, who bagged a bronze in the London Olympics in 2012 and not any male sportsperson from the country.
Yet despite the good ranking Manipur has achieved in terms of women safety amongst the States in India, crimes against women do continue here.
This is what should be kept in mind.
It is these crimes, which range from molestation to rape, to domestic violence which make one to ask whether women in Manipur can really be said to be safe and question whether all the examples that have been quoted here are nothing much more than stereotyping the contribution of women.
Time for all to look inward.
Source: The Sangai Express