Exclusive (online) interview carried out by Campaign for Peace & Democracy (Manipur) for KanglaOnline.
– Why young student activists wanted Inner Line Permit System in Manipur?
– Why are they fearless to speak out their minds?
– How will the judgmental sections interpret their minds: are these students to be seen as misguided or forced to have political views and some democratic actions?
Read the background of this interview series: CPDM interview-series-why-young-student-activists-wanted-inner-line-permit-system-in-manipur
CPDM Interview with Chingtham Balbir
Name: Chingtham Balbir
Age: 21 years old
Address: Thangmeiband Lairenhanjaba Leikai, Imphal West
College: Zakir Husain College, Delhi
CPDM: Where are you presently located?
Chingtham Balbir: Delhi.
CPDM: Why did you leave manipur and choose Delhi for your studies?
Chingtham Balbir: The law and order situation in Manipur and the inadequate colleges there were the reasons I came to Delhi for my education.
CPDM: Which class are you in? Please tell us the name of your institute too?
Chingtham Balbir: I have given my 3rd year exam. I study in Zakir Husain oCllege.
CPDM: What is the purpose of your education? What ambition in life motivates you to pursue education?
Chingtham Balbir: I would say to gain knowledge, wisdom and be independent, live at par with others in the society. I want to be someone who can direct the Manipuri society in the right way and so I am getting educated.
CPDM: What are your views on the inner line permit system movement in manipur? Do you think it is a right movement? Please share us your thoughts.
Chingtham Balbir: I don’t know the nitty gritty rules of ILPS and its provisions. But all in all, I support the cry to save the indigenous people and their resources.
CPDM: How have you come to know about the inner line permit system? Would you share it with us?
Chingtham Balbir: I am a member of Manipur Students’ Association Delhi. So, I get the news and knowledge of what happens in Manipur.
CPDM: Do you think the student community should/ should not participate in the ilp movement? Please elaborate your statement.
Chingtham Balbir: Since this is the people’s movement, I don’t think there should be a separate element called “students”.
CPDM: Do you think students who have left manipur for their studies should take part in political activities of such nature? Please elaborate.
Chingtham Balbir: When students of developed places leave their land and attend colleges elsewhere, it can be inferred that they do it because they wish to learn, explore and gain the experience of other developed places. But our Manipuri students’ chapter is a different one. We are forced to migrate to other places because of the prevailing situation. Again, we cannot study freely in other places. We face financial problems and live in tiny rooms like refugees. This is certainly not indicative of people from developed places seeking knowledge. Considering such facts, I think it is necessary to participate in political activities even if we are far away, so that we can make our homeland a better place.
CPDM: Have you taken any initiative/ active role in the ilps movement? If so. Please state it. Did anyone force you to join the agitation or take responsibility of it?
Chingtham Balbir: Yes. In 2014, during the ILPS agitation, the state forces committed excesses to the student agitators. On this a memorandum was submitted to the President of India. We also organised discussions and campaigns in various colleges on this issue.
CPDM: What are the reasons for the failure of ilps demand movement?
Chingtham Balbir: Difference in opinions among the leaders. Lack of proper research in the field and vague demands by the agitators, I think, are the main reasons.
CPDM: What do you want to say to the government of manipur with regards to the inner line permit system movement?
Chingtham Balbir: Politically negotiate the demands of the people.
CPDM: What do you want to say to the government and police forces of manipur on the issue of ilps imlementation?
Chingtham Balbir: Police should perform their duty properly. They should not function like a mercenary forces just for guarding the ministers. They should not pour out their frustrations to the public. The police are for the protection of the people. They must not treat the people as their enemy.
CPDM: What message do you want to convey to the leaders and civil society organisations of ilps movement?
Chingtham Balbir: The movement is not for a selected few. A rigorous discussion of the present movement is recommended and the demands put forward shoud be made crystal clear to the public. Pamphlets and publications can be a means to mobilise the public. Depending merely on public emotions and sentiments to win the movement will be difficult.
Read the interview series: CPDM interview-series-why-young-student-activists-wanted-inner-line-permit-system-in-manipur
–> Interview with Haobam Supriya: ILPS Movement is a People’s Movement
–> Interview with Chingtham Balbir: ILPS Movement is not Selected Few
–> Interview with Thoithoi Huidrom: Stop not till the ILPS demand is achieved
–> Interview with Irengbam Priobata: No one forced me to participate in any students movements, I was happy to be part of it
–> Interview with Manishwar Nongmathem: They say ILPS is a movement of the people of Manipur but not all communities are involved