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 Irengbam Priyobata
23 years Old
Irengbam, Bishnupur district
Vice President, Manipur Students’ Association Delhi
CPDM: Please tell us your name and surname, sex and age.
Irengbam Priyobata: Irengbam Priyobata, male, 23 years
CPDM: Where are you from?
Irengbam Priyobata: Irengbam, Bishnupur district.
CPDM: Where are you presently located?
Irengbam Priyobata: Delhi.
CPDM: Why did you leave manipur and choose Delhi for your studies?
Irengbam Priyobata: I didn’t very much liked the idea of leaving Manipur for studies and I wanted to study in Manipur. On the other hand, my parents wanted me to study out of town because colleges in Manipur have low teaching standards. These circumstances drove me to Delhi University for my education.
CPDM: Which class are you in? Please tell us the name of your institute too.
Irengbam Priyobata: I have completed my graduation this time in Zakir Husain College, Delhi.
CPDM: What is the purpose of your education? What ambition in life motivates you to pursue education?
Irengbam Priyobata: For knowledge and certificate. There were many things I wanted to become in life but none of them lures me now. My family elders have pressured me to get a job and make their lives happy and comfortable. I will fulfil their wishes, but I didn’t pursue education for these.
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.
Irengbam Priyobata: Inner Line Permit System is a movement of the people and calls for saving the indigenous people of Manipur. But who is an indigenous person? Will only those persons residing in Manipur prior to 1951 be called indigenous people? There are many questions here. The agitators should know this first and take part in the movement. There are outsiders who have moved to Manipur in 1956, call Manipur their homeland and have no other home in other states of India. I wonder where they stand in the ILP question.
CPDM: How have you come to know about the inner line permit system? Would you share it with us?
Irengbam Priyobata: I have been participating in the ILP movement since I was in class 9. In classes 11 and 12 too, I have participated in various movements in Manipur. But I didn’t consult books and papers to know more about it. After coming to Delhi, I knew more about it from Manipur Students’ Association, Delhi.
CPDM: Do you think the student community should/ should not participate in the ilp movement? Please elaborate your statement.
Irengbam Priyobata: I believe the students should be the ones taking a more proactive role in the Inner line permit system movement, for this movement is for the future generation. His education is useless if a student just studies for the sake of studying and not take part in state issues. There are many benefits of students taking part in the movement, our system discourages non students to take lead roles in any agitation. We have a tradition of killing people on false charges too.
CPDM: Do you think students who have left manipur for their studies should take part in political activities of such nature? Please elaborate.
Irengbam Priyobata: Those who have gone out to study are still Manipuris. All of their family members reside in Manipur, nor has the student changed his residence. It’s just a matter of few years, one day he will go back to his birth place. So, he should participate in the incidents and movements related to Manipur. Even if I leave home, I must save my home from brning if a fire breaks out.
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?
Irengbam Priyobata: I was the monitor of my class in 11th standard. There was a great movement organised by AMSU, DESAM in those days. I led my school in the sit in protests. No one forced me and I was happy to be a part of it. In 2014, I played a major role in the signature campaign on ILPS in Delhi. This time around too, as the President in charge of MSAD, I am in the forefront supporting this movement.
CPDM: what are the reasons for the failure of ilps demand movement?
Irengbam Priyobata: The movement going in the wrong direction, the government orienting it in a way which pleases them and lack of unity.
CPDM: What do you want to say to the government of manipur with regards to the inner line permit system movement?
Irengbam Priyobata: It is a people’s movement. In a place like Manipur, where numerous small and numerically weak indeginous communities exist, saving them and protecting them is very important.
CPDM: Inner Line Permit Ki Khongjang Asiga Mari Leinana Nahakna Manipur Police Amasung Government Forces Singgi Mafamda Kari Hainingbage?
Irengbam Priyobata: In a democracy the people can ask for any sorts of demand and this uprising is not a personal one. The police and we are not enemies. Every Manipuri force has become a faithful dog to their masters. Don’t all of them support the ILPS demand, or, have their uniform made them dogs? The genesis of all is this dog government who have unleashed their other underdogs.
CPDM: What message do you want to convey to the leaders and civil society organisations of ilps movement?
Irengbam Priyobata: It is easier to start a movement than to sustain it till the goal is achieved. Don’t want a temporary movement which lacks goal. Since you have already stepped in, we don’t want anything other than the goal itself and we won’t settle for anything. I want the leaders to set a target and see how far we can move forward. I don’t want the people’s movement to get hazy but wish their voices get shriller without break.
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 For 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