A World Of Its Own Cauldron of evils, specks of goodness

Hueiyen Lanpao
March 09 2010

Truly, Manipur is a wonderful piece of land on earth. Endowed with naturally beautiful landscapes, captivating flora and fauna, among which are included various plants and flowers, and animals of the rarest kinds and species, not available anywhere else in the world, images of all of which are reflected on the largest fresh water lake in the entire South East Asia–Loktak lake, Manipur should indeed be a place of envy for many peoples outside. Remember Siroy lily, Dzuko lily, rare orchids, Sangai, the brow-antlered deer, etc. They all belong to Manipur, and are not available anywhere else. Apart from those naturally heart-stealing entities, we have another equally breathtaking mosaic of cultures belonging to different communities and tribes moulded into one society and one culture of Manipur.
 

 Remember how famous the art and culture of Manipur, which include Manipuri dance, other tribal dances, etc are all over the world, not just in India. Then there's the unmissable part of sports in which Manipur's place on the world's map is remarkably huge and unique. All these make such a small state called Manipur truly a wonderful place on earth.

But this status of wonder is being grossly destroyed by the people–ourselves–living in this state. While Manipur's reputation in the field of art and culture and sports remains unquestionably illustrious, on the other hand, just the mention of Manipur's name evokes horrifying scenes in the mind's eyes of the whole world. Images of too much social and political trouble, long period of agitations, violence, killings, abductions, human rights violations, corruption, insurgency, militancy, HIV/AIDS and what not appear before the eyes of the people of the world.

And now added to the list is "fake encounters," and the state government's unmistakable role in applying all possible means to cover up the excesses of the security forces. The fact is that what people from outside the state are seeing is just a little, and just the tip of the ills plaguing the Manipuri society. There are more than meet the eyes. In fact, the trouble in Manipuri society is too deep, multiple and endless.

No one in particular is responsible, but all sections of the people are the creators of the prevailing situation. We all contribute, though varied in degree, to the situation that we find ourselves in today. It won't be an exaggeration to say that what the mythologies call "Hell" must surely be a better place than Manipur to live in. There is no wonder then that many people, who can afford, had purchased houses in rather peaceful metropolitan cities in India so that when there's turmoil in Manipur, they can go and stay there to enjoy peace and development of the big cities.

It's not just insurgency, militancy, counter-insurgency, violence, killings, extortion, loot, abduction, etc that make Manipur a wonderful Hell, but also the typical attitude of cunningness, meanness, avarice, with large dose of cruelty and of course, obsession with playing leader while not possessing the slightest quality of leadership, etc. make Manipuri society stand on hell as its foundation.

There are jokes and anecdotes of other people of other countries frequently told among students and lovers of jokes, that sarcastically refer to the parsimonious and cunning mindset of the people concerned. We won't be surprised if people of other parts of the country and the world are making jokes out of the typical habits and mindset of the people of Manipur. It must be quite hilarious or grotesque, according to the kind of joke they make.

Among so many habits of ours, which are inherent, a few notable ones are that most of us always tend to ignore and underestimate others' achievements/success, and refuse to laud the achievers. Instead, we always try to make undue and uncalled for criticism just to satisfy our own mean ego. Another attitude is that we are always so obstinate that we refuse to listen to others. We never pause to see if there is some truth in others' point of views. We only stick to our own guns believing that what we are thinking and doing is the ultimate right/truth and that there's no other right/truth than that. Then yet another mentality is that "I know better than him/her."

There are too many people in our society who may so rightly be called, what our forefathers used to describe, "the half-filled pitchers that make too much noise," as in contrast to "the trees that grow fruits bow down." Such attitudes, and more not described here, make the Manipuri society what it is today– a boiling cauldron of evils. Yet, let optimism be not lost that voices of goodness are still heard, though small, from certain corners.

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