Showing posts from November, 2011


This editorial was published by the Imphal Free Press ( on November 17 2011 at

Has the Central government lost its plot in the Northeast? At this moment there seems to be an utter lack of focus on its dealing with the Northeast. It has special full-fledged ministries and departments meant to look after the Northeast Region. These include the Department of Northeast Affairs, DoNER and the North Eastern Council, NEC, which are nodal bodies to monitor development activities in the region. There are also the other regular departments shouldering normal activities of governance in the region. Yet, there seems to be such an abysmal lack of coordination or a composite blueprint to which each can contribute to, so that each of these wings of administration not only can coordinate with each other, but more importantly, not end up working at cross purposes. A familiar anecdote sketches this picture succinc…


This editorial was published by the Imphal Free Press ( on November 14 2011 at

It is surprising that not many have pondered on this revealing thought. Isaiah Berlin, points out in his essay “In Search of an Ideal” in the volume “Crooked Timber of Humanity” that not a single one amongst the perceptive social thinkers of the 19th Century, undoubtedly one of the most creative periods of human history, ever predicted the ethnic identity predicament of the 20th Century. None of them foresaw the politics of religious fundamentalism or any preoccupation with the issue of terrorism either. Marx, Hegel, Luxembourg et al… who predicted, and quite accurately too, devastating wars and bloody revolutions, for some mysterious reason, seemed never to have had a hint of these. Confining ourselves to the ethnic identity upheavals, how did this distinctive characteristics of the late 20th Century that has spilled …


by Namrata Goswami
Originally published by Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses ( at
Retrieved on Nov 21 2011

The resolution of the Naga ethnic conflict could well be in sight. For the first time ever, after nearly 14 years of negotiations between the Union Government and the National Socialist Council of Nagalim led by Isak Chisi Swu and Thuingaleng Muivah---NSCN (IM), there appears to be a concrete proposal from the Union government to work out a non-territorial Naga council as a resolution mechanism. This structure, envisioned as a pan-Naga supra-state body, will enjoy legal authority over cultural, developmental and social rights of the Nagas living across several states in the Northeast. However, security matters pertaining to law and order will rest with the respective states where the Nagas live.


by Namrata Goswami
Originally published by Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses ( at
Retrieved on Nov 21 2011

Just a year after suffering two months of road blockade by Naga groups, Manipur is in the throes of a similar crisis again. Then the blockade was a reaction to the Manipur state government’s refusal to allow Thuingaleng Muivah, the General Secretary of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim---Isak-Muivah---NSCN (IM) to visit his native village. This time, the Kuki groups have blocked NH 39 and NH 53 since August 1 in order to generate pressure to establish a Kuki district in the Sardar hills area (where they are the dominant tribe) of Manipur’s Senapati district. This move is vehemently opposed by the Naga groups led by the NSCN (IM). The reason is simple. If a Kuki district is carved out of the Sadr region in Senapati district, it would weaken the NSCN (IM)’s main territorial claim: that the…


This article was published by the Sangai Express ( on November 21 2011 at
The casualty of politics is truth. It may not be the first casualty but more dangerous is when this becomes the last word on subjects remotely connected with anything “political’ as understood in India today. Out of sheer etiquette, Editor of Seven Sisters Post, Subir Bhaumik stopped short of calling Union Home Minister P Chidambaram a liar, but this did not stop him from stating, ‘I can say it is Mr Chidambaram and not (us) who is not telling the truth,’ in response to the manner in which the story on the Supra State Body reportedly proposed by the Union Home Ministry to the NSCN (IM) was trashed. The Supra State Body report carried by the Seven Sisters Post had kicked up immense interest and sent the Chief Minister of Manipur, O Ibobi Singh, scuttling to Delhi for a durbar with Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, …


The economic blockade in Manipur hits 100th day today

This article was published by the Kangla Online ( on October 5 2011 at

Another episode, another episodic reaction and noises; it is a déjà vu of frustratingly comical experience of a tragic life. Highway blockades (for more 100 days) again and facts of price rise and simmering communal tension and familiar feudal lords and their subjects crying wolf once again.


This editorial was published by the Imphal Free Press ( on November 8 at

One of Manipur’s most problematic issues awaiting a resolution is a general mindset that still perilously entraps the vision of the individual in a pre-modern time frame, when the rest of the world have moved into the postmodern era – a mindset which can perhaps be accurately generalized on the entire ethnic world, a global constituency which some scholars have provocatively categorized as the Fourth World. It is in a way the direct outcome of a tragedy of destiny that political and social formation amongst the human race should have become so unequal after the last Ice Age about 12,000 years ago. The end of the Pleistocene Epoch is generally taken by historical anthropologists to be the flag-off point for the development of modern civilizations. But the fact remains, while many societies are in advanced stages of civilizat…


Irom Sharmila Chanu (born March 14, 1972), also known as the "Iron Lady of Manipur" or "Menghoubi" ("the fair one") is a civil rights activist, political activist, and poet from the Indian state of Manipur. Since 2 November 2000, she has been on hunger strike to demand that the Indian government repeal the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (AFSPA), which she blames for violence in Manipur and other parts of India's northeast. Having refused food and water for more than 500 weeks, she has been called "the world's longest hunger striker".
For more info, check Wikipedia on Irom Sharmila

Anti-AFSPA stand gains momentum, fast held across country, Sharmila steps into 12th year of fast
By a staff reporter from the Sangai Express (
Nov 5 2011
Published at
IMPHAL, Nov 5 : In commemoration of Irom Chanu Sharmila completing the 11th year of her un…


By Prof. Gangmumei Kamei
This article was published by the Imphal Free Press ( on Nov 5 2011 at


A colonial policy was the general principle followed by a colonizing power to regulate the relationship between her and her dependency. A colonial policy would have clear cut objectives for the attainment of which administrative machinery was created to work in the colony. The British conquered Manipur in 1891 and ruled the state till 1947. The British imposed their paramountcy on Manipur state. They imposed an Indirect Rule which was a mixture of colonialism and feudalism. Manipur was not annexed to British India but was restored to a young prince of a former ruling family. The British paramountcy was represented by the Political Agent. British retained the feudal rule of the king given a title of Raja who ruled over the valley of Manipur with the help of Manipur State Durbar under the Rule…


By Ajit Kumar Singh November 4 2011 The Pioneer
With the collapse of insurgencies in the north-eastern States, the Maoists are trying to secure a toe-hold in the region by striking deals with rump outfits.

At a time when the conflict profile in the North-East is improving gradually, with fatalities recording a steep decline, and the insurgent groups are being progressively marginalised, the CPI (Maoist) is making determined moves to fill the void, raising grave concerns within the security establishment. If recent reports are any indication, the Maoists, who have for long been forging connections with the insurgents in this troubled region, have now created a strong presence and are in the process of further consolidating their base.


by Chitra Ahanthem
Imphal Free Press
Nov 3 2001
What an eventful week it has been! The festive air hanging over Imphal is unbelievable and a casual onlooker who is not too familiar with the happenings in the state would not be able to say that the common man is reeling under the ongoing economic blockade. So, what if LPG cylinders were selling at ‘black” rates of 1500-2000 per piece? So what if this “black market” was all too visible and in your face with people ferrying LPG cylinders in vans and selling them door to door? So what if a litre of petrol cost us all 200 bucks on Ningol Chakouba day? There were some grumbling and rants but at the end of it, everyone paid what was demanded of and the festive week went of with a bang, literally so! There was a news report that the decibel count of the crackers going off on Diwali night was the highest recorded ever. That was another example of the woes and miseries of people under the economic blockade going off in smoke, blown away to smi…


By Laifungbam Debabrata Roy
Imphal Free Press Nov 3 2001

Part I “We are all mountain people”  (Message of the International Year of Mountains 2002)

In the presently raging (and long on-going) highly emotional internal debates, protests, accusations, charges and counter-charges on land, the law and the indigenous communities in Manipur, many of the persons involved, all honourable and respectable, also very learned, educated in a variety of academic subjects such as the pure sciences, law, the social and life sciences, military science, politics, environment, human rights and so forth. This is very encouraging, that such persons of scholarship obviously engaged regularly in rational thought and reflections, are involved. What is disappointing is that the content of this endless fracas is actually shallow, lacking in vision, very ill-informed and filled with outdated insular colonial notions. The sub-title of my article refers to one of the famous parables attributed to Jesus Christ, “Why …