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Showing posts from August, 2012

REVITALIZING HISTORY: NAORIA PHULO

by M C Arun 
This article was originally published by the Imphal Free Press on 26 Aug 2012

History writings of the 20th century Manipur were full of contradictions, full of controversies and full of conflicting views. It was the first half of the century when the British colonial rule (princely state) gave birth to a new breed of ideas that contradict with the age-old feudal ideology. It was a time when the kings – once called Lainingthou – became powerless in their own State. The Maichous and Mainous of the then political system were replaced by new class of intellectuals who got higher education outside the State. Some of them were the native vanguards of the British colonial rule; some were influenced by Indian Freedom Struggle in a way or another. Still some of them were much more concerned with Manipur’s identity in a situation of powerlessness. They started looking for every possible way to find a difference from India and westernization.  In search of a new identity, some found …

Lamyanba Hijam Irabot (Two-article series)

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IRABAT AND THE SOCIAL AND CULTURAL AWAKENING IN MANIPUR
By Prof. Elangbam Nilakanta Singh
This article is sourced from The Manipur Page (http://themanipurpage.tripod.com/history/irabat.html)

Jananeta Irabat, was a renaissance man. He was a versatile personality: Social reformer poet, artiste, intellectual, sportsman and revolutionary - all rolled into one. But he was a much misunderstood personality neglected, abused and forshaken by the elites and the mainstream people of the freedom struggle in Manipur. The last three decades of the 20th Century has resurrected him and raised him rightly to the pedestal of Jana-Neta (Leader of the people). The people have increasingly discovered the sterling qualities of his head and heart, his vision and the spirit of dedication to his land and her people. Hemango Biswas, his one time artiste colleague called him Simanta Prahari (Sentinel of the Frontier), which means sentinel of the Eastern Frontier. He has now become almost a legend and some sim…

INDIA NEEDS TO RATIFY CONVENTION AGAINST TORTURE ASAP

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This article was written by Paonam Thoibi for IBN Liveon July 24 2012




Many people have asked me to write. Among these many, most know that my job involves listening to stories shared by grieving and distressed people. I am a client service professional of Human to Humane, a transcultural centre for torture and trauma.

Torture: According to Article 1 of the 'CONVENTION AGAINST TORTURE and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment', torture means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official …

LIBERATION MOVEMENTS IN THE NORTHEAST: THE MANIPUR CHAPTER

This article by Ceety Khongsai was originally published by the Sangai Express on 10 Aug 2012

Introduction:

The North East India has the unique characteristic of being the thorny states since Indian independence in 1947 and till today, the liberation movements in this part of the region has become a headache to the national policymakers and law enforcement agencies.


GUN VERSUS PEN

A Brief History of Press Freedom in Manipur by Seram Neken
This article was originally published by the Imphal Free Press on 15 Aug 2012

By being a good friend of the poor, the deprived, the downtrodden and the neglected, media has become the notorious enemy of the corrupt and the anti-socials. In trying to maintain its ideal features of fairness, authenticity and social responsibility, media has always been offended by many individuals and groups. Still people in the media tolerate the attacks on its freedom for social good. Its mission is rather to counter the evils in the society. Pen alone is the available weapon of the media.

STOP OIL EXPLORATION AND DRILLING IN MANIPUR

This petition note was created by the Avaaz.org in the second week of Aug 2012

The Government of India through its Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas had granted license to Jubiliant Oil and Gas Private Limited (JOGPL), based in Netherlands for exploration and drilling works in two oil blocks in Manipur located in the Jiribam (Imphal East), Tamenglong and Churachandpur districts of Manipur, without informing and taking the consent of all indigenous peoples of Manipur. The contracts were awarded under the eighth round of New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) of the Government of India. Earlier, without informing the people of Manipur again, the Government had undertaken series of promotions globally in 2003 and 2009 to promote the oil blocks in Manipur along with others through road-shows in major cities worldwide, London, Houston, Calgary and Perth etc, inviting bids to Oil companies.

MANIPUR ON THE MAP OF INDIA: BRONZE FOR ‘RECOGNITION’

This editorial was published by the Sangai Express on 10 Aug 2012

If the Bronze medal winning effort from Mary Kom and the awesome performance dished out by L Devendro in the boxing ring has stirred the consciousness of the country to a place called Manipur, then it is also a question on the very idea of India as a Nation. A damning statement on how the North East States, perhaps barring Assam, have fallen off the map of India's consciousness. In all probability it was an error in Geography when Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachan referred to Mary Kom as someone from Assam but it is also reflective of the ‘chicken neck syndrome’, where the ‘ignorance’ hovers disturbingly close to a social and political conditioning promoted and protected systematically down the decades. A tragedy it would be, both to the idea of India as a Nation as well as to the spirit of the people of the North East region and Manipur in particular, if the Bronze that Mary won is to be equated with ‘recognition’…

POOR INDIA

This editorial was published by the Imphal Free Press on 26 July 2012

We knew something was not right when the Scandanavian diplomats were denied an audience by the state Chief Minister in Imphal, and the state Chief Secretary instead had to throw a reception cum dinner at a private hotel for the visiting diplomats. The reception saw a gathering of Imphal based journalists and members of the academia, besides several activists. The informal report in the grapevine then was that the Centre had advised the state Chief Minister not to meet the Scandanavian diplomats. We knew most of the Scandanavian countries take a lot of interest in human rights issues and their present focus is on the northeast more particularly Manipur for its proximity to Myanmar and Southeast Asia. Then came an interesting report in The Telegraph newspaper a few days back. The report by a New Delhi based correspondent said, India is watching three Dutch and Danish NGOs that have allegedly “cultivated” voluntary org…

NEW GUY IN TOWN

This editorial was published by the Imphal Free Press on 9 Aug 2012

Not long ago, many of the offices of the newspaper dailies in Imphal were guarded by the VDF personnel following threats from some of the factions of the underground. A month back, they were withdrawn as the threat perception dimmed. Recently, a supposedly new group has come up with a threat to the editors of Imphal. But, editors are not taking it lying down and they have chosen to call the bluff along with the All Manipur Working Journalists Union (AMWJU). The editors or for that matter the journalist community of the state are not new to threats or intimidation be it from the state or the non-state actors. It goes with the territory.

OLYMPICS: MARY KOM AND DEVENDRO SHOW A WAY

This article was originally published on 8 Aug 2012 by the Hindustan Times at  http://www.hindustantimes.com/Specials/Sports/Olympics2012/Chunk-HT-UI-Olympics-OtherStories/Mary-Kom-and-Devendro-show-a-way/SP-Article10-910159.aspx
It was the twilight of National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government under Atal Behari Vajpayee in 2004 when it came to the notice of the then Union Home Secretary that the Indian Army has used the word "liberated zones" in the context of rampant militancy in Manipur state.

At a social gathering, the plucky Home Secretary confronted the then Indian Army Chief and asked him what did his force mean by "liberated zones" to describe Chandel and Churachandpur districts of Manipur. While the Chief tried to make light of the description in official documents, the Home Ministry official told him that either the Army does something to "liberate" these zones or he will have to go to Cabinet Committee on Security as this could be construed …

NEGOTIATING IDENTITY POLITICS: CRAFTING THE FUTURE OF A FRACTURED FRATERNITY

By A. Bimol Akoijam
This article, a copy from the UA Shimray memorial lecture, was published on 29 July 2012 by the Imphal Free Press 


Chairperson, distinguished invitees, friends, and ladies and gentlemen.

There are lots of academic professionals in this world. But there are few amongst them who pursue their vocation with a gifted intellectual competence and endearing commitment and style that draw the attention of not only the members of the academic tribe but also that of the larger society. Dr. UA Shimray was definitely on the way to becoming, if not already, one of those rare professionals. I knew of him as one of the most promising minds, particularly from my home state Manipur. Couple of times, I have met him in seminars, including one in Imphal as well. He came to me as a gentle and perhaps not a very vivacious person. Though partly that impression could be due to, I suspect, his deference towards me as someone who is senior, professionally or otherwise, to him. But still I co…

A THREE-ARTICLE SERIES ON VIOLENCE IN MANIPUR (Mid 2012)

The three articles have been sourced from the Imphal Free Press




Where the 
Mind is Afraid

By M C Arun, Published on 2 Aug

Manipur is full of tensions, uncertainty, meaningless engagements in social lives due to social pressures and news of violence. The violence ranges from rape and murder to hit and run road accidents. Even the poor newspaper hawkers are not spared in such violence. The State is experiencing various types of pains and sufferings due to conditions which are beyond one’s control, visible acts of corruption, relative poverty and unplanned planning processes of infrastructures that disturb public lives. The people of Manipur also suffer a collective trauma leading to a blind race for civil service examinations both at the state and national level. The choice is defined by the probable capacity of earnings (plus extra-money) of the service. Heavy investment on private tuitions sans motivation just for reaching the gateway to high earning jobs has become a fashion. Due to the…