Ulfa`s Double Role Endangers Prospects for Peace

By Anil Bhat A recent news report in this daily about security agencies alerting the Assam police that Paresh Baruah, now heading Ulfa’s anti-talks faction, has sent 35 armed cadres… Read more »

By Anil Bhat
A recent news report in this daily about security agencies alerting the Assam police that Paresh Baruah, now heading Ulfa’s anti-talks faction, has sent 35 armed cadres to launch offensives in oil-rich Upper Assam districts and target the leaders of the pro-talk faction of Ulfa, again bring into focus some factors, which are not favorable for peace in Assam.

The report also cites authoritative security sources mentioning that among the 35 armed cadres, few are new recruits, who may try old Ulfa tactics of abducting officials of oil companies operating for Oil and Natural Gas Commission and Oil India Limited which have been resisting the Ulfa’s extortion demands and may also blow up oil pipelines to create fear psychosis. In 1991, among many persons abducted by Ulfa, were a bureaucrat and Russian engineer Sergei Grishchenko, who was later killed.

In a feature by this writer titled ‘Disarming pro-talks militants’, published in this daily on 22 April 2011, it was brought out that the “pro-talk” leaders released of the from jail moving about freely and ULFA’s symbol of the rising sun becoming visible in villages had boosted Paresh Baruah’s efforts to recruit volunteers to make good the loss of at least two battalions. This has been confirmed by the security sources saying that the anti-talk faction of Ulfa has also recruited nearly 100 new cadres sent to Burma for arms training.

It is also significant that Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi has also admitted that the anti-talks faction of Ulfa has been carrying out recruitment and extortion in Upper Assam districts.

In 1991, Ulfa supported the Hiteshwar Saikia led Congress to power not just to do down AGP, but to save its own leaders from the Army. Reportedly, there was an internal agreement between Hiteshwar Saikia and Paresh Baruah through the mediation of Rewati Phukan, a top industrialist and Paresh Baruah’s good friend and co-player when both represented Assam in football.

In 2001, Congress led by Tarun Gogoi sought Ulfa’s support from. ULFA did everything to bring Congress to power, including selection of candidates, attacks on pool booths, grenade blasts in Janata Bhawan etc. with a hope of establishing talks between the outfit and the Government.

This time around Mr Gogoi’s new year’s gift to Rajkhowa and co. of releasing them from jail, also seems to have paid up.

Taking the advantage of elections and peace-process that had slowed down the operations of the security forces, the pro-talks leaders freely moving around and creating awe amongst youth has resulted in the anti-talks Ulfa succeeding in roping some unemployed youths to join the outfit.

Security sources have reportedly admitted that free movement of the pro-talk Ulfa leaders and cadres might create some confusion for the security forces so the state government has been advised to confine them within the boundary of designated camps. While home ministry is reported to be firm on its policy of starting talks with the insurgent groups only after the surrender of arms and restricting cadres in designated camps, Ulfa has ‘reservations’ on both matters. Whereas home ministry has reportedly proposed three designated camps for about 250-300 Ulfa cadres, they want nine camps. About surrender of arms, the Ulfa leadership has been insisting on keeping the arms ‘under joint custody’. Government must certainly not allow any negotiating group to keep its arms and all surrendered leaders and cadres must be kept under close watch in designated camps.

On the possibility of anti-talks leader / leaders joining the pro-talks group, there have been two versions reported in media. One was that the Centre was arranging a meeting between a top pro-talk leader and Ulfa’s ‘general secretary’ Anup Chetia, currently lodged in a jail in Bangladesh, ostensibly to get his consent for the dialogue. This version, if true, is quite hair-brained. The other version is that two top anti-talks leaders may soon join the peace-process. Refusing to reveal their names, security sources however hinted that the process to deport them from Bangladesh back to Assam will start soon. While government must not allow any pro-talks leader to go to Bangladesh to meet Chetia, extraditing any leader/leaders under Paresh Baruah would be a clever move which is bound to affect him adversely.

Meanwhile, Ulfa’s gory past, which includes mass graves and countless attacks on innocent civilians, is reported to be catching up with it. Victims of Ulfa’s terror are demanding a say in the talks. They are seeking justice for those killed by Ulfa. Speaking to media, one victim said, “The Government and those involved in the peace talks need to know what our problems are, and what we`re thinking and must involve us directly.” While CM Gogoi has assured them of a ‘fair hearing’, it remains to be seen how he is going to provide the victims with any relief or justice, given how hard he worked at freeing from jails those guilty of heinous murders, colluding with Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) and implementing all kinds of acts of war/destabilization, like massacres, sabotage, causing demographic changes, circulation of fake Indian currency etc.in Assam. So far, political expediency has been the main uncompromised priority.

The Sanmilita Jatiya Abhibartan (SJA), an intellectual umbrella body of civil society organisations of Assam, recently handed over a charter of demands to the pro-talk Ulfa faction, listing issues which could be discussed with the Centre. SJA Chief Convener Dr Hiren Gohain, a Sahitya Akademi winner, handed over the charter to Arabinda Rajkhowa in the presence of top leaders of both the organisations in Guwahati. Pro-talks leaders will discuss the charter and may redraft it to include any more of their own demands before submitting it to the Centre. Expresspmg the hope that the talks between Ulfa and Centre would lead to positive results, he is reported to have said, “I am hopeful that the talks will be fruitful as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has made it clear that the Indian constitution is flexible and necessary changes could be made to fulfill the aspirations of the indigenous Assamese.” The document has included various burning issues facing the state and the indigenous Assamese population. The SJA chater demands Constitutional amendments to give Assam, and thereby its people greater control over their own future by strengthening the State`s power to control the revenues generated, the natural resources, and the planning process and ensure a secure demographic situation as well as accelerated and balanced development. Gohain said, “If the government of India and the ULFA honour the Charter in letter and spirit and do not undersell it, we may look forward to untroubled peace, true development, and vigorous growth of democracy in the region.” SJA noted that the present calm does not at all mean the return of peace. Rajkhowa told media that the outfit would press for a time-bound dialogue with the Centre and would not like the talk process to drag on for long. The next and substantive session of talks between the ULFA and the Centre is expected to be held towards end-June.

According to an Assamese daily, Paresh Baruah’s decision not to join the talks could be so that he can impact pressure on the talks. It is understood that if the entire brass of ULFA leaders and cadres comes out to open, they will be under complete dominance of the Government. Talks under domination from one side on the other might then lead to no fruitful results. The other possibility is that Paresh Baruah wants to wait and watch where the lateral talks lead to. The hardliner faction has already announced their conditional support to the talks where they have asked:

Consider ULFA armed revolution as a democratic-aspiration movement of natives of the land, keeping in mind the inception of their movement in context of time and situation.

Grant Assam a special status under the Constitution of India by an amendment under Part XXI that deals with Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions. This should enable Assam to draft a publically acceptable Constitution/Legal Document of its own.

Endow the state government with the right of self-governance and adjudication over any matter relating to socio-political-judicial issues that concern the interests of entire group or community domiciling in Assam.

There should be an official national anthem for Assam as the Indian federation will not be in a position to change its own national anthem, which grossly discriminates Assam by excluding from the most-audible federal representation.

A detailed investigation relating to the crimes committed and attributed to either belligerent parties i.e. Federal authority of India and ULFA be it the Kakopathar massacre of 2006 or the blast in Dhemaji. This is to be done through the good offices of International Humanitarian Fact Finding Commission (or any credible international organization) that are in a position to deal over issues of international and non-international armed conflicts.

This group is currently actively involved in managing many ‘businesses’, including procuring arms for Naxal-Maoists through contacts with ISI and Chinese intelligence operatives, among many other nefarious and anti-India activities.

Read more / Original news source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Kanglaonline/~3/tC6ZnsecGSQ/

Awareness prog at Chandel

IMPHAL, July 4: A one-day awareness on Domestic Violence Act, 2005, organized by Resource Centre for Social Welfare and Community Development will held on July 6 at Japhou Village Community… Read more »

IMPHAL, July 4: A one-day awareness on Domestic Violence Act, 2005, organized by Resource Centre for Social Welfare and Community Development will held on July 6 at Japhou Village Community Hall, Chandel district, said a release.

Read more / Original news source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Kanglaonline/~3/v6ecGnkKvgA/

Awareness prog at Chandel

IMPHAL, July 4: A one-day awareness on Domestic Violence Act, 2005, organized by Resource Centre for Social Welfare and Community Development will held on July 6 at Japhou Village Community… Read more »

IMPHAL, July 4: A one-day awareness on Domestic Violence Act, 2005, organized by Resource Centre for Social Welfare and Community Development will held on July 6 at Japhou Village Community Hall, Chandel district, said a release.

Read more / Original news source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Kanglaonline/~3/v6ecGnkKvgA/

BJP workers` meet

IMPHAL, July 4: A workers’ meet of the BJP, Thanga Assembly constituency was held today at Thanga, Bishnupur district. The meet was attended by P Chandrasehar Rao, organizing secretary North… Read more »

IMPHAL, July 4: A workers’ meet of the BJP, Thanga Assembly constituency was held today at Thanga, Bishnupur district.

The meet was attended by P Chandrasehar Rao, organizing secretary North East States Zone of the party, Shantikumar Sharma, president BJP Manipur Pradesh, Y. Nilamani Singh, secretary state unit, Y. Ratikanta Singh councilor, aspiring candidates of Thanga A/C, and other active functionaries of the BJP Thanga A/C.

Read more / Original news source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Kanglaonline/~3/5Zltvmy9HNk/

BJP workers` meet

IMPHAL, July 4: A workers’ meet of the BJP, Thanga Assembly constituency was held today at Thanga, Bishnupur district. The meet was attended by P Chandrasehar Rao, organizing secretary North… Read more »

IMPHAL, July 4: A workers’ meet of the BJP, Thanga Assembly constituency was held today at Thanga, Bishnupur district.

The meet was attended by P Chandrasehar Rao, organizing secretary North East States Zone of the party, Shantikumar Sharma, president BJP Manipur Pradesh, Y. Nilamani Singh, secretary state unit, Y. Ratikanta Singh councilor, aspiring candidates of Thanga A/C, and other active functionaries of the BJP Thanga A/C.

Read more / Original news source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Kanglaonline/~3/5Zltvmy9HNk/

JAC formed

IMPHAL, July 4: A Joint Action Committee of Nungba Assembly Constituency has been constituted under the chairmanship of Gangchei Gangmei in a public meeting held on July 2 at Rengpang… Read more »

IMPHAL, July 4: A Joint Action Committee of Nungba Assembly Constituency has been constituted under the chairmanship of Gangchei Gangmei in a public meeting held on July 2 at Rengpang Village, Tamenglong district, said a release.

Read more / Original news source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Kanglaonline/~3/mMS9w6gO9X4/

JAC formed

IMPHAL, July 4: A Joint Action Committee of Nungba Assembly Constituency has been constituted under the chairmanship of Gangchei Gangmei in a public meeting held on July 2 at Rengpang… Read more »

IMPHAL, July 4: A Joint Action Committee of Nungba Assembly Constituency has been constituted under the chairmanship of Gangchei Gangmei in a public meeting held on July 2 at Rengpang Village, Tamenglong district, said a release.

Read more / Original news source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Kanglaonline/~3/mMS9w6gO9X4/

Medical camp

IMPHAL July 4: Manipur Senmit Ehon Lup and Manipur Keithel Nupi Marup today organized a one day free medical camp at Khwairamband Ema Keithel (Purana Bazaar in collaboration with ARISTO… Read more »

IMPHAL July 4: Manipur Senmit Ehon Lup and Manipur Keithel Nupi Marup today organized a one day free medical camp at Khwairamband Ema Keithel (Purana Bazaar in collaboration with ARISTO pharmaceutical private Limited. Earlier a similar medical camp was organized on December 2010, jointly by MSEL and MKNM.

The free medical camp was attended upon by Dr. L. Bikramjit Singh and Dr. Suraj Singh M.O. (medicine), Dr. Ramananda Ophthalmologist and Dr. Hecter Dentist.

L. Memma, secretary general of MSEL expressed that the free medical camp was organized to facilitate various local venders of Khwairamband bazaar keeping in view of their economic conditions. The medical camp is organized for the welfare of vendors of Khwairamband bazaar, she added.

More than 200 venders attended today’s medical camp. She stated that the medical camp was started from 9 am and will continue till 4 pm in the evening. She further mentioned that such free medical camps will be organized on a regular basis.

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Medical camp

IMPHAL July 4: Manipur Senmit Ehon Lup and Manipur Keithel Nupi Marup today organized a one day free medical camp at Khwairamband Ema Keithel (Purana Bazaar in collaboration with ARISTO… Read more »

IMPHAL July 4: Manipur Senmit Ehon Lup and Manipur Keithel Nupi Marup today organized a one day free medical camp at Khwairamband Ema Keithel (Purana Bazaar in collaboration with ARISTO pharmaceutical private Limited. Earlier a similar medical camp was organized on December 2010, jointly by MSEL and MKNM.

The free medical camp was attended upon by Dr. L. Bikramjit Singh and Dr. Suraj Singh M.O. (medicine), Dr. Ramananda Ophthalmologist and Dr. Hecter Dentist.

L. Memma, secretary general of MSEL expressed that the free medical camp was organized to facilitate various local venders of Khwairamband bazaar keeping in view of their economic conditions. The medical camp is organized for the welfare of vendors of Khwairamband bazaar, she added.

More than 200 venders attended today’s medical camp. She stated that the medical camp was started from 9 am and will continue till 4 pm in the evening. She further mentioned that such free medical camps will be organized on a regular basis.

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SSA Manipur

IMPHAL, July 4: All Manipur Hills District JAC on Implementation of SSA Manipur has informed that as enunciated in the RTE Act and SSA norms and guidelines in section 8… Read more »

IMPHAL, July 4: All Manipur Hills District JAC on Implementation of SSA Manipur has informed that as enunciated in the RTE Act and SSA norms and guidelines in section 8 and 9 of the Act, the responsibility and supervision of RTE has been fixed upon the education department all over the Indian states but not in Autonomous District Councils. 

The concerned headmaster/headmistress/MDCs/EDS and SMDC members should not accept the formation of the school management committee vide government order no.30/19/09-SE dt. 14/6/2011 till the revocation of the said orders and SSA/RTE acts and norms are followed, said a release.

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Refresher course on Thang-Ta

IMPHAL, July 4: In the wake of the announcement of the private school welfare association to include Thang-Ta course as co-curricular syllabus, the Kanglei Indigenous Martial Arts and Cultural Society… Read more »

IMPHAL, July 4: In the wake of the announcement of the private school welfare association to include Thang-Ta course as co-curricular syllabus, the Kanglei Indigenous Martial Arts and Cultural Society (KIMACS) has asked three instructors each from various Thangta institute to join a 10 days refresher course to be started from July 6, 2011 at the KIMACS office, informed a statement of the KIMACS.

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Violent act condemned

IMPHAL, July 4: Many tribal bodies have condemned the reported manhandling of a person mistaking him to be the general secretary of Committee on Protection of Tribal Areas Manipur (COPTAM)… Read more »

IMPHAL, July 4: Many tribal bodies have condemned the reported manhandling of a person mistaking him to be the general secretary of Committee on Protection of Tribal Areas Manipur (COPTAM) by miscreants on June 28 at around 2 pm at North AOC.

The Tangkhul Aze Katamnao Long (TAKL) in a statement has maintained that attack was not a wise move. While stating that the body does not appreciate the attack it strongly condemned the act branding it as inhumanities activities and urged not to repeat in the future.

The student’s bodies asked the government of Manipur to intervene into the matter in time.

The Thadou Students’ Association (TSA) Chandel district has also strongly condemned the act and has asked the state government to bear the responsibility for any unwanted incidents and problems relating to the matter.

In the meantime the Kuki Students’ Organisation (KSO) while condemning the incident has said that the government knows if the tribal body investigate deeply they may be deployed by the state government and asserted that the government should find out the culprit.

It asked the state government to be the sole responsible for all untoward incidents relating to the demands and movements of the COPTAM.

Read more / Original news source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Kanglaonline/~3/14T2YYlkddo/

Violent act condemned

IMPHAL, July 4: Many tribal bodies have condemned the reported manhandling of a person mistaking him to be the general secretary of Committee on Protection of Tribal Areas Manipur (COPTAM)… Read more »

IMPHAL, July 4: Many tribal bodies have condemned the reported manhandling of a person mistaking him to be the general secretary of Committee on Protection of Tribal Areas Manipur (COPTAM) by miscreants on June 28 at around 2 pm at North AOC.

The Tangkhul Aze Katamnao Long (TAKL) in a statement has maintained that attack was not a wise move. While stating that the body does not appreciate the attack it strongly condemned the act branding it as inhumanities activities and urged not to repeat in the future.

The student’s bodies asked the government of Manipur to intervene into the matter in time.

The Thadou Students’ Association (TSA) Chandel district has also strongly condemned the act and has asked the state government to bear the responsibility for any unwanted incidents and problems relating to the matter.

In the meantime the Kuki Students’ Organisation (KSO) while condemning the incident has said that the government knows if the tribal body investigate deeply they may be deployed by the state government and asserted that the government should find out the culprit.

It asked the state government to be the sole responsible for all untoward incidents relating to the demands and movements of the COPTAM.

Read more / Original news source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Kanglaonline/~3/14T2YYlkddo/

Moreh public agitates against BSNL

From Moreh Correspondent MOREH, July 4: Following erratic service of the BSNL services at Moreh, irate customers of the border town came out in droves to complain to the BSNL… Read more »

From Moreh Correspondent
MOREH, July 4: Following erratic service of the BSNL services at Moreh, irate customers of the border town came out in droves to complain to the BSNL office and after finding out that there was no one at the office to attend to their grievances burnt SIM cards and other materials near the Moreh Bazar today morning in protest.

The BSNL which is one of the main service providers to Moreh residents for mobile and internet services has remained nonfunctional for the past week, affecting trade and commerce in Moreh town which conducts business to the tune of crores daily.

Local customers of the network said that repeated complaints regarding the erratic services, have fallen on deaf ears.

Read more / Original news source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Kanglaonline/~3/2x-D1fyq0E4/

Moreh public agitates against BSNL

From Moreh Correspondent MOREH, July 4: Following erratic service of the BSNL services at Moreh, irate customers of the border town came out in droves to complain to the BSNL… Read more »

From Moreh Correspondent
MOREH, July 4: Following erratic service of the BSNL services at Moreh, irate customers of the border town came out in droves to complain to the BSNL office and after finding out that there was no one at the office to attend to their grievances burnt SIM cards and other materials near the Moreh Bazar today morning in protest.

The BSNL which is one of the main service providers to Moreh residents for mobile and internet services has remained nonfunctional for the past week, affecting trade and commerce in Moreh town which conducts business to the tune of crores daily.

Local customers of the network said that repeated complaints regarding the erratic services, have fallen on deaf ears.

Read more / Original news source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Kanglaonline/~3/2x-D1fyq0E4/

Ukl people welcome transfer of works from PWD to GREF

From John K Kaping UKHRUL, July 2: The people of Ukhrul town showed signs of joy when the road development works of the town were transferred to General Road Engineering… Read more »

From John K Kaping
UKHRUL, July 2: The people of Ukhrul town showed signs of joy when the road development works of the town were transferred to General Road Engineering Force (GREF) from the state public works department.

The PWD has failed to develop the roads of Ukhrul town for quite a long time thereby causing much inconvenience to the people.

After taking over the responsibility of developing the roads of Ukhrul town, the GREF could show good progress in the work.

The present condition of the dilapidated road has caused immense hardship and inconvenience to the people of all walks of life. The remains of the dug-out earth piled up on either side of the made it difficult for people to walk on the road especially during monsoon season.

The vehicles of all types plying on this one-way-traffic road always get jammed because of the slippery mud and narrow passage.

However, the GREF has been working to improve the condition of this deplorable road by using all its manpower and machineries. The people of Ukhrul town are indeed happy with the work progress of the GREF and they hope that their woes for having bad roads will soon be over.

Read more / Original news source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Kanglaonline/~3/zc6C5A9fvNM/

Ukl people welcome transfer of works from PWD to GREF

From John K Kaping UKHRUL, July 2: The people of Ukhrul town showed signs of joy when the road development works of the town were transferred to General Road Engineering… Read more »

From John K Kaping
UKHRUL, July 2: The people of Ukhrul town showed signs of joy when the road development works of the town were transferred to General Road Engineering Force (GREF) from the state public works department.

The PWD has failed to develop the roads of Ukhrul town for quite a long time thereby causing much inconvenience to the people.

After taking over the responsibility of developing the roads of Ukhrul town, the GREF could show good progress in the work.

The present condition of the dilapidated road has caused immense hardship and inconvenience to the people of all walks of life. The remains of the dug-out earth piled up on either side of the made it difficult for people to walk on the road especially during monsoon season.

The vehicles of all types plying on this one-way-traffic road always get jammed because of the slippery mud and narrow passage.

However, the GREF has been working to improve the condition of this deplorable road by using all its manpower and machineries. The people of Ukhrul town are indeed happy with the work progress of the GREF and they hope that their woes for having bad roads will soon be over.

Read more / Original news source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Kanglaonline/~3/zc6C5A9fvNM/

Ukl people welcome transfer of works from PWD to GREF

From John K Kaping UKHRUL, July 2: The people of Ukhrul town showed signs of joy when the road development works of the town were transferred to General Road Engineering… Read more »

From John K Kaping
UKHRUL, July 2: The people of Ukhrul town showed signs of joy when the road development works of the town were transferred to General Road Engineering Force (GREF) from the state public works department.

The PWD has failed to develop the roads of Ukhrul town for quite a long time thereby causing much inconvenience to the people.

After taking over the responsibility of developing the roads of Ukhrul town, the GREF could show good progress in the work.

The present condition of the dilapidated road has caused immense hardship and inconvenience to the people of all walks of life. The remains of the dug-out earth piled up on either side of the made it difficult for people to walk on the road especially during monsoon season.

The vehicles of all types plying on this one-way-traffic road always get jammed because of the slippery mud and narrow passage.

However, the GREF has been working to improve the condition of this deplorable road by using all its manpower and machineries. The people of Ukhrul town are indeed happy with the work progress of the GREF and they hope that their woes for having bad roads will soon be over.

Read more / Original news source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Kanglaonline/~3/zc6C5A9fvNM/

Women intercepted with heroin

IMPHAL, July 2: Troops of 31 Assam Rifles have reportedly intercepted heroin from a lady yesterday while conducted search operation in the general area of Khudengthabi. A statement of the… Read more »

IMPHAL, July 2: Troops of 31 Assam Rifles have reportedly intercepted heroin from a lady yesterday while conducted search operation in the general area of Khudengthabi.

A statement of the PRO IGAR (S) said that the lady identified as one Nengnedhong Haokip, 37, w/o Ngamu Haokip of Phoilen, PO Moreh was intercepted with 3 packs of (310g) of heroin number 4 by the AR troops along with lady police from a Maruti van regd No AS-01X7627.

It said the apprehended lady along with the recovered items has been handed over to the custom office, Moreh.

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`Wretched Aristotle`: Is Politics All, and Reason Redundant?

By Amar Yumnam During the second and third century of the Christian era, there were religious leaders who professed that revelation was the ultimate and philosophy did not have any… Read more »

By Amar Yumnam
During the second and third century of the Christian era, there were religious leaders who professed that revelation was the ultimate and philosophy did not have any more role to play in human life. They characterised Aristotle as wretched assuming that since the God had spoken directly, the period of philosophising was to be given a burial. They simply ignored the fact that the rationality of the antiquity founded on the rational mind of the Greek philosophers was the strength of the contemporary religion itself; the two were not to be considered as complements at all they felt. The absurdity of this approach is being revealed by contemporary researches in Economics, Sociology, History and philosophy.

Why The Reference: Now I must explain why I have taken this reference to the denial of relevance of antiquity as possessing any explanatory value in understanding a society and the contemporary attempts to restore and re-appreciate the value of antiquity in understanding a contemporary society. The reason is to be found in happenings at home. In recent years, Manipur has been characterised by moves and counter-moves to destroy or rescue the future of the land. While the move to wreck the future of the land as an entity is founded more on not-so old religious-politico arguments, the counter-move for rescue is founded on antiquity.

Politics Without Antiquity: I understand that certain developments in the wake of the beginning of Hinduism in Manipur and post-merger policy failures in the development front have caused ruptures in the original spirits that animated the traditional societal life of the land and people of Manipur. But the question to be answered is: Can we really write off our antiquity and simply start off with a new history? Are there examples of successful civilisations not founded on antiquity, or development experiences sustained only on contemporaneous religio-politico arguments? Can a newly-found rationale serve at all as the soul of a society in place of the antiquity? These are simple as well as serious issues to ponder for while emotions may succeed to create a society temporarily, the long run costs are huge. Here we have many lessons to absorb from the developmental failures and lapses of Indian policy-making in this part of the country.

A land is much more than the geography and form of administrative relations, and it involves people and their history based on the strength of antiquity. Examples are hard to find where mid-course reasons and arrangements evolved out of those have served the cause of a sustainable society. In a world with intensifying interactions and increasingly heterogeneous population groupings, there is little else which can serve as the binding soul of a society than the shared antiquity. This is because it is only antiquity which can serve as the specific foundations of any civilisation and development; newer arrangements can hardly be so in this highly interconnected world. Defending a development and a civilisation based on antiquity is definitely much simpler than sustaining one based on newly articulated rationale. The new articulations naturally are a product of the mind of a few, and it may never attain the status and power of the shared antiquity. We should remember that there are lots to be engaged and miles to go before we can make ourselves fully competitive with the rest of the world.

Here we mayrecall the Nicomachean Ethics of Aristotle. He had advised us that a societyand a state has a tendency to persist along with the initial and inherentqualities. A successful republic has necessarily to be founded on the virtuesof the people, and a bad moral state is difficult to modify if once created. Antiquityhas been accepted as the best foundation for the generation of the virtues ofthe people, and not transient arrangements. There are always issues for leadingthe individual as well as the collective mind successfully and unitedly towardsa common goal. And the question remains: Can we at all create a common goalwhich is fully cut-off from the antiquity?

ManipurToday: Manipur today stands at a historical juncture wherewe need to mobilise our individual and collective energies to take on the worldwith confidence by reinvigorating our strengths and ameliorating ourweaknesses. In fact, the land and the people here have no alternative to thisroute. There is neither space nor necessity now for converting thefamiliarities into problematic. The only option now is to evolve a successful arrangementbased on the familiarities. We cannot and should not subject the people anymore to issues of doubts about the outcomes of the proposed alterations torelationships, for the world today is for preparation for competition and notfor articulations along ethnicity, groups or such partisanship.

When theforce of antiquity is destroyed, the time to generate another force as a successfulreplacement would take centuries. No group, ethnic or otherwise, in Manipurtoday can afford to waste time and energy for the generation of this new forcein place of the antiquity. We are already far behind in the global race fordevelopment, and time is not on our side.

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