Elected representatives felicitated

IMPHAL, June 5: The Thangmeiband Kendra Development Committee has felicitated five ward members and two councilors of the recently elected Imphal Municipal Council election of the Thangmeiband Assembly constituency today… Read more »

IMPHAL, June 5: The Thangmeiband Kendra Development Committee has felicitated five ward members and two councilors of the recently elected Imphal Municipal Council election of the Thangmeiband Assembly constituency today at Ibodhou Naothingkhomba Pakhangba Shanglen, Thangmeiband.

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Accommodation Heals

At its crux, there are only two known ways of resolving a conflict of interest. One is to crush the weaker of the two with brute force and the other… Read more »

At its crux, there are only two known ways of resolving a conflict of interest. One is to crush the weaker of the two with brute force and the other to reach a democratic consensus. The civilized norm of the modern world being the latter option, the need is to explore its possibilities, wherever conflict has come to stay, at least until a more perfected mechanism is evolved. For the moment, we can only foresee all putative future conflict resolution mechanisms as derivatives of the democratic system, the latter being known for its resilience and almost infinite accommodative capacity. But it must be acknowledged that often the most vocal advocates of democracy have regressed into the logic of an atavistic past where only force mattered. The objectionable interventions in the Middle East and West Asian have said this eloquently. It is a matter of pessimism that war still seems unavoidable even in the days of democracy. A qualification needs however to be added here. In the UNDP Human Development Report, HDR, 2002 with the theme “deepening democracy in a fragmented world”, one of the many interesting patterns of national behaviors that evolved from empirical data on wars in the second half of the 20th Century is, no two democracies have ever gone to war with each other. Quite obviously, these nations have discovered an alternative ground on which to thrash out vexed issues. The indication is also, democracy is a versatile medium for this meeting of minds and resolution of conflicts.Even in our situation, there have been very strong tendencies on very many occasions to return to the former method of conflict resolution, which basically has a one-line philosophy made famous by Joseph Conrad’s fictional character, Kurtz in Heart of Darkness – exterminate the brute. But, as in this story, the scale to decide which is the “civilized” and which the “brute” between the exterminator and exterminated, becomes extremely blurred. But the values of democracy, with its insistence on giving each and every one a say, regardless of numerical or physical strength, have generally managed to keep this tendency in check. There have been occasions when this inner moderation snapped, as in the case of the Naga-Kuki feud, Meitei-Meitei Pangal mayhem, and Kuki-Paite fratricide, but it would be reasonable to presume that many more would have been prevented by this inner cord. For indeed although our society seemed at certain junctures to have reached points of explosive of ethnic violence, nothing so catastrophic have happened so far. This however does not mean the dark forces of violence have been successfully subdued for all times. We still continue to sit on a dormant volcano which can with provocation come alive again. And provocations there have been and there will be by those who either do not understand or believe in the healing power of accommodation and mutual respect that democracy recommends.There have also been plenty of talks of a dialogue between the civil societies of the different communities that are at loggerheads. This is welcome, but a dialogue devoid of a willingness to accommodate can possibly lead nowhere. A dialogue or a discourse is not simply about convincing the opposing party to surrender to the will of the other party, but of discovering, or rediscovering as the case may be, of common grounds on which to build the foundation of the future together. This spirit has never been conspicuous in all the vociferous claims for the need for understanding and good neighbourliness. By democracy we do not necessarily mean only the number game. This is a necessary ingredient, but it is far from being a sufficient condition. Equally important, it is also about justice, and in evolving this understanding of justice, the premium must be on reason and creative insights into what is common good. Here concept of freedom is also important. Without individual freedom, the aggregate of which is what constitutes freedom of larger social grouping, including the nation, there can be no democracy. But again, as philosopher Isaiah Berlin said, freedom cannot be without any conditions. Absolute freedom for the wolves translates into death for the lambs. Freedom then can make meaning only if it is moderated by reason and a commonly legislated rational law.

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Accommodation Heals

At its crux, there are only two known ways of resolving a conflict of interest. One is to crush the weaker of the two with brute force and the other… Read more »

At its crux, there are only two known ways of resolving a conflict of interest. One is to crush the weaker of the two with brute force and the other to reach a democratic consensus. The civilized norm of the modern world being the latter option, the need is to explore its possibilities, wherever conflict has come to stay, at least until a more perfected mechanism is evolved. For the moment, we can only foresee all putative future conflict resolution mechanisms as derivatives of the democratic system, the latter being known for its resilience and almost infinite accommodative capacity. But it must be acknowledged that often the most vocal advocates of democracy have regressed into the logic of an atavistic past where only force mattered. The objectionable interventions in the Middle East and West Asian have said this eloquently. It is a matter of pessimism that war still seems unavoidable even in the days of democracy. A qualification needs however to be added here. In the UNDP Human Development Report, HDR, 2002 with the theme “deepening democracy in a fragmented world”, one of the many interesting patterns of national behaviors that evolved from empirical data on wars in the second half of the 20th Century is, no two democracies have ever gone to war with each other. Quite obviously, these nations have discovered an alternative ground on which to thrash out vexed issues. The indication is also, democracy is a versatile medium for this meeting of minds and resolution of conflicts.Even in our situation, there have been very strong tendencies on very many occasions to return to the former method of conflict resolution, which basically has a one-line philosophy made famous by Joseph Conrad’s fictional character, Kurtz in Heart of Darkness – exterminate the brute. But, as in this story, the scale to decide which is the “civilized” and which the “brute” between the exterminator and exterminated, becomes extremely blurred. But the values of democracy, with its insistence on giving each and every one a say, regardless of numerical or physical strength, have generally managed to keep this tendency in check. There have been occasions when this inner moderation snapped, as in the case of the Naga-Kuki feud, Meitei-Meitei Pangal mayhem, and Kuki-Paite fratricide, but it would be reasonable to presume that many more would have been prevented by this inner cord. For indeed although our society seemed at certain junctures to have reached points of explosive of ethnic violence, nothing so catastrophic have happened so far. This however does not mean the dark forces of violence have been successfully subdued for all times. We still continue to sit on a dormant volcano which can with provocation come alive again. And provocations there have been and there will be by those who either do not understand or believe in the healing power of accommodation and mutual respect that democracy recommends.There have also been plenty of talks of a dialogue between the civil societies of the different communities that are at loggerheads. This is welcome, but a dialogue devoid of a willingness to accommodate can possibly lead nowhere. A dialogue or a discourse is not simply about convincing the opposing party to surrender to the will of the other party, but of discovering, or rediscovering as the case may be, of common grounds on which to build the foundation of the future together. This spirit has never been conspicuous in all the vociferous claims for the need for understanding and good neighbourliness. By democracy we do not necessarily mean only the number game. This is a necessary ingredient, but it is far from being a sufficient condition. Equally important, it is also about justice, and in evolving this understanding of justice, the premium must be on reason and creative insights into what is common good. Here concept of freedom is also important. Without individual freedom, the aggregate of which is what constitutes freedom of larger social grouping, including the nation, there can be no democracy. But again, as philosopher Isaiah Berlin said, freedom cannot be without any conditions. Absolute freedom for the wolves translates into death for the lambs. Freedom then can make meaning only if it is moderated by reason and a commonly legislated rational law.

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Accommodation Heals

At its crux, there are only two known ways of resolving a conflict of interest. One is to crush the weaker of the two with brute force and the other… Read more »

At its crux, there are only two known ways of resolving a conflict of interest. One is to crush the weaker of the two with brute force and the other to reach a democratic consensus. The civilized norm of the modern world being the latter option, the need is to explore its possibilities, wherever conflict has come to stay, at least until a more perfected mechanism is evolved. For the moment, we can only foresee all putative future conflict resolution mechanisms as derivatives of the democratic system, the latter being known for its resilience and almost infinite accommodative capacity. But it must be acknowledged that often the most vocal advocates of democracy have regressed into the logic of an atavistic past where only force mattered. The objectionable interventions in the Middle East and West Asian have said this eloquently. It is a matter of pessimism that war still seems unavoidable even in the days of democracy. A qualification needs however to be added here. In the UNDP Human Development Report, HDR, 2002 with the theme “deepening democracy in a fragmented world”, one of the many interesting patterns of national behaviors that evolved from empirical data on wars in the second half of the 20th Century is, no two democracies have ever gone to war with each other. Quite obviously, these nations have discovered an alternative ground on which to thrash out vexed issues. The indication is also, democracy is a versatile medium for this meeting of minds and resolution of conflicts.Even in our situation, there have been very strong tendencies on very many occasions to return to the former method of conflict resolution, which basically has a one-line philosophy made famous by Joseph Conrad’s fictional character, Kurtz in Heart of Darkness – exterminate the brute. But, as in this story, the scale to decide which is the “civilized” and which the “brute” between the exterminator and exterminated, becomes extremely blurred. But the values of democracy, with its insistence on giving each and every one a say, regardless of numerical or physical strength, have generally managed to keep this tendency in check. There have been occasions when this inner moderation snapped, as in the case of the Naga-Kuki feud, Meitei-Meitei Pangal mayhem, and Kuki-Paite fratricide, but it would be reasonable to presume that many more would have been prevented by this inner cord. For indeed although our society seemed at certain junctures to have reached points of explosive of ethnic violence, nothing so catastrophic have happened so far. This however does not mean the dark forces of violence have been successfully subdued for all times. We still continue to sit on a dormant volcano which can with provocation come alive again. And provocations there have been and there will be by those who either do not understand or believe in the healing power of accommodation and mutual respect that democracy recommends.There have also been plenty of talks of a dialogue between the civil societies of the different communities that are at loggerheads. This is welcome, but a dialogue devoid of a willingness to accommodate can possibly lead nowhere. A dialogue or a discourse is not simply about convincing the opposing party to surrender to the will of the other party, but of discovering, or rediscovering as the case may be, of common grounds on which to build the foundation of the future together. This spirit has never been conspicuous in all the vociferous claims for the need for understanding and good neighbourliness. By democracy we do not necessarily mean only the number game. This is a necessary ingredient, but it is far from being a sufficient condition. Equally important, it is also about justice, and in evolving this understanding of justice, the premium must be on reason and creative insights into what is common good. Here concept of freedom is also important. Without individual freedom, the aggregate of which is what constitutes freedom of larger social grouping, including the nation, there can be no democracy. But again, as philosopher Isaiah Berlin said, freedom cannot be without any conditions. Absolute freedom for the wolves translates into death for the lambs. Freedom then can make meaning only if it is moderated by reason and a commonly legislated rational law.

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Chief Minister on a new high after Race Course Road meet with PM

NEW DELHI, June 4 (MIC): The Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh called a high-level meeting with Manipur Chief Minister O. Ibobi Singh and senior central ministers and top officials today… Read more »

NEW DELHI, June 4 (MIC): The Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh called a high-level meeting with Manipur Chief Minister O. Ibobi Singh and senior central ministers and top officials today at 10.30 am at his official residence, Race Course here to review implementation of national projects, besides several critical infrastructure and health and education ventures. The Chief Minister was accompanied by the chief secretary, Manipur and special secretary, Planning.After detailed discussions lasting over one hour, it was agreed that the JN Institute of Medical Sciences should be supported for completion within 2014-15. Pending approval of the revised Detailed Project Report (DPR) of Rs. 867 crores, the Planning Commission agreed to release allocated SPA funds of Rs132crores for this project. Approval to the revised DPR would be expedited. The state government was advised to submit the revised DPR for the Capital Project. The progress made in respect of the State Assembly and High Court Complexes was appreciated. The Planning Commission also agreed to consider favourably the revised DPR estimated at Rs. 841.83 crores. The Chief Minister of Manipur expressed concern regarding the slow pace of implementation of the Railway Line project Jiribam- Tupul-Imphal. Noting that the target date for completion of the Railway Line upto Tupul had already been re-scheduled to 2012, the Chief Minister requested the Railways authoruties to induct additional manpower and equipments for ensuring that there would be no further slippages. On the suggestion of the Member (Engg) of Railway Board, the Border Road Organisation was advised to strengthen all weak bridges on NH-53 by December 2011, so that the Railways could bring in all required heavy equipments required for the tunneling work. The Railways also agreed to supplement equipment and manpower and assured that the Railwayline upto Tupul would be completed by 2014, and upto Imphal by 2016. The Chief Minister also re-iterated the importance of expediting upgradation of NH-53 as it was the second lifeline of Manipur. The union minister of Defence A.K.Antony, on behalf of the BRO, assured that the ongoing work for double-laning and black-topping of NH-53 would be completed by 2013. It was also decided that the ministry of Defence would advise the BRO to outsource the critical portions of NH-53 to reputed engineering companies for expediting completion and ensuring quality work. The Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asked the ministry of Road Transport & Highways to clear pending DPRs submitted by BRO in the coming week, and also develop a new proposal for converting NH-53 to a world class road, befitting a road leading to international borders.The state government’s proposal to have an alternative alignment of NH-39 to by-pass sinking areas and link Manipur to Assam through Peren, Nagaland was appreciated. The secretary, Ministry of Road Transport & Highways informed that both proposals were proposed to be included in ‘Phase A’ of the Special Accelerated Road Development Programme, and approval of the Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure was being obtained. The Prime Minister advised the ministry to bring the two issues to the Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure within June 2011 for approval. As regards the proposal to seek Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) assistance for Augmentation of Water Supply for Imphal city, by drawing water from the Thoubal Multi-Purpose project, the Planning Commission reported that it had given in-principle approval to the project which estimated at Rs. 687 crores, for funding as an Externally Aided Project. It was agreed that besides posing it to JICA, Planning Commission would also consider funding the project through plan financing. The state government’s proposals seeking support of the ministry of Human Resource Development for establishing Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas in all nine districts was considered favourably. The union minister of Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal agreed to bring up a Note for consideration and approval of the Central Cabinet to relax the existing guidelines and assist Manipur to set up additional KGBVs. He also informed that the ministry had approved setting up of four additional KGBVs (residential schools for poor and vulnerable girls) in educationally backward blocks of the state, taking the total to five KGBVs. Similarly, the Ministry would bring up another Note for the Union Cabinet to approve setting up of new Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas at Ukhrul and Kangpokpi.The Union Minister of Development of North Eastern Region(DoNER) B.K.Handique agreed to expedite approval to NLCPR support for Construction of 300 school buildings in the five Hill districts at an estimated cost of Rs.137.77 crores. In connection with the request of the State Government for release of Special Advance Plan Assistance of Rs. 300 crores, the Chief Minister O. Ibobi Singh called on Pranab Mukherjee, union finance minister separately. After brief discussion, it was agreed that issue of cash reserve would be cross-checked and State Finance department would separately meet the secretary, Expenditure to work out the details.

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Holistic approach needed to preserve environment: CORE

IMPHAL, June 4: The Centre for Organization Research and Education (CORE) in a statement has expressed its serious concern regarding the environment of the state today stating that despite many… Read more »

IMPHAL, June 4: The Centre for Organization Research and Education (CORE) in a statement has expressed its serious concern regarding the environment of the state today stating that despite many years of efforts exerted through the many government departments, and much expenditure, the natural environment and natural heritage of Manipur’s hills and valleys and the rural and urban areas have deteriorated continuously and rapidly.Noting the theme of the World Environment day “Forest-Nature at your service”, the statement said that humans are committed to safeguard this natural heritage for the well being of the future generation. The environment does not consist of only the forest but it consists of the wetlands and nonliving beings and entities, the hills and valleys, rivers and water ways and all of them should be equally preserved, the statement added.It maintained that the newly drafted Manipur State Policy for climate change will be an empty exercise without a holistic approach that thoroughly examines the issues of rural and urban development strategies, energy and water, communication and transport infrastructure, human habitat, agricultural lands, wetlands and forests.It points out the necessity for the Manipur government and all its implementing agencies to undertake urgent comprehensive assessment of Manipur’s environment and the pertaining ecological issues with the full and meaningful participation of civil society, to ensure every development project and programme is planned and implemented carefully.

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2012 December set as completion deadline for delayed sewerage project: PHED

IMPHAL June 4: Superintending engineer of the Public Health and Engineering Department (PHED), Th Lokeswor in charge of the urban division announced in a press meet held today at the… Read more »

IMPHAL June 4: Superintending engineer of the Public Health and Engineering Department (PHED), Th Lokeswor in charge of the urban division announced in a press meet held today at the Manipur Press Club, that the sewerage project presently underway will be completed within December 2012.The SE said that the department has been doing its best to complete the works under a stipulated time and with a concern of the public’s welfare.“ The project is taken up in the interest of the public, whatever excavations done to fit the pipelines have been carefully monitored and done so as not to cause public inconvenience, the department is assessing the implemented works on a daily basis and we request the public to bear with us for some more time”, he said.Detailing mediapersons regarding the sewerage project, he further said that the project officially started in 2003, but due to unavoidable circumstances, the implementation started from 2006 onwards. The laying of primary lines around Imphal city has been completed at least upto 85 percent while around 60 percent of laying of secondary pipelines is complete, he further added. He also stated that the French government has mainly provided the machinery and the technical know how for the sewerage project.“The French engineers come annually to check the progress of the works and provides technical assistance, every part of the project is monitored by them, the implementation is done under their supervision and there is no question of the project being carried out against the engineering norms “. He added that the cost of the project is revised at a total of Rs. 217.6 crores and the project will further be extended to other towns of the state as Churachandpur, Bidhnupur, Moirang and Loktak.“This project is the first in the North East and the works will extend to other districts in the near future, the contractors and the PHED has to be co ordinated, the law and order situation in the state sometimes causes a delay to the ongoing works, the target for completion though set on 2012 March cannot be met, but even though with the slight delay, the project will be completed within December 2012, the Chief Minister has also intimated his interest in the completion of the project at the earliest”, he said.The SE also announced that the works taken up at the RIMS road by the department had been completed on March 28, and the current ongoing construction along the road is the matter of either the PWD or MAHUD.The sewerage project is implemented to carry out treatment of waste disposal for the urban areas of the state and so as to further dispose off the waste material without incurring any health hazards to the public in the process.

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Roberoy JAC blocks Ningthoukhong stretch of NH 150

IMPHAL, June 4: As the deadline set for the government to produce the culprits involved in the heinous killing of four year old Ningthoukhong boy expired today, a large number… Read more »

IMPHAL, June 4: As the deadline set for the government to produce the culprits involved in the heinous killing of four year old Ningthoukhong boy expired today, a large number of people came out to the streets at Ningthoukhong Bazar and blockaded the Tiddim road (NH-150) thereby preventing commuters to cross Ningthoukhong area in Bishnupur district today.It may be recalled, the JAC formed against the killing of four year old Ningthoukhong boy Roberoy had set a 48 hours dateline on June 2 for the state government to produce the culprits involved in the killing of the minor.Womenfolk and locals blockaded Tiddim road at Ningthoukhong area from 11am today. After some hours, traffic along the highway resumed following deployment of heavy security forces at the area.In an ugly fracas between the agitators and the police during the road blockade, a police officer who was detailed for controlling the situation showed off his service revolver and acted as if trying to kill Thiyam ongbi Rabina, mother of late Roberoy, thereby exposing the ugly face of police brutality while dealing with sensitive issues of the public in the state.The incident happened when Roberoy’s mother, who was filled by emotions, asked the police to shoot her if they could not produce culprits involved in the heinous crime. Immediately after police officer’s action, Rabina fainted and fell on the ground. The Roberoy JAC has expressed strong condemnation to the excessive action of the police officer.Speaking to mediaperson, a JAC spokesperson said action of the police officer to Roberoy’s mother has angered the Ningthoukhong locals and as such demand stern action against the misbehaving police official.The JAC also said intense agitation will be followed till the culprits involved in the killing of minor boy are booked.

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Com. minister stresses on introduction of mechanised production in handloom and handicraft sector

IMPHAL, June 4: The commerce and industry minister, Y. Irabot Singh stated that the department of handloom and handicraft is likely to introduce modern mechanized system of production in order… Read more »

IMPHAL, June 4: The commerce and industry minister, Y. Irabot Singh stated that the department of handloom and handicraft is likely to introduce modern mechanized system of production in order to meet the growing demand of handloom and handicraft products of the state all over the world.The minister who was attending an award distribution function of outstanding craftpersons and subsidies under the schemes of modernization of handicrafts and assistance to individual artisans held today at the Iboyaima Shumang Leela Shanglen also stated that despite huge demands of quality products of handloom and handicrafts products of the state, the massive global demand could not be met owing to the slow hand woven process.But the department is likely to introduce modern mechanized forms of production to assist the present demand for surplus production, said the minister adding the handloom and handicraft products of the state are in high demand all over the world and that handllom products of the state are regarded as No.1 in the country.Further speaking as the chief guest of the function, he also stated that lack of raw material in abundance is another factor which has is a hindrance to massive production of the handicrafts and handloom products, for which the minister has observed the need of coordination among the different related departments to overcome the bottleneck of getting raw materials, which could be beneficial to the state economy too, the minister added.Further touching upon the silk found in the state, the minister maintained that the state sericulture department, in collaboration with a Japanese firm had implemented various projects in the state to develop the silk production in the state, however due to the law and order situation in the state, the Japanese firm had to leave the project mid-way.He further added that recognizing the importance and quality of the Manipuri silk, the government of India under the Special Plan Assistant (SPA) fund has earmarked a sum of Rs. 61.11 crores to develop the sericulture project including the new variety of silk.He also added that the kind of silk which is golden in colour and which is in high demand around the world is found in the state. However he also added that both the golden colour silk and the local simple silk are both in high demand globally. The minister further added that the government is planning to established a silkyard at Loitang khunou.Sukumar Haobam a senior design consultant, while speaking as guest of honour stressed the need to encourage self employment programme among unemployed youths in the absence of employment opportunities.Further S Birendra Singh, functional manager, Handicrafs, commerce and Industry deft, stated that once a craftsman wins state award, he/she is eligible to implement the scheme of Guru Sishya parampara under office of the dv. Com (H) govt of India.He also stated that As many as 188 numbers of outstanding Crafts persons have won the state Awards in the state while 17 crafts-persons could get the National Awards and 13 Crafts-persons got National Merit Awards till date.The state awards have been implemented in the state since 1979-80, in order to promote and push the morals of the Craftspersons.During the function 10 artisans were awarded as outstanding artisans of 2009-10 while another 10 artisans were awarded as outstanding artisans of 2010-11. the award for the 2009-10 carried a citation and Rs 10,000 each while that of the 2010-11 carried as citation and a sum of Rs. 15, 000 each.

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Reaching Out and Connectivity Compulsions But A Failing State Instead: Our tragedy

By Amar YumnamConflicts have been with humankind since the beginning of life on this planet. The presence of conflict is not something which should necessarily cause loss of heart among… Read more »

By Amar YumnamConflicts have been with humankind since the beginning of life on this planet. The presence of conflict is not something which should necessarily cause loss of heart among the homo sapiens, but what should be of concern to us is the manner with which we are handling the situation and the potential outcomes of conflict at any point of time. In the case of Manipur, the latter seems to be exactly the case; the overall mannerisms, behavioural manifestations and assertions of power all point to a direction we do not individually as humans and collectively as society intend to move towards. But we are indeed retrogressing, regressing and degrading towards a non-enviable state. The society of Manipur has had a tradition of suppressing overt manifestation of poverty and lack of access to resources, but the daily encounters with people and events prove beyond doubt that we indeed are in a bad shape. Well, we certainly do not possess a red-light area, but this does not in any case indicate absence of the oldest profession. In every conceivable locality in Imphal city, the phenomenon of part-time workers in this profession is absolutely on the rise, and many are pushed into it by economic compulsions. We can also multiply the examples exemplifying the worsening economic life of a larger section of the population. What matters at this juncture is how we as individuals, as a society and as functionaries of the government behave and respond to this retrogressing, regressing and degrading atmosphere. Before I try to articulate my response on the issue, I would like to relate my experiences the other day. The circle in front of the Raj Bhavan, the Kangla and the turn at the Gandhi Avenue are the most congested traffic areas in Imphal, and have been made more so by the various diggings. We have seen many complaints, including editorials in the dailies, expressing dismay and anger against the traffic behaviour of the Very Important Persons of the land in these highly congested areas. I myself have experienced these umpteen number of times. But what I had experienced the other day has shocked me to the end. Judiciary is one we would take recourse to when nothing else functions well, but what happened in the section between the Kangla and the turn at the Gandhi Avenue the other day had really shaken my faith. The pilot vehicle leading the important flag-car carrying an important functionary of the highest seat of judiciary in the province kept sounding the siren all through the section where there is very little space if any for providing space for another vehicle to overtake. Well let us bear with this for once and calm ourselves by imagining it as the price to be paid for the pride of our judicial officers. What followed was even more shocking however. The vehicles completely broke all traffic rules by ignoring the signal of the traffic policeman posted at that point and overtaking all the vehicles from the left lane reserved for driving inside the MG Avenue and forcibly halting all the vehicles coming from the opposite direction. Now when some violations occur and we incur injuries because of that, we do approach the law courts for redressing. But what would we do if the experience just explained happens to be the empirical reality in the land, and what should we expect from the system in such circumstances? In the afternoon of the same day, I listened to a lecture by an American friend on how to establish peace and generate positive atmosphere for life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. It was a lecture emphasising the significance and criticality of touching and reaching out to people as important tipping points for generating an atmosphere of hope. Now the Connection: Now one may wonder why I am relating the two seemingly disconnect events. Well, the connection between the lecture and the morning experience on the same day lies in the social reality of Manipur during the last few decades and the behaviour of governance while engaging with the reality. The response of the people in charge of governance of the land has been one of shunting out and evicting the general population as if the latter were nothing more than insects. It makes no difference whether ours is a democracy or not. It makes no difference by the fact that elections are held and governments are formed once in five years. The state in Manipur has simply adopted the approach of shunting out and imposing obeisance through fear. In other words, the methodology of the state is the same as that of the non-state, i.e., cause widespread fear and impose order.This contrasts with the need of the land where the government should be increasingly endeavouring to connect with the people in order to address the contemporary issues. Now what prevails in Manipur is a scenario where the government alienates the people, and the different communities shunt out each other – a grand recipe for social collapse.State Failing: Now what we have explained above are sure signs of the state failing in the sense of decline rather than in the conventional sense of civil war, genocides and ethnic wipe–outs. We call it decline rather than failure for we now do see symptoms of the conventional failure to happen in the land sooner or later. Time is now for us to collectively appreciate the scenario and affect alterations in our behaviour so that we save ourselves from the catastrophe.

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Reaching Out and Connectivity Compulsions But A Failing State Instead: Our tragedy

By Amar YumnamConflicts have been with humankind since the beginning of life on this planet. The presence of conflict is not something which should necessarily cause loss of heart among… Read more »

By Amar YumnamConflicts have been with humankind since the beginning of life on this planet. The presence of conflict is not something which should necessarily cause loss of heart among the homo sapiens, but what should be of concern to us is the manner with which we are handling the situation and the potential outcomes of conflict at any point of time. In the case of Manipur, the latter seems to be exactly the case; the overall mannerisms, behavioural manifestations and assertions of power all point to a direction we do not individually as humans and collectively as society intend to move towards. But we are indeed retrogressing, regressing and degrading towards a non-enviable state. The society of Manipur has had a tradition of suppressing overt manifestation of poverty and lack of access to resources, but the daily encounters with people and events prove beyond doubt that we indeed are in a bad shape. Well, we certainly do not possess a red-light area, but this does not in any case indicate absence of the oldest profession. In every conceivable locality in Imphal city, the phenomenon of part-time workers in this profession is absolutely on the rise, and many are pushed into it by economic compulsions. We can also multiply the examples exemplifying the worsening economic life of a larger section of the population. What matters at this juncture is how we as individuals, as a society and as functionaries of the government behave and respond to this retrogressing, regressing and degrading atmosphere. Before I try to articulate my response on the issue, I would like to relate my experiences the other day. The circle in front of the Raj Bhavan, the Kangla and the turn at the Gandhi Avenue are the most congested traffic areas in Imphal, and have been made more so by the various diggings. We have seen many complaints, including editorials in the dailies, expressing dismay and anger against the traffic behaviour of the Very Important Persons of the land in these highly congested areas. I myself have experienced these umpteen number of times. But what I had experienced the other day has shocked me to the end. Judiciary is one we would take recourse to when nothing else functions well, but what happened in the section between the Kangla and the turn at the Gandhi Avenue the other day had really shaken my faith. The pilot vehicle leading the important flag-car carrying an important functionary of the highest seat of judiciary in the province kept sounding the siren all through the section where there is very little space if any for providing space for another vehicle to overtake. Well let us bear with this for once and calm ourselves by imagining it as the price to be paid for the pride of our judicial officers. What followed was even more shocking however. The vehicles completely broke all traffic rules by ignoring the signal of the traffic policeman posted at that point and overtaking all the vehicles from the left lane reserved for driving inside the MG Avenue and forcibly halting all the vehicles coming from the opposite direction. Now when some violations occur and we incur injuries because of that, we do approach the law courts for redressing. But what would we do if the experience just explained happens to be the empirical reality in the land, and what should we expect from the system in such circumstances? In the afternoon of the same day, I listened to a lecture by an American friend on how to establish peace and generate positive atmosphere for life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. It was a lecture emphasising the significance and criticality of touching and reaching out to people as important tipping points for generating an atmosphere of hope. Now the Connection: Now one may wonder why I am relating the two seemingly disconnect events. Well, the connection between the lecture and the morning experience on the same day lies in the social reality of Manipur during the last few decades and the behaviour of governance while engaging with the reality. The response of the people in charge of governance of the land has been one of shunting out and evicting the general population as if the latter were nothing more than insects. It makes no difference whether ours is a democracy or not. It makes no difference by the fact that elections are held and governments are formed once in five years. The state in Manipur has simply adopted the approach of shunting out and imposing obeisance through fear. In other words, the methodology of the state is the same as that of the non-state, i.e., cause widespread fear and impose order.This contrasts with the need of the land where the government should be increasingly endeavouring to connect with the people in order to address the contemporary issues. Now what prevails in Manipur is a scenario where the government alienates the people, and the different communities shunt out each other – a grand recipe for social collapse.State Failing: Now what we have explained above are sure signs of the state failing in the sense of decline rather than in the conventional sense of civil war, genocides and ethnic wipe–outs. We call it decline rather than failure for we now do see symptoms of the conventional failure to happen in the land sooner or later. Time is now for us to collectively appreciate the scenario and affect alterations in our behaviour so that we save ourselves from the catastrophe.

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Death, Restoration and Life

by Charles ChasieOne has read that there will be a special service for reconciliation, led by the Forum for Naga Reconciliation this Easter. This creates a mixed feeling of both… Read more »

by Charles ChasieOne has read that there will be a special service for reconciliation, led by the Forum for Naga Reconciliation this Easter. This creates a mixed feeling of both happiness and sadness. Happiness because God is the best guide to pursue the correct path and, ultimately, we all fall back on Him in our times of desperation. Sadness because just a short while ago, the FNR was forced to issue an appeal to the various factional groups, and all other Naga leaders, to reconcile for the sake of the future of Naga people and coming generations. Such an appeal had come in the wake of renewed clashes and war of words between factional groups and inability to hold a meeting across the table at the highest levels of the factions. One is happy that all factions seemed to have adopted a more positive approach since then. One hopes and prays such attitude will continue till an acceptable and durable solution is found. What still troubles is the seemingly effortless violence that erupts in any part of Naga inhabited areas and especially among Nagas themselves. No Naga opposes Naga Nationalism or the high ideals that launched the Naga Movement. But today all Nagas want the violence to stop and for Naga Future to be insured, enabling at the same time, our younger generations an equal opportunity to take their place among other peoples. Violence and fratricidal killings make no sense of Naga Nationalism or Patriotism. Indeed, these defeat the very purpose and objectives of Naga Nationalism. For the sake of the future of Naga children, Naga leaders cannot fail. I am not a “religious” person per se, but I do believe in God and in prayers. I also think that most Nagas have a profound connection with God in their lives. But that is not even the point in this case although the connection may well testify to the strength of the connection between the two! The point here is whether we are true to our stated beliefs. That, to me, is what Easter means. And it will also decide the rise or fall of the Naga people. Sure, the Nagas will have a lot to blame/castigate “India” and “India” has much to answer for – even more to herself than to the Nagas – but the time now is to leave that to God to pass judgement on India. The Naga role will be to ensure the future of the Naga people in the best way we know how.Talking about the future of the Naga people, one of the areas Nagas must focus on is how to create/build a society that works and can actually survive! In this instance, the following is what I read in the February issue of Frontline magazine. I thought, in many ways, they reminded of Naga society at this stage. “Delusions are possessing you,Already, ferocity and brute forceAre labeled strength and valour”The above are taken from Luiz Vaz Camoes’ “The Lusiads” (Frontline, February 11, 2011). The author, Talmiz Ahmad, Indian diplomat and author, is the writer of the piece titled “Strategic Scenarios” (A reflection on the strategic situation in the greater Indian Ocean in the light of the diminishing US influence in the region). The piece is from a review of a book titled, “Monsoon” by Robert D Kaplan. I found the piece very interesting and thought it ought to be shared. The originality of thinking of the reviewer of the book came across quite strongly. Secondly, I thought most Nagas will agree that the above quote, from The Lusiads, quite vividly depicts the Naga society we live in today! Naga pride today has been prostituted and taken down to its lowest possible interpretation of that word. For example, consider the following lyrics that have been passed on through mobile phones for, apparently, quite some time.“Ami (name of tribe) aseTumi ki phutani kuri aseDath Sath girai di boNath sath phulai di bo”It came in the form of rap music and so many young Naga children found it so catchy. But just imagine a future Naga society with such kind of mentality! Third, the book is about the greater Indian Ocean area – geographically from Oman to Indonesia, representing one third of the world’s population. This means North East India is placed bang in the middle of this geographical configuration. The region gains more importance in the backdrop of India’s Look East Policy. Because of the above reasons, I decided to `flag’ this piece and bring it to the notice of our people. I do not know how many of our people will either get hold of or actually ready the book mentioned here. But I do hope that as many as possible will be able to get hold of a copy or of the piece mentioned above and read the review. At this time, when Nagas are so hopeful of a final settlement, our people need all kinds of perspectives. We may individually like each other or dislike, even intensely, one another, but it does not really matter. What matters is what happens to us as a people and how we build our people-hood. We all know that no Naga thinks he/she is inferior to anyone else. This is freedom in the best sense of the word. This is a great position from where to begin to build a level playing field across the board and explains why only accepting each other as equals will actually work in the Naga situation. Sometime ago, the NSCN-IM, while mourning the death of the first woman commander of a Naga Battalion, also noted that they were the first to appoint a woman commander of a battalion. They were right to be proud of this fact. The question now is whether they will also accept all the other factions on a level playing field and bring closer the possibility of a workable and durable settlement of the Naga Issue.

Read more / Original news source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Kanglaonline/~3/LjJYmeK9U68/

Death, Restoration and Life

by Charles ChasieOne has read that there will be a special service for reconciliation, led by the Forum for Naga Reconciliation this Easter. This creates a mixed feeling of both… Read more »

by Charles ChasieOne has read that there will be a special service for reconciliation, led by the Forum for Naga Reconciliation this Easter. This creates a mixed feeling of both happiness and sadness. Happiness because God is the best guide to pursue the correct path and, ultimately, we all fall back on Him in our times of desperation. Sadness because just a short while ago, the FNR was forced to issue an appeal to the various factional groups, and all other Naga leaders, to reconcile for the sake of the future of Naga people and coming generations. Such an appeal had come in the wake of renewed clashes and war of words between factional groups and inability to hold a meeting across the table at the highest levels of the factions. One is happy that all factions seemed to have adopted a more positive approach since then. One hopes and prays such attitude will continue till an acceptable and durable solution is found. What still troubles is the seemingly effortless violence that erupts in any part of Naga inhabited areas and especially among Nagas themselves. No Naga opposes Naga Nationalism or the high ideals that launched the Naga Movement. But today all Nagas want the violence to stop and for Naga Future to be insured, enabling at the same time, our younger generations an equal opportunity to take their place among other peoples. Violence and fratricidal killings make no sense of Naga Nationalism or Patriotism. Indeed, these defeat the very purpose and objectives of Naga Nationalism. For the sake of the future of Naga children, Naga leaders cannot fail. I am not a “religious” person per se, but I do believe in God and in prayers. I also think that most Nagas have a profound connection with God in their lives. But that is not even the point in this case although the connection may well testify to the strength of the connection between the two! The point here is whether we are true to our stated beliefs. That, to me, is what Easter means. And it will also decide the rise or fall of the Naga people. Sure, the Nagas will have a lot to blame/castigate “India” and “India” has much to answer for – even more to herself than to the Nagas – but the time now is to leave that to God to pass judgement on India. The Naga role will be to ensure the future of the Naga people in the best way we know how.Talking about the future of the Naga people, one of the areas Nagas must focus on is how to create/build a society that works and can actually survive! In this instance, the following is what I read in the February issue of Frontline magazine. I thought, in many ways, they reminded of Naga society at this stage. “Delusions are possessing you,Already, ferocity and brute forceAre labeled strength and valour”The above are taken from Luiz Vaz Camoes’ “The Lusiads” (Frontline, February 11, 2011). The author, Talmiz Ahmad, Indian diplomat and author, is the writer of the piece titled “Strategic Scenarios” (A reflection on the strategic situation in the greater Indian Ocean in the light of the diminishing US influence in the region). The piece is from a review of a book titled, “Monsoon” by Robert D Kaplan. I found the piece very interesting and thought it ought to be shared. The originality of thinking of the reviewer of the book came across quite strongly. Secondly, I thought most Nagas will agree that the above quote, from The Lusiads, quite vividly depicts the Naga society we live in today! Naga pride today has been prostituted and taken down to its lowest possible interpretation of that word. For example, consider the following lyrics that have been passed on through mobile phones for, apparently, quite some time.“Ami (name of tribe) aseTumi ki phutani kuri aseDath Sath girai di boNath sath phulai di bo”It came in the form of rap music and so many young Naga children found it so catchy. But just imagine a future Naga society with such kind of mentality! Third, the book is about the greater Indian Ocean area – geographically from Oman to Indonesia, representing one third of the world’s population. This means North East India is placed bang in the middle of this geographical configuration. The region gains more importance in the backdrop of India’s Look East Policy. Because of the above reasons, I decided to `flag’ this piece and bring it to the notice of our people. I do not know how many of our people will either get hold of or actually ready the book mentioned here. But I do hope that as many as possible will be able to get hold of a copy or of the piece mentioned above and read the review. At this time, when Nagas are so hopeful of a final settlement, our people need all kinds of perspectives. We may individually like each other or dislike, even intensely, one another, but it does not really matter. What matters is what happens to us as a people and how we build our people-hood. We all know that no Naga thinks he/she is inferior to anyone else. This is freedom in the best sense of the word. This is a great position from where to begin to build a level playing field across the board and explains why only accepting each other as equals will actually work in the Naga situation. Sometime ago, the NSCN-IM, while mourning the death of the first woman commander of a Naga Battalion, also noted that they were the first to appoint a woman commander of a battalion. They were right to be proud of this fact. The question now is whether they will also accept all the other factions on a level playing field and bring closer the possibility of a workable and durable settlement of the Naga Issue.

Read more / Original news source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Kanglaonline/~3/LjJYmeK9U68/

Bomb recovered

IMPHAL, June 4: A Chinese made hand grenade was recovered from the Thangmeiband Irom Leikai residence of Dr. Ch. Chandramani, former Director health services early this morning at around 7… Read more »

IMPHAL, June 4: A Chinese made hand grenade was recovered from the Thangmeiband Irom Leikai residence of Dr. Ch. Chandramani, former Director health services early this morning at around 7 am.The grenade was later safely retrieved by the police bomb squad and safely disposed off at Langol.However it is not clear as to why the bomb was left. No individual or organizations has claimed responsible for the incident.

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Bomb recovered

IMPHAL, June 4: A Chinese made hand grenade was recovered from the Thangmeiband Irom Leikai residence of Dr. Ch. Chandramani, former Director health services early this morning at around 7… Read more »

IMPHAL, June 4: A Chinese made hand grenade was recovered from the Thangmeiband Irom Leikai residence of Dr. Ch. Chandramani, former Director health services early this morning at around 7 am.The grenade was later safely retrieved by the police bomb squad and safely disposed off at Langol.However it is not clear as to why the bomb was left. No individual or organizations has claimed responsible for the incident.

Read more / Original news source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Kanglaonline/~3/Vq5IxAW8Dys/

Public Undertaking committee meeting

IMPHAL, June 4: The first meeting of the Public Undertakings Committee of the Manipur Legislative Assembly for the year 2011-12 will be held on June 10 this month in the… Read more »

IMPHAL, June 4: The first meeting of the Public Undertakings Committee of the Manipur Legislative Assembly for the year 2011-12 will be held on June 10 this month in the Committee room A of the state Assembly Secretariat to discuss about the Reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India for the year ended March, 2010, along with the Reports of the state Finance (Report No. 1) and to make a detail program for para-wise examination of the various Corporation under CAG’s report.In this regard an official notification has been issued recently by the deputy secretary of the Manipur Legislative Assembly on June 2 this month and advised all concerned members of the PUC to make it convenient to attend the said meeting.

Read more / Original news source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Kanglaonline/~3/mDIKM5SVpuI/

Public Undertaking committee meeting

IMPHAL, June 4: The first meeting of the Public Undertakings Committee of the Manipur Legislative Assembly for the year 2011-12 will be held on June 10 this month in the… Read more »

IMPHAL, June 4: The first meeting of the Public Undertakings Committee of the Manipur Legislative Assembly for the year 2011-12 will be held on June 10 this month in the Committee room A of the state Assembly Secretariat to discuss about the Reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India for the year ended March, 2010, along with the Reports of the state Finance (Report No. 1) and to make a detail program for para-wise examination of the various Corporation under CAG’s report.In this regard an official notification has been issued recently by the deputy secretary of the Manipur Legislative Assembly on June 2 this month and advised all concerned members of the PUC to make it convenient to attend the said meeting.

Read more / Original news source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Kanglaonline/~3/mDIKM5SVpuI/

Festival

IMPHAL, June 4: The 1st State level Festival of contemporary Plays which started since April 22, organised by the Manipur State Kala Academy, Imphal under the aegis of Ministry of… Read more »

IMPHAL, June 4: The 1st State level Festival of contemporary Plays which started since April 22, organised by the Manipur State Kala Academy, Imphal under the aegis of Ministry of Tourism and Culture was held its valedictory function today at JN Danqce Academy in the presence of Lok Sabha MP Dr. T. Meinya Singh and Manipur State Kala Akademy secretary S. Vedeshwar as chief guest and president.On today valedictory function a contemporary play called “Mangal Yaodraba Numit” was also presented by the Actors Repertory Theatre Manipur to the public who present the function.

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Festival

IMPHAL, June 4: The 1st State level Festival of contemporary Plays which started since April 22, organised by the Manipur State Kala Academy, Imphal under the aegis of Ministry of… Read more »

IMPHAL, June 4: The 1st State level Festival of contemporary Plays which started since April 22, organised by the Manipur State Kala Academy, Imphal under the aegis of Ministry of Tourism and Culture was held its valedictory function today at JN Danqce Academy in the presence of Lok Sabha MP Dr. T. Meinya Singh and Manipur State Kala Akademy secretary S. Vedeshwar as chief guest and president.On today valedictory function a contemporary play called “Mangal Yaodraba Numit” was also presented by the Actors Repertory Theatre Manipur to the public who present the function.

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

Not Exactly `Flying` in the Naxal Heartland

by Bibhu Prasad RoutrayProviding the best of rms and equipment to paramilitary personnel is crucial to the success of India`s anti-Naxal strategyA Few days ago, some newspapers in India ran… Read more »

by Bibhu Prasad RoutrayProviding the best of rms and equipment to paramilitary personnel is crucial to the success of India`s anti-Naxal strategyA Few days ago, some newspapers in India ran two separate reports. One hogging the front page was a stub on India’s flourishing economy and the other relegated to the inside pages underlined the challenges faced by the security forces battling the Left-wing extremists (Naxalites) in the remotest corners of the country. The first item pointed to the soaring number of choppers and private jets jostling for space in Indian skies and the demands they make on the Air Traffic Controllers. The second report, on the other hand, quoted the Border Security Force (BSF) authorities asking the ministry of home affairs (MHA) to replace the Dhruv helicopters since these do not meet the force’s operational requirements. This report went on to detail the drastic shortage of choppers for the security forces deployed on anti-Naxal duty and its impact on the morale of the forces. These two narratives posed a familiar paradox, from Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”, when there are “choppers choppers everywhere, but not many for the security forces”.On May 19, a chopper employed by Gadchiroli district police in Maharashtra returned with injured and dead police personnel from the encounter site at Nalgonda. However, security forces battling the Naxals in Beijjur phata in the same district could not avail themselves of the service of the chopper since it had already completed the stipulated 500 hours of flying and had to proceed for the mandatory maintenance service. The Gadchiroli police requested that the services of another chopper from neighbouring Chhattisgarh be provided. But by the time it arrived, the encounter had ended. It could fly only to recover three dead bodies of police personnel from the area.A similar incident took place in Jharkhand’s Lohardaga district on May 3 in which 11 security force personnel were killed. The Naxals ambushed a 150- member team of state police and paramilitary personnel returning from a combing operation. While four personnel were killed on the spot, seven others succumbed to their injuries since the chopper at the disposal of the state police was unavailable, being on a sortie to neighbouring West Bengal for poll-related duties. It could reach the incident site only after four hours. The Jharkhand Director General of Police admitted that the personnel died owing to lack of timely medical aid. One of the injured personnel who ultimately survived bemoaned the fact that he had to suffer the excruciating pain for over four hours before being evacuated and admitted into a hospital.The MHA, since mid-2010, has deployed a fleet of seven choppers for carrying out troop deployment, casualty evacuation and sending reinforcements in the Naxal-affected states. These choppers are based in Raipur (Chhattisgarh) and Ranchi (Jharkhand) and are available to any of the Naxal-affected states on demand. However, on most occasions, this fleet has been found to be highly inadequate to meet the forces’ ground-level requirements. Complains have been made about the frequent servicing requirements of these Advanced Light Dhruv Helicopters and their inability to fly beyond a certain height. They are frequently grounded by the unavailability of spare parts, which makes them almost an unreliable element in the anti-Naxal operations.In addition to these incidents of shortage, because of unavoidable technical and logistical reasons, choppers have also been diverted on occasions for use by politicians and bureaucrats. Media reports in early May indicated that out of the fleet of seven, only one chopper was functional and was catering to the requirements of the nearly 70 battalions of paramilitary forces deployed against the Naxals throughout the country.The MHA is planning to wet-lease six new Russian Mi-17 helicopters from private companies for deployment in the anti-Naxal operations. At a purchase price of Rs 45 crore apiece, wet-leasing the Mi-17 helicopters, under which the company lending it provides for the pilot, maintenance and fuel, is a far more affordable option. According to reports, the sorties by these leased machines to the Naxal strongholds could start as early as August 2011. The MHA hopes to reduce its dependence on the ministry of defence, which currently flies the paramilitary troops in the Naxal zones. In any event, the Indian Air Force (IAF) choppers’ “80 flying hours a month” rule is a handicap in terms of using them excessively. On the other hand, the Mi-17 choppers proposed to be taken on lease are fuel guzzlers, but the MHA has no alternative other than accounting for such expense.In various forums the Union home minister has spoken of the cumbersome procurement procedure coming in the way of providing the best of arms and equipment to the paramilitary personnel. One does not know whether the process of acquiring choppers also faces similar challenges. The proposal to wet-lease 13 Mi-17 choppers is at least an eight-month-old idea, first floated in October 2010. The number of choppers had then been decided on after taking the requirements of the forces operating in a vast territory into cognisance. But for reasons best known to the MHA, the number has now been reduced to six, which is highly insufficient. Meanwhile, the MHA has negotiated in vain with the IAF, which itself gets choppers on lease. Many of the IAF helicopters are deployed in the United Nations’ Congo mission and the move to recall them has not been successful.For operational purposes, choppers are as basic a requirement for the forces battling the Naxals as any other sophisticated arms and equipment. India’s anti-Naxal policy needs to improve upon the prevailing conditions, on an urgent basis. The author is a former deputy director in the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS), a visiting fellow at CLAWS (New Delhi) and a fellow at the Takshashila Institution.

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