With Romio on his documentary ‘Kauna’

    Kauna (Scirpus lacustris L), the spongy water reed of Manipur is one of the nature’s gifts to the economically backward people of Manipur, India. Hailing from Cyperaceae family, the aquatic plant is known to people of the state … Continue reading

 

 

Kauna (Scirpus lacustris L), themora spongy water reed of Manipur is one of the nature’s gifts to the economically backward people of Manipur, India. Hailing from Cyperaceae family, the aquatic plant is known to people of the state since time immemorial. The flora is so deeply associated with the inhabitants of this region that, we can strongly argue with the fact that every house in this regions will have at least one or two products made of this wonderful plant.

The dangerous influx of low-cost machine made artificial décors in and around us, has led to the squeezing of self-reliance cottage industry and extinction of this sector in agrarian economy like Manipur. The alternative means of employment generation is to create new avenues for youth and nevertheless, development skill enhancement activities too. Problem of unemployment in a state like Manipur, can be solved to an extent with the development of cottage industries, resulting in changing attitude towards the sector. And this is what exactly documentary filmmaker, Romio Khangemba of Singjamei believes and thrust to take up a documentary venture on Kauna.

“Exploring entrepreneurship and alternative vocations for youths through traditional handloom, handicraft industry and finding market for its products could ensure a viable society in the state,” Romio further said.

The 25-minutes-long documentary highlight the potential source of income and employment through cultivation and manufacturing of its products. From being an unused plant grown wildly to marshy areas in Manipur, it is now cultivated in different parts of the state after discovering the dynamical usability. Basketries, flower vases, mattress, sofas and handbags are some of the intriguing home decor of Kauna. Ironically, it also laments the reluctance of educated youth to take up this occupation of cultivation and making of Kauna products to meet  their ends.

Earlier, by-products of Kauna were meant for local needs. However, in the recent past  the demand of this products in international markets has increased phenomenally. Innovations in various shapes, sizes and styles can be credited to consumer’s consciousness about the product. People are more inclined to this products because of its bio-degradable, non-toxic and air conditioning properties.

Besides, awareness created by artisans who had participated in national and international fairs and exhibitions said, “demand for this material is found to be growing day by day which gives an extra mileage in the development of  new designs to suit the ever increasing customers’ requirement and satisfaction. With the incresliceasing demand in the local and overseas markets, more skilled workers are required. The launch of a website by one of the shops in UK is a great example of increasing popularity of the same”.

When asked about his inclination towards making of this documentary film, Romio said, “It is an effort to create awareness about the importance and eco-friendly characteristics of Kauna in today’s alarming juncture of global warming.”

Through this medium, he appealed especially the youths to take part in the development activities of small scale industries, so that our younger generation can be economically self-reliable and dependent.

Presently he is working on his next documentary film “Yaithaba”, based on toxicology.

“Cholom” a documentary on classical masculinity dance of Manipur and “PUNG- Rhythm of the Paradise”, documentary on Manipuri percussion Pung (Drum) were screened at 4th International Documentary & Short film Festival, 2011, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerela, and MIFF (Mumbai International Film Festival, organised by Ministry of Information and Broadcast, Government of India at Mumbai in 2010 respectively.

 

Kauna

Kauna

Here are a few projects on which he has worked.

 

  1. “Educational Open Courseware’s (e-learning) development video course”

CET, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, India

Producer: Romio Khangemba (2007-2012)

Telecast: EKLAVYA, a technical educational channel.

 

  1. “Technology Vision 2035″

A Centre for Educational Technology,

IIT Guwahati Production.
Executed for TIFAC, Dept. of Science & Technology GOI.
Producer: Romio Khangemba
Genre: Documentary

 

  1. “Parallel Computing Research”

A Centre for Educational Technology,
IIT Guwahati Production.
In association with Intel Labs. Bangalore & IITG Computer Science Dept.
Producer: Romio Khangemba
Genre: Documentary

 

4.      “Plastic Cell Concrete Filled Block Pavement” (Base on Transportation Engineering)” 
Dept. of Civil IIT Guwahati, India.

Producer/ Director: Romio Khangemba
Genre: Documentary

 

  1. “PUNG- Rhythm of the Paradise”, documentary on Manipuri percussion Pung (Drum)

Asst. Director: Romio Khangemba

Won “The Best Non-Feature on Biographical, Art & Culture” in

7th Manipur State Film Festival, 2010 organised by Manipur Film Development Corporation

Genre: Documentary

 

  1. “CHOLOM” (Base on Classical Masculinity dance of Manipur), a documentary project funded by Film Division of India

Asst. Director: Romio Khangemba

Genre: Documentary

 

  1. “Prajuktie Bikalpa”, Commission program of DDK Guwahati based on IITG’s energy research

Asst. Director – Romio Khangemba

Genre: Documentary

 

  1. “Woman Empowerment” – DDK Imphal.

Asst. Director – Romio Khangemba

Genre: Documentary

 

  1. “BAMBOO- the green gold” – DDK Imphal commissioned program

Asst. Director – Romio Khangemba

Genre: Documentary

 

  1. “Biomedical Waste”- A commission program of DDK Imphal.

Asst. Director – Romio Khangemba

Genre: Documentary

 

  1. “Leprosy is Curable”, a commission program of DDK Imphal.

Director – Romio Khangemba

Genre: Documentary

 

  1. “Ningol Pukning”, a commission program (based on a life story of a HIV infected Manipuri lady) of DDK Imphal.

Art Director – Romio Khangemba

Genre: Tele Film

 

  1. “Eikhoida Lakpa Mee” commission program (based on the importance of protecting One’s cultural identity) of DDK Imphal.

Production Controller – Romio Khangemba

Genre: Tele Film

We don’t need a messiah!

  By:- Erendro Leichombam We have the tendency to await charismatic & messianic authority figures to solve all our complicated problems. When our leaders aren’t able to meet these expectations we are disappointed. So disappointed, either we become cynical and … Continue reading

Okram Ibobi,CM OF Manipur. Photo Courtesy: The Hindu

Okram Ibobi,CM OF Manipur.
Photo Courtesy: The Hindu

 

By:- Erendro Leichombam

We have the tendency to await charismatic & messianic authority figures to solve all our complicated problems. When our leaders aren’t able to meet these expectations we are disappointed. So disappointed, either we become cynical and completely give up, or we resign to our current situation and tend to focus on the failure of our current leadership. Rarely do we modify, manage, or redefine the model of leadership we hold as ideal. Yes, we do need leaders with integrity, of quality, and of moral strength. But we don’t need to place them near godliness. Instead, we also need to engage in public reflection and responsibility.

 

A surgeon does diagnosis, prognosis, & treatment. They solve the problems for us. But the solutions to the most complicated problems in a community lies only with the people, not one godlike figure. The ideal leadership model, thus, should be more like the work of a psychiatrist; they help people see the problem at its root, and then suggest organic solutions through lasting inner transformations. In other words, its about the people, not the leaders per se (Heifetz).

 

Therefore, perhaps we could start expecting leaders to be more human: one who communicates more honestly with the public, educates, facilitates a more inclusive dialogue for mutual understanding of the challenges, unites more effectively, and then share the responsibility of implementing policies that address major issues in our community. I think the people are inherently smart enough to start accepting humans as leaders. Not messiah.

 

President fails to mention leaders who made Nagaland State happened

It is interesting to note that when the President Pranab Mukherjee spoke on the occasion of the historic celebration of the “50th Anniversary of the Nagaland Statehood” at Kisama on December 1, 2013, he did not mention even a single leader … Continue reading

It is interesting to note that when the President Pranab Mukherjee spoke on the occasion of the historic celebration of the “50th Anniversary of the Nagaland Statehood” at Kisama on December 1, 2013, he did not mention even a single leader of the then Naga People’s Convention (NPC). Dr SC Jamir, ex-Nagaland Chief Minister and present Governor of Odisha, the only living person amongst those who signed the “16-Point Agreement of 1960 with the Government of India” was also there at the rostrum while President Mukherjee delivered his speech.  The present Nagaland State came into being after “16-Point Agreement” was signed between the leaders of the NPC and the Government of India in 1960.
The Nagaland Statehood was formally inaugurated as the 16th State of the Indian Union by 2nd President of India Dr S Radhakrishnan on 1st of December, 1963 at the Kohima Local Ground.
How poignant it was when Dr Jamir, the only living person of the signatories of the “16-Point Agreement,” was sharing dais with the President to celebrate the “50th Year of Nagaland Statehood.” But the President has even failed to mention that he was sharing dais with a man who was one of the architects and the founding fathers of the Nagaland State.
Can anyone imagine what would be if the President of India or the Prime Minister fails to mention names of the founding fathers of “India” when they deliver speeches on the occasion of “India’s Anniversaries.” It would only demean the democratic ideology of a republic country like ours.
On February 18, 1961 an Interim Body of 42 members was constituted. This was to function as the de-facto legislature. It included a five-member Executive Council headed by a Chief Executive Councilor. This functioned as de-facto Council of Ministers. Dr. Imkongliba Ao, who was the first Chairman of the Naga People’s Convention, was appointed the first Chairman of the Interim Body. Mr. P. Shilo was appointed the Chief Executive Councilor and eventually became the first Chief Minister of Nagaland. On August 21, 1962 the then Prime Minister Pandit Nehru introduced a Bill in the Parliament for the formation of Nagaland as a full-fledged State. The Act provides for the formulation of the State of Nagaland as the 16th State in the Indian Union, and on December 1, 1963, President Dr. Radhakrishnan inaugurated the State of Nagaland. The late Mr. Vishnu Sahay became the first Governor of Nagaland.
The unveiling of the monolith and the releasing of the Commemorative Stamp of Nagaland by the President during the occasion were, however, significant. Dr Jamir’s book- “Nagaland 50 Years and Beyond”- released by him might have lot of stories of how the State came into being under the leaderships of the then NPC, though I am yet to read it. The Coffee Table Book on the 50th Anniversary of Statehood released by State Governor Dr Ashwani Kumar had the interesting historical chapters of Nagaland.
Meanwhile it was remarkable to witness the “Photo Exhibition” by the Department of Information and Public Relations, Government of Nagaland, at the Conference Hall of the Ura Hotel, near Red Cross Complex, Kohima. These photos are rare collections depicting how the Naga people had a long journey to come to this modern world. They had displayed the priceless photographs of pre- and post-Nagaland Statehood eras along with various distinguished leaders of the Republic of India. It was really touching to seeing these pictures. The exhibition will continue till 10th of this month and one must see it.
On 20th August, 1961, Dr. Ao was shot and wounded at Mokokchung by an underground gunman while he was on his way home from his pharmacy. He was taken to the Army Hospital but succumbed to his injuries on 22nd August 1961. Most of these leaders sacrificed, toiled and even risked their precious lives while striving for the cause, though the Naga political issue remained unresolved.
Although the talks between the Naga underground leaders and the Government of India are still going on to find solution, the leaders of NPC were architects and founding fathers of the Nagaland State and it would be only befitting to mention their names on such occasion by the President of India.

“PROSPECTS AND PROBLEMS OF LOOK EAST POLICY IN MANIPUR”

By Khwairakpam Gajananda Manipur is the gateway to Southeast Asia under the flagship program of India’s “Look East Policy (LEP)”, which is a synonym of “Nongpok Thong Hangba” in Manipuri, has many challenges to meet in the near future. A systematic analysis of … Continue reading

By Khwairakpam Gajananda

Manipur is the gateway to Southeast Asia under the flagship program of India’s “Look East Policy (LEP)”, which is a synonym of “Nongpok Thong Hangba” in Manipuri, has many challenges to meet in the near future. A systematic analysis of the present scenarios of Manipur may deter investor/s from investing in the State. However, entrepreneurial tendency of the young people of Manipur had immensely contributed, despite all the hurdles they faced towards their goals. Recently, the Government of Manipur (GoM) adopted the principle of Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) model, which is a boon to the State and in-terms of its success. Sticking to this model, the GoM started encouraging the youths for smooth operations of the LEP, within and outside Manipur. We understand that the opportunities from LEP are immense and the impacts on the socio-economy of the State in the long run will be positive. The positivity of LEP on Manipur’s economy will out weight the negative impacts, if certain policies or programs are taken up by the GoM.

Manipur is an agrarian based economy; therefore, the emphases are mainly on agriculturally driven industries. The examples of Japan, Singapore and Thailand will not be appropriate in case of Manipur, because those countries are either island nations or surrounded by seas. Manipur is a landlocked State; therefore, it will be relevant to take examples of Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Switzerland, etc. One best example can be Sikkim for becoming the first Indian state to frame an ecotourism policy with the help of Japanese and American experts. The global travel guide Lonely Planet named Sikkim as the “best region to visit in 2014”. The article aimed to provide some insights to the entrepreneurs, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), government agencies and individuals, while attempting to make LEP successful in Manipur.

 

Prospects:

Presently, various agro-industrials based projects and industries are taken up by different private and public organizations in Manipur. It will not be pertinent to stress further on the existing projects and programs; however, supplementary programs within the sectors are recommended in this article. The following prospects are some of the thrust areas, which are easily achievable in Manipur.

  1. Ecotourism, Floriculture and Agro-forestry based Tourism

Ecotourism, floriculture and agro-forestry based tourism are some of the promising industries, which are in nascent status in Manipur. Orchids and other flowers’ cultivations in Manipur are believed to generate uninterrupted incomes not only from the cut flowers and its products but also from tourism and its allied businesses. Climate of Manipur is suitable for around the year agro-forestry farming. Sandalwood plantations in Manipur along with mangoes are promising. Combinations of sericulture, apiculture, pisciculture, and poultry along with horticultural practices in many countries across the world are found to be fruitful. Many entrepreneurs of Manipur have also started developing similar types of projects; however, due to lack of funds, many of them abandoned their efforts. In this scenario, the GoM is expected to support the individuals for developing various types of environmentally friendly industries and projects in the State.

  1. Bamboos and Allied Products

Bamboos are the natural tropical plants found abundantly in Manipur, particularly Churachandpur district. One interesting new product that can be developed from bamboo in Manipur is the “low cost sanitary napkins and baby diapers”, using bamboo and kabokang (Eichhornia crassipes) pulps. As of now, the prices of sanitary napkins or baby diapers cost more than Rs. 10 in the market. However, the new bamboo and kabokang based products will cost no more than Rs. 5 in the retail market. As the raw materials are found plentiful in Manipur, the prices of the products can be further reduced. Sanitary napkins and baby diapers are some of the essential items required by the family to keep good hygiene. The Department of Commerce and Industries, Govt. of Manipur (DCI-Manipur) gave emphasis on bamboo processing industries.

  1. Fisheries

Manipur is blessed with abundant water resources, be it lakes, rivers, ponds or streams. The State experienced about eight (8) months of rainfalls in a year. The State has more than 220 species of freshwater fishes. Some of the indigenous fish varieties such as Ngaton and Pengba are sold at higher prices i.e. more than Rs 500 per kilogram. Consumption of fishes in Manipur is very high, which amount to about 65,000 metric tonnes annually. The total production of fishes in the State comes to around 25,000 metric tonnes per year and the deficits of about 40,000 metric tonnes annually. The annual expenditures due to imports of fishes in the State are estimated to be around Rs. 400 Crores. Therefore, augmentation of the production of fishes in the State is urgently required. Availability of fish feeds to the farmers at a subsidized rate will definitely help in achieving the goals. Imparting training and using of new and viable technologies will also help in increasing the fish productions. Some palatable cold stream freshwater fish such as ‘Trout’ can be reared in Ukhrul district and other cold regions of Manipur.

  1. Medicinal and Aromatic Industries

The recent effort of the GoM for the development of medicinal and aromatic industries in all the districts of Manipur with the help of the Centre is commendable. Manipur is within the Himalayan biodiversity hotspot region. Many medicinal, aromatic and economically important plants grow naturally in abundances in the State. The GoM should not restrict the development of oils and aromatics only from lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus) but should also give importance on various indigenous and endemic medicinal and aromatic plants of Manipur.

  1. Animal Husbandry and Poultry

This sector has lots of potentials; however, it is unorganized. Large numbers of animals and poultry farming are undertaken by many individuals of Manipur. Conversely, the State is yet to see a leather tanning or poultry feather industry. State like Meghalaya has already generated large amounts of revenues from leathers and leather’s products. Poultry feathers are useful in making pillows, cushions, jackets interiors, shuttlecocks, etc. Entrepreneurs should play a key role in this sector.

  1. Pottery

Manipur, since time immemorial is famous for pottery. Some of the good-quality pots, made of high iron containing mud are exportable in foreign markets. Though, the history of pottery industry in Manipur is very long, commercialization of the products is extremely poor. Thus, the sector can be further improved by adopting new and innovative technologies available in the market. DCI-Manipur can facilitate the transfers of technologies to the State.

  1. Fruits and Juices Industries

The DCI-Manipur identified many industries in different districts of Manipur. Bottling and processing of fruits and juices are in advance stages in the State. However, fruits and juices industries produced large amount of wastes, which is detrimental to the environment. For example, the passion fruit industry at Mao produced huge amount of wastes every year. Similar types of biodegradable wastes can be easily converted into ‘biogas’ using ‘biomethanation’ processes. Large amounts of vegetables and fruits wastes produced from various market complexes in Manipur can also be converted into methane using the same process.

  1. Handlooms and Handicrafts

Handlooms and handicrafts of Manipur are famous throughout the world. The DCI- Manipur has categorically given interest in this sector. The sector is still unorganized and many craftsmen are surviving hand-to-mouth, which need to be looked after and bring them into a common platform. Marketing will play a key role in promoting the handlooms and handicrafts of Manipur.

  1. Cultural and Medical Tourism

Cultural and medical tourism can be regarded as successes in Manipur. Many of the tourists arriving in Manipur are mainly on these two sectors, along with sports. With PPP model, Shija Hospital, Babina Clinic and other medical institutions in Manipur have started seeing many patients from abroad. Sangai festival attracted good numbers of tourists annually. However, there is still room to develop in these two sectors.

 

Problems

There are numerous problems in Manipur. However, it is impracticable to discuss all the issues within the context of this article. Some of the problems are geo-political, insurgency, civil movement, social unrest, corruption, infrastructural development, transportation, communication, topography and location, etc., which are out of the scope of this article. Nevertheless, some of the major achievable problems are highlighted as follows:

  1. Marketing

Manipur with large numbers of entrepreneurs, who developed varieties of products, are still poor in terms of marketing the goods. Unlike their counterparts, such as Marwaris, Panjabis, Tamilians, Bengalis and others, Manipuris are still lagging behind them. Aggressive marketing is the need of the hours. Using various modes of marketing such as print media, electronic or the Internet, television, radio, mount-to-mouth, etc. many of the products can be marketed throughout the world. There are some aggressive marketers in Manipur; however, their role to look after the whole state is not feasible. Thus, young and dynamic marketers of Manipur should come forward.

  1. Quality Control and Pricing

In Manipur, there is not a single ‘testing and analysis laboratory’ to check the quality of the end products. Consumers normally felt that the products from Manipur are inferior in quality; thereby hampering the State’s produced. This also directly affects the industries. Therefore, quality testing laboratory in Manipur is recommended. On the other hand, ‘pricing’ of the products in Manipur is not standard. The prices of the goods are very important even if the quality of the products is inferior. Competitive pricing is the ‘mantra’ for selling the goods like hot-cake. The good example is the Chinese products. Even though the Chinese goods are inferior in quality, the prices are so competitive making the consumers usually purchased it as “use-and-throw” items.

  1. Institution/s on Government-Private Linkages

Linkages between the government and private individuals are very poor in Manipur. Many of the farmers do not understand the tedious processes and procedures of the various schemes or projects developed by their respective government. Thus, most of the schemes or projects of the government do not tickle down to the grass root levels. Only few individuals, who are well acquainted with the various government schemes, got the benefits. These tendencies reduced the poor farmer’s confidences towards getting the government schemes. Therefore, institution/s dealing on the linkages of government and farmers at the grass root level will definitely help get the shares to the poor and needy individuals. The linkage will also help the government immensely.

  1. Financial Institutions, NRIs and Investments

It can be mention here that most of the financial institutions, NRIs and investment organizations are virtually non-existing in Manipur. The lack of proper financial institutions, requiring few documents to disbursed loans to the needy people has made the farmers uninterested in procuring the same. Another problem to the farmers is appropriate land records. Those who do not possess proper land documents are denied loans by the financial institutions as well as the government. Thus, the cumbersome loan procedures diverted the loan seekers from taking the loans, thereby making the farmland less productive. The lackadaisical manner of the financial institutions further demoralized the budding entrepreneurs of the State. Most of the government invested projects are believed to be a failure. Therefore, PPP models should be followed.

On the other hand, the numbers of NRIs or Manipuri Diaspora is significantly large. Crores of rupees are remitted into Manipur by the NRI’s every month. However, due to lack of proper organizations and trust deficits of the government, the Diaspora is hesitant to invest in any project. Therefore, tapping the huge investment potentials of NRIs and financial institutions will definitely help the economy of Manipur and a success towards LEP.

  1. Empowering the Youths and Entrepreneurs

Empowerment of the youth and encouraging them with various government schemes such as awards, rewards, prices, etc. will definitely bring competitiveness to the State. The entrepreneurs should be empowered and recognized by the government, rather than showing myopic eyes towards them. Failures and successes of businessmen are perceivable; therefore, the government instead of giving penalties to the individual, should adopt different strategies (such as imparting training) of how to achieved successes in their respective businesses.

 

The above prospects and problems are just the tip of the iceberg. However, the article attempted to bridge the gaps of how Manipur can maximize the economy from Look East Policy. The group also felt that the sustainable economic and social developments of Manipur depend on the direct participation of dynamic and prolific leaders of the various departments, centers, institutes, universities, entrepreneurs, NGOs, individuals, etc. as well as the achievements of the long-term visions of the ‘decisions and law’s makers’ of the State.

 

Acknowledgement:

The above article is the excerpts of various discussions at the Nongpok Thong Hangba, Facebook Group, which is the brainchild of Shri. Oinam Nabakishore Singh, IAS, Principal Secretary, Department of Commerce and Industries, Government of Manipur. The group sincerely acknowledged his unhesitating and tireless effort. The valuable comments by Boboi Pukhrambam, Dayanidhi Huidrom, Naorem Brajendra Singh, Ibemcha Hemam, Opendro Khwairakpam, and other members within the group are also thankfully acknowledged.

 

 

Article: Apart from Toppers’ felicitation

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APART FROM TOPPERS’ FELICITATION Need for a mechanism to garner social support in effective educational reforms in Manipur By Seram Neken Singh July 9, 2013 As human beings take calories of food to build muscles and bones for the body, … Continue reading

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APART FROM TOPPERS’ FELICITATION
Need for a mechanism to garner social support in effective educational reforms in Manipur

By Seram Neken Singh
July 9, 2013

As human beings take calories of food to build muscles and bones for the body, education serves as the food for the mind. It enables one to think good, to do good and make progress in life. Education enlightens the mind to differentiate between vice and virtue. Only educated men can lead the society to progress and civilization. When we do not educate our children, we are deconstructing our future.

Manipur society today witnesses all sorts of vices, among which disturbance in educational institutions is the most notorious. Planting of bombs and hurling of grenades in schools are no more bizarre incidents in the state. There were even reports of hurting school students in bomb attacks near educational institutions. Such incidents clearly show the complete lack of education among the perpetrators. It is said that Hitler did not close down educational institutions during the hectic world war period. Winston Churchill of Britain also followed suit by allowing schools and colleges to work normally during the war. They paid utmost care for the education sector, as education is essential for future growth of the human society.

Nowadays, most politicians do not prefer to invest in education sector, as its yields are not quickly visible. It takes years to educate a child. The society will taste the fruits of education after decades of venture. Local people will feel the benefits of constructing a market complex or a bridge or a road as soon as it is inaugurated. However, the outcome of education is naturally delayed as well as long lasting. During the past many years, ministers and administrators came and went away, having nothing to contribute to the reformation of irregularities in education sector. Hence, education in Manipur remained the most irregular and corrupt of all public sectors. Fortunately now, the present state government seems enlightened on the potentialities of education sector in shaping the society. Not a single day passes without one or the other news related to educational reforms. The concerned department has been trying hard to regularize the pending rough management in education sector. Something concrete has been done and many more are expected to be done. Here, the public support in various forms is a must to bring in educational reforms in the state. In the absence of public commitment, the government will be handicapped to reach the nook and corner of the state. The local people must act as the ears and eyes of the government in matters of monitoring educational institutions.

Although felicitation of toppers of various examinations has become a fashion nowadays, the involvement of local leaders and organizations in such events is worthy of appreciation. Many local clubs are organizing programmes to congratulate the excellent students belonging to their localities. Political leaders have come out active to distribute awards to the meritorious few hailing from their constituencies. Such felicitation of toppers surely encourages the few brilliant students and instills a competitive spirit among them. However, it will in no way benefit the large number of mediocre students, who need to be constantly motivated in order to fit in suitable careers. Neither the toppers are the only students who deserve to be encouraged nor are examinations the only criteria to judge the merit of students.

The local people, Panchayats and political leaders have often been indulging in felicitating toppers of their locality, as a mark of encouragement to brilliant students. Their interests and involvement in education sector clearly shows that they have the potential to participate actively in educational betterment of the locality. Besides felicitating toppers once in a year, the local clubs and political leaders need to focus on continued support to all the students of the locality or assembly constituency. The local people have a great role in effective implementation of educational programmes in their locality. Before any government department realizes, a local man naturally knows how many teachers come to school on time and how many students attain classes regularly. The local people always see who go to school and who do not. The flagship programmes like the right to education (RTE) can never be successful without the support of local people. The government needs to focus on the role of grassroots level institutions so as to effectively implement educational flagship programmes.

The Gram Sabha or local club is the best institution to assess the performance of educational institutions in villages. They may conduct a village level survey to identify the children who are out of school. Parents/guardians of such children may be motivated to send their wards to a nearby school. The benefits of education and the amenities provided to school going children from the government side may also be highlighted to the parents. Effective messages to encourage the parents to avail of the right to compulsory education of their children may be framed and disseminated. On the other hand, the village Panchayat or local club may also vigilantly monitor the working of schools in its jurisdiction. Every defaulting teacher may be reported to the respective controlling officer for prompt action. The grievances of the educational institutions may also be forwarded to the authority for timely fulfillment.  In such a way, the working of educational institutions may also be monitored. The local organizations and politicians who are very enthusiastic in felicitating topper students will surely shoulder the responsibility to ensure that every child of the locality is sent to school.

The government may very well use the services of local people for educational reforms through a well established public relations mechanism. An effective public relations mechanism will materialize the educational reforms. The educational set-up in Manipur is in dire need of an effective public relations mechanism. The services of local clubs, village Panchayats, Meira Paibee groups etc. may be mobilized to spread the messages of education in the nook and corner. The task of garnering the public support may be entrusted to a well-equipped Public Relations Cell under education department.

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Some ethics to ponder in Conservation of Monuments and Sites

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Some ethics to ponder in Conservation of Monuments and Sites By Kshetrimayum Kamaljit Singh Conservation Research Scholar, National Museum Institute, Janpath It is no doubt that Manipur is one of the most diverse and rich in cultural heritage. The intangible … Continue reading

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Some ethics to ponder in Conservation of Monuments and Sites
By Kshetrimayum Kamaljit Singh
Conservation Research Scholar, National Museum Institute, Janpath

It is no doubt that Manipur is one of the most diverse and rich in cultural heritage. The intangible heritage like dance (Rasleela, Thoibi dance, etc.), music (Nata Sankirtan), folklores and literatures (puya wari, cheitharol kumbaba), sports (Polo, Yubi Lakpi) and tangible heritage as in beautiful sites (Loktak, Dzuko valley, etc.), monuments (Kangla fort, Langthabal fort, etc.) and also in craftsmanship’s of textiles, cane and bamboo objects, etc.

And it is the duty of people to take care of these cultural heritage because it:
– Conveys diverse messages and values that contribute to give a meaning to people’s life.
– Represents the identity of our social group.
– Is unique and irreplaceable.
– Is a source of economic development.
– Represents a vehicle for understanding the diversity of people and developing a policy for peace and mutual comprehension.

Kangla

Kangla

Like the restoration works of Kangla fort and the recent finds of geometrical shapes in Maklang and other sites recognized by ASI- Kanchipur (1991-92), Kangkhui (1968-69), and Sekta (1994-95), these are all our important heritage that should be protected not by government authorities only but also by the local populations.

Now according to Conservation-Restoration ethics, there are some important points that should be considered, which the general populations should also be aware of it, like when the questions arise-

Should old buildings look old?
Or
Should they be restored to a condition where they look as if they could have been put up yesterday?

In the IInd International Congress of Architects and Technicians of Historic Monuments, Venice, 1964, as adopted by ICOMOS in 1965- “The concept of a historic monument embraces not only the single architectural work but also the urban or rural setting in which is found the evidence of a particular civilization, a significant development or a historic event. This applies not only to great works of art but also to more modest works of the past which have acquired cultural significance with the passing of time.” [Article 1]

Conservation – “The conservation of monuments is always facilitated by making use of them for some socially useful purpose. Such use is therefore desirable but it must not change the lay-out or decoration of the building. It is within these limits only that modifications demanded by a change of function should be envisaged and may be permitted.” [Article 5]

“The conservation of a monument implies preserving a setting which is not out of scale. Wherever the traditional setting exists, it must be kept. No new construction, demolition or modification which would alter the relations of mass and colour must be allowed.” [Article 6]

Restoration – “The process of restoration is a highly specialized operation. Its aim is to preserve and reveal the aesthetic and historic value of the monument and is based on respect for original material and authentic documents. It must stop at the point where conjecture begins, and in this case moreover any extra work which is indispensable must be distinct from the architectural composition and must bear a contemporary stamp. The restoration in any case must be preceded and followed by an archaeological and historical study of the monument.” [Article 9]

“Additions cannot be allowed except in so far as they do not detract from the interesting parts of the building, its traditional setting, the balance of its composition and its relation with its surroundings.” [Article 13]

So we should know the values and importance of our cultural heritage that has been passed down through ages, we should respect, protect and preserved them before it’s too late and we lost our historical identities. Public should also take part and collaborate with the government or local authorities discussing how to protect and preserved them for the future generations. As it is also our duty and not for the government authorities only, public should know that their role in protecting the heritage is as much important as any government bodies.

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Sana Konung Imbroglio – Is the Kangla adequately renovated and preserved?

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SANA KONUNG IMBROGLIO Is the Kangla adequately renovated and preserved? By Seram Neken Singh Had the King been consulted, the government decision would have been lauded by all. Only a cordial rendezvous between the democratically elected government and the titular … Continue reading

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SANA KONUNG IMBROGLIO
Is the Kangla adequately renovated and preserved?

By Seram Neken Singh

Had the King been consulted, the government decision would have been lauded by all. Only a cordial rendezvous between the democratically elected government and the titular king of Manipur will solve the Sana Konung imbroglio. Only when the chief minister of the state and the king of Manipur open-heartedly discuss the situation, the meaningful decision for the posterity of Manipur will be made.

Since the abolition of ‘Privy Purse’ in 1971, succeeding kings of Manipur might have faced lots of hardships to maintain their status as the customary head of the land. The Manipur kings after merger to Indian Union were not so influential in political spheres as those of Hyderabad. In the meantime, former kings allowed large portions of its land to be occupied by private parties as residential buildings. Subsequent governments of the state during the past forty years have not shown any interest in sustaining the status of the King and the Royal Palace. Now the state government has come out with the decision to take-over the Sana Konung and evict the places around it for renovating it. The argument of the government is that the royal palace has lost its traditional character with huge private occupations. In the backdrop of such a decision, what will be the fate of our customary institutions – Sana Konung and the King of Manipur ?

Sana Konung is the symbol of age-old civilization and unity among different communities of Manipur. Recent reaction of 227 Tangkhul village chiefs of Ukhrul against the cabinet decision for take-over of the Sana Konung is the reflection of age-old ties among various communities of Manipur. Barring communal differences, the people as a whole stand to protect its king as a symbolic head. Such move is laudable from all circles.

The people of the state always want its royal palace to be preserved and kept intact for thousands of years to come, as it is the symbol of Manipur history and tradition. Sana Konung is the living example of Manipur being an independent kingdom before it was merged to the Indian Union in 1949. Today Sana Konung has become an institution for preserving the tradition, culture and history of this land. The decision of the state cabinet to take-over the royal palace for developing it into a heritage site and tourist spot has sparked protests, as its rightful owner the King of Manipur was not consulted. As per an agreement of 2006, every decision on the Sana Konung should be taken with the consent of the King. The Merger Agreement also mentions that the private property of the King should be made distinct from the public property. However, the government has unfortunately not taken the consent of the titular king in taking its verdict.

The objective appears to be good, however the manner in which the decision was taken is wrong. Moreover, the plan for palace renewal needs to be chalked out taking into account the importance of the customary head of the land. The king has a big say in the renovation of the palace. Moreover, it is not certain that the mere take-over by state government will fulfill the aspirations of the people of Manipur. There are hundreds of instances where the state government could not successfully implement beautiful projects and programmes related to preserving heritage sites. Even the traditional structures in the Kangla have not been fully renovated till date. The people of the state naturally feel doubt whether the state government would successfully evict the areas where huge buildings have cropped up. What will be the status of the existing king of Manipur, whose residence so called ‘Chonga Bon’ would be taken over by state government ? People are again cynical that the role of the king as customary head of Manipur may shrink day by day with the infringement of state government on his property.

The abolition of “privy purse” as per 26th constitution amendment is a main cause for minimizing the importance of king and its institutions. To enable the king to perform and preserve the custom and tradition of Manipur, and also to maintain his family, the government must create a “royal purse” out of state fund. State budget allocation must be made for the maintenance of the King, his family and the palace.

Almost all countries in the world have its symbolic structure to reflect its history. For Manipur, ‘Kangla’ is the sacred place symbolizing the existence of an independent 2000 year-old civilization of Manipur. Historically, traditionally, culturally and aesthetically, ‘Kangla’ is the real place which deserves to be preserved for the posterity of Manipur. As compared to Kangla, present Sana Konung is a recent structure erected only during Churachand Maharaja. There are also other palaces in Bishnupur, Langthabal, Kanglatongbi, Maklang etc. which have great historical values. It is better for the government to complete the renovation and preservation of Kangla upto the mark, before taking over the Sana Konung for another venture.

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Manufactured Consent and Destruction of Lei-Ingkhol

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Manufactured Consent and Destruction of Lei-Ingkhol Dr. Malem Ningthouja 21 June 2013 Yesterday, 28th June 2013, an official letter intimating the pattadars in Lei-Ingkhol to dismantle standing properties by 15th July was delivered. On the morning of 15 June, 2013 … Continue reading

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Manufactured Consent and Destruction of Lei-Ingkhol

Dr. Malem Ningthouja
21 June 2013

Yesterday, 28th June 2013, an official letter intimating the pattadars in Lei-Ingkhol to dismantle standing properties by 15th July was delivered. On the morning of 15 June, 2013 a team of civil servants along with five truckloads of police intruded in Lei-Ingkhol village, Imphal East (Manipur). They siege the villagers numbering about 600, alarmed of combing operation, created a terror situation, forced everyone into indoors, but surveyed the village at gun point to expand capital project. They warned the villagers to either voluntarily vacate by the end of June or face the consequence of forced eviction. Is this show off of muscle power and informal threat a normal way of civil administration? In what ways are they acting qualitatively different from an authoritarian regime that does not work on the basis of democratic consent but imposes policy at gun point? They forced the villagers to remain silent and say ‘yes’ to eviction. Isn’t the ‘yes’ a mechanized product of enforcement, i.e., manufacturing of consent under duress in order to construe ‘public consent’ of the project at any cost?

Why official terror? Firstly, about 12 years of Ibobi regime in Manipur coincides with pumping in of lots of fund for infrastructural construction under the centrally sponsored Special Plan Assistance. Since corruption is widespread, the inflow of fund provides with ample avenue for extraction of commission by political barons, contractors and bureaucrats. In the scramble for commission they bypassed democratic norms to obtain public consent but indulged in hasty and arbitrary tactics including use of muscle power to implement projects. Secondly, the villagers of Lei-Ingkhol had been posing stiff resistance to the capital project ever since the government took a decision in February 2005 to acquire Lei Ingkhol. In this scenario of project versus rights; the government creates a terror situation to pose psychological fear and to kowtows resistance.

What is Lei Ingkhol? Perhaps, located at about five kilometres away from the Imphal city, Lei Ingkhol village was founded around 1940s by socially stigmatised and ostracised lepers and tuberculosis patients. Due to social factors, for several decades they were forced to confine in the village and relied on hunting, fishing and water roots and other resources available in and around the village. In May 2012, inhabited by 610 persons who were organised into 116 families, Lei-Ingkhol is a well established suburban village, naturally surrounded by Irong Rivulet and Cheiraoching Hill, enjoying scenic beauty, favourable climate, rich natural resources and prospects of tourism. Contractors and bureaucrats are being attracted to create an elite zone by evicting the villagers.

What is Capital Project? The CP is a multi crore rupees project to construct new legislative assembly hall, secretariat building, high court complex, residential bungalows and staff quarters, parks, etc. The project is controversial for lack of transparency, public accountability, and tendencies of displacement and destruction. Selection of construction site suffers from hastiness, arbitrariness and violation of prescribed norms. Not surprisingly, blue prints of the project have been altered from time to time as per the desire of the policy makers. The foundation stone at Kairang Khong Wetland was inaugurated by the Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on 20 November 2004, without fulfilling legal requirements from the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest. There is alleged manipulation in the drafting of environmental reports submitted for obtaining environmental clearance.

The issue of environment or EIA/ EMP norm is cast aside as the project is being split into different components and constructions are being carried out in piecemeal manner. What about the pre-existing infrastructures such as TB and Leprosy Hospital, PWD and Agricultural and Horticultural departments that were destroyed to give way to the capital project? These had to be re constructed elsewhere. What is the merit of destructions and reconstructions which had cost a lot for financially poor state like Manipur? Why not capital project is constructed in some other site where there will be no destruction and controversy? Is there transparency and accountability of the materials from deconstruction of buildings and the disassembled machineries and equipments? The government is silent on all these.

Engrossed by the prospect of creating an elite zone the government had bypassed democratic norms and humanitarian considerations. On April 20, 2005 it announced to acquire Lei-Ingkhol. Why was there no free prior and informed consent of the villagers before the decision was taken? Are the villagers, because they are poor less human? Should the elite zone be created at the cost of the poor and the enfeebled? A cycle of protest and violent suppression had been ensued. In 2005 many agitators suffered casualty and arrest. The main route of the village was blocked at gun point permanently in 2006. Peace seemed to have been brokered when the then Indian Minister of State for Labour & Employment, Oscar Fernandes visited at the night on 12 September 2006. He assured to address the plight of the villagers. However, in January 2011 the wooden bridge across Irong Rivulet constructed by the villagers was destroyed. Since then there had been repeated attempts to make the villagers submissive. Is this the manner a democratic system should function?

The displacement attempt is being carried out at a time when impoverished village such as Lei-Ingkhol required social and economic initiatives to overcome poverty. Most of the head of the families are wage labourers in the unorganised sectors working on daily contract basis. There are 24 government employees (from 20 families), mostly under Grade III (8 persons) and Grade IV (16 persons) pay scale. 20 persons are involved in localized marginal business such as retail petty shop (including pan dukan; 10 persons), vendour/ potfam (3 women), tea stall (4 women) and one firewood seller. There are 186 students who are mostly enrolled in government schools which are in the most degenerative conditions. There are 35 BPL card holders and 22 Annapurna Yojna card holders. The village required minimum basic infrastructures such as medical centre, community hall, library, electricity supply, playground, metalized roads, drainage, water supply, etc. On the other hand the villagers had subjective perception of livelihood and objective relation attached with the village, e.g., history, natural boundaries, environment, economic survival, social network, common daily activities, and psychological makeup. Instead of addressing these issues the government attempts to uproot their economic, social and spiritual livelihood. Will the government compensate?

How long will the colonial Land Acquisition Act 1894 be retained to be misused for personal gain by the project mongers who also enjoy political power? Should there be elite zone, official bungalows and quarters at the cost of the poor? The 15 June flag march and threat suggest use of force to impose ‘consent’ and acquire the village at any cost. There is also divisive policy to divide opinion so as to weaken the bargaining power of the villagers. Couple with psychological threat, disunity is being used as a factor for absence of resistance and eviction is being justified. The justification, however, cannot minimize the overall negative impact of displacement at the receiving end.

Repeated appeals to the Government of Manipur and the leaders at the centre had not been positively responded. Where will the villagers go after displacement? Will the poor be able to buy land and construct homes at their own cost? Will they ever live together again as a collective entity? Who and how will the trauma inflicted on the young children be rehabilitated? Where have gone those political leaders who had promised to defend the village during election campaign? Why is the government reluctant to offer adequate compensation and rehabilitation package so that the integrity, dignity, livelihood and survival of the village as a collective entity are being ensured? The repressive situation and lack of democratic option had frustrated many? Should not the fundamental rights of the villagers be protected? Should the people remain submissive to the destructive projects or should one take up unconstitutional course to avenge displacement?

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Some ethics to ponder in Conservation of Monuments and Sites

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Some ethics to ponder in Conservation of Monuments and Sites Kshetrimayum Kamaljit Singh Conservation Research Scholar, National Museum Institute, Janpath It is no doubt that Manipur is one of the most diverse and rich in cultural heritage. The intangible heritage … Continue reading

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Some ethics to ponder in Conservation of Monuments and Sites
Kshetrimayum Kamaljit Singh

Conservation Research Scholar, National Museum Institute, Janpath

It is no doubt that Manipur is one of the most diverse and rich in cultural heritage. The intangible heritage like dance (Rasleela, Thoibi dance, etc.), music (Nata Sankirtan), folklores and literatures (puya wari, cheitharol kumbaba), sports (Polo, Yubi Lakpi) and tangible heritage as in beautiful sites (Loktak, Dzuko valley, etc.), monuments (Kangla fort, Langthabal fort, etc.) and also in craftsmanship’s of textiles, cane and bamboo objects, etc.

And it is the duty of people to take care of these cultural heritage because it:
? Conveys diverse messages and values that contribute to give a meaning to people’s life.
? Represents the identity of our social group.
? Is unique and irreplaceable.
? Is a source of economic development.
? Represents a vehicle for understanding the diversity of people and developing a policy for peace and mutual comprehension.

Like the restoration works of Kangla fort and the recent finds of geometrical shapes in Maklang and other sites recognized by ASI- Kanchipur (1991-92), Kangkhui (1968-69), and Sekta (1994-95), these are all our important heritage that should be protected not by government authorities only but also by the local populations.

Now according to Conservation-Restoration ethics, there are some important points that should be considered, which the general populations should also be aware of it, like when the questions arise-
Should old buildings look old?
Or
Should they be restored to a condition where they look as if they could have been put up yesterday?

In the IInd International Congress of Architects and Technicians of Historic Monuments, Venice, 1964, as adopted by ICOMOS in 1965- “The concept of a historic monument embraces not only the single architectural work but also the urban or rural setting in which is found the evidence of a particular civilization, a significant development or a historic event. This applies not only to great works of art but also to more modest works of the past which have acquired cultural significance with the passing of time.” [Article 1]

Conservation – “The conservation of monuments is always facilitated by making use of them for some socially useful purpose. Such use is therefore desirable but it must not change the lay-out or decoration of the building. It is within these limits only that modifications demanded by a change of function should be envisaged and may be permitted.” [Article 5]

“The conservation of a monument implies preserving a setting which is not out of scale. Wherever the traditional setting exists, it must be kept. No new construction, demolition or modification which would alter the relations of mass and colour must be allowed.” [Article 6]

Restoration – “The process of restoration is a highly specialized operation. Its aim is to preserve and reveal the aesthetic and historic value of the monument and is based on respect for original material and authentic documents. It must stop at the point where conjecture begins, and in this case moreover any extra work which is indispensable must be distinct from the architectural composition and must bear a contemporary stamp. The restoration in any case must be preceded and followed by an archaeological and historical study of the monument.” [Article 9]

“Additions cannot be allowed except in so far as they do not detract from the interesting parts of the building, its traditional setting, the balance of its composition and its relation with its surroundings.” [Article 13]

So we should know the values and importance of our cultural heritage that has been passed down through ages, we should respect, protect and preserved them before it’s too late and we lost our historical identities. Public should also take part and collaborate with the government or local authorities discussing how to protect and preserved them for the future generations. As it is also our duty and not for the government authorities only, public should know that their role in protecting the heritage is as much important as any government bodies.

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READING FOR A HEALTHY SOCIETY

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READING FOR A HEALTHY SOCIETY After ‘Puya Meithaba’, the most shocking incident in Manipur history is the arson of the erstwhile state library. Only libraries can bring civilization. The Manipur Public Libraries Act 1988, which became an Act in 1993 … Continue reading

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READING FOR A HEALTHY SOCIETY

After ‘Puya Meithaba’, the most shocking incident in Manipur history is the arson of the erstwhile state library. Only libraries can bring civilization. The Manipur Public Libraries Act 1988, which became an Act in 1993 needs to be implemented with the establishment of a separate libraries directorate. The state requires to nurture a reading community for making a civilized society in Manipur. Every school, college, locality, or government or semi-government or non-government establishment must own a library.

Besides feeding information and knowledge, libraries instill the readers with the sense of discipline, power of concentration and calmness. Libraries also serve as a treasure of culture and literature of a nation. Libraries enlighten the society by feeding knowledge and information to the readers. A reading nation always becomes a leading nation. Schools should have a separate period solely for library at least once a week in order to inculcate reading habits among students. The state education department needs to monitor the establishment and working of libraries in all schools and colleges of the state.

Investment in education sector does not bring about immediate results. It takes years to see the outcome. However, the result is always lasting and beneficial in the long run. Not many politicians take interest in educating its people, may be because of the fact that an enlightened public is disliked in electoral politics. As every reading man may become the judge, majority of political leaders do not like its people to become a reading community. When its people read, they will become knowledgeable and may be a hurdle to the arbitration of the leadership. Only a very few far-sighted leaders in democracy take up the cudgel of reformation in education sector.

Adequate number of good libraries should be made available in the nook and corner of the state in order to enlighten the people. Libraries play a big role in educating the masses. Academic libraries benefit the students and teachers, while public libraries serve as knowledge bank for the general public. Good food is required for a healthy body and reading makes a healthy mind. As living bodies get energy from the various food nutrients, the human mind needs to be continuously fed with knowledge and information. Books serve as the food for the mind. Library is thus the granary of various nutrients required by our mind. Karl Marx rightly says ‘a reading nation is a leading nation’. In western countries such as Greece, a household without a library is considered as uncivilized. Unites States of America which owns the Library of Congress, the largest library in the globe is obviously the most powerful country today. Russia, once a superpower country, also puts priority on reading. National Library of Russia is named as State Lenin Library taking into account the importance of library laid by Lenin in the Russian Revolution. In India, Bengalis are in high esteem with the claim “Bengal Today, India Tomorrow” for its being the proud owner of the national library of the country.

A library is a place where a large number of books are stored in many shelves. Libraries are the treasure of knowledge. In the absence of a good library in an educational institution, education has no meaning. Without library, students cannot gain knowledge properly. Hence there is provision of library in every educational institute. Libraries provide the students very healthy learning environment. Besides feeding knowledge and information, libraries instill discipline, calmness and power of concentration in the readers. It helps students to keep very good concentration on their studies. In libraries, readers are allowed to read according to their choice and manner. Nobody would check them or disturb them. Since everything is systematic and calm, readers gain more in less time. A library plays a very vital role throughout the life. Libraries are home for the rarest to the commonest books and magazines. Some books like Dictionary and Encyclopedia which are very costly are available in the library. In library readers can find the latest and the oldest editions of books. No popular electronic medium of today can provide the knowledge which libraries give. We need to inculcate reading habits among small kids so as to minimize the negative impacts of present day electronic media.

With the hope of developing libraries in the state, the Manipur Public Libraries bill 1988 was passed by the State Legislative Assembly. With the approval of the President of India, it became an Act in 1993. However, till today the Act has not been implemented by the state government. The status of libraries in Manipur is too low as compared to other states like West Bengal. The non-implementation of the Manipur Public Libraries Act in the state is a big hurdle towards making a civilized society. The state needs to have a full-fledged Library Directorate to oversee the development of library services in the educational institutions as well as in the various localities of Manipur. At present, the state central library is not properly equipped with manpower for managing the library services. It is in lack of valuable updated books and magazines to serve the readers. The public libraries located in various localities under the Raja Rammuhon Roy Library Foundation are not properly monitored for improvement. The state annual budget does not reflect the requirements for the public libraries. Each and every educational institution of the state should have a library catering to the needs of its students. The state departments of Art & Culture and the Education Department may pay attention towards the development of library services in the state.

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It seems highly desirous now to get enlightenment of Teachers through Sports and Culture

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It seems highly desirous now to get enlightenment of Teachers through Sports and Culture Gunadhor S Okram (Friday, June 21, 2013) Law and order situation look to be the sole reason for failing education and administration in Manipur. This however … Continue reading

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It seems highly desirous now to get enlightenment of Teachers through Sports and Culture
Gunadhor S Okram
(Friday, June 21, 2013)

Law and order situation look to be the sole reason for failing education and administration in Manipur. This however is not affected to our world-renowned excellence in sports and culture at all. Is it not then a good social issue to take up by the whole population something like June 18, 2001 uprising? There should be no dearth of being spent energy for us Manipuris for using it for development through self-realization. In this regard, shall we not carefully analyze and understand the scenario of what are presently happening in these key areas, and their consequent bleak future to our society that in turn is maligning our hard-earned reputations of a few shinning stars in sports and culture, and its impressions outside, and yet probable solutions? (Alas, one cannot teach others but self-realization can!)

Very recently, my daughter of ninth standard received my mobile when a call came. She gave me the phone as she doesn’t know to speak in Manipuri. When I got in the mobile, it happens to be a call from one of my nephews from Nong-ang-khong, Thoubal. In fact, the call should have been a miss-call because he did not intend to call me up. So, he tried to conceal himself from me. But I could recognize him and we started talking about his twelveth class exam result and others on this, at a time at which all parents and their children alike are in very hectic and anxious moments as to what next: which course, which subject, which branch, which line, which stream, where and so on.

The word ‘where’ is extremely important now-a-days for Manipur. This is not inside of Manipur but outside. Manipur is not counted as a place to do or pursue higher study, a place meant mostly up to twelveth standard. This to a reasonable Manipuri should be cynical, but has been made cent percent true. Then, why should one not worry about this very important facet of life in modern age.

This wave of studying outside has in fact been like ‘student tornado’ for whom exam is passed but do not know where to go for it, much different from Delhi students or similar students elsewhere. Almost everybody in this category of parents and their children is so tense, and restless to find the nearly best place and college using all modern electronic gadgets in no time! But who created this?

My nephew told me that he got 71% marks ONLY, which is nowhere and is almost like fail in his region around. I confirmed this to be correct as told by a lecturer of Manipur College and many others. Furthermore, I understood that council of higher secondary education, Manipur and board of secondary education, Manipur have decided to provide marks leniently in these board exams so that their students do not face humiliation due to low marks they obtain, as had been the case a few years back while seeking admission elsewhere (read outside of Manipur).

In this, I beg to ask this: Shall our students beg to seek admission in places outside of Manipur FOREVER WITHOUT EVER THINKING OUR OWN DIGNITY AS TO WHO WILL THINK OF US AS A HUMAN BEING? Don’t we have talents ever to our teachers after they have been getting training on this from outside for the last one century or so? Many feel emphatically that “Yes, we have.” If it is yes, then why is it happening so? Let us see our infrastructure, talent provider, dutifulness, interactions between teachers and parents and policy makers, as a dignified human being. Why not we rethink about what we are allowing proceeding in an uncontrolled way, which may not be liked in an individual level?

Instead, everybody is following the gang-way: WHETHER IT IS RIGHT OR WRONG AS NO HOPE IS HERE. Then, why were we born here? Why don’t we think very seriously on this as an individual if it does it below his dignity? This too with lots of heavy cost the parents or the guardian have to bear out or also sending their wards to other states without much feeling of a shame.

Let us look at this. A parent or a guardian requires sending approximately Rs 8000-20,000 per month for a student. With this conservative estimate for about 20,000 students studying outside, the parents of all hues send or spill a whopping Rs 192-480 crores annually outside. What for they are sending: just to disappoint themselves that about 2,000 students only (10%) might get job with a leniently estimated salary of Rs 30,000 to 50,000? This means that they earn about Rs 70-120 cores annually without any return of this money to Manipur. Why?

Out of this, a minor fraction might work in Manipur and those large fractions working outside might send a meager amount that amounts to saying that the gross earning of Manipur may be estimated to be around Rs 20-30 crores. Who will fill the gap of Rs 172-450 crores (after deducting Rs 20-30 crores from Rs 192-240 crores) annually? What a great we have?

Now, why not we think as if we are in one family? If we go like this continuously, we shall be bankrupt more and more and finally no longer Manipur exists or MANIPUR WILL BECOME TRUE BEGGAR. This is what everybody likes, then! Otherwise, should we think that there are no Manipuris in Manipur? In this sense, this is virtually so. How?

We hardly have a few hundred crores of our state earning, say from electricity bill, land and house tax and other taxes, which constitute hardly 10% of our whole budget. The rest 90% of say Rs 3,650 crores (2012-13) is from the developed states like Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharastra, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, etc through central government in the name of central assistance. In this sense also, we survive presently as a beggar.
The Manipur Government uses this for salaries of its employees, infrastructural development, central scheme projects etc. This means that we are surviving with the help of other developed brethren states. Many of our employees here are seemingly taking salaries without ever thinking as to what they have done for their salary or for his people of Manipur. This makes our lives existent or allowing our blood flow properly using brethren developed states’ help, wherein in fact we are spilling our hard-begged money through the central government.

Is this dignified or justified? Why should we create like this, none other than ourselves? Are we not human beings, unable to compete others like any other humans in terms of our own survival and respectful existence? This however is so if one claims that we have among the best brains and talents in sports, culture, literature, art and craft trained in Manipur ONLY. One might argue that this hard-earned image, of seemingly not so respectable profession but it actually is, is being maligned due to recklessness of the employees including contractors in general and teachers in particular of the government even though education seems to be some of the best respectable profession one normally assumes.

To be continued….
Part II
Why should we sell ourselves so cheap when it comes to education? Why is it so miserably failed in education? Does this mean that the talents of Manipuris in this supposed to be the most respectable profession in humans (education) are BLANK or VACUUM when they come back to, and settled in, Manipur? Compare also fellow Manipuri counterparts working outside Manipur, globally, who work at par with anybody around there, without looking back here, without any extra salary. How? For this, let us consider this.

Teachers in private primary, high and higher secondary schools with a meager salary of Rs 4,000-5,000 per month could produce starting with first class to top students in board exams while their government counterparts who draw salaries in the range say Rs 20,000-50,000 cannot even attract, nurture or produce any respectable students. This leads to government schools, colleges and offices slowly, but surely, disappear.

In addition, most importantly to our proper conscience that “by doing this way, how many girls, in particular are freely fanning out outside Manipur to face sexual assault, mental harassments and killing intermittently; the latest victim being Reingamphy Awungshi of Ukhrul, for whom nobody seemingly could find out the culprits.” It is believed that racial discrimination will exist until humans are on earth that we cannot do anything, even when a Manipuri or a north-easterner becomes prime minister, or president, of India.

Does this imply that these government employees of all hues who do not do their duties dutifully, including teachers, with supposed to be highly experienced, are fools or not humans who seemingly assume that their salary is God-sent and do not need anything to do. If it is so, they must also agree not to get salary or feel ashamed of it by using his/her own conscience to aspire, inspire, inculcate and motivate their (potential) students or colleagues so that they prove that they should no longer afford to be blamed by others for not doing their duty. This writer is not alone, who thinks about being dignified in today’s fast changing world. This shall be the need of the hour to bring us to the path of fast development.
Consequently or whatsoever, due to their dereliction of duty, these places of learning or running state precisely have become a stable for teachers, students and other employees or workers. They blame each other leading to production of vacuum education after twelveth class and many similar others such as not getting potable water, electricity and good road. As a result, the quality education and administration in universities will be most hard-hit, diminishing severely our existence. This is not good for Manipuris, anywhere in the world.

We require sincere introspection to stop this social and educational menace. If this is not so, why so much outflow of students for study outside every year in an accelerated way, rather than in a decelerated trend. The latter will prove that we are also humans who can also compete others in education!

In this regard, why not we all other Manipuris have a pinch of shame of collecting salary without doing anything? Once we have this very tender feeling of individual contribution in accord to his/ her salary distinctly clearly like a practically good citizen irrespective of the place where one is working or affiliated, then we can certainly prove that outflow of students is gradually decelerated and rather influx of outside students for (higher) learning in Manipur may not be a mere DREAM but true and a REALITY. This will make our state a rapidly developed state and self-reliant economy or even better than others with added reputation

This is true for all developed regions of the world where so ever it is. Once this is realized, the idea of corruption will automatically go away. For example, if the contractor and all its related officers think that they are responsible for getting damaged or maintaining good conditions of the roads or buildings they make or construct or do it sincerely so that it is appreciated by the public for their good work, otherwise feel ashamed, as done in developed parts of the world. If they think otherwise, they must rather understand that they are no different from cats for whom we use to say that “They do not know shame: they come back to the place where they were beaten up for doing bad things of which they are supposed not do again.”
What does it mean is that we should recall the sacrifice, dedication and talents of exemplary Manipuris who are performing nearly extremely well in sports, culture, literature and so on. Why not others in administration, education, infrastructure and all others emulate from them who brought fame of our state immensely?

Once this is done, all our (government) schools, colleges, universities and administration shall be blooming at their full might. This will only save us from our past mistakes that created our forgotten shame of sending out our students outside in an uncontrolled way. Are there Manipuris who are not listening to this wake up call to our self-realization? Why not save Manipur from further degradation? We have been doing this degradation since last 50-100 years or so. Once we learnt (got education) outside, if we cannot afford to teach our students or colleagues to their satisfaction and compatible with peers outside, are we like monkeys who cannot type even a word in hundreds of years?

Why not we all come forward to
(1) Build latrines or toilets in schools, colleges and public places at par or better than those exist outside and maintain them mirror-clean.
(2) Teach methodically and systematically to complete the syllabus to be able to compete with or better than their peers outside by simply not giving marks just to compete in figures ONLY, not knowledge or talent but to enable to get admission outside. The latter is practically wrong.
(3) Forget that somebody is getting money just like that without doing anything or fraudulently. Corruption is a social menace and chain reaction. If I do not stop, others will not. Remember that children of such people are (in majority) failed because God (child itself) knows that the money the child gets is valueless leading to transforming himself into drug-addict or public spoiler.
(4) Get up that all employees do their duties dutifully so that their children may learn the good things they did.
(5) Hold global meet of Manipuris in Manipur as to how to improve upon our education, administration, industry and infrastructure on the initiation of teachers and other employees in Manipur with encouragement and funding from the government of Manipur.
(6) Reverse the brain-drain and create our own education system up to the highest better than others having many research laboratories supported by the strong pillars of self-trained best brains in science, engineering and social sciences from its various (rejuvenated and new) institutes and colleges.

Thus, the extreme need of the hour would be the revitalization and self-realization of the very instincts of the employees of the government machineries, offices, schools, colleges and universities, not just by the imposition of higher authorities ONLY. This, if implemented, will be a true reality, once we the employees do their duties dutifully as practicable and sensible citizens. Only then, we can create and get enough electricity, potable water, good roads, not only nice and respectfully tall but also neat and clean buildings with proper modern sanitary facilities, just to be able to enhance our dignity and distinction earned from sports, culture and literature. Shall one beg, patriotic Manipuris, for our own self-realization to a self-reliant and respectable existence?

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GLOBAL WARMING HITS MANIPUR

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GLOBAL WARMING HITS MANIPUR Is the state ministry of forests and environment still sleeping under the heat ? Manipur faces almost all the human problems the world has ever seen. In every sector, the state encounters one or the other … Continue reading

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GLOBAL WARMING HITS MANIPUR
Is the state ministry of forests and environment still sleeping under the heat ?

Manipur faces almost all the human problems the world has ever seen. In every sector, the state encounters one or the other crisis. Now the issue of climate change has started to hit the state physically. Besides the manual laborers, the most affected lots due to extreme weather conditions in Manipur are the street vendor women and the school going kids. Imphal city witnesses hundreds of neglected street vendors who have been left without even a shed. The rising temperature adds to the anguish of innumerable number of women vegetable sellers of the city. School going kids are among the worst affected lots due to the extreme weather, as many private schools do not provide properly-ventilated classrooms, comfortable transport system and child-friendly school environment. In the face of the rising temperature, the State Education Department may direct the private schools to relax the rigid school uniforms in favour of casual comfortable dress to suit the hot weather. Instead of formal uniforms, kids may be allowed to wear casual shorts, chapals and T-shirts till the end of August this year. Sufficient clean drinking water be provided in schools, and classrooms may be properly ventilated. Weight of school bags may be reduced to below 10% of the bodyweight of students. Such immediate regulations are highly required for school going kids in response of extreme weather conditions.

Climate change has become a reality in Manipur. But the government seems unmoved amid the changing weather conditions. Deaths due to hot weather have been reported from the neighboring Assam, while the temperature in Manipur reached the highest ever 34.1 Celsius degree during the past few days. The north eastern states, which were once untouched by global warming, have started feeling the effects of climate change. Guwahati, Dribugarh, Itanagar, Aizawl and Imphal cities recorded temperatures as high as around 35 degree Celsius. Normal life has been greatly affected. Flash floods, drought, extreme coldness and other natural calamities may be foretold as the outcome of global warming. It has been a gradual and slow process that the people of north east embrace the global phenomenon of climate change. If left unattended, extreme weather may kill its inhabitants in a few years from today.

Facing the challenges of global warming is not an easy task. Climate change can not be halted overnight. It takes a hundred year to balance the ecology and to be back to nature. It is rather late for the government and the people to focus attention towards saving its environment. Unfortunately, the government seems adamant on global warming issues. The ongoing state legislative assembly may adopt an effective and practical strategy to fight the impending effects of climate change in Manipur. Extra-efforts need to be put on the part of the state Forest and Environment Ministry, which has long been napping amid the increasing extreme heat and coldness.
Forest conservation is the only effective means to save the fast rate of environmental degradation. Forest can help in absorption of the enormous carbon emitted by the industries of the world. According to the State of Forest Report 2003, the forest cover of Manipur is 17,219 Sq. kms. which is 77.12 % of the total geographical area of the State. Although Manipur has sufficient forest area, uninterrupted destruction of the same for one or the other purposes particularly in the hills has invited the phenomenon of climate change. In the valley areas, trees are indiscriminately cut even in forests reserved areas. Recently, an exclusive report appeared in the Hueiyen Lanpao Daily unfolded the felling of trees in Langol forest reserved areas in Imphal. The inactive forests department of the state is obviously responsible for the occurrence of extreme weather in the state. Discussion, interaction, awareness and actions on forestation and tree plantation are very much lacking in Manipur during the past few decades. Tree plantation is only ceremonial in Manipur. As the highest law making body, the state assembly needs to interact on the burning issue of global warming, its short-term and long term strategies to chalk out an effective strategy.

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THINK OF THE NATION ?

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THINK OF THE NATION ? Safeguarding the indigenous identities of thousands of communities must be the interest of India as a composite nation. That the Manipur State Assembly passed a historic resolution for implementation of ILP system in Manipur clearly … Continue reading

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THINK OF THE NATION ?
Safeguarding the indigenous identities of thousands of communities must be the interest of India as a composite nation.

That the Manipur State Assembly passed a historic resolution for implementation of ILP system in Manipur clearly means that the sixty representatives of the people of Manipur has whole-heartedly taken the responsibility to safeguard the indigenous identity of Manipuris. It is deplorable that the fate of an Assembly Resolution lies on the nod of the Central Government. The matter should not end on the “Think of the Nation” tag, which needs further elaboration. Interests of federating units are the interests of the nation. Compositeness of India as a nation needs to be preserved by safeguarding the identity of indigenous peoples in the country.

‘Unity in diversity’ is the unique feature of India as a nation. Innumerable communities with varied cultures and traditions, languages and dialects, identities and histories adorn the country. India as a nation is composite in all respects. While nurturing the identity of India as a composite nation, we need to preserve the identities of the thousands of groups inhabiting in the nook and corner of the country. The Constitution of India gives room for such valuable safeguards.

Implementation of a law to regulate the entry and settlement of outsiders in Manipur, and to safeguard the identity of the indigenous Manipuris is in the national interest. The demand for Inner Line Permit system does not restrict lawful entry of Indian citizens in Manipur. It only implies the need for state regulation of their entry and settlement in the state. ILP is both constitutional and legal. ILP will only help in the peaceful settlement of outsiders in Manipur for various purposes. It facilitates the growth of indigenous people and at the same time promotes harmony between indigenous people and immigrants. Besides recognizing the identity of immigrants, the Inner Line Permit system will protect the non-manipuris who visit the state for education, business or treatment in times of crises. ILP is a mechanism for bringing about peaceful co-existence among various peoples staying in Manipur. India’s spirit of unity in diversity will be more enlivened with the implementation of this system. Moreover, the system will also help in preventing onslaught of illegal immigrants from outside the country. The lawful regulation of entry of outsiders in Manipur would not, in any way, hurt the interests of the nation. May be with these merits, that the State Assembly already passed a historic resolution and forwarded the same to the Union government for approval.

Notwithstanding the approval or otherwise of the Centre, it is obvious that the indigenous people of Manipur and the State Assembly representing them have endorsed the move for regulating entry of outsiders as per the law of the land. Now the matter lies in the fact that the Central government flatly disapproves the proposal for implementation of ILP system. ‘Think of the Nation’ has been the reply of the centre in response to the State Assembly Resolution. If a State Assembly Resolution loses its importance in such a manner, then the principle of Democratic Federalism is apparently at risk in India. The state representatives need to convince the union government of looming national interest involved in the demand for regulation of outsiders. If the Assembly Resolution was taken with sincerity and commitment, the matter need not lie in the hands of the civil society organizations. As the sixty MLAs of Manipur have already taken the responsibility to such an initiative, they are required to handle the matter till the Assembly Resolution gets its meaning.

It is very unfortunate that the State Government has the habit of remaining adamant until and unless it is provoked with violence and vices. Each and every issue in Manipur needs some kind of strikes and agitations to reach the eyes and ears of the government. The old matter of ILP has reappeared recently only when the Joint Committee on ILP System started the civil society vigil on entry of outsiders. Of course the people of Manipur and the state government have the same objective in respect of the implementation of Inner Line Permit system in Manipur. However, the apparent rift between the agitating civil society bodies and the state government in matters of demanding ILP will be an unfortunate turn at this juncture. At least the State Assembly, the Government, the civil society organizations and the people of Manipur as a whole should be unanimous in the process of pursuing the central government for implementation of ILP. As the highest law making body of the state, the ongoing state assembly session will hopefully transact the business of convincing the central government on the involvement of national interests in the ILP system.

Regulation of entry and settlement of outsiders into Manipur will decide the future of indigenous Manipuris. The sixty members of Manipur Legislative Assembly are required to unanimously adopt a strong re-iteration on the implementation of ILP system in Manipur. The Honorable State Legislative Assembly needs to give a befitting and rationale reply to the centre’s “Think of the Nation” tag.

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NAHAROL CHOUKHATHANBA KANGLUP

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NAHAROL CHOUKHATHANBA KANGLUP URIPOK IMPHAL (MANIPUR) FABRIC OF NATURE WITH CONTEMPORARY SOCIETY OF MANIPUR. From the beginning of the Big bang to the formation of Organic material for the life. From the early civilization lead by Neanderthal man(1400 cc) to … Continue reading

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NAHAROL CHOUKHATHANBA KANGLUP
URIPOK IMPHAL (MANIPUR)

FABRIC OF NATURE WITH CONTEMPORARY SOCIETY OF MANIPUR.
From the beginning of the Big bang to the formation of Organic material for the life. From the early civilization lead by Neanderthal man(1400 cc) to the present Homo Sapiens Sapiens(1360 cc). Through Natural evolution, human try to adapt with the surrounding environment by gradual changes and descent modification which leads to near perfection to suit the environment, best of them is selected through Darwin Natural selection process.
History has witness 5 great mass extinction at different stage of evolution of Earth. It is a phenomenon process of nature which can’t be denied, but the coming mass extinction is the Human made and it will occur very soon if we exploit our nature horribly and severely i.e. Global warming, Green House effect, Solar Flare Radiation, Atomic radiation, War, recent exploration of fossil fuel at Antarctica are just the tip of Iceberg which Human exploit to our mother nature to get our comfort.
Now let us come to our local level, what we can do in order to save the memogate exploitation of the Environment in our mother land Manipur. There is a saying that. ”Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today”. Now time has come for us to save some extent toward Nature. some of the measures are going to be highlighted which can implement by our state government and people side by side.
1. PONY FOR COMMANDOS AND TRAFFIC POLICE FOR CITY PETROL
Famous Manipur Pony( Equus ferus Caballus) which is one of the rarest animal on Earth and the soul driver of the modern polo sport are going to extinct if they are not supported by us. At the olden day they are our guardian ,protector for us and for our land. They explore the dense forest of Myanmar and extent to many region and stand boldly to guard our civilization from intruder.
But now these animal are just an unattended vagabond and uncared animal. so if these animal were given any work than population and popularity will increase. If they are absorbed at Manipur Police department as a vehicle of petrol unit instead of riding motor bike by commandos and traffic police, if Pony is use by city police and traffic police then it is the answer to save these animal and this will boost the step to save the carbon emission also.
2. FOOT BRIDGE OVER THE CROWDED ROAD
We all notice the crowded and congested in front of Sahid Minar and Gambhir Shopping Complex. If the Government constructed a foot over bridge at this route then it will crub the crowded situation and it will not block the smooth flow of traffic.

3EXCLUSIVE CYCLE LANE FOR EVERY MAIN ROAD
As the price of the Hydro Carbon will increase and a point will come of acute shortage due to exhaust of the fuel before that if the government introduce exclusive lane for bicycle eith tree and greenery side by side which can be put up at most important route like governor Road, Babupura Road, Uripok, Keishampat, Sagolband Road etc. By doing this lots of people will be attracted to choose the bicycle especially the youth and this will help in saving the evironment at some extend.
4HORSE(PONY) CART INSIDE THE KANGLA FOR TOURIST ATTRACTION
Kangla is going to be the tourist attraction and will gain the world ancient heritage sight. the kangla is the main source of inspiration for us which must be shown towards the world our rich heritage what our fore father has handed to us along with that if we introduce a horse cart with affordable price to roam inside the kangla then it will attract more tourist and in return more revenue towards the state government.
5.IMPHAL RIVER AND NAMBUL RIVER
The Imphal and Nambul river which is like the arteries of Imphal city and must be kept clear and clean at any possible way. this should be done with and acute vision and with stead fast action like Ganga action plan or which is done at river Thames of London after industrial revolution. this will help to decrease the pollution level for the Loktak lake also (largest fresh water lake in North eastern region). This two river will be the mirror and the litmus test of the Imphal city towards the environment and nature

As the old adage goes, ”with the great power comes responsibility”. We all believe with the government under the patronage of Chief Minister O. Ibobi that responsibility to make Manipur brighter and developed lies with your true spirit of leadership work with voice of the people. This is your time to show toward the world what you have done for the future and moreover what we can give to the future generation is what we do for the betterment of today. Planning is doing today to make us better tomorrow, because the future belongs to those who make hard decisions and develop today.

Submitted by
Huirem Bharat Meitei
hbmeitei10389@gmail.com
secretary
NAHAROL CHOUKATHANBA KANGLUP

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BATTING TO BET & BETTING TO BAT

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BATTING TO BET & BETTING TO BAT Over-enthusiasm kills Indian Cricket If a kid today is asked what the national game of our country is, it wouldn’t be a surprise when he replies ‘Cricket’. Cricket has been highly glamorized in … Continue reading

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BATTING TO BET & BETTING TO BAT
Over-enthusiasm kills Indian Cricket

If a kid today is asked what the national game of our country is, it wouldn’t be a surprise when he replies ‘Cricket’. Cricket has been highly glamorized in India. Cricketers are nearly omnipresent and omnipotent. On TV screen – either playing or in the news for their controversies with the coach, or in the papers for their new hairstyles, or in the posters for being brand ambassadors, or on the radio for their marriage band or banquet; Cricket covers almost half of the national news, and ninety-percent of sports news. From powerful politicians and rich businessmen to famous bollywood icons, every Indian seems to endear Cricket as a religion and worship its players as Gods. India’s glitz on cricket has negative impacts on the development of other sports in the country. Sachin Tendulkar’s nomination as Member of Parliament was disdained at various circles as over-enthusiasm on cricket. Moreover, Indian cricket is known for stylizing sex and corruption within the organizational set-up.

BATTING TO BET & BETTING TO BAT

BATTING TO BET & BETTING TO BAT

They fight against one another tooth and nail, but they are not enemies. Just after the fight, the warriors hug and laugh together. They are honest and sincere in their acts. Their discipline and dedication have no parallel. They are also the true patriots of a nation. Hence, they are the most celebrated. They are none other than sportspersons who bring laurels for their nation. When sportspersons become insincere and selfish, the sanctity of sports is lost. Dishonesty in sports is now a matter of grave national and international concern.
Other than favoritism in sports management, the most disheartening reports in respect of sports are ‘Fixing’ and ‘Doping’. Match-fixing generally refers to fixing the final result of the game. Another form of match-fixing, known as spot-fixing, involves fixing small events within a match which can be gambled upon, but which are unlikely to prove decisive in determining the final result of the game. Indian cricket has been blasphemed in the biggest fixing racket being continuously uncovered during the last few weeks. It is natural for the spectators to indulge in betting on matches and its various aspects. But, it is criminal for the players to play for or against the betters. Involvement of players, umpires and sports managers in the bet-gamble has greatly cheated the millions of cricket-lovers. Fixings have turned spectators, particularly sports-lovers around the globe, cynical on the sincerity of sports. Indian cricket has dashed its ambitious fans who treat the game as a religion and who worship its players as Gods. Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the richest sports body in India seems uncared for the fans that have made cricket the most popular sports in the country.
What football is to Brazil, is what Cricket is to India. When Sachin Tendulkar was honoured with the membership of Rajya Sabha, many cricket lovers lamented the nomination as spoiling the cricket career of India’s greatest batsman. It was widely scolded by many as the cricket glamour reaching the parliament innings. It is also apparent that overemphasis paid on the game has led Cricket to become a big gamble around the world. The recent spot fixing racket in the Indian Premier League (IPL) has revealed what the big bosses in games management have been deceiving the sports-lovers. Such disheartening findings have minimized the credibility of sports organizations of the nations.

Over-enthusiasm and over-emphasis on Cricket has apparently killed the sanctity of the games. Announcement of a cash prize of rupees one crore for a cricketer for hitting six sixes in a match was a wonderful instance of over-emphasis on Cricket which was ‘too-much’ of a sports event in India. This act of hyperactivity and unnecessary benevolence could have been fruitful if the money was spent in improving the facilities for other sports that are rather neglected in our country. Indian Premier League (IPL) of the BCCI has now become a big gambling business. The IPL has had a lot of supports from the Bollywood. As for instance, Shahruk Khan owns the Kolkata Knight Riders while Shilpa Shetty happens to be the co-owner of the Rajasthan Royals. Pretty Zinta and Ness Wadia have shares in the Kings XI Punjab. Similarly, different actors and actress are involved with different teams in one capacity or the other. Many feel that too-much glamour is destroying the quality of cricket, particularly in the IPL. Critics claim the IPL as a multi-billion dollar business, which attracts India’s wealthiest businessmen and women for profitability. Meanwhile, IPL has been surrounded by a number of controversies damaging the image of Indian cricket.

The Central government has recently mooted the idea of enacting a comprehensive law to deal with sports crimes, including spot and match-fixing, and to curb illegal practices in sports. The law is also likely to have a provision to penalize other sports crimes, such as bribing members of a team for underperformance. At the same time, the government may also divert the over- emphasis on cricket to give room for development of other sports in India. Glitz on cricket may be reduced and focus be shifted to other indigenous sports of the nation. Rich and powerful people of India need to explore and embrace other sports events of the country as they do in cricket.

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Brutal eviction is illegal and dictatorial

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Brutal eviction is illegal and dictatorial By: Aaron Keishing LLB 4th Sem. LMS Law College, Imphal From the orders of Revenue Department, government of Manipur issued on 23rd August 2011 and Reports of Meeting held on 22nd May 2013 by … Continue reading

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Brutal eviction is illegal and dictatorial
By: Aaron Keishing
LLB 4th Sem. LMS Law College, Imphal

From the orders of Revenue Department, government of Manipur issued on 23rd August 2011 and Reports of Meeting held on 22nd May 2013 by Kabo Leikai, Langol Range, Imphal and the leaders of neigbouring villages at Manipur Baptist Church (MBC) campus, I have learned that 1.497 Acres of land situated at Village No. 25 (A)-Kabo Leikai, Imphal East District have been lawfully allotted/transferred to 30 persons by virtue of a letter bearing No. 21/23/92-R (Pt) dated 14.02.2001 legally signed by the then Under Secretary (Revenue), Shri. Kumar Singh (now retired) under which Government approval for allotment of land measuring 2,247 acres to 35 persons was genuinely conveyed to the Deputy Commissioner, Imphal East. Further, on the basis of the said letter, allotment order bearing No. 1000/25-A/2006-DSLR dated 27.02.2006 is found to have been issued genuinely under the signature of Shri. S. Buddhachandra Singh, IAS Retd. Eleven communities have been living together at the Kabo Leikai in harmony since 1952 consisting mostly STs/SCs and OBCs, and received Dag No. in 1962. The Directorate Settlement & Land Records, Manipur issued/allotted “Land Patta” to the occupier for the land and the relevant fees were henceforth charged by the competent authority.

On 9th June, 2011 Under Secretary of Tourism Department, Manipur wrote a letter bearing No. 27/16/2010-TSM to the Director of Tourism Directorate informing that the Hotel Imphal situated nearby Kabo Leikai is proposed to be leased out on Public Private Partnership (PPP) model, and a committee has been constituted. The committee formation order bearing No. 27/16/2010-TSM dated 4th June, 2011 was issued under the signature of KK Chhetry, Commissioner (Tourism), Government of Manipur by orders and in the name of the Governor. Revenue Department of the Manipur government orders bearing No. 21/105/2011-R dated 23rd August, 2011 mentioned that the said department had issued Notifications on 17.12.2010 under section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 and on 20.05.2011 under section 6 of the said Act for acquisition of 1.497 Acres of land situated at Village No. 25 (A)-Kabo Leikai, Imphal East District from 30 persons for construction of a 5-Star category Hotel.

Consequently, aforesaid convey-letter No. 21/23/92-R (Pt) dated 14.02.2001 and allotment order bearing No. 1000/25-A/2006-DSLR dated 27.02.2006 were declared as null and void by the state government saying the same had been issued without authority. Aforementioned Orders bearing No. 21/105/2011-R alleged that the allotment of land to the 35 persons was neither processed nor approved by the competent authority claiming Secretariat Revenue Department’s file No. 21/23/92-R(Pt) shows it. It is said that many of the 35 original allottees had transferred the land to other persons and there are altogether 73 persons (owners) occupying the otherwise undisputed land measuring 2.247 acres without any disturbance and interference before the Ibobi’s repressive government brutally evicted them. Out of these 73 persons, 28 including 12 original allottees are said to be included in the list of 30 persons from whom land is to be acquired. The matter was referred to the State Vigilance Commission which is directly under by the control of the Ibobi led dictatorial Congress government of Manipur on 23.06.2011. Consequently, Vigilance Commission reported that convey-letter No. 21/23/92-R (Pt) dated 14.02.2001 and allotment order bearing No. 1000/25-A/2006-DSLR dated 27.02.2006 have been issued without authority and hence to be treated as null and void.

Ironically, the same government which declared the land allotments as null and void announced award on 17.11.2011 for payment of compensation to the interested parties on production of valid and genuine documents – value of 1.497 Acres of land @ Rs 124 per sq. ft. – Rs 80,85,955.68; 30% Solatium – Rs 24,25,786.70; 12% additional charge/interest Rs 9,70,314.68 and value of standing properties of Rs 8,43,74,863,00; where grand total comes to Rs 9,58,56,920.06. Finally, government declared the convey-letter and allotment order as null and void ab-initio and execution of deed of allotment, issue of Jamabandi, or subsequent mutations / partitions are all cancelled saying no affected parties who own patta land produced valid and genuine documents.

There is no evidence and no finding from the documents (Orders & Letters) issued by the state government that the land occupiers of the Kabo Leikai were in collusion with the competent concerned authorities of the state government in acquiring their land pattas. The allotment of land to 35 persons was indeed legally processed and approved by the competent authorities; Orders and Letters of the state government are the testimonies to this fact. They did not entered into possession of the land as trespassers. They have been given the authority of possession by the competent authorities of the state government after complied with all the necessary conditions for allotment of the land in question. They could not have been illegally evicted. They had come into lawful possession and there is no evidence of collusion, forged or colourable in the transaction at any stage. They have been in possession of the land since 1952. So, how come, a legal ownership of land for the last 50 long years, issued by the competent authority of the state government became illegal, forged or colluded overnight? How can a proposed 5-star hotel annulled a lawful possession of land by the citizens and treated the convey-letter No. 21/23/92-R (Pt) dated 14.02.2001 and allotment order bearing No. 1000/25-A/2006-DSLR dated 27.02.2006 as null and void ab-initio?

Section 3 of the Public Premises (Eviction) Act, 1950 (Act No. XXVII of 1950), required a notice to be served upon them directing them to vacate the land within 15 days from the date of the service of the notice upon them before they could be evicted. This was not done and they had been evicted without complying with the mandatory provisions of Section 3 of the said Act. The eviction order was issued on 18.05.2013 (Satuday) and the last date to vacate the land was fixed as 19.05.2013 (Sunday). The forced eviction of Kabo Leikai took place on 20.05.2013 from 5 am to 1:30 pm just after one day notice of eviction. Their eviction was a high-handed act of the Government without any legal justification whatsoever, and contempt of court against the stay order of the Hon’ble Gauhati High Court dated 25.02.2013 to maintain status quo until further order. The state government which had illegally evicted them should be ordered to restore possession of the land in dispute to them. Or else, this government should be declared as lawless and dictatorial regime.

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World’s Greatest British Battle in Kohima-Imphal and things unanswered

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World’s Greatest British Battle in Kohima-Imphal and things unanswered By Oken Jeet Sandham The people of the Northeast India particularly living in Manipur and Nagaland had mix-feelings and prides when they got the news that the Second World War, which … Continue reading

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World’s Greatest British Battle in Kohima-Imphal and things unanswered

By Oken Jeet Sandham

The people of the Northeast India particularly living in Manipur and Nagaland had mix-feelings and prides when they got the news that the Second World War, which were fought between the British Army and the Japanese Army in the Imphal and Kohima sectors in 1944, was declared as the “Greatest British Battle” in the world. And when this news flashed from London, it hit the headlines here in the region of north east India.

Noted war historians presented their papers on the past British wars fought across the globe. They were given 40 minutes to present their papers. This was conducted under the Britain’s National Army Museum to identify “Britain’s Greatest Battle.” And finally, the two victories over the Japanese, which took place in the same region of the north east India over the same period in 1944, were voted on Saturday as the “Greatest ever battle involving British forces.”

Taken as a single victory, Imphal-Kohima was on a shortlist of five battles which topped a public poll and on Saturday, they were selected as the ultimate winner by an audience of more than 100 guests at a special event at the museum, in Chelsea, west London. Imphal-Kohima, a distance of 145 kilometers and connected through a National Highway 39 (now 2), received almost half of all votes. This remarkable presentation on “Second World War fought in Imphal and Kohima sectors” was done by Dr Robert Lyman, an author and fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

Although people living in the northeastern part of India bordering Burma (now Myanmar) borne the brunt of this Second World War, they still have the pride of telling the stories of these historic and great wars fought in this part of the world. I have come across many grand old men and women who are now in their 80s and 90s could vividly tell the stories of the Second World War. Many of them experienced of being “Forced labor” by the British Army and also used to spy against the Japanese soldiers. Even the British Army who stationed in the Chakhesang and Angami areas also experienced untold miseries at the hands of the British Armies and also the Japanese. The British soldiers even burnt down their granaries with the intention to starve the advancing Japanese soldiers.

The Japanese army coming from the Homatin side of western Burma successfully pushed the British army and occupied the Jessami ridge. When the Japanese were trying to push back the British armies from the Jessami position, there were heavy exchange of fires and both sides suffered heavy causalities. The Japanese also shot down British fighter planes in many Chakhesang areas. After about a week of fierce gun battle; the British soldiers could no longer withstand the onslaught of the Japanese attacks. They had to retreat.

The villagers were so simple that they ran out to see whenever fighter planes flew overhead and enthusiastically watching the explosions of the bombs. They hardly realized that the bomb explosions would hurt them. In fact, many of them got hurt and the British jawans had tough time warning the villagers against coming out while fighter planes were coming and bombing. They even taught them how to dig trenches so that they would use them during bombings and even during gun fights between the British and Japanese soldiers. They instructed the villagers how to dig trenches in “V” shape for hiding themselves during bombings and serious gun fights. But the villagers didn’t pay any heed to such advices; instead they were enjoying digging trenches for the Japanese troops. So many villagers became victims as they didn’t take advices of the British.

The British soldiers were well-equipped and well-versed of the areas, besides more associated with the locals as they had been ruling the Indian sub-continent for years together. On the other hand, the Japanese soldiers coming from their homeland thousands of miles away from these areas of north east India were neither familiar with the locals nor area environment.

On one side, they had to fight the British armies. On the other, they faced a lot of hardships as they had to cope with the locals and area environment. They had to depend on the locals for not only fighting against the British but also for their sustenance. Without the support of the locals, it was almost impossible to fight against the British.

The British armies knew very well of this. They told the locals in advance that the advancing Japanese armies would come in different forms to extract the information of them (British armies).
Like the British army, the Japanese army too had their own intelligent armies who would mobilize information of the British army movement and their activities by using the services of the locals. Unfortunately, the ones mostly used by the British armies before the Japanese arrived at, would be again used by the Japanese to extract more information. Such trend became major threats on the lives of many innocent villagers.

In fact when the Japanese was about to be defeated, they even tried to kill many villagers as they thought they would be reused as spies by the British against them. But on many occasions, they faced strong resistance from the villagers.

Kohima, present capital of Nagaland state, was a place where one of the fiercest battles between the Japanese troops and the British troops took place in the history of the Second World War. These memorable battles at Kohima started from April 1944 and ended in June 1944. Japan was literally responsible for pushing Asia into full scale war. But most of the people in this part of the world in the 40s were not aware of that. The Japanese, in fact, attacked almost all the Asian nations and captured them. Their invasions of the Asian nations had prompted the Allies to specifically target their bases and even to the extent of dropping atom bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The Kohima siege and the casualties caused to both the Japanese troops and the Allies during the Second World War in Kohima and Imphal sectors were unimaginable. The wars at Kohima and Imphal claimed the lives of 65,000 Japanese troops and 18,000 British and Indian soldiers.
There are three Second World War Cemeteries; one is at Kohima, the capital of India’s present state of Nagaland, while other two at Imphal, the capital of the India’s present state of Manipur. The upkeep of these Second World War Cemeteries here at Kohima and Imphal is under the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC). The Commission is responsible for the continued commemoration of 1.69 million deceased Commonwealth military service members in 150 countries. Since its inception, the Commission has constructed approximately 2,500 war cemeteries and numerous memorials. The Commission is currently responsible for the care of war dead at over 23,000 separate burial sites and the maintenance of more than 200 memorials worldwide.

Today, it has become a history in this part of the world as to how the allied soldiers valiantly fought against the aggressive Japanese troops as Kohima siege. The Kohima War Cemetery which lies at the heart of Kohima City has today become a living testimony. There are over 1000 grave markers and every tourist visiting this war cemetery will still have visualized how they had fought against the Japanese troops during those 13 days of Kohima siege. They gave their lives for freedom. And one of the famous inscriptions which everyone will remember throughout their lives is:
“When you go home
Tell them of us, and say
For their tomorrow
We gave our today.”

Another remarkable feat was the opening of the Second World War Museum at Kisama, some 12 kilometers away from Kohima. Many utensils, helmets, binoculars, wreckages of fighter plans, guns, etc. which were used by the British and the Japanese armies during the Second World War at Kohima are kept in this museum. Present Chief Minister of Nagaland Mr Neiphiu Rio should be credited for the establishment of this museum. Kisama is a place where famed Hornbill Festival is organized yearly in the first week of December and during this festival, there is an event which is exclusively organized in memory of the Second World War.

It is the Second World War Peace Car Rally where they will drive Jeeps, Nissans, etc. – some Second World War vintage cars while some painted ones likening to 1944 War Jeep models and participants included even the Chief Minister himself. Now this rally started attracting participants from other northeastern states of India. This Second World War Peace Car Rally organized as part of the Hornbill Festival is the most attractive events and the British and the Japanese Ambassadors or rather high ranking officials from England and Japan should be invited to witness this program. The most important message of this rally is to spread the message of peace and not war.

Nagaland Parliamentary Secretary Zhaleo Rio’s decision to build Mini Park at the Second World War tank site about half a kilometer away from the Kohima Raj Bhavan is appreciated and timely. The Parliamentary Secretary is the younger brother of Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio.
Today younger generations have forgotten these historic world wars that were fought in their land in 1944 and even not aware that their grandparents had not only borne the brunt of these wars but also joined British Army.Legendary regional politician and two-time Nagaland Chief Minister Vizol himself joined Royal Air Force from 1941 to 1946 during the Second World War.

Many grandparents could vividly tell the stories of these great wars fought in their places till today. Even my grandmother had the experience of running from one village to another when the British fighter planes bombed in the Imphal City in 1944. They left their homesteads and hid in the remote villages for months.

On one occasion at Imphal, there was a ritual program going on and the British fighter plane mistook it as gathering of enemies and they bombed there. Almost all died on the spot and my grandmother was one among the few survivors.
We have seen from the history as to how the British meddled in the affairs of Manipur. On February 21, 1891 Lord Lansdowne, the British Viceroy of India ordered J.W. Quinton, the chief commissioner of Assam, to recognize Kullachandra as the King but to arrest Jubaraj (Prince) Tikendrajit. Quinton arrived in Manipur on March 22, 1891 with 400 jawans under Colonel Skene and asked Raja Kullachandra to hand over Tikendrajit to him as desired by the British Governor General of India. In the evening of March 24, 1891, the British troops attacked Jubaraj Tikendrajit’s residence in the compound of Kangla Palace, killing many innocent civilians including women and children who were watching a Ras Lila dance. The Manipuri soldiers struck back and the British were put on the defensive. In the ensuing chaos, the people whose children, wives and relatives were killed the British army.

On March 31, 1891, the British Government declared war against Manipur (the Anglo-Manipur War) and 3 army columns from Kohima (under the command of Major General H. Collet), Silchar (under the command of Colonel R.H.F. Rennick) and Tamu (under the command of Brigadier General T. Graham) were sent to Manipur. Tikendrajit led the Manipuri army in this war. The British army finally took possession of the Kangla Palace on April 27, 1891.
This “Anglo-Manipur War of 1891” was also popularly known as “Khongjom Lal.” The Manipur Government observes yearly the Khongjom War Memorial.
Major Maxwell took over as the chief political agent. Later, Manipur became a princely state and Churachand Singh, a minor was placed on the throne of Manipur. Tikendrajit and other leaders of Manipur subsequently went underground.

The special court, formed under Lt. Col. John Mitchell for the trial commenced on May 11, 1891. The court found Tikendrajit, Kullachandra and Thangal General guilty and they were sentenced to death. The Governor General confirmed the death sentence passed on Tikendrajit and Thangal General and converted the death sentence of the Maharaja and Angousana into transportation for life. The order was announced on August 13, 1891 and Tikendrajit and Thangal General were publicly hanged at 5 pm of the same day at Kangjei-bung (Polo ground) in Imphal.

After independence, this ground in Imphal where he was hanged is renamed as Bir Tikendrajit Park, while one of the main markets at Imphal named as Thangal Bazar. The British hurt the sentiments of the people of Manipur when their General and Prince were publicly hanged. In memory of this tragic incident, the Government of Manipur along with the people observes “Patriotic Day” on August 13 yearly.
The British is also responsible for the turmoil the Naga people have been facing till today. Sections of people who had seen and studied the Second World War here in this part of the world got attracted to it and formed the opinion that they would be able to achieve what they wanted by taking up arms. But in the case of Nagas, who were fighting to live as a free nation, did not use those thousands of firearms left unattended after the war. These firearms were later collected by the Government. One thinks sometimes if these thousands of firearms, which were left by the British and Japanese armies after the war ended, were used by the rebels in the late 40s, what would be the fate of the Indian administration.

I still wonder as to why they had to take such a decision to feed opium to the Kanyaks while they were here. And because of this acts committed to this innocent tribes, they still remain enslaved as the most backward people educationally, economically, technologically and in fact in many areas. Opium is such a powerful substance that will dull the senses and make people shy away from meeting others. They are still struggling to catch up with their counterparts forget about other people in the world.

I even imagine how our parents and grandparents had endured when the Second World War took place here in Nagaland and Manipur if that particular war was adjudged as the “greatest battle ever fought on this earth.” Only God knows. There might be numerous untold stories of tragedies encountered by our parents and grandparents who witnessed this “greatest war of 1944 on earth.” This “greatest war on earth” did not benefit the people of Manipur and Nagaland. It was only “horror stories” when I listened to our parents and grandparents who witnessed this “greatest war on earth.” It only made us retrograded to centuries back. Had there been no war such as Second World War of 1944 in Nagaland and Manipur, by now we will be totally different.
Sometimes, I think the time has come for the British to acknowledge the services rendered by the people of Manipur and Nagaland not only maintaining the “War Cemeteries.”

There were many things left unanswered till today.
At the same time and of course, it would not be wrong to say that the lives, cultures and traditions of the people of Nagaland and Manipur had been greatly influenced by the Second World War. They knew what war is to them and may not like again to experience another war in this part of the world.
Many of our grandparents could still speak broken Japanese while many of them could also speak broken English though they never had formal education in their lifetime. Interestingly, many people in the north east India today can speak English fluently.

All these were also unique history. And when the war fought by the British armies against the Japanese troops in this part of the north east India was voted as the “Britain’s Greatest Battle” in the world, it only reminds me of what my grandparents and many elderly people said to me and it would never be complete without remembering of our forefathers and leaders who too sacrificed for the defense of our motherland.

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Remembering Wangkhei Meiraba: A Forgotten Hero

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Remembering Wangkhei Meiraba: A Forgotten Hero Vikram Nongmaithem Unlike the much celebrated and much remembered Forgotten Army of William Slim of the World War II, most Manipuris seem to forget to remember and celebrate the heroic deeds and acts of … Continue reading

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Remembering Wangkhei Meiraba: A Forgotten Hero
Vikram Nongmaithem

Unlike the much celebrated and much remembered Forgotten Army of William Slim of the World War II, most Manipuris seem to forget to remember and celebrate the heroic deeds and acts of Poila Wangkhei Meiraba and his band of nineteen other brave soldiers who gave their lives on 23rd April, 1891 at Manao Ching of Kakching during the course of the Anglo-Manipuri War of 1891. Here is a brief and cursory history of this man and his band of warriors.

Wangkheimayum Meiraba was the grandson of Wangkheimayum Amu Singh, Ahallup Lakpa. His son Kshetri (Poila) married a lady of Thingbaijam and two sons were born. Meiraba was the elder one and his younger brother was named Jagat Singh. Meiraba (Poila) lived at Pishum Thong, Oinam Leikai on the bank of the Nambul River, Imphal.

Remembering Wangkhei Meiraba: A Forgotten Hero

Remembering Wangkhei Meiraba: A Forgotten Hero

An elderly paying homage to the departed souls
Wangkhei Meiraba was the Poila ( a military rank next to Major and above Subedar) in the Manipur army when Maharaja Kulachandra became the king of Manipur. After the Palace revolt and consequent developments which led to the execution of the five British officers including Mr. J.W. Quinton, the Chief Commissioner of Assam on the night of 24th March, 1891, the then British Government of India sent three columns namely the Kohima Column, the Silchar Column and the Tamu Column to invade Manipur which then was still a sovereign state even though much of India had then been under the British. The headquarters of the advance party of the Tamu column was at Palel, 29 miles south of Imphal, the capital of Manipur. Wangkheirakpaand Yenkhoiba Major along with their troops were sent to face the invading party and they encamped at Thoubal. After a few days Major Paona Brajadashee and Major Chongtha Miya with 400 sepoys re-inforced to assist Wangkheirakpa and Yengkhoiba Major. On the midnight of 20th April 1891 two parties, one under Paona Brajabashee and Chongtha Miya Major were sent via Khongjom to attack the British column at Palel and another party under Wangkhei Meiraba Poila were sent via Kakching to attack the British column stationed at Palel in a sort of pincer movement attack. But on the fateful night of 23rd April 1891 some British army under Major Leslie and his troops were holding a durbar discussing war strategy using a petromax at the Wairi side of Kakching were ambushed by Wangkhei Poila’s party .

Remembering Wangkhei Meiraba: A Forgotten Hero

Remembering Wangkhei Meiraba: A Forgotten Hero

Pena Thougal

The Memorial Tombstone (the white stone in front is the exact stone on which Wangkhei Meiraba fell when hit with bullets)
According to the late Pandit Achouba, in retaliation of the ambush a large contingent of British troops stationed at Palel marched towards the Chumnang side of Kakching and a fierce fighting took place between the well-armed and numerous troops against the Manipuri guerrilla army. Meiraba at this stage asked his outnumbered troops to retreat to the hillside while he himself hiding behind a big tree in a small ravine waited for his chance to shoot and kill as many British officers and their sepoys he could. Due to the superiority of the arms of the greatest empire, the guerrilla army of the Manipuris after the advice of Meiraba himself dispersed in different directions. Even after knowing that he and some of his troops have been surrounded by the British troops they fought to the end of their lives in the true Manipuri spirit where surrender is out of the question. A severe fighting took place at Manao Ching (Hill) of Kakching. It was here that Wangkhei Meiraba (Poila) and nineteen of his band of brave warriors gave their lives to defend their motherland. The exact spot where Meiraba fell had a big stone slab and it is on that exact spot that the memorial is built. In fact it won’t be wrong to say that the battle proved to be Manipur’s Battle of Plassey. Soon afterwards Maxwell blew up the Kangla Uttra which was then a symbol of the sovereignty of Manipur. Thus ended the two millennia old sovereignty of Manipur and it became the darkest chapter in the history of our beloved motherland.

Remembering Wangkhei Meiraba: A Forgotten Hero

Remembering Wangkhei Meiraba: A Forgotten Hero

M Gourachandra (Founder of People’s Museum, Kakching)
For the last twenty-four years the People’s Museum under the stewardship of Mayanglambam Gourachandra along with the State Archaeology , Department of Art and Culture, Government of Manipur has been observing the death anniversary of these fallen heroes. But the sad thing is that the monument is not getting the attention it truly deserves.The Manipuri people ought not to forget those who gave their Todays for our Tommorows.
( I did this write up based on my personal research, the records and souvenir published by People’s Museum , Kakching)

Remembering Wangkhei Meiraba: A Forgotten Hero

Remembering Wangkhei Meiraba: A Forgotten Hero

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The twin Second World War clashes of Imphal and Kohima have been named as the greatest ever battle involving British forces.

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London, 20th April 2013: The two victories over the Japanese, which took place in Imphal and Kohima in the north east India over the same period in 1944, were voted the winner of a contest run by the National Army … Continue reading

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London, 20th April 2013: The two victories over the Japanese, which took place in Imphal and Kohima in the north east India over the same period in 1944, were voted the winner of a contest run by the National Army Museum to identify “Britain’s Greatest Battle”. Imphal-Kohima received almost half of all votes. It was far ahead of D-Day and Normandy, in 1944 which received 25% of the vote and came second.

At the event, each contender had their case made by a historian giving a 40 minute presentation. The audience, who had paid to attend the day, then voted in a secret ballot after all five presentations had been made.

An M3 Lee tank crosses a river north of Imphal to meet the Japanese advance(1)

An M3 Lee tank crosses a river north of Imphal to meet the Japanese advance(1)

The case for Imphal and Kohima was made by Dr Robert Lyman, an author and Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.
“I had thought that one of the bigger names like D-Day or Waterloo would win so I am delighted that Imphal-Kohima has won. You have got to judge the greatness of a battle by its political, cultural and social impact, as much as its military impact.

“Imphal and Kohima were really significant for a number of reasons, not least that they showed that the Japanese were not invincible and that that they could be beaten, and beaten well. The victories demonstrate this more than the US in the Pacific, where they were taking them on garrison by garrison.”

The contest aimed to gauge the battles in terms of their historical impact and the tactics employed.
The battles of Imphal and Kohima saw the British and Indian forces, under the overall command of Lieutenant-General William Slim, repel the Japanese invasion of India and helped turned the tide of the war in the Far East.

Some veterans of the battles and historians have felt the victories have since been overlooked, partly because the invasion of Europe, starting with D-Day, took place while they were still being fought.

The fight for Imphal went on longer than that for Kohima, lasting from March until July.
Kohima was smaller in scale, and shorter, from April to June – but the fighting was so intense it has been described as the Stalingrad of the East.
In one sector, only the width of the town’s tennis court separated the two sides. When on 18 April the relief forces of the British 2nd Division arrived, the defensive perimeter was reduced to a shell-shattered area only 350 meters square.

The Japanese, who fought alongside some Indian nationalists, eventually lost 53,000 dead and missing in the battles. The British forces sustained 12,500 casualties at Imphal while the fighting at Kohima cost them another 4,000 casualties.

There are several memorials to the British and Indian troops who fought in the area, including one with an inscription that has become famous as the ‘Kohima Epitaph’. It reads: “When You Go Home, Tell Them of Us and Say, For Your Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today’
After their defensive victory, the British went on to clear the Japanese from Burma.

Sources:
1). Second World War clashes named as ‘Greatest British Battle’. The twin Second World War clashes of Imphal and Kohima have been named as the greatest ever battle involving British forces.
By Jasper Copping 7:52PM BST 20 Apr 2013

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/10008053/Second-World-War-clashes-named-as-Greatest-British-Battle.html

2). Win over Netaji’s INA is UK’s greatest battle
The writer has posted comments on this articlePTI | Apr 22, 2013, 06.43 AM IST

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Win-over-Netajis-INA-is-UKs-greatest-battle/articleshow/19671555.cms

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Book Review : Amanba Yum by Dr Th.Munindro Singh, Director Planning, Govt. Of Manipur.

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Book Review : Amanba Yum by Dr Th.Munindro Singh, Director Planning, Govt. Of Manipur.     I have been reading Dr Th. Munindro’s  ‘Amanba Yum’, his own collection of Poems, for some months now.  May be I am not an … Continue reading

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Book Review : Amanba Yum by Dr Th.Munindro Singh, Director Planning, Govt. Of Manipur.

 

Book Review : Amanba Yum by Dr Th.Munindro Singh, Director Planning, Govt. Of Manipur.

Book Review : Amanba Yum by Dr Th.Munindro Singh, Director Planning, Govt. Of Manipur.

 

I have been reading Dr Th. Munindro’s  ‘Amanba Yum’, his own collection of Poems, for some months now.  May be I am not an anthologist or a poet myself, but I do have a taste for poems that provoke my heart and soul; that awaken me; that reminds me of things that is sleeping into oblivion. To confess, I am not a mad fan of poems and have never collected them regularly except when I am recommended and referred to. But, one reason I like to read poems is to understand the ‘cause’ of the poem that turns me on as I just said earlier .

Yes, the cause of the poem! In 19 century, Victor Hugo’s cause for his poem was mostly ‘freedom’ e.g. The Grave and the Rose; W.B.Yeats about ‘Irish Nationalism’ e.g. A Dream of Deaths; and Rabindranath Tagor for ‘freedom and liberty, Indian nationalism’, e.g. The Geetanjali.  Among the contemporary international poets, Billy Collins poems in ‘Candle Hat’ are interesting for his random thoughts, plain and simplicity. Not to forget to mention is Elizabeth Alexander’s poems, Autumn Passage that bristle with irresistible quality of a world seen fresh.  Last but not the least I also like the poems written by Dr Daisaku Ikeda of Japan, ‘Like the Sun rising’ and Dr Robert Schuler of USA, ‘God Always Answers Prayers’, for their works that uplift my entire being completely to a different state.

Due to my work and life situation, I have not had the good fortune of reading and absorbing many of colourful Manipuri poems, both classical and contemporary. But, solely on my own reflection and experience of few that I had read long ago, I found this own collections of poems by Dr Munindro a fascinating manifestation of his own perspective of life; ‘the cause of a life’ in essence. To read with understanding, the peculiar personal, historical and philosophical contexts of Dr Munindro and Manipur are essential for a greater appreciation of the poems.  His poems was born out when the left brain meets the right brain: Dr Munindro, a mathematician, the incumbent planning director of Manipur, wrote his heart out in a creative poem, ‘Amanba Yum’, in his own self reflection  about the ‘life’ our society , our people and our environment.

The poet ooze out his heart against the defilement of what he saw as culturally and socially vital, and which came to form a vision of personal dissonance with the characters of his time.  Dr Munindro’s poem shows the evolution, underneath the surface of Manipur’s society, that is loosening the fabrics of our culture and the bonds that should be, all for the cause of ‘harmonious’ society, environment and life everyone is entitled to.  Manipur, a harmonious state, is what we need now. The poet, solemnly, yet very indirectly cries for this cause with great mild intensity and passion. To some readers, this may sound un-spirited, dull or lifeless, but to me the very cause of the collection is to say what it is, at the least it captures my imagination this way.

The poet, perhaps, felt very little about the need to use conventional rules of writing a poem as his instinct was to go uninterrupted, undisturbed and say simply what he wanted to say. Breaking the law of classical rules for poetry writing, Dr Munindro has presented his sublime thoughts in a most unconventional but kind of contemporary form. Every poem lovers must try this collection for a different taste of unconventional, contemporary poetries; there is a unique music in it still: a fusion of logic and creativity.

One of his poems title, ‘Hingbagi Aasha’, my favourite lines are : Mahousha gi Khusemshida

                                                                                                                          Chokthaba Leite Awatpa Leite

                                                                                                                          Puduna Lak i Anouba

                                                                                                                        Hingbagi Aasha ga loina na I

(Apology for writing Manipuri with English letters.)

Reviewed by Bishwajit Okram, Ireland.

 

 

 

 

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