A Return to Humanism

var addthis_product=’wpp-252′;var addthis_options=”Google+1″A question often confronted by those in search of a moral stance on issues of life and society is, what or where exactly is, or should be,…

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var addthis_product=’wpp-252′;var addthis_options=”Google+1″A question often confronted by those in search of a moral stance on issues of life and society is, what or where exactly is, or should be,…

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Read more / Original news source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Kanglaonline/~3/-I0xRxva2s4/

Of Mental Blockades and Economic Blockades

Leader Writer: Paojel Chaoba It is fact that State now suffers, the economic blockade imposed by the Sadar Hills Districthood Demand Committee (SHDDC) which is nearing a month have taken… Read more »

Leader Writer: Paojel Chaoba
It is fact that State now suffers, the economic blockade imposed by the Sadar Hills Districthood Demand Committee (SHDDC) which is nearing a month have taken its toll on the populace. The UNC openly opposes the district status demand and counters it by imposing an indefinite bandh along all national highways and Naga inhabited areas. The MLAs representing both communities in their contrasting stances have fired verbal bullets along the issue at the State Legislative Assembly sittings presently going on.

The state government also seems caught in a dilemma between the demand and the counter demand. Yet, the formation of a District Reorganization Committee by the cabinet seems to be the only ace up the government’s sleeve in addressing the impasse and the murky state of affairs.

Demarcation of district boundaries and the call for time (three months) to execute the workings is offered from the government, in reciprocation to the districthood demand. Maybe, after the process has been implemented, the UNC and the SHDDC may also arrive to an understanding, hopefully. The SPF governance needs to act fair and square as the issue of land is the major point of contention and has been the cause of many a communal uprising.

Each and every demand made in a democratic set up, however justified needs to be negotiated and tabled according to the circumstances prevalent. The Sadar Hills demand has encompassed more than four decades, what will be the harm for waiting another three months, in the interest of the public, one ponders ? It would be a more mature stance and yet still provide a breathing space to the suffering public. Besides, the National Highway 39 can anytime be again subjected to economic blockades or indefinite bandhs as usual if the government’s promise fails to deliver. It is understood that, the will of the Sadar Hills brethren need not be questioned, as one has observed the condition of the inhabitants of the area bearing the brunt of the blockade more than their valley counterparts. The ‘mass exoduses ‘ by the villagers due to complete breakdown of transport braving the harsh elements, lack of medical facilities, affect on educational institutions and want of essential items have taken its toll more in the striking Sadar Hills area.

Nevertheless, the SHDDC must weigh the pros and cons and address the issue in a humane manner, as since the attention of the government has been drawn. It is questionable to hold one own people at ransom when a solution of sorts has presented itself. The right to life of the public of the state should not be compromised.

Interestingly enough, when the human rights of the entire citizenry is at peril, the so called ‘defenders’, represented by various individuals and ‘organizations’ adopt a ‘wait and watch policy’. A minimal effort of sending out a press communiqué appealing to all concerned to resolve the impasse is not had at all. Many of them in their monocular vision seem content with addressing press conferences with bravado and the idealism of upholding the rights of the people, while remaining blissfully unaware of the ground reality. Maybe,it is due to the fact that their workings are objective to HIV/AIDS, environment, children or AFSPA and the sufferings of the public as a whole is inconsequential. The funds pouring in through their Foreign Contribution Regulations Act number in Euros and dollars must have to be utilized in a marginalized area. Money definitely talks and attending conferences abroad are more significant.

As of late, the concentrated outlook of many an activist, self styled intellectuals etc. nowadays lies in comparing the Anna Hazare issue to that of our own Iron Lady. Irom Sharmila , a living legend, her determination, a testament of the prowess of a Manipuri woman. Compare her with Aung San Suu Kyi  or Mahatama Gandhi or any notable figure, but positively. Mentioning that Sharmila’s struggle has been sidelined whereas Anna’s is reciprocated by the centre may be a means of propagating her stance and showing the lopsided attitude of the Union Government towards the North East, but it also shows the weakness of a society to rally to her just cause. One can’t help but feel that her agitation has been more or less ‘commercialized’ by NGOs while forgetting the actual protest stance.

But for every reasonable demand, it may be creation of the Sadar Hills district, removal or AFSPA, endeavor for a less corrupt sub continent, needs to be endorsed by the public and the concerned. Those who are rallying behind must drop their masks, rethink their myopic mindset. Let us be rid of the economic blockades and most importantly, our own mental blockades.

Read more / Original news source: http://kanglaonline.com/2011/08/of-mental-blockades-and-economic-blockades/

The `Jharap Factor`

Leader Writer: Paojel Chaoba This is a popular joke. One day a cook was passing through a graveyard late at night. Word was it that a demon haunts the place… Read more »

Leader Writer: Paojel Chaoba
This is a popular joke. One day a cook was passing through a graveyard late at night. Word was it that a demon haunts the place and preys on lone individuals. The cook was somewhat apprehensive at the time of night and especially having to make his way through the haunted place. Then, Lo and behold, appeared the demon in all his frightful glory. The cook was aghast with apprehension. But, mustering all his strength, the cook pleaded with the demon to spare his life.

The demon wanted to toy with dinner first, “You may ask me a question, If I fail to answer. You may go free” he said confidently. The chef thought for some time and took out a Jharap ( a spatula with holes mainly used for preparing fried foods) from his bag. With trembling hands, he placed the jharap in front of his face and said. “Do you realize that I can see you through this jharap?” The demon replied in the affirmative. “Well ! Then tell me through which hole of this jharap I am looking at you ?”

The present state of affairs in Manipur can indeed be termed as being in a hellish condition. The law and order problem has infested itself in the northeast region for more than half a century and there seems to be no respite in the near future.

The outlook of the people have somewhat become pessimistic under the bulk of the problems which seem to crop up in myriad ways. But, as History is testament, and out of seemingly hopeless conditions which may happen in the state or in other parts around the globe, there obviously has to be some silver linings under each dark cloud. The will to hope for a better tomorrow must be there in each individual, the courage to act and strive for that elusive Utopia must be there.

AFSPA, 1958, a demonic act, which all wants to be rid of. One need not detail on the atrocities committed behind its veil and the populace has suffered enough.

Championing the fight against the draconian law, Irom Sharmila has been on a fast for more than a decade. But, before the Iron Lady came into perspective, what was the status of the public in repealing the said act. Public rallies, general strikes, sit in protest galore etc. Nowadays, the public seem to rest easy that the AFSPA issue is not something to be personally involved with. And it is entirely Sharmila’s worry and some ‘concerned’ civil organizations matter.

It is more or less felt that the AFSPA issue is seen by the public through only one hole of the jharap and not in a holistic manner, we see only Sharmila and not the demon. This perspective has to be changed.

As for her recent report in The Telegraph which highlighted her personal thoughts, civil organizations have banned the paper for carrying an ‘undue’ report. It may be known by those organizations what is best reported or what is not about the Iron Lady. But if one puts up the jharap to the face again, it can be observed that she is indeed a passionate person. Is it not due to her encompassing love, that for the land she has fasted an unbelievable span of time.

To shout that a report in a national newspaper will tarnish her image and the struggle is just looking through a singular hole of the jharap, one feels. Say for eg. that, a report is done on the Taj Mahal and the romance between Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan. Say that the emperor still had a harem of thousands even after Mumtaz died. Will that report blemish the magnificence of the Taj and the romance behind the monument?

Let the national media or anyone say or write about Sharmila, but that similarly do not diminish her status. We the Manipuri public know who she is and what she has endured, nothing more, nothing less. She is a human being. Boycotting a paper is not the answer. Quoting from a discourse by Rajneesh or more popularly known as Osho, an Indian mystic with a global cult following “When two persons open up to each other just as they are, friendship grows. When two persons are ready to drop their masks, they have taken a tremendous step towards religiousness. So love, friendship, anything that helps you to drop the mask, is taking you towards religion. But the pseudo-religions have done just the opposite. They are against love. You can understand now, why they are against love, because love will destroy the personality, and the pseudo-religion depends on your personality”.

To rid ourselves of the demons, which haunt many aspects of the Manipuri society. We must acknowledge the fact that sometimes the odds are against us and using our God given intellect, we need to take out the jharap from our bags and learn to view the issue clearly and act accordingly so as to get out of the seemingly impossible circumstances for the better. Before doing that, we need to address our own personal demons first.

Read more / Original news source: http://kanglaonline.com/2011/09/the-jharap-factor/