Thursday, October 8, 2009

Manipur-The Forgotten State

Ever heard about ‘Irom Sharmila’? Probably not and why would be bothered to know about her, we are more or less preoccupied with our daily lives, soap operas and reality TV shows. But the reality is that ‘Irom Sharmila’ is an ordinary woman with iron strong will-power. This 37 year old is on hunger strike for more than 10 years, reason, she is protesting against the draconian law Armed Forces Special Provisions Act, which virtually gives power to the security person to arrest, jailed or even encounter people on the mere basis of suspicion of being an insurgent. This legislation is in effect in two states Jammu & Kashmir and Manipur, remember Manipur.

Manipur, a small state tucked in India’s north-east, a state which I regret to say India and Indians forgot. That is why state which is going through turbulence since July because of a fake encountered which was carried out by the forces there and fakeness of which was telecast in national media still hasn’t elicited any response from the Centre. Irom Sharmila is from Manipur, and she is protesting the same provisions which gives the security forces the power to drag out civilians, brand them as militants and encounter them; all order to earn medal. No wonder this year Manipur Police won 74 gallantry medals, compared to 138 for the entire country.

Manipur is in state of despair, with rampart poverty, people are screwed by the triad of Politicians, Insurgents and Security Forces. Each has their own reasons, own explanations. Each ready to grab the pie which centre throws at the state and forgets. Rampant corruption ensures that contracts are grabbed either by politicians or by the insurgents. Insurgents who claim to fight for the people fund their movement from same people, by kidnapping them, killing them and robbing them. The business is good, and it pays well.

Irom Sharmila is crying for peace. She is in hunger strike since 2000 when security forces killed 10 people from her village without any explanation. And these things are not uncommon there, and the last one which was shown in national television has crippled the state for last few months. But how could we remember that, after all, that news was adjusted between the news about a program ‘Rakhi ka Swayambar’ and some other news program on reality show, no wonder we got it erased. Death of a person is tragedy but death of many is statistic, Dictator Stalin has rightly observed, and it is a statistics in Manipur not tragedy. If it have had happened in Delhi, Government might have being dismissed. But it pays to have such government there; corruption has always being a very big business.

Few weeks ago, an editorial appeared in the Chinese journal which asked the authority to break up India into 50 countries, all they require is a little push. With our ignorance of such magnitude, a small puff would be enough. They need not do the hard work, because by ignoring our state we have created the groundwork. People like ‘Irom Sharmila’ are just fighting to avert such situation.

But why should you be bothered?

© Tarun Mitra





harini calamur said...

What is happening is a craying shame - and i am afraid that the media - the way it is today is going to weaken the Reupblic instead of strengthening it.
in last year's floods - Indian media picked up visuals from international agencies :(

Mridula said...

I agree with Harini, that it is a crying shame.

Megha said...

I's really sad that the eastern states are much kept away from the central agenda. Why ? The states are so beautiful and a huge potential, but they just stay overlooked, kind of handed over to the extremists who are bloodying the beautiful place and culture.

Tarun Mitra said...

@ Harini
Thanks for stopping by. Yes it is a crying shame for the nation. And your blog is really wonderful. I am following that now :)

@ Mridula I agree

@ Megha I have some affinity with the North East, It is rather inexplicable. My mother was born in Assam. So i liked that place very much. Problem is with this big brother mentality

Heaven knows when we are going to wake up

Megha said... do you visit Assam often ?

Tarun Mitra said...

Nopes, I last visited that place almost 10 years ago. A lot by changed by now. My mom last visited that place 5 year ago when my granpa died.After granma came to Delhi. I still have few relatives and aunt there..But its too far and u need a really good break to visit the place. Not a thing for weekend adventure.

Megha said...

Yes, looking at the distance, it must be a very long journey.

Shivani said...

yes it is true that states of east India are ignored.
and I totally agree with harini that media to some extent are one the culprits.

dreams said...

i think ultimate solution to curb corruption is to stop printing currency

Tarun Mitra said...

thanks Shivani....You study Regular from DU this question you must ask yourself. How many people have you called 'chinki'?

@dreams...I disagree, corruption is parasite which can surely make its way..non-money only going to aggravate the trouble of the poor and middle class or no or low asset owning class who will suffer the most.

esthersuantak said...

Thanks alot for the concern Tarun inspite of u being a non-manipuri.Please go through the article i wrote about the same issue as per my personal views and as a person from that place..;)