The Times of Manipur

Alright NASA has predicted a total blackout on 22nd, 23rd and 24th of this month. My concern, however, is whether we need to bother if the world is coming to an end this year or not?

If we look into the list of issues and incidents that continuously bog down our state, we need not be scared of the world coming to a dead end. And the reason or rather the ugly truth that authenticates this view is a simple logic.

In our state we are so far used to celebrating (yes, celebrating) many blackout days. A fragmented society that ours is, it has become a serious habit for us to lead our lives lamenting and celebrating at the same time. For an idea we can find the truth in the list — bomb blasts, blockades, bandhs, fairs and festivals, all round the year, all of them in a complete package that we made of.

We yawn every time we hear something about corruption or kaang khong chaiba state of affairs. It is nothing surprising for us to come across news related to corruption or a chaotic political situation day in and day out. Corruption for our state machinery is more of its spinal cord. Those who have the nerves to attach themselves to it get benefited. Otherwise, no further comments.

Well, it’s not a different fact that ours is already an infected system. And we are in lack of a good socio-medical support team or political-environmentalists to cleanse the system. It is therefore just sheer stupidity to even bother about cleansing the system.

I would like to compare the situation with that of a heavy chain smoker. The chain smoker knows that continuous smoking can harm his lungs and yet he cannot simply give up smoking. It becomes rather habitual getting used to smoking every day. Likewise, those who are part of the system know they are not doing the right thing but they cannot simply help. They get so used to corruption, they get used to the filth and dirt that have been polluting the machinery for all these decades.

It’s true that most of them once dared to talk so daring and bold about the issues that affect our lives. Some of them even did it at the cost of getting unasked brickbats. But once they become a part of the system, they mind their own corrupted business —‘esha esha soidraga loire’ — what else can we expect for?

As a matter of fact, I would not be less amused if I ever come across a high-ranked official admitting, ‘Paisa chaajagay nabu sarkaargi thabak touribani’. And trust me, I would not even blame him or her because one follows the norms that are meant not to be followed. And those who know not how to follow the norms get fooled and are tagged as losers or an abnormal individual.

For the thou-leitaba lots who want to introspect the current times of Manipur, many ugly truths are found smartly concealed here and there. It is like ‘Yenakhada amot akai peisinba’ while the shumang shines and glitters during a particular occasion at one’s home. We know how filthy the home is when we have a look at the yenakha, otherwise, we see what we believe from the surface; or should I say shumang again?

We do not want to cleanse or get clean up; we are only good at blame games. We keep on polluting every place and space because that’s what we are good at. I would love to address the role of ‘Ema Manipur’ as that of ‘Chaayaam pokpi mamagi dassa’ — of her inability to waarak watemba her children.  It’s funny to admit but yes if we cannot admit or identify our fault, we must find someone to blame. In that case, we can blame (the never existing) ‘Athouba, athoubi, mapaari, mamom kaya pokpi Ema Manipur for everything. Sounds politically correct as well, right?

Well, if the world does not end this year and if we live long enough to see our grandchildren in the future, we must be really ashamed to tell tales about the current times of Manipur.

We have grown up listening to our favourite funga waari and many historically nostalgic stories of their times from our Buboks and Edhous. Most of the stories we had heard as kids have had their own morals.

I feel seriously sorry for our grand children from the future for whom we have hardly any good, encouraging stories to narrate. Perhaps we can weave a few (not so interesting) stories from the bandhs, blockaes, bomb blasts, never ending list of festivals and melas and so on from the present times of Manipur. Do we even have an option?

This article was published on 16 Dec 2012

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