The Pursuit of Peace

We prove the Mayan myth wrong. The world did not end on 21st December. However, most of us were sickened by the unwanted curfews and general strikes in the form of protests over the molestation case of an artist from the film fraternity. The ending of this year has been a spoiler. The unwanted issues have dampened the festive spirit. Many of us had celebrated Christmas with a sober mood. Many of us, in fact, wished that the world had ended instead of going through the entire agitations and protests in the last few days.

Manipur has always been famous for the wrong reasons — insurgency, armed conflict, bomb blasts, blockades, curfews, extortions. We have formed many Joint Action Committees. We have protested endlessly in the streets and roads. We have formed enough mobs; we have burned tyres, blocked roads, destroyed vehicles. We have done everything in the name of protest. We have even lost many innocent victims like the unfortunate cameraman recently. Asibana maangjare has been the norm, whether we like it or not. I extend my heartfelt condolence to the bereaved family of the victim. I condemn the inhumane act of Manipur police personnel. They can shoot us anytime as if they are licensed to kill us. I must not forget to mention that AFSPA has been a memorable gift from India.

Next to the security personnel, I abhor those who mislead many of us with unnecessary rumours every now and then, during an ongoing ruckus. I know not the solution of any political or social unrest but I would never suggest or think about a violent protest by destroying properties, burning vehicles and pelting stones everywhere. We, the Manipuris, have proved it in the past and we did prove it recently how rebellious we are. I appreciate the rebellious spirit among us but it is intolerable on many occasions.

I am equally scared to know that most of have a shallow understanding of the issues that affect our society. A collective and logical sense of the right and the wrong is somehow missing in the context. We love our state. We can do anything to preserve and protect its territorial integrity. Alright, we know it and people in their right mind will appreciate the spirit. But the unanswered questions persist — Where is our stand? Why are we so desperate to wage a civil war, fighting for separate homelands? Why is there a deep mutual disrespect and mistrust?

The chingmi-tammi issue is an endless discussion. Have we ever noticed how many years we have brooded over this topic? How many opinions have we wasted? But the outcome has always been abysmal. With due regard to all the greedy (feudal and power-thirsty) people, I have a question for them. Why don’t you just stop molesting and raping the territorial integrity of the state? Just get a life. Enough is enough.

We just cannot add an unwanted communal colour to the chingmi-tammi issue. A criminal or a miscreant has no caste, creed or community. As for the recent molestation case, we must be aware of many Livingstones around us. We have to take up proper measures to make sure his tribe does not increase.

If we are ready for a revolution, let us revolutionize our mentality first. Let us gather not for the mob justice, but to discuss ideas that would offer a solution to our problems. No one can threaten our territorial integrity as long as we are together. United we stand, divided we fall. It is as simple as that.

Let us try to integrate what has been disintegrated over the years. Cowards find many reasons to spread hatred and turmoil everywhere. Brave people have their own conviction. Come what may, they stick to it. It is your choice whether you want to be addressed as a coward or a brave heart. Let us be ashamed of our moronic attitude, let us stop preparing ourselves for a civil war. Let us harmonize, let us spread the message of love and peace everywhere.

Are you with me as a Manipuri—not as a Chingmi, Tammi or Paangal—to reconstruct a Manipur where we can collectively work together for a social, political and economic growth? We know the state is in a rotten condition. Let us not get used to the stinks. Let us lend our hands to declutter the mess.

We do not have 24 hours power supply in our state, we do not have enough drinking water, we do not have good roads. Every sector in our state needs introspection. We must find out the problems, discuss the probable solutions and accordingly plan, discuss and act. Let us stop dyeing our minds with unwanted communal colours. Let us bid a formal adieu to 2012. Let us celebrate a new year, free of hatred and bitterness. Join me in the pursuit of peace. We badly need it.

This article was published on 6 Jan 2013
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