An Impractical Thought Salad

In one of my earlier columns, I talked about how it is important to change ourselves and our family, before we even think about it at a societal level. Let me amplify a little bit more on this topic. My thought on this matter, closely resembling a salad, would sound impractical to many, but I cannot help resharing it.

We have this saying: ‘Khuta pairingei etaogi, yaada hukle echagi, kuut yotle eigi’. This is more than enough to conclude how we are, naturally, a selfish being. We must admit it. As they say, if you accept your fault, you find lesser reason to commit another mistake in the future. With these practical theories and applications of psychology, let us restate we must learn to unlearn what we have learned by mistake. This is the first step we can take to change ourselves.

Now, let us take a look around. Domestic problems, just to take an example, are a front-page news in our society. Rivalry among siblings over petty matters like ‘ingkhol’, ‘mou masel khatnaba’, the classic ‘manem-mamou yaanadaba’ and of course, the various cases of adultery are almost suffocating. It is unbelievable how siblings took to arms just for a petty issue over ‘ingkhol’. How much change should we expect in such a society?

Nowadays, ‘sambal khaabi’ or ‘chekpal chansinbi’ is the order of the day. These days, finding a big ‘kolup’ of amiable families in Imphal area has become a matter of surprise. Forget the ‘kolup’, for personal and security matters, walls are even created among siblings. They know that these walls, physically and emotionally, bar them from one another, yet they do not hesitate building them higher.

I would cite it as one of the examples of a disintegrating society where love, respect and mutual co-operation cease to exist even among the siblings. Ironically, such families congregate together to form a leikai, which is another important section of our society.

Coming to the societal representatives, most of us know that there are various categories of babu-sahebs and the pseudo activists in our society, who talk so loud and big about bringing changes. All I know is that they do not bring any change so far but bundles and bundles of notes for themselves. Interestingly ironical!

Some of them are the big shots – the engineers, doctors, thikadaars, they are the talk of the town, while some of them the adorable lots for the public who (seem to) contribute their best to the welfare of the society (or at least they think so).

It is really tough to differentiate a ‘thikadaar’ from an activist and vice versa. The nature of ‘thika’ may differ but as they say, you call a spade a spade. ‘Thika’ is always ‘thika’ no matter which ‘thika’ it is about.

Be it the equally influential contractor or the activist, I cannot digest their double standard in their own personal matters. Some of them are cheap hypocrites who never give a damn about their own families. They talk about the welfare of ‘ema-eben’, while their own moms, wives and children are completely ignored. They would meddle up with the domestic affair of other homes. Their homes are, on the other hand, the classic examples of broken families.

I will relate a personal experience in this regard. I once went to Brindavan during my college days. It was the month of ‘Waakching’. We took shelter at Radha Kund. As compared to Ahmedabad or Delhi, Uttar Pradesh was freezing cold then. While we were strolling around Radha and Shyam Kund, we came across an Abok who was begging money on the street. There were many Aboks out there, but this one caught our sight. She did not even wear a sandal or warm clothes and was shivering. I questioned myself if religion is meant to torture oneself for no logical reasons. That was the very year in which my ardent fascination with Hinduism almost had its uncanny end.

No religion should encourage its followers to practice self-torture. It was more or less a self-torturing experience trying to find solace in the abode of the gods, loitering around in torn clothes on a freezing cold winter morning. Ironically, the sadhus and pandits worship in the most comfy way. Room heaters for winter, and air conditioners for summer – not a bad mode of worshipping, eh?

Coming back to the point, on being inquired, we found out that the abok’s son is one of the famous chief engineers in Imphal. I did not want to know who that engineer was, what appalled my heart was the sight of that old lady clad in torn clothes begging in the streets of Radha Kund. She came to Brindavan for a holy trip but was later abandoned by no one but her own family. By now, she must have already left for her heavenly abode but my heart still pains, thinking over how she might have cursed her own suffering days.

We desperately need some ideas and actions. Respecting the elders, shredding the greed of power and money (and ‘ingkhol’, of course), destroying the wall of misunderstanding and hatred among fellow beings, cherishing good relationship with one’s members of the family and bothering only about one’s own business. I believe, we can at least start with all these just for a trial or a beta version. Let us try if we can really do it. If we successfully fail, things will always be the same. So why bother?

This article was published on 24 Feb 2013

Education in Manipur — An Utter Clutter!

Recently, we have come across many news and views about how education in Manipur is in such a clutter. I have found out some reports why education is in such a stinky situation in our state.

Why ludo is the favourite ‘sport’ of the teachers?

I have studied a few fraudulent traits about majority of the government teachers. These teachers are the sincere lots who want to educate and share their experience with children who have enrolled in the government schools. The students are lazy enough to attend classes in such schools. However, who are responsible for creating an unhealthy education atmosphere in the first place?

The education ministry, in all these decades, has implemented its best measures and strategies to ensure proper education to students all across the state. Officials in this department have not taken even a single penny as a bribe while recruiting eligible staff for various schools. Their sincerity is unquestionable.

We had a fallacious understanding about the government schoolteachers who have been indulging in their hobbies, such as kata lonba and ludo saanaba. We cannot blame them. Who would not want to bask in the sun in this cheerful weather, sitting on broken benches at the school grounds?

If students are negligent about their education, the teachers cannot force them to cultivate the interest of reading and studying. They have to kill their time at the schools, which is why they indulge in one hobby or another.

How could I forget to mention the encouraging steps taken up by some teachers who never show up at their schools? Most of these teachers loiter around the leikai, visiting the homes of every single student of their school, advising them to focus on their education. Some of them are successful in convincing students to pay a friendly visit at the school; some of them fail to do so.

In my insincere opinion, they have done the best that they could. Hats off to them! Their unselfish attempt to restore a good education system in our state is laudable! They have provided innumerable number of counseling to the parents of those students, who are not good at ‘waarak waatemba’ of their kids. Now the first report ends here.

Facts do not feign

Let us completely forget the above report and get to the second report. As per one of the recent news sources, in Manipur, 66.7 per cent children in the age group of 7—16 were enrolled in private schools while in Tripura, 96 per cent of children in the same age group were enrolled in government schools.

This survey should be a matter of shame for the government schools and the related ministry provided they are at least concerned about it.

Education, profession and aspiration

I consider teaching is one of the noblest professions. It is such a beautiful art of imparting knowledge and adding essence to life. We have always considered our teachers wiser and even more thoughtful than our own parents. Whether we admit it or not, teachers influence our lives more than our parents do. They are forbearing. They have mountains of patience. They are the banks of knowledge and wisdom. From the social context, teachers play a major role, while shaping the mind of students from the pre-nursery classes to the university level.

As a kid, I always wanted to become a teacher. When I grew up, I have eventually found out what a remarkable profession it is indeed to be a teacher. As a teenager, I used to take private tuitions of some local kids and cousins, from time to time, as a means to earn myself a decent pocket money.

Looking beyond the realm of a leikai or kolupki tuition oja, I could not dare to dream about becoming a real teacher. Considering my own flaws, I dropped the idea. I do not have any of the qualities to become a teacher. I never intend to shame the very profession by becoming a teacher for namesake.

I wish all the ineligible teachers had the same thought that I have. Caught in the wrong job, it is too late for them to realize because only the salary matters. They have not chosen the profession intentionally. Let us better leave them alone.

There are of course many ideal teachers from government schools. They are like the brave warriors, who keep fighting despite the fact that they have lost the battle long time ago. I have my sincerest regards for all those teachers.

“Education is the most powerful weapon,” Nelson Mandela once remarked, “which you can use to change the world.” If all of us believe that education is a means to fight the socio-political craps and bring a desirable change in our state, we should share our ideas to bring a positive change in this sector.

We know that education in Manipur is an utter clutter. Let us lend our hands to clean up the mess. I encourage the volunteers to come up, discuss the issues, and possibly find probable remedies to cure the badly infected system.

This article was published on 17 Feb 2013

Tips on Christening a Nameless Revolution!

Most of us consider it fun or a mere means of passing time talking and discussing on this and that issue. The nasty truth is most of us do not want to meddle up with anything at all. We try to sound as if we are so concerned about the deep rooted, day-by-day burgeoning issues in our society. However, when it comes to ground reality, we do not want to get involved in any messy situation. We hammer our keyboards trying to share our opinions and grievances. And that’s all we do or can do. Internet is the fastest medium of communication in today’s world. I agree. However, when we want to fight for a serious cause, we cannot rely on Internet. One should clearly read the lines between a medium and the strategies of fighting for a cause.

Let me share an experience. As an advertising professional, I have learned various tricks, tips and tactics about successful branding. In advertising, the first and foremost strategy to implement is to define the target group or customer to whom the brand communication is going to target. An advertising campaign that does not have a defined target audience is like shooting in the sky sans any aim. It may randomly hit a bird, it may not. Taking a chance sounds fun, but it does not make sense when you are dedicated to give your best shot in your career. Let us co-relate this simple idea. Most of us are frustrated and sick of the system. We raise our voice against this and that issue, but most of the time our grievances are unheard or unquestionably ignored. We are so far used to dumping one issue over another basically because we know not whom we are really targeting our grievances at. I believe one can so far build a big mansion out of the dumped issues that have been continuously buried.

Heinabi and mawong maalhanba are perhaps the two best vocabularies that define a chronic attribute of our people. We know the system is infected with an incurable disease. Are we not infected with a similar disease? If we say politics is a nasty game, are we not a part of it? Politics brews in every single family. Diplomacy is the art mastered by each one of us to settle various personal or professional matters in our daily lives. The system is doing the same. It’s more or less a tit-for-tat norm. Good begets good, bad begets bad. The cookies have always crumbled like this. Nothing is shocking when one admits that the cookies will keep crumbling this way in the future too.

So, does this mean we cannot expect change in our society? Well, I believe change is possible only when you are willing to change. The first and foremost step of bringing change in our society is to reform oneself. If each one of us believes in self-reformation, if each one of us starts self-questioning on what one can do to improve the condition of the society, change will perhaps come naturally. If a family is the smallest unit of a society, why don’t we start it right from our families? Let us stop preaching, let us start following what we have been preaching most of the time. Set yourself as a living example of someone who does not resist any ill-doing. We are pretty good in giving advices of all sorts. But the million dollar question is whether we have ever bothered to follow what we have been telling others to do? There are many activists in our society who do many encouraging things for the society but at the cost of ruining their own personal lives. They talk about this and that right, preach many motivating ideas here, there and everywhere. But when it comes to their own personal lives, things are murky and perhaps silently understood. In my opinion, that’s where one of the major causes of some of the social issues lies.

The pot calling the kettle black sounds not funny anymore. Let us start sweeping our own shumaang before we try to mess up with others’ shumaangs. ‘Chafu kairaga kwaak na haraowi.’ It is up to you how you save your chafu from getting broken. Nonsense makes a lot of sense in our society. We love dyeing our mind with the united colours of hatred, gossip and what not. Why cannot we infect our mind with progressive thoughts? We don’t need to do anything special for the society. If we mind our own business, trust me, problems will find a tough route to make an ugly entry in our families and society. The ideal type of revolution that we have on our mind has so far been nameless. Why don’t we christen it with an unbiased name? Would that be really tough? Or am I, as usual, expecting the impossible to happen?

This article was originally published on 10 Feb 2013
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Trending Articles