The biased, deceptive and jaundiced characterization of Kanglei-people’s idea of ‘Ireipak” and their jumbled understanding defining “Leibakningba” or rather the love of his or her nation can be scrutinized in a correct perspective if we refer the phenomenon to the fast-track collapse of Kanglei political economy or rather our actual way of living and its cultural superstructure erected on the former as its basis.
If one makes critical observations on the issue based on rational plane, you will not be far to understand Kanglei society as putrefying with wads of traded-in values destroying inner elements constituting its uniqueness as a distinct group of people to the extent of demeaning Kanglei spirit of nationalism often strangulated by what can be called external influence.
Bale of paradoxes that came along with Vaisnavism in post –Pamheiba era and merger of Manipur to the union of India which had been misinterpreted by some among us as people’s historical vocation turned out a recipe for disaster making us downright clueless about almost everything including ontological questions associated with ‘who we are’ and ‘where did we came from’ besides transforming us a group of people feeding ourselves with food grains imported from Delhi, an economically dependent group.
In so doing we had undermined our resilient social structure we had before the two ill-fated historical episodes occurred engendering complete destruction of her economic base on which Kanglei republic lived, grew and progressed thus leading the society to more thorny point where we were made to happily merge into the larger superstructure of ‘bigger other’ riding roughshod over us even the values they spoofed us seemed to be a bit alien to our sensualities still partially connected to the soil.
In other words feeding ourselves with imported grains and mistaking Arjun as our forefather have made us a people delinked from real roots, thereby distorts our idea of ‘Leibak Ningba’ disassociating even our psychic components from where it should be anchored to.
So lack of connecting our thinking process with economy is the epicenter of our distorted understanding defining our national character, which in turn impacts
negatively on one’s inner being entirely deforming the idea of ‘Eikhoi’ and “Makhoi’. Consequently, their idea of nationalism will be shrouded in the smoke of misperception of taking ‘them’ as ‘us’ asking question, in what nation do we really belong to?
When one’s concept about oneself, or rather the self, has been vulnerable to displaced and misplaced loyalty to a group entirely different from them as respects culture, history and race, it is quite natural for the former to have distorted notions about everything beginning from nation, nationality and to even patriotism.
such distorted notion of ‘patriotism’ as evidently reflected in a press communique handed out by Meitei nationalist Party (MNP) can be traced to Delhi’s continued policy of impregnating Indian nationalism into the minds of Kangngleichas through proselytization of values latched on Indic culture certifying‘idea of Hindutava India’ making us passionate takers of the same idea developing our nerves and tissues fully grown feeding on grains imported from Delhi, providing clothes woven outside making us strongly believe in the theory that we can never stand as a nation without India as we don’t have any resources whereon our own political economy can base.
“Love your country. You country is the land where you parents sleep, where is spoken that language in which the chosen of your heart, blushing, whispered the first word of love’’ are lessons we learnt from those killed not for ‘singing Jana Ganamana’ when they were told to do so. I think they belong to us, for they spoke the same language I speak and had the same nose I have.
Since the day I began to put in efforts to rediscover our roots , nation and nationality, a thought kept on haunting me asking questions ‘why some of our old men often insists us to say ‘jai hind’ while our hearts feel that we belong to here in (Kangleipak), not there in India. Why these people, always pretending to be who they are not, having flat nose seem to be so interested imposing on us to sing ‘Jana gana Mana’ with people having high and elongated noses with whom we feel alienated.
Here what I want to remember to my reader is the fact that nationalism or rather the notion of patriotism, distorted or normal, can be understood by linking the idea to the values of the historical epoch with its specific mode of production which produces values unique to phase.
‘Mechakcharemeephisetle, meewangangle ’ is a phrase quoted from Manipur sumang leela “lanpunggipungkhol’ that hit the stage in the early 90s which correctly defining the political economy of kangleipak in the post-annexation era and its culture grown on the economy.
Feeding ourselves with grains imported from india makes our people shying away from what we consider as foremost task of owning national allegiance that is, kanglei people’s allegiance to Kangleipak.
This gives the reason to introspect why distorted notion of leibakningba where they take loving Kangleipak as anti-national needs to be traced in our ianability to feed ourselves or our sons and daughters with grains produced within our own economy.
If we are trying to define the idea of ‘leibak-ningba’ through the same parameter adopted while defining or rather characterizing the idea of nationalism or anti-nationalism used by right wing Hindu-fundamentalist, what we are doing is nothing less than teaching ourselves how to hate and forget our ancestral values by copying sense and sensibilities not inherent to their being and pasting the same on our minds overwriting or erasing elements that really build us.
And this cannot be taken as new idea or rather progressive one, and we have been observing such things as this for a long time, now reaching to such a stage where we have been taught to stop eating ngari and beging drinking cow-urine so that you will not tagged with label ‘anti-national’ demeaning kanglei definition of ‘leibakningba’. But such perceptual imposition of alien idea of loving one’s own leibak, in contrasting manner, has often been negated by Kanglei young blood.
So with the notion of feeding our sons and daughters with imported grains we can measure the degree of nationalism we may expect from them if we take the idea of dialectical relationship between culture and economic base as given.
So, understanding or discussion on the idea of ‘us’ or a discussion on what constitutes the words ‘Eikhoiginat” in our socio-political context including our economy can in all possibilities help us define the notion of “LeipakNingba’.
By : Kh. Ibomcha