Let us not down NK Sanajaoba’s Spirit

Nongmeikappam Sanajaoba, popularly known as NK Sanjaoba, who is the pioneer of investigative journalism in Manipur died frustrated leaving lot of incomplete task to correct the wrong in the society.

He was a school teacher, later he became the voice of the people against the corrupt practices in the name of administration in Manipur. He was a political thinker as well as a driving force of the youth movement in the State during 1960s-70s. His writings over these two decades in his Lamyanba, monthly journal, published by Pan Manipuri Youth League, were against the anti-people system and its power brokers. In those days, the talk of town was dominated by his writings and rebellious tone. There was a sharp division of opinions on each and every social and political issue. NK Sanajaoba did not like his readers and followers to be fence-sitters.  You should have an opinion; otherwise you are not a perfect man, a social actor or even a political being. You are nobody but a puppet. 
The finest idea of NK Sanajaoba was that being a patriot means to have courage to fight against the evils that block you to become perfect human beings. The evils are those who want what he should not be entitled to. The corruption is just an inherent quality of ‘this’ anti-people system; he exposed the corrupt practices so that the people should understand the activities behind the Yukhal Marumda. The goal of such exposure is not to punish the corrupt person but to understand the intricate system. The plays of corruption will not be ended till the activities behind the Yukhal Marumda are forced to cease. The nexus of corrupt officials, thikadars and suppliers are but the looters in the name of democracy and freedom. If the system is anti-people, the democratic government is just a colonial agent, to him. The high spirit of this great personality is expressed in his real life too. He did not like to gain anything but to awake the people to fight back the evil forces in the State. He never ran after the contract works or material benefits taking advantage of people’s support for his cause.  
His sole vision was oneness of Manipur free from all forms of exploitation and inequalities. He was a true lover of the people of Manipur, a true believer of secularism who had looked beyond the sectarian ideologies of religion, revivalism, tribalism and clannish ideologies and parochial mindset.
He was born on 30 December 1936 in an ordinary family at the eastern bank of Imphal River at Singjamei Wangma Kshetri Leikai, Imphal East and died in the same locality. He died an ordinary life; but his voices are still heard by many who did not even see his face in real life. The goal set by him is still subscribed by many youths as he was not a hypocrite.  His age could not defeat him in mobilizing the youths with a revolutionary zeal: making a new Manipur, free from all the social and political evils. He taught the youth to lead a life with a strong sense of patriotism and fight the system and inner temptation of getting benefits which are not meant for ‘you’.
Because of his strong commitment to his own goal, he was hated by those who were toeing the line of the political system which was based on inequalities and which generated further inequalities. His fearless expression of truth became a model for the educated youths of his day. Obviously, the men in power, unsurprisingly, tried to suppress his views in Lamyanba. As a testimony of his courage and commitment, we can recall two instances in his life. His home was raided by the police coming in two full police trucks in cold nights of October 1969. This was published as a letter to Inspector General of Police, Imphal on 22 October 1969. 
The full Text of Lamyanba Journal Editor Nk Sanajaoba letter to the Inspector General of Police, (IGP) Imphal:

Head Office, Yaiskul , Police Line,Imphal
Ref. No….Panmyl /DC/ 6-69                                                    Date22.10.69.
The Inspector General of Police;
 Imphal, Manipur.
I beg to state that the raids on my house by two truckloads of your Armed Police personnels at the late hours of night both on the 9th and 11th October, 1969 had not only caused grave harassment to the members of my family but also created panic among my neighbours. It has not only constituted a serious encroachment on my privacy and personal liberty but also caused a great damage to my reputation and prestige both as a responsible citizen and a social worker of the country.
I take the strongest exception to your action in causing the raid on my house. I demand from you an unqualified apology for such actions of yours. In the event of no such apology being received from you on or before the 25th October 1969 during office hours, I shall consider myself free to send to the press the full text of this correspondence.
You may take note of the fact that I am always busy in the office of the Pan Manipuri Youth League, Imphal in connection with such works as the management and edition of its most popular Journal Lamyanba besides keeping a number of other engagements in my capacityas the HeadMaster, the Hindi High School, Imphal and the Joint Secretary, the Manipur Cultural Integration Conference, Imphal, Manipur.

Yours Faithfully,
N.K.Sanajaoba Singh Editor, Lamyanba, Panmyl.

 And he was arrested from his office. He was kept in prison. The arrest and re-arrest of NK Sanajaoba repeated multiple times. The inhuman treatments he faced in dark prison did not break down his jealously guarded high spirit.
What we learn from his life and works, from his commitment and sufferings for the commitment is that at least you take the people a step in spite of the sufferings and agonies. A leader is one who takes the people a step ahead in the course of long and endless history; and to fight for this small step courageously. Fighting, we should remember, includes fighting against your own temptation to get what you should not get. Temptation may be triggered by your own personal misery or family pressure for wealth-motive or habi-jabis (NK Sanajaoba coined this phrase) of the enemy. 

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