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Items filtered by date: Saturday, 10 August 2019 - Imphal Times

Abrogation of Article 370: Gateway for Settler Colonialism - An Existing Phenomenon in Manipur

Recently, the government of India revoked Article 370, resulting in Jammu and Kashmir losing its special status of autonomous internal administration. With the scrapping of this Article came a plethora of hue and cry over Government of India forcefully seizing the power to govern Jammu and Kashmir in addition to the fear established in the state about its demographic transformation.
A state that is now Muslim majority can turn into one with Hindu majority, given the fact that anyone from other parts of India can now buy land and settle in Jammu and Kashmir. The buying and settling are not coming with peace and prosperity, instead it is going to bring settler colonialism. In fact, scrapping Article 370 has opened the gateway to Jammu and Kashmir for Indian (Hindu) settler colonialism. Settler colonialism functions in a way of erasing and replacing the indigenous population by constantly pouring in of a settler society.
Such invasion does not have a specific date or time. It functions as a structure and not as an event. Unlike other forms of colonialism where one can see the visible violence and recognize it, settler colonialism acts like a slow poison right under one’s nose. One does not see the result immediately, but by the time the indigenous people realizes, the erasure and replacement of the indigenous population must have gone way too far. Unlike exploitation colonialism, settler colonialism does not prioritize on profiting off of resources or exploitation of labour. Settlers come to stay and grab the land, followed by slowly controlling the socio-economic and political situation, which eventually results in profiting off of the resources and exploitation of labour.
In case of Jammu and Kashmir, it is possible that most Hindus will start settling and buying lands, gradually taking over the economic control and social structure of the-then-state-now-UT, Jammu and Kashmir. Such a situation must sound familiar to the people of Manipur. The people of Manipur have been witnessing the invasion of mayang settlers over the years, who have been buying lands and properties as well as gradually taking over the economic control. The fear of getting erased and losing ourselves to the mayang settlers have also ignited the fire of resistance amongst the indigenous population as well. Look at Thangal Bazaar and the non-indigenous population of 7% in Manipur by 2011, for instance. Apart from this, the growing mayang settler population has even paved a way for one of them to be elected as an MLA from Jiribam. With settler colonialism, the mayang representatives in Manipur state assembly might increase as its population influx grows, to the extent that they might takeover the state governance. All of these is the reason Manipur resisted aggressively against the Citizenship Amendment Bill. The settler colonialism has already initiated way back, but the bill is going to accelerate the process of settler colonialism as CAB allows the mayang settlers from outside India to gain citizenship in just 6 years compared to what was 11 years earlier. Sooner they become citizens, higher is the chance of them buying and occupying lands and resources.

Finally, resulting in them taking over the land - the most important aspect of settler colonialism. On the other hand, before the announcement of abrogation of Article 370, GOI created an environment of fear and chaos by announcing a false alarm of terror attack, in order to impose a military control by sending troops in addition to the existing troops, followed by cutting off all forms of communication (cellular and internet). The decision clearly showed that the GOI was aware that the people will strongly resist, given the history of resistance in Jammu and Kashmir against Indian occupation.
It was just a ploy to suppress the resisting voices and silence them into submission. Similarly, GOI can act in such a way to impose CAB by creating some kind of fear and chaos, given the history of resistance by the people of Manipur, especially the aggressive resistance against CAB last time. Shutting off internet in such a time, is not new as well. The false alarm set before the sudden announcement of abrogation of Article 370 can happen at the time of passing the CAB, since the BJP is in absolute majority this time and considering it was in their manifesto as well. At least, the opposition had a good number to reject the Bill last time, but it is a clear sweep this time. In order to contain and suppress the resisting voices of the people of Manipur, the GOI alongwith the Manipur government might cook up something. Just like the abrogation of Article 370 opens the gateway for settler colonialism in Jammu and Kashmir, the CAB helps India and its mayang settlers to gain momentum in the existing settler colonialism in Manipur.

Babysana’s death case: 19 hour bandh paralyses the state; police clash bandh supporters; 10 agitator began mass court arrest agitation

IT News
Imphal Aug 9,

The 19 hour bandh called by JAC formed in connection with the mysterious dead of Babysana has put the valley areas of the state into a standstill.
School, college and university were all closed. Government institutions witness deserted look, banks and all economic activities were halted for the day. Passenger vehicles including buses, auto, wingers and private vehicles stay of the road. Inter state and inter district vehicles stay off the road supporting the bandh called demanding justice for Ningthoujam Babysana.
The bandh hit almost all district headquarters in the valley region of Manipur. In Imphal almost all Shops in and around Thangal keithel, Paona keithel were also closed.

Roads were blocked at several places in all valley districts. Bandh supporters burnt tyres in the middle of the road, placed poles to prevent passerby.
 While controlling the bandh supporter police resorted lathi charge and fire several round of tear gas shells. At least three lady protestors identified as Hijam Usharani W/O H.Dhanachandra, Nongmaithem Sunita W/O N.samananda, and Okram Santi W/O O.Pakpa all from Thangmeiband Hijam Diwan leikai sustained ijury in the police action.
Meanwhile, Ten members of the Thangmeiband United Club (TUC) including the convenor of the JAC formed against the mysterious death of Ningthoujam Babysana , Thingnam Chittaranjan Singh and General Secretary of TUC Heishnam Phoren today began the mass court arrest agitation. Police team picked them but whether they are officially arrested or not has not been confirmed as of now.
Talking to media persons the JAC convenor said that they have started mass court arrest agitation from today and it is expected that the people of the state will come forward to support the agitation demanding justice of N. Babysana who was found death with rope tied on her neck in a suspicious circumstances. The mass court arrest began today after the police team arrested and remanded JAC Convenor Pratap and TUC member Joy for 14 days.
Meanwhile Sit-in-protests were staged  at various places. At some places human chain were formed to protest the delay in delivering justice to Babysana.  Human chain supporting the bandh were formed  at Khurai along the Imphal-Ukhrul and Imphal-Pangei road.
At some places of Uripok, Thangmeiband, Namdulong, Keibi etc. bandh supporters turns hostiles.

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Guest Lecturer in Manipur University terminated for his political affiliation ; FEDCUTA term the action as “arbitrary”

IT News
Imphal, Aug 9,

Ningombam Bupenda Meitei, a guest lecturer in Manipur University’s philosophy department, was asked to make his political affiliations clear by the head of department. In a letter dated July 23, head of philosophy department asked Ningombam Bupenda whether he is a primary member of a political party and whether he is a designated spokesperson of any political party.
Ningombam Bupenda Meitei, who has appeared on many occasions in public spaces as the spokesperson of Congress in Manipur, was asked the similar question again on August 3 as he did not respond to the earlier enquiry from the head of philosophy department.  Ningombam Bupenda Meitei did not respond again. Given this, the administrator of Manipur University terminates the service of Ningombam Bupenda Meitei as guest lecturer in the department on August 6 in the second month of his appointment. In the termination order, it is mentioned that Ningombam Bupenda Meitei was terminated for disobeying the orders of the superiors as he did not reply to the enquiries of the head of the department.
It is not clear whether the termination is over his failure to response to a clarification sought by HOD and the Administrator (i/c VC) or his political affiliation with Congress party.

But questions being asked by everyone are - Why was Ningombam Bupenda asked those questions? There is no clarity on the purpose of asking the questions when one cannot be discharged from a teaching position given his political affiliation. Moreover, many imminent scholars such as Prof. Khogen, Prof. Joykumar and Prof. Gangumei have been very active in both academics and politics too.  
A learned member of the academic community in Manipur, when contacted by Imphal Times on matter, said that there are no such rules that being a member of a political party disqualifies one from teaching positions in the university.
Federation of Central University Teachers Association (FEDCUTA) has called the termination of Ningombam Bhupenda “arbitrary” and has condemned the action of MU authority on this matter.  The teachers’ body called the termination an imposition of the ideology of the ruling BJP government in Manipur University.  
The FEDCUTA statement stated that such actions spring out of attempts to impose CCS rules in universities which are contrary to building a free and fair academic atmosphere in a university.
“Indeed in the past and even currently even full time teachers in the universities have exercised this freedom and even contested elections on the tickets of various political parties. Academic freedom has meant the freedom to carry through one’s beliefs and convictions in the political arena. The FEDCUTA believes that this termination of Bupenda Meitei, who belongs to a different political party and ideology, comes out of an authoritarian imposition of the ideology of the ruling BJP government in the Manipur state on the Manipur University. The termination of Mr.Metei is meant to stamp out all constitutional freedoms from the University and carry out a politically vindictive agenda.”, the statement added.
The FEDCUTA appeals to all the democratic forces in the country to come together and vigorously oppose this move and demands the reinstatement of Bupenda Meitei.

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Anal Women’s Union assures all support to agitations demanding justice to Babysana

IT News
Imphal, Aug 9,

The Anal Sinnu Ruwl (Anal Women’s Union) an apex women organisation of the Anal community, expressed strong condemnation to the death of Ningthoujam Babysana, under mysterious circumstances on the 18th of july,2019,inside the boarding of Standard Robarth Higher Secondary School, Canchipur.

A press release by the secretary information and publicity of the Anal Sinnu Ruwl, today, appeal the state government and the authorities concern to deliver justice to N.Babysana at the earliest.
The Anal Sinnu Ruwl, while offering its deepest condolence and sympathies to the bereaved family, it assured that the organisation will always support and stand together with the other organisations to bring justice for N.Babysana, as it concerns women and child rights.
It further pray for peace and tranquility to prevail in the state especially amongst the students community.

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Another boarder died amidst mass protest against the death of Babysana

IT News
Imphal Aug 9,

Amidst hue and cry demanding justice for Ningthoujam Babysana even by shutting down the state another boarder of a hostel was found death today by drowning at a pond near the hostel he was staying.  
The deceased student is identified as Thounaojam Ronaldo (17 yrs), son of Th. Manglemba from Wangoi Thounaojam Leikai studying Class 10 at Royal Academy of Advance Learning situated at Yumnam Huidrom Lakhsmi Bazar. He stayed at the hostel run by the hostel.
The deceased student was reported missing at around 7.30 pm yesterday and had been searching since then.

Today around 7.30 in the morning the slippers of the deceased was found at a pond just outside the school campus. And after searching in the pond, the dead body was found from it.
“My brother died because of the negligence of the hostel authority”, Manilbashu said.
He further added that the competent authorities should look after the regulations of the hostel.
The boarding of the Royal Academy of Advance learning has around 61 boarders and the deceased stayed at Room 33. He recently joined in the boarding last Saturday , the 3rd of August.
 The dead body was later bought to RIMS for post-mortem.

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