Banning of Thabal Chongba – a good decision but will not work if politicians interfered

Written By: / Editorial / Friday, 12 March 2021 17:34

Yaoshang is perhaps the largest festival of Manipur. The festival unlike others is celebrated by all age groups. Children find their happiest moment playing colours and later participation in sports events. Teenagers waited for this festival as it is a chance for every teenage youth to find their life partners. Manipur’s special characteristic of this festival is the event called ‘Thabal Chongba’ (dancing in the moonlight), where boys and girls get the approval of dancing together in front of the elders or family members. While the aged people waited for this festival to perform Holi dance. Naturally, it is a festival where young and old, men and women, boys and girls together celebrated. And to be précise the way that Manipuri celebrates Yaoshang, which is also celebrated across the nation as Holi festival is unique. There is a traditional and aesthetic beauty in the way that Manipuri celebrates the Yaoshang festival. With the changing of time, the Yaoshang festival is added with another flavour with the introduction of sports activities. Today, the Yaoshang festival is also another event that promotes sports activism. Having said so, the Yaoshang festival without Thabal Chongba will be considered incomplete.
In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state government has put certain restrictions on the celebration of the festival. Thabal Chongba, which indeed is an integral part of the festival, has been restricted along with the organizing of Sumang Leela events. Local club organizing sports festival has also put certain SOPs.
The kind of restrictions put to events of the Yaoshang Festival, even though has angered some sections of the society, state government this time has taken up a serious decision. With the election just around one and half years to go, those in the government may have understood the impact of such measures, but the perception that people need to survive and need to take up some SOPs to celebrate the largest festival of the state is a bold decision. The action of the N. Biren Singh Administration shows that it is the people first and others are secondary.
With the reduction of the COVID-19 pandemic for the state of Manipur people seems to have forgotten that the war by the unseen enemy is still on with new strain coming up. This new strain if reached to Manipur, then the people may face a more serious situation. It is the need of the government to take decisions for the containment of the virus.
What is more worrying is that, will the government able to convert into action what it had ordered. Unless there are supports from the people, the government and its machinery will face hardship in converting the orders into reality.
In this case, we suggest the government give full power to all the district administrators and allow them to act without interference from any of the Ministers, MLAs or any social workers or political party’s functionaries. Just for five days let all these elected representatives remain silent to the action taken up by the district administration and the law enforcers. Only then the government order will be meaningful.
After all, we can celebrate Yaoshang in a new way by preserving our culture.

About the Author

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 25+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents. Rinku can be contacted at [email protected] 

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