Yaoshang : Govt. SOP needs to be appreciated and people expect Ministers and MLA to follow it

Written By: / Editorial / Monday, 22 March 2021 17:50

Yaoshang- the festival of colour is just around the corner. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival is likely to be celebrated just for namesake. Fear and apprehension of getting in touch with the virus is not only the factor but the new government Standard Operative Procedures (SOP) issued by the district administration to prevent the spread of the virus is going to make the people celebrating it in a new order. The real taste of Yaosang this time is likely to be missed by the people of the state. There is no reason for anybody to express anger at the restrictions imposed by the district administration authority in their effort to make public safety. It is for the people of the people. What is worrying is that with the 12 Manipur Legislative Assembly Election just a year to go, people are skeptical on whether the district administrators will be able to enforce the order if in case those candidate aspirants of the election particularly those who were already elected and hold ministerial portfolio interfere them.
To be precise Yaoshang festival is the most anticipated festival and is celebrated by young and old alike without exceptions to caste, creed, or faith in a day’s time. And as with everything that has gone through the changes brought about by time, the manner of celebration has undergone a sea change from how it was a decade ago. The five-day cultural extravaganza which used to be predominantly about playing with colours by the boys and stopping of passersby for contributions by the girls during the daytime while the evenings were marked by Thabal Chongba – the traditional dance where finely decked girls dance with the boys to the lilting music, has undergone changes which have started raising eyebrows and concerns.
Playing with colours and spraying with coloured water on passersby have given way to splashing of dirty and smelling water which have resulted in frequent quarrels and more unfortunately to unwanted accidents. While the state security and traffic police personnel have stepped up their vigil to prevent unwanted incidents and curb excesses during the festival, the trend for the youth to abuse the festive spirit and indulge in excesses have been on the increase. Triple riding on two-wheelers, speeding, incessant honking, throwing water balloons at passing motorists, and four-wheeler vehicles packed beyond their stated capacity has come to be the norm rather than the exception and a definite recipe for disaster.
Another recent trend that has the social media buzzing is the fact that young girls have already started stopping motorists to demand contributions even during peak traffic hours at various places well before the festival even began. While there is some section of the society expressing or rather suggesting the observation of the festival for two or three days instead of the five days as is being done at present, these young girls are putting their own lives at risk as well as the safety of the unsuspecting motorists. Being passionate about anything is generally good, but when the passion becomes excessive or out of control, the outcome is almost always undesirable.
Another aspect of the festival that has started to evoke more criticism is that of the unearthly hours into which the Thabal Chongba is being dragged on. While the nocturnal revelers might very well be having a great time with the gradually extending period of celebration, for those who are trying to get some rest and quiet, and more importantly those who are not in the best of health, the shrill noise of the loudspeakers could very well escalate the condition. Thanks to the COVID-19 Pandemic, this time the state government has been empowered to change the way that Yaoshang is being celebrated.

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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