Thursday, 27 June 2019 - Imphal Times

Imphal, June 27,

Chief Minister N. Biren Singh said that we all should work collectively at grassroots to conserve and preserve rain water and ground water in the State. This was stated by him at the meeting with the elected members of the Panchayati Raj Institutions held at Chief Minister’s Secretariat today.
Speaking at the function, Chief Minister announced that the top performing Panchayat on the harvesting of rain water would be rewarded a cash prize of Rs. 5 lakhs. The concerned officials, Pradhans and Zilla Parishad members will be honoured in a State level function, he added.
Mentioning that Rain water harvesting mission is the brainchild of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister said that we must find ways to harvest the rain water for farming purposes during lean season. He stated that the present government has initiated rain water harvesting schemes in hill areas such as Tamei, Chandel, Senapati, Ukhrul, Churachandpur etc. Such schemes have been constructed with an approximate cost of Rs. 2 crores each by Minor Irrigation Department.
Chief Minister mentioned that the Building By-Laws has been amended so that the newly constructed buildings should install a rain water harvesting system. He appealed the elected representatives of the Panchayati Raj Institutions to keep an eye on the illegal sale and purchase of land property in their respective areas. He stated that a State Level Committee would be formed to check the illegal sale and purchase of land in the State. He also urged the elected leaders to restrict the construction of buildings on the paddy lands in the State.
Chief Secretary Dr. J. Suresh Babu, Addl. Chief Secretary Shri Letkhogin Haokip, Adhyaksha of Bishnupur Zilla Parishad Dr Romabai Leirenjam, Deputy Commissioners of Valley districts, Adhyakshas and Zilla Parishad Members of various Panchayats attended the function.

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Imphal June 27,

Manipur Human Rights Commission (MHRC) today observed its 21st Foundation day at family court hall, Lamphel today.

Speaking in the observation Acting Chairperson of (MHRC) Khaidem Mani said that the government has always neglected the Commission.

Recalling the history of the Commission Mani said that the Commission was established on June 27, 1998 and was made functional from December 10, 1998 and lasted its first term till 2003. The Commission had its second term after a gap of two years of non functional on May 5, 2005 till May 9, 2010.

He added that the Commission remained dysfunctional for a period of 8 years and 3 months after the second term.

Later the MHRC was made functional for its third term on August 30, 2018, he added.

As MHRC was quite different from other Commission where the government doesn’t have the authority to take out the charges of the Commission and the Commission was always on the side against the wrong doings of the government, the government seems to neglect the Commission, Mani asserted.

He stressed that people believed that MHRC is only meant for dealing the excessive nature of police and armed forces. He further said that MHRC deals with all socio political issues.

He affirmed the needs to create awareness of the things the Commission can do and added that people should not strike for nonpayment of salary instead they should come and lodge complaints to Human Rights Commission to address their grievances.

He said that the people should use the Commission for the welfare of the general public to address their grievances.

Khaidem Mani also highlighted the two landmark cases on premature release of life convicts and Suo Moto case on bandh, General strike, Economic Blockade in Manipur.

A special newsletter was also published during the event.

It can be mention that six Suo Moto case has been taken up by MHRC for the year 2019 as of the month of May. And also MHRC registered 115 cases out of which 48 cases have been disposed of.

MHRC also considered at least 17 cases of alleged inaction or delay in investigation on part of police and considered 4 cases relation to mob violence.

The observance was attended by Chairperson for Manipur state Commission for Women Binota and Chief Executive officer of MHRC Govardhan.

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Imphal June 27,

Three main accused in connection with the killing of Kshetrimayum Ongbi Sumita @ Ningol at Thiyam Chingjil, Imphal East on 24 June was detained in custody police station.
As per reports, the three prime accused in the murder case were identified as Laimayum Indrajit Sharma son of late Opendro Sharma from Wangkhei Thangapat palace compound, Brahmacharimayum Ningol Laimayum ongbi Sangita wife of Laimayum Indrajit Sharma from Wangkhei Thangapat palace compound and Md. Abdul Wahid Khan @ Wahid some of late Md Amir Ali @ Kala from Kshetri Bengoon mayai Leikai.
The police also seized an Omni van- E bearing registration number WB 06- 1306.
Speaking to few media persons Imphal East SP Jogeshchandra Haobijam intimated that the police finally established through the investigation that the trio conspired and murdered the deceased Sumita at Thiyam Chingjil by taking the chance of the location where there is no people around it and added that the investigation is still going on.
He appealed the people to trust on the work of the police department and asked not to build up mob.
He concluded that they will submit charge sheet timely and give adequate punishment to the murderer.

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Imphal, June 27,

BJP Khangabok Mandal today announced to take legal action against some persons who posed as BJP worker and committed anti party activities to malign the image of the party.

Laishram Tomba Khuman, BJP Khangabok Mandal, President, said that some persons posing as BJP workers has been committing anti party activities and are trying to malign the image of BJP.

“ If these people continue the anti party activities the BJP will initiate legal action against them”, he said..

Tomba khuman, further said that Ningthoujam Ramananda of Khangabok Awang Leikai and Maibam Chaobi of Lamding Nashikhong are not related to BJP Khangabok Mandal. He added that the two had been trying to malign the image of BJP Khangabok Mandal.

He said the duo have been warned to stop maligning the image of BJP time and again.

BJP Khangabok Mandal, Vice President, Laishram Chonjon, General Secy.(Organisation) Moirangthem Rameshwar, General Secy.(Admn) Th. Santosh, Moirangthem Ashokumar and other BJP office bearers were attended.

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Imphal, June 27,

At least fifteen Human Rights bodies of the state had submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister of India urging him to ratify the United Nations Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhumane and Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT).
The memorandum has been submitted in connection with the observance of International Day in Support of Victims of Torture 2019 organised jointly by The Civil Society Coalitions for Human Rights in Manipur and the UN (CSCHR).
In the memorandum signed by the 15 civil rights bodies stated that the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane and Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) on 10 December 1984, by passing resolution 39/46. The prohibition of torture is a part of international law and also a part of jus cogens. Jus cogens are international norms that are so fundamental where no deviation from them is permitted. It also gives raise to obligation erga omnes (owned to and by all States) to take action against those who torture.
It stated that India signed the CAT on 14 October 1998. The ratified of the same is due for the last 21 years. India has expressed its reservations against certain provisions contained in the Convention, such as Inquiry by Committee of CAT (Article 20); State complaints procedure (Article 21) and individual complaints procedure (Article 22).
The Government of India initially took the stand that torture is punishable offence under Indian Penal Code 1860.
However, it was decided to go for standalone legislation and the prevention of torture bill 2010 was introduced in the Lok Sabha to give effect to the provision of CAT. Rayja Sabha referred the bill to a selection committee which as proposed ammendments to the bill to it make it more complaint to CAT. But the bill lapses with the dissolution of 15th Lok Sabha. Thereafter in a civil writ petition filed by Dr. Ashwani Kumar submitted before the Supreme Court that “India faces problem in extradition of criminal from foreign countries because of these (having no law against torture). It’s in our own national interest to have such a law”. The writ petition sought direction to the government to have a legal framework and proper guidelines in terms of the CAT to prevent torture, cruelty, inhumane or degrading treatment to jail inmates. The Law Commission of India in its reported number 273 dated October 2017 have also recommended the ratification of CAT, the memorandum urged.
India has repeatedly promised in its voluntary pledge while seeking membership to the UN Human Rights Council that India will ratify the Convention. Also in the Universal Periodic Review the issue of non-ratification of CAT has attracted maximum attention from other governments. In the last third cycle as many as 42 governments have recommended for its ratification.
Those signed in the memorandum are Santa Khurai, Secretary, All Manipur Nupi Manbi Association (AMANA), Jiten Yumnam, Director, Centre for Research and Advocacy, Manipur (CRAM), Punildro Konsam, Co-convenor, Civil Society Coalition for Human Rights in Manipur and the UN (CSCHR), Okram Nutankumar, Secretary, Committee on Human Rights (COHR), Manipur, RK Komoljit, Secretary, Community Network for Empowerment (CoNE), Edina Yaikhom,  Secretary, Extrajudicial Execution Victim Families Association, Manipur (EEVFAM), Kangujam Ranjit, President, Families of the Involuntarily Disappeareds’ Association Manipur (FIDAM), Babloo Loitongbam, Executive Director, Human Rights Alert (HRA), Manoj Thokchom, Administrator, Human Rights Initiative (HRI), Joy Chingakham, Chairman, Human Rights Defender, Manipur (HRDM), Onil Kshetrimayum, Co-ordinator Reach Out (RO,  Maharabi, Secretary, United Voluntary Youth Council (UVYC), W. Second, President, United People’s Front (UPF), Khangembam Anandi, Managing Trustee, Just Peace Foundation (JPF) and Keisam Pradip Kumar, Member, State Core Group, Manipur Alliance for Child Rights (MACR)

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Imphal, June 27,

North-East Forum for International Solidarity (NEFIS) activists had submitted a memorandum to JNU Vice-Chancellor demanding that its agenda of making Hindi compulsory be scrapped immediately.
A statement of the Forum said that JNU administration is all set to propose an agenda to make Hindi as compulsory subject in the upcoming Academic Council meeting scheduled on June 28.
“The attempt by the JNU administration makes it amply clear that it takes Hindi to be more important than all other languages spoken in India or recognized by the 8th schedule of the Constitution of India”, it added.
The statement further added that, the current proposal is to impose Hindi as a national language, thereby, exerting Hindi chauvinism over other communities especially marginalized communities, whose languages are neither taught at JNU nor are there enough resources at present to offer them to students. In this context, it should be known that there was an attempt by Delhi University in 2013 to make Hindi/Modern Indian languages compulsory without bothering in the least about how it would affect the students from the North-East and other parts of India. It was only after NEFIS’ concerted struggle that University withdrew its draconic order, the statement added.
NEFIS term the dismal situation as a result of the long standing bias and neglect on part of the government of India in ensuring that the distinct cultural identity and dignity of the marginal/minority groups and communities is preserved. The fact that the languages of so many communities/marginal groups is not given due recognition is not accidental but the unfortunate result of the insolent attitude of an arrogant state that chooses to impose its culture and language upon marginal groups/communities in the manner of a haughty conqueror. It is sad that now the university too has taken cue from the state in promoting cultural chauvinism.
NEFIS said that universities should ideally be the centres of progressive ideas and take the lead in rooting out the biases rampant in the society but unfortunately JNU is failing to live up to this expectation. This is particularly so in the present case because the imposition of the languages of majority/dominant community upon students would affect the fates of not just the present lot of students studying in the university. This decision would affect students to-be in future too and moreover students to-be not just from Delhi or the North-India but from all parts of the country.
Considering the gravity of this issue the NEFIS in the statement demands that a decision be taken only after rigorous debates, in consultation with wide sections of the society and keeping in mind the particular needs of the marginalized groups/communities and it was demanded so in the memorandum which was submitted to JNU V-C. It is also demanded that the proposal of making Hindi compulsory should be immediately dropped from the agenda of Academic Council meeting. Any attempt to the contrary will be a step emanating out of the overweening ambitions of JNU administration too eager to earn laurels through the implementation of speedy ‘reforms’. NEFIS strongly denounces this chauvinist degeneration of the university administration and would be intensifying its movement if its demands are not met.

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Thursday, 27 June 2019 17:18

Understanding Reality

With the increase in reach and dependence on information technology in the present world, detailed descriptions and knowledge on any subject matter can be had at the touch of a button. The virtual world has shrunk to such an extent that anyone can receive and relay information on someone or something as it happen, anywhere in the world. This has led to an unexpected broadening of one’s views and opinions of other people, places, religions, beliefs and customs. A more tolerant temperament is the result of the ever shrinking virtual world today.
The world as we know now is ever evolving and changing, and it is upto us to adapt and make the best of it. But just as everything that is continually changing, there emerges a breed of hardliners who are insisting on carrying on with the traditional way of life, and even thinking. While the concept of preservation of culture and tradition for posterity and more importantly, for the preservation of one’s own identity and those of the community is without doubt, a vital part of our responsibilities to the future generation, yet the insistence on keeping up and following the traditional way of thinking, to restraint ourselves to the set dogmas and beliefs is nothing short of denying ourselves the freedom to grow- spiritually and intellectually, to think and use our rationality and to pursue our dreams. It is basically denying ourselves the freedom to life as we see fit, so long as our beliefs and practices does not infringe on that of others. Change is inevitable, and the sooner we accept and embrace it, the better will we be prepared to face the future, uncertain and unpredictable as it will be.
Resisting change and attempting to cling on to the old ways of thinking which at one point of time would have served its purpose or even prove vital for survival would prove futile and even regressive. Our way of life changes with the changing times. What was once a necessity, like the caste system which was vital for preservation of communities and races, becoming more rigid to keep the increasing intruders and invaders from mingling and diluting a particular race, has now become a major roadblock in the effort to integrate the nation which is intrinsic to its progress. The time to walk the line without questioning the rationale behind the diktat is well and truly past. It is time to develop and encourage a scientific temperament which questions and provides a reason for the things we do and think.
Tolerance and understanding other’s point of view, while, at the same time, retaining the liberty to follow and practice one’s beliefs and principles will pave the way for a more inclusive society bound by trust and understanding. How one lead one’s life should not be a subject of discussion, it should rather be an accepted personal judgment that needs to be respected. There are more important and pertinent things to occupy our minds and collective concerns in these volatile times. Progress is not made by adjusting the changes to suit our needs and beliefs.
It is through accepting facts and adjusting ourselves to the best we possibly can to these changes that we can prepare for a better future- our true gift to mankind.  

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Thursday, 27 June 2019 17:15

Social Evolution of Meiteis

By- Dr. Sougaijam Priyokumar Meitei

“In Manipuri culture, despite of Hinduism, Meitei ideals, art, knowledge, worship patterns, dresses, festivals, foods, etc. are sustained and still unique to totalitarian Hindu society.”

The Meitei ethnic group primarily has two forms of religious systems. One is Vaishnavite group, a sect of Hinduism and other is Sanamahi, a revivalist group of Meitei traditional religion. However, this difference in belief system cannot separate between these two groups because Meiteis are compactly bound together by social history, kinship system, marriage system, rites & rituals, totems & taboos, food habits and attires. Therefore, being a Manipuri, understanding the social history and cultural evolution of Meitei people by studying its various forms of social institutions is very much necessary.   
From the very beginning, sense of oneness among the individuals and social groups is brought up by social organisation or civil society organisation, of which village organisation, local clubs, Meira Paibi (Women Association) may be mentioned. Whenever, there is any political or social crisis, these organisations play an important role in resolving the issues. Keeping in mind this common Meitei belongingness, sense of solidarity must be retained irrespective of the religious belief system, caste or creed. Reviving the cultural identity through revivalist movement such as giving due importance to Ebudhou Pakhangba (ancestral God), developing Meitei Script (Meitei Mayek) are handful contribution of revivalist movement to Manipuri society. The leaders and intellectuals who dedicated in such struggles should be paid high regards. Paying respect as well following to the pathways of such selfless leaders who restlessly work for their society is the duty of the present Meitei generation. Meanwhile, it is indeed required to enlighten the youths who are future pillars of society through proper education and enculturation in bringing inclusive development of the nation.
The Meiteis are considered invariably as early people of Manipur. It had its own kingdom covering the areas surrounded by Kabaw Valley on the east, Naga hills on the north, Chin and Lushai hills on the south as well as some areas of Barak Valley on the west. Apart from it, boundaries were extended further through invasion towards east as well as towards west. Meitei or Manipuri kings were never remained isolated from its neighbouring people. Meiteis reside not only in Manipur, but also scattered in Myanmar, Bangladesh, Barak Valleys, Tripura, Guwahati, etc. There are evidences that some kings of Manipur had brought other peoples from various other regions, new cultures from neighbouring lands to strengthen own society and own culture. For Example, King Churachand brought Teli people to Manipur in order to meet the demands of vegetable oil in the light of economic needs. Therefore, acculturation, assimilation and cultural integration were in practice knowingly or unknowingly.
Owing to the Meitei kings being very powerful, external influences could not engulf Manipuri culture, rather the king got other ethnic people assimilated to the host society. Even, Hindunisation, could not wipe away the cultural identity of the Meitei, rather adopted and modified the Hindu elements, synthesized a new one with traditional culture. It shows the excellent creativity of Meiteis. Hindunisation was like immunisation to Meitei culture and made it immune to afflictions caused by other culture. Meitei culture had undergone beautification by fabrics of Hindus and indigenous elements being dominated by the later. In Manipuri culture, despite of Hinduism, Meitei ideals, art, knowledge, worship patterns, dresses, festivals, foods, etc. are sustained and still unique to totalitarian Hindu society.
Manipuri kings had numerous noblemen and intellectuals (Maichous) who persistently facilitated the kingship.  There were proper military system, record system, cultural and heritage preservation system. Meitei king fought Burmese, Chinese and could defeat them at different intervals. It means that there was capable kingdom having motive of kingdom expansion, neither marginalised nor separated from the essential features of a kingdom. One wise thing, even though people adopted Hinduism, the ill practice of caste system, child marriage, sati system etc were never in a position to victimise the Meitei king and his people. Some amicable concepts such as penalising for clan or sub clan endogamy which has scientifically cause and effect relationship from the genetical point of view as well were introduced. And, such practices are not similar with that of caste system and inter caste marital restrictions. The whole practice of the Manipuris was worth mentioning and done in a very calculative way for cultural growth.
After assimilating Meitei Brahmins (Bamons), the Meitei cultural identity became significant. Meitei style of dishes were enhanced and promoted to a larger extent by Meitei Brahmins.  A total of 108 dish items coupled with aesthetic values, cooked in ceremonial feasts & festivals, rites and rituals is really a wonderful gift to the cultural resource of Manipur. The then kings at their different eras, made strategic planning for social, cultural and political growth. To strengthen religious system, Brahmins were made assimilated, Muslim were made assimilated to strengthen military and economic system to the Manipuri society. Also, by witnessing the art forms of Vaishnavism, Meitei people created several innovative and unique things. Manipuri classical dance, Manipuri food, architect of Govindajee temple is some of such creations. Manipuri rice hotel (mostly in other states of north east) is famous because of Meitei Brahmins or Bamons for the unique styles of cooking.
Nevertheless, worshipping of Tulsi plant (Holy Basil) in the centre of courtyard is acculturated, the uniqueness in Manipuri style is still observed and identifiable, in the forms of praying, design of Tulsibong, design of mounding lump of soil or concrete altar where Tulsi is planted and circular sacred space around the Tulsi plant. Making fermented fish, Ngari, even though the fish is imported from Assam or Bengal, it is Manipuri style and will remain as the unique elements of Manipuri culture. From this progressive cultural phenomenon, it is revealed that Meitei culture did not lose anything by Hindunisation. Rather, Meitei culture had undergone beautification by amalgamating Hindus and indigenous cultural elements where uniqueness is distinctly observed. In fact, Manipuri culture is occupying a significant position in the universe because of Meitei ideals, arts, skills, food habits, etc. which can invariably be enshrined up to top classical level.
Meitei ideals are still capable of culminating integrity, peace and multi-cultural development in the state.

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Thoubal, June 26,

Local people of Angtha, Andro Assembly Constituency, Imphal East, said that the problems being faced by the of the people of the area is due to failure of proper irrigation system and this problem faced by the people will be solved if the Thangjingkom Canal is completed.

Thangjingkom canal which streams through Poiroupat Loukol is currently under construction process.

Speaking to the press Angtha Gram Panchayat, Pradhan, Thiyam Mani  said that the Thangjingkom canal which started from Khumal Laikol and flows through Laikoi  by crossing to Poiroupat Canal and flow towards Thoubal river. He added that before 20 years the canal is occupied by the surrounding farmers and filled the canal with soil for cultivation. He also added that they even forget that there was a canal. But now Gram Panchayat, Pradhan, members, club, organisation and Meira Paibi requested the State Government Minister, Andro AC Thounaojam Shyamkumar to look into the matter. The minister accepted the proposal and under his supervision field verification was conducted.

He further said that the Thangjingkom canal is about 2 km long and after the completion of the work Ethei Luokhong will not face any problems.

Meira paibi and locals praises Minister Shyamkumar for his work.

All Angtha Meira paibi, Angtha area clubs- EYO, BYO, LYCA, WPC and RYC supported the work.

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IGAR (South)
Imphal June 27,

Keithelmanbi and Mantripukhri Battalions of 9 Sector Assam Rifles under the aegis of IGAR (South) observed “International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking” by organising a free medical camp cum awareness drive against drug abuse on Yesterday.   
Canchipur Company Operating Base (COB) of Keithelmanbi Battalion organised a medical camp cum awareness drive against drug abuse at Uchepokpi village, Lilong. The awareness drive commenced with an informative lecture on ‘Drug Abuse and its Harmful Effects’ by the Regimental Medical Officer. The lecture was followed by an interactive session during which various queries raised by the attendees were clarified.
A dedicated medical team under the Regimental Medical Officer provided medical assistance to the locals of the area. In addition to the medical checkup, consultation on various diseases and health related issues as well as free medicines were distributed to the needy patients.
 The Battalion in a joint venture with Krsnaa Diagnostic Centre, Imphal, also carried out free of cost tests including Lipid profile, Blood sugar and diabetes for the locals. In addition, a Mobile Dental Clinic was also established for carrying out dental checkup of the attendees. A medical team under the Dental officer from 12 Dental Unit Assam Rifles (DUAR) provided free dental treatment and medicines to the attendees.   
Koirengei COB of Mantripukhri Battalion also organsied an interactive lecture on ‘Harmful Effects of Drugs’ at Lamjing Educational Institute with an aim to generate awareness about the ill effects of drugs and to guide the youth to lead a healthy life. The lecture gave the audience an insight about harmful effects of drugs on the human body.
The series of activities undertaken by the Battalions as part of the Awareness Drive, received an overwhelming response from the local populace. All the attendees conveyed their heartfelt gratitude to the Assam Rifles for organising such educative drive and requested for more such events in the near future as well.

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