Wednesday, 18 September 2019 - Imphal Times

IT News

Imphal, Sept 18

Detention of persons who were released on bail is a hideous crime, said Joy Chingakham, Chairman of Human Rights Defenders Manipur (HRDM), while talking to media persons at Manipur Press Club today.

Quoting news report published in Imphal Times, regarding the detention of four persons for two months in jail, who were already released on bail by Judicial Magistrate First Class, Churachandpur in charge of Chief Judicial Magistrate Letkho Kipgen, Joy Chingakham said that Human Rights Defenders Manipur has sent a letter to the Chief Justice of Supreme Court and Chief Justice of High Court of Manipur.

He also questioned the All Manipur Bar Association and High Court Bar Association over the silence to the matter.

“It is very unfortunate that the Lawyers Associations of Manipur namely All Manipur Bar Association and High Court Bar Association etc remain as a silent spectator as lawyers’ association are meant to stand for truth and justice for the society” , Joy said. 

He added that even the Manipur Human Rights Commission is not taking up suo motto case regarding the incident at which rights of the four persons were violated.

Condemning the violation of rights by the authority of judiciary, Joy said that wrongdoers should be taught lessons.

Joy urged authority to award befitting punishment to those who detained the four persons even after they were released on bail. The HRDM also demanded proper compensations to the four persons.

The four persons who were detained wrongfully were released on 14th of this month after wrongful confinement of over 2 months in jail.

Published in News

IT News

Imphal, Sept 18

“Seventy percent of the livelihoods of Manipuri people are associated with bamboo products”, MP Dr. RK Ranjan said while delivering speech on World Bamboo Day celebration at Lamyanba Shanglen today. The celebration was organised by Bamboo Forum of India.

 “Bamboo Mission Manipur should focus more on this to make sure that Make in Manipur become successful”, Ranjan said.

He appealed the people of the state particularly the unemployed youth of the state to inject Bamboo technology to generate employment.

He added that Bamboo is the timber of the poor however people of the state could not utilized economically by adding value.

“Even the first Church in the state which was constructed at Porompat was built by Bamboo”, Ranjan said. He further added that Bamboo Shoots and other edible products of bamboo can make the people economically viable.

Published in News
Wednesday, 18 September 2019 17:39

Oriental College Students blocked Imphal Jiri Road

IT News

Imphal, Sept 18

Students of Oriental College blocked Imphal-Jiribam road for few hours decrying transfer of 4 teachers from the college. The irate students burnt benches and desk in front of the college. Police team rushed to the spot and control the situation. The students said that if the post of the transferred teachers are not filled by tomorrow i.e. by September 19 then the students will shut down Oriental college from September 20.

Published in News

IT News

Imphal, Sept 18

Minister for Information and Public Relation, Th. Bishwajit today said that there is no misuse or misappropriation of funds for Journalists’ Pension Scheme. Reacting to a allegation during the Foundation Day Function of All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union (AMWJU), Bishwajit said that there is no way that the DIPR can misuse or misappropriate the fund for Journalists’ pension scheme. He said that the fund for the journalists’ pension scheme is a corpus fund and there is no way that the department can misuse it. 

The IPR Minister said that the fund for the pension scheme has been fixed deposited under the Kishan Vikas Pattra at Post office. He said that the department has record of all expenditures from 1991 till date and that the account can be checked at any moment.

“The fund for pension scheme was opened on 9-1-1991 with an amount of 15,386/- only”, Bishwajit said.

He added that on 22-10-2001 the fund was raised to Rs. 10 lakhs and deposited at Post Office under fixed deposit scheme Kishan Vikas Pattra. Except in 2016-17 there was no lapse to the fund and the DIPR is maintaining all record. If anybody wants to question why there was a lapse Bishwajit said that it should be questioned to those officials of that time.   

Published in News

There are many IFs like if the Naga Solution does not interfere Manipur’s interest, if the Naga does not form a Pan Naga Body that lowers down the dignity of Manipur and Manipur Assembly, if the Naga does not demand Sixth Schedule or any variant of it and many more IFs. The Welcome phrase is meaningless because the core demand of the NCSN (IM) includes what you do not like or the conditions laid.
The Peace Talk between GoI and NSCN (IM) is a unique peace talk as it does not reveal what is achieved so far and what are not yet discussed. This unrevealing talk gives advantage to both the parties. For India, especially the Modi Government, they can politically gain in eyes of Indian middle class because they signed a Framework Agreement with India’s oldest (established in 1980) and dangerous (as projected by themselves) militant group. The average Indian think that it is a tough way that Modi Government is walking with Th Muivah, one who rejected Shillong Accord signed with Congress Government. And for Muivah, the acceptance of the NSCN (IM) among the indigenous peoples of Nagaland is targeted with repeated speech on the signing of Framework Agreement as if it is certificate of recognition given by the Government of India of the Unique History of the Naga. He keeps on saying certain sentences so that Naga Middle Class would accept him and his people: The Naga will not compromise its Sovereignty, we will not accept anything less than a separate Flag and Constitution. The Unique behavior of both parties, Modi-led and Muivah-led is that neither reveals Framework Agreement.
The Manipuri leaders, civil or political, always opposed what NSCN (IM) demands: alternative arrangement for the Naga, Naga Administrative body, and land demarcation on ethnic lines, without which GoI and NSCN (IM) have no point to negotiate with each other. Then why do they welcome peace process at all. They can say strongly that if GoI has to sacrifice the State of Manipur in front of a demon (if you like to call Muivah), stop the peace talk. If you are going to hide the progress of the talk and Framework Agreement, stop the talk immediately. They, seemingly, like to show their modesty but in this politics of cut-throat of existence of a State, showing modesty is not expected, rather it gives wrong message. They should ask for a full stop to these dream merchants.
All the demands from the side of NSCN (IM) are anti-history, anti-humanistic (remember the ethnic cleansing of 1990s in Manipur, killing of opposition leaders in both Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh). The wrong projection of being dangerous and strongest groups in North East India, the NSCN (IM) has a longer rope so it does not feel its own limitation so far. But, the peace talk may not bring anything to NSCN (IM) as such. But, one should accept the fact that Muivah is a good negotiator in a tricky path, walking with GoI, led by Modi. Anybody believes that Modi who took away Special Status of Kashmir will give a Nagaland of the magnitude as embodied in Muivah’s dream. But, Modi may give away stronger Naga Territorial Council or Pan Naga body. Then, why do not the Manipuri leaders express what they do not like strongly and loudly with or without showing modesty? India will not give for sure Naga Flag or separate Constitution. Then why do not ask Government of Manipur why did it allow United Naga Council to use the flag on the soil of an Indian State, called Manipur? Let us try to ask direct question and protest directly anything what we do not like at all, may it be GoI or Government of Manipur. Modesty and letting ropes loosely for long will bring nothing but harms to our hard earned pride and dignity.

Published in Articles

By- Meghachandra Kongbam
Imphal, Sept. 18

With the support from Manipur State Film Development Society, Film Society of Manipur will screen English film-HUGO (2011) directed by Martin Scorsese on September 21, 2019, the third Saturday at 4 pm at MSFDS Auditorium here, under the monthly film screening programme with interactive session towards the promotion of good film movement in Manipur.
Hugo is a historical adventure drama film  adapted for the screen by John Logan. Based on Brian Selznick’s book The Invention of Hugo Cabret, it tells the story of an orphan boy named Hugo Cabret who lives alone in a railway station in Paris in the 1930s and wrapped up in a mystery involving his late father and an automation. His journey leads the discovery of Georges Méliès, the father of Special  Effects in Cinema. Hugo  received critical  acclaim and 11 Academy Award  nominations including Best Picture, more than any other film that year, and it won five awards: Best Cinematography,  Best Art Direction, Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing, and Best Visual Effects.
School children from a few schools in Imphal will also attend the film screening and the interactive session so that they can learn the film medium and what the good film is about.
Eminent personalities from the Critics Forum, Manipur and Film Society of Manipur will share the space of the interactive session to be conducted after screening of the film.
All the members of the Film Society of Manipur and Critics Forum, Manipur are informed to attend the screening with their family and children and to take part in the interactive session.

Published in Guest Column
Wednesday, 18 September 2019 17:32

Traffic Challans and other challenges

The recent increase in the drive to impose traffic rules across the country has garnered reactions ranging from the positive to ones which are downright derogatory and mostly funny. Various social media sites have come out with pictures and video clips portraying the irony of such stringent rules, for the simple fact that what the authorities are imposing on the public are being violated by the law enforcers themselves in most cases. a lot of airtime has been generated in discussions regarding the same, and if the government have paid heed to the general opinion across the country, then it should agree and initiate a plan of action in accordance with the need of the public to get access to better roads and more systematic traffic arrangements.
There also remains the ironic fact that while the government insists its citizens to wear ISI marked helmets only, sub-standard helmets still outsell ISI marked ones by a big margin. The only obvious solution should be to put a blanket ban on the production of any sub-standard riding helmets in the country, but by the looks of it, the thought have not even crossed the collective minds of the authorities yet. And what is the government doing to decrease the logjam of applicants for driving licenses across the country?
While the enforcements of wearing ISI marked helmets and prevention of triple-riding or even multiple-riding in various cases are positive measures to promote road safety and prevent unwanted accidents, the authorities should also take up other equally important steps to ensure that the public are provided with the best safety practices and facilities on the road. One such step could be to put up a system where the defaulters are provided with services to procure helmets or licenses as the case may be after obtaining the required fines from them according to the nature of violations. Another aspect the government need to look into is the parking issue that is becoming increasingly worse with each passing day, and as experts have expressed earlier, the few narrow roads in and around Imphal city that are causing a bottleneck to the smooth flow of traffic needs to be addressed at the earliest. Controlling and regulating public transport is of vital importance if any semblance of order is to be restored on the roads and traffic rules are maintained. The best solution to this particular challenge would be to revive the almost non-existent government public transport so that at least there is a fillip in the unorganised public transport sector which is making road safety a real concern this very moment. A visible lack of traffic personnel at busy junctions and intersections during peak traffic hours is also a point to be noted and work on for the state authorities.
If the government both at the national and state level is serious about improving traffic awareness and public safety, there is a need for coordinated system to be put into place and implemented properly. The onus of ensuring traffic safety and observance of rules should not be left only to the public, and issuing of Challans and fines for violations, while being great deterrent to law-breakers, should not be viewed as the solution to every traffic problem in the country and the state. There still are a great deal of obligations that the government should fulfil towards the public if any positive and visible result is to be achieved from all the efforts being undertaken at present to ensure better traffic control and compliance of rules and regulations by the public. Traffic related challenges are real and ever present concern. The faster the central and state government draws up a systematic, integrated and sustainable plan of action and implement the same in right earnest putting the welfare and safety of the public first, the better off everyone will be.        

Published in Editorial

Landslide has been a major disaster commonly faced by the north eastern states including our state Manipur since time immemorial. The earliest recorded disastrous landslide in the NER region was on 19th August, 1950 (killing > 500 lives) which was the aftershock effect of the Great Assam earthquake (~8.6 Mw) that was recorded on 15th August, 1950. Since then innumerable landslides have been occurring claiming lives, domesticated animals, building/structure collapses, blockage of highways, roads, damage to the natural slopes which ultimately hampers the socio-economic development in the region. In spite of the government’s attempt to mitigate or so to say reduce the effect of this natural disaster, the landslide still happens to be periodic havoc till date. News of frequent disturbances, blockage of national highways, even human and livestock deaths are prime time in most of the news channels, print media, etc. during monsoon season.
It is estimated that economic loss due to landslides may reach between 1-2% of the gross national product in many developing countries. Evaluating and mitigating the landslide hazard and risk is a major challenge for the technocrats and decision makers in the developing world as 80% of the reported fatalities due to landslide is within the developing countries. In India, about 0.42 million sq. km or 12.6% of land area, excluding the snow covered area, is prone to landslide hazard. Out of this, 0.18 million sq. km falls in North East Himalaya, including Darjeeling and Sikkim Himalaya; 0.14 million sq. km falls in North West Himalaya (Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir); 0.09 million sq. km in Western Ghats and Konkan hills (Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra) and 0.01 million sq. km in Eastern Ghats of Aruku area in Andhra Pradesh. The landslide-prone Himalayan terrain falls in the maximum earthquake-prone zones (Zone-IV and V) where earthquakes of Modified Mercalli intensity VIII to IX can occur, and thus, are also prone to earthquake-triggered landslides. The most recent example is the aftermath of 18 September 2011 Sikkim Earthquake in the Sikkim-Darjeeling Himalayas.
When viewed scientifically a number of technical causes for landslides come up. The end number  of  scientific causes may be  classed into  geological  factors, morpho-physiological factors, and factors related with anthropogenic activity. The geological factors may be elaborated into materials affected by geological structures-disconformities, joints, fissures; weathering effects, rainfall-snowfall impacts; earthquakes; mechanical (engineering) properties of materials-permeability contrast, material contrast. The morpho-physiological causes include slope angle, different erosional processes, slope loading, vegetation changes, hydrological condition, etc. The anthropogenic activity will contagiously include all possible changes in the environment that directly or indirectly affect the slope. Construction projects roads-buildings-tunnels, Quarrying-mining-blasting; deforestation are few to be listed that directly affect the slope.
Remedial methods may be like, strengthening the material, geometrical modification to slope, support system- breast wall, retaining wall, drainage control. Though the causes are manifold, for each and every cause, perfect or accurate scientific solutions are available nowadays. But these solutions are a vague to consider the economic input that is required. This can be elaborated by an example to remedial a landslide that subsided a bamboo hut located on the edge of Imphal-Moreh road at Tengoupal by geo technical solution say- excavating the overburden slope, drainage to divert excess water, it may sometime be economically cheap to allocate a new plot to construct a new hut with full compensation.
Critical reason for landslide management comes up as landslide is often causes by a combination of a number of causes. Hence prioritization of each causes need to be assessed. This part is to be dealt by specific agencies that have enough human and technological strength. But it cannot cover all the parts of the hilly parts of the state or even the length of the important national and state highways at a go. That is why we still are not able to cope up the wrath of the landslides. State disaster department when dealing with the landslides at Noneh-Kotlen to protect the National Highway, people are dying in Tamenglong district due to landslide. The point is that the government can’t provide all out technical measures to solve the landslide issue in every nook and corner of the state.
As rainfall is unmanageable or to rectify the faulty geological parameters by geo engineering projects are costly, it may seem that there is no possible cure for the problem.  But as the saying goes, something is better than nothing, we should now react ourselves to that something mode instead of the present nothing mode. When unity can defeat any sort of obstacle, there is nothing impossible. Only we need to act as an organised mechanism against this natural disaster. An effective mode of awareness to the persons utilizing the slopes by the state government is inevitable going parallel with the scientific hunt to prevent landslides. The ground level persons, viz. the people who are constructing houses on the hill slopes are should be educated about the simple use of safety measures while utilizing the slopes. Brief brochures, publicity on the first hand information of landslide needs to be propagated. Or simply the local or the district administration can devise to develop early warning system during peak rainy seasons (Darjeeling and East Sikkim districts have already devise an early warning system for landslides). Such measures are very cost effective comparing with those huge scientific researches where funding is involved. No doubt, faithful scientific researches for landslide susceptibility for huge and specific developmental projects like National Sports University, National Highway Projects, Railway tracts and tunnels should compulsorily be done by the authority.

Published in Articles
Wednesday, 18 September 2019 17:29

VIP Culture in India

     India’s VIP culture forget Abraham Lincoln’s definition of democracy-”Government of the People, by the People, for the People”. What is telling about the directive is the VIP mentality that has become part of the DNA of India’s ruling elite. Contrary to the famous definition of Lincoln’s democracy; India has a government of VIPs, by VIPs and for VIPs. They do what they can, the people suffer what they must. In the heyday of European empires, colonial masters ruled imperiously over conquered subjects. During the British raj, class system fused seamlessly with India’s caste system to entrench social divisions even more rigidity. A simple google search of 15th August 1947 would show clippings of newspapers with headlines such as “British of India’s Freedom” “Nation Wakes to New Life” etc. There is no doubt that it was a historic day for this country but, was it true freedom? After independence, India proudly declared itself a “Sovereign, Democratic, Republic” and added the word “Socialist” in the Constitution .The central tenet of the four words taken together –”Sovereign ,Democratic, Socialist, Republic” is the sovereignty of the people; Politicians and officials are their servants. But as in other self-described socialist and communist paradises India’s ruling elite capturedall the privileges while the disempowered populace was saddled with poverty, scarcity and general misery.
      The more that the quality of public services (health, education, and infrastructures) decayed and institutions were degraded and corrupted, the greater was the distance between the lifestyle of the closed circle of the elite and ordinary citizens. Inevitably this morphed into the VIP culture that Indians by and large detest with depth of contempt, anger and resentment that is difficult for foreigners to fathom. We are told that invaders ransacked the country, exploited the natives, and discriminated against the people on the basis of color and inflicted many atrocities on innocent people. But aren’t the majority of people being exploited even today? It was easy to identify Britishers as they were outsiders and remained outsiders. But how do we identify our own people who are working against us? Are they even our “own” people? Do they see us as fellow citizens or just a number to be exploited? When some of them sit in the Parliament/state Assemblies, do they understand the responsibility of their position or are they just interested in abusing power? Aren’t they violating the fundamental Right to Equality by getting excessive preferential treatment as VIPs? Aren’t Executive&Bureaucrat officers paid by the taxes collected from us?
      I get so amazed when I see people fighting and abusing each other or even strangers, just because they have a different opinion. But I wonder how is it that they fail to see that it hardly matters which part is in power because it is the public which bears the brunt of policies geared to suit certain vested interests. When people are fed up of one Government because of corruption, they vote for another party. But what they fail to realize is that if policies are geared to exploit the general public and poor people that could also be termed corruption. But just because it is passed as law, it is tacitly deemed acceptable. For instance, there are practices in the Indian parliament even today which are discriminatory and despite the issue being raised by multiple channels, nothing is being done to stop it.In all the Airports of Indiathere are separate VIP entrance gate for so called VIPs but for everyone else there is a small narrow gate where they are frisked roughly and everything they bring is put under scanner. There is nothing wrong in putting security measures in place but why is it selective and why aren’t these so called VIPs frisked? Is it possible that those who discriminate and take advantage of the VIP culture think of their country before themselves? How is it possible? I am shocked that instead of asking the right questions, people follow such leaders blindly and fail to see that it is the rotten system that has held back the country. How would the society find solutions to its problems unless it refuses to identify them in the first place? I understand that it is not only politicians and government officials who are answerable but also the general public as there is a huge chunk of population which does not think about the country at all. When one witnesses someone spitting on the road, taking bribes, abusing others or showing lack of respect, it is so evident that this is the excuse that people in power use to continue the status quo by saying that these people can force and not by a civilized administration. Ultimately, we need to ask one question. Is this kind of society we want or do we actually want to develop? Till when will we go on ignoring things? This is India, that’s how it happens here, nothing can happen, nothing will change! Till when will we keep on saying this? Aren’t Indians humans? Isn’t it our responsibility to contribute to the growth of the country? Is it too much to ask to behave respectfully and follow traffic rules, not liter, urinate or spit on the roads? Is it too much to think for yourself and not follow people blindly? When will we focus on things that matter? When will we learn to speak up and speak the truth? When will we realize that democracy means responsibility and not abusing the freedom we get? The day we become aware and responsible, may be then we will realize that VIP culture needs to go and it should start from the top.
     There is something demeaning about the idea of VIPs, something inherently undemocratic. It militates against the idea of equality for the simple reason that it makes some citizens inferior to others. When red beacons and police protection become status differentiators and they come at the cost of the dignity of the ordinary citizen, there’s reason enough to challenge the idea and trip it apart. There can be no argument that some people deserve special treatment. However, it’s conveniently forgotten that the treatment is reserved only for the special offices they hold, not for the individuals per se. In India, just about everybody, who’s anybody is protected. The list is impressive indeed: Politicians, Ministers, bureaucrats, judges, spiritual leaders, criminals and even the kin of the leaders. Let me point out that the problem has become an endemic and a part of our political culture. Let’s stop CHORON THERAPY to  those who knelt down  and touched our feet at the time of election as PM Modi said in his Mann Ki Baat about new India that we should nurture EPI( Every Person is Important) not VIPs .

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