Thursday, 09 January 2020 - Imphal Times

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Imphal, Jan. 9

Chief Minister N. Biren Singh said that let us forget and forgive our past mistakes and put our collective efforts to uphold the integrity of the Nation as well as the State. This was stated by him at the 186th Death Anniversary of Maharaj Gambhir Singh observed at the Samadhi of the Maharaj located at Langthabal, Imphal West today.

Speaking as Chief Guest, Chief Minister stated that there will be peace and prosperity in the State only when we commit ourselves to build unity and integrity among the communities living in the State. Maintaining that there were absence of collective thought and unity among the communities in the past, Chief Minister lamented that identity politics had affected in the growth and development of the State.

Lauding the sacrifice and courage of Maharaj Gambhir Singh, Nara Singh, Heerachandra and other unsung heroes of the State, Chief Minister said that what we are today is because of the selfless sacrifices made by our forefathers. Patriotic and nationalistic feeling are inborn traits and should run high in our blood, he added. He further maintained that the supreme sacrifices made by our forefathers towards protecting the integrity of our land should also be included in the school syllabus.

The Chief Minister affirmed that the territorial boundary and integrity of the State will remain intact. He continued that the long time demand for the implementation of Inner Line Permit (ILP) system has been fulfilled by the Centre under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah. The implementation of ILP system will protect the indigenous people of the State, he added.

 Highlighting the demand of Manipur University Students’ Union (MUSU) to shift the Assam Rifles (AR) post from Manipur University campus, Chief Minister said that the request is genuine and will urge the Central government to shift the AR post from University campus. 

  1. Biren Singh appealed the CSOs, student organizations, meira paibis, local clubs etc. to encourage groups to indulge in agricultural and horticultural farming for self sustained and self sufficient production so that the state would not need to depend on imported products. For such movement, the government will open a Special Cell to provide financial and technical support to the groups, he added. He also urged the people to request the rebel groups to find an amicable political solution with the Centre.

 While delivering his Presidential address, Minister for Art and Culture L. Jayantakumar said that the State has witnessed positive changes under the present regime. He maintained that it is our collective effort and responsibility to protect our ‘priceless’ culture and tradition. 

Chief Minister led others in paying floral tributes to the statues of Maharaja Gambhir Singh and Meidingu Narasingh and Sana Heerachandra. A contingent of Manipur Rifles offered a guard of honour and gun salute and sounding of last post as a mark of respect to Gambhir Singh, Nara Singh and other unsung heroes. 

Minister for CAF & PD Karam Shyam, Chairman of Tourism Corporation of Manipur Limited Dr Ranjan Sapam, Chairman Manipur Pollution Control Board L. Radhakishore, Chairman of Manipur Building and Other Construction Workers’ Welfare Board H. Dingo, MLA of Yaiskul AC Th. Satyabrata, DGP, top civil and police officials and large number of people attended the observance.

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Mumbai Jan. 9

NCP Chief Sharad Pawar flagged off former Union minister Yashwant Sinha’s 3,000 km, long nationwide “anti-CAA/NRC/NPR” yatra from Gateway of India in South Mumbai on Thursday.
BBM leader and Dr B R Ambedkar’s grandson Prakash Ambedkar, former Maharashtra Chief Minister and present MLA Prithviraj Chavan (Congress) and others were present.
Speaking to media, Sinha said that his yatra has been organised to protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), the National Register of Citizens(NRC) and the National Population Register(NPR), under the banner of “Rashtra Manch”. In fact it is `Gandhi Shanti Yatra’, which will culminate at Raj Ghat in New Delhi on 30 January, 2020 and added that during the yatra the people will be urged not to give information to enumerators for NPR. Sinha, said that the figure of 5 per cent GDP given by the Union government is questionable, budgetary figures are manipulated, agro and rural sectors have been ruined. Now the US-Iran strife is going to seriously affect oil economy and eventually our balance of payment.
He accused the BJP-ruled States of using violence to suppress protests against the CAA and  blamed the government for disturbing peace. He said that he is going to demand a judicial probe into the recent violence at JNU. He also demanded that the CAA be repealed and an announcement made by the Union Government that CAA-NPR-NRC will not be implemented. Calling the police crackdown on UP’s “state sponsored terrorism” he said that the yatra is specifically going to UP to protest the police high handedness. “We are not scared, we will see,” he said.
The yatra will pass through Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Harayana and Delhi and would end at the Raj Ghat in Delhi on January 30, Mahatma Gandhi’s death anniversary.
The former Gujarat Chief Minister Sureshbhai Mehta has endorsed Sinha’s view and appealed to the people and organisations from Gujarat to take the lead in making the Yatra successful. Besides actor and former Union Minister Shatrughan Sinha is supporting the cause.
In a press conference held earlier this week, Shatrughan Sinha had said that “We have suffered so much that now we are embarking on a ‘safar’ (travel)’. We are against the government’s policies. Other organisations should also take out similar Yatras converging at the Raj Ghat at 11 AM on January 30, he had said.
“We are against the government’s policies, we are standing up for the Constitution. The CAA provides citizenship to persecuted minorities from neighbouring countries, but excludes Muslims, Sinha said, adding that it “seems to be a ploy to distract attention from the issues the country is facing. The CAA would be as bad as demonetisation, he said, asking what was the need to bring in such a law without consulting experts or even senior leaders of the BJP and opposition’, he had said.
NCP Chief Sharad Pawar, Yashwant Sinha, Prakash Ambedkar, Prithviraj Chavan and others at the Gateway of India.

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Jiribam, Jan.9

The All Jiribam Tribal Union (AJTU) which called Bandh on NH-37 (Jiribam- Imphal) road has crippled traffic flow on the road.

The total shutdown on NH-37 came into force from 5 AM to 12 midnight today demanding the government to allow the tribal villages of Jiribam to pay hill house tax which had been paid by the hill villagers of Jiribam since 1920s till 2016.

During todays total shutdown all the goods laden vehicles proceeding towards Imphal were stranded at Jiribam District.

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Imphal, Jan 9

All Manipur Students’ Union (AMSU) today warns serious agitation over inaction of the government to the agreement reached between the two sides in connection with the establishment of DM University.
“Since the establishment of DM University the government still has not appoint any regular Vice Chancellor (VC), Dean and never filled vacant post teaching and non teaching staffs”, Bruce Pebam, HRD Secretary of AMSU told media persons today at AMSU head quarters.
He said that undergraduate students of the colleges affiliated to DM University are having tough time as the syllabus that they are studying now fails to get approval due to non existence of Academic Council. Exams are not conducted on time and results of the examination are also kept pending. Because of this there are several drawbacks in applying scholarship either under the state or central government including the UGC. Bruce also said that notification for undergoing PHD to students issued on October last year remain meaningless as nothing has been taken up for converting it into action.
“Earlier too we have submitted memorandums to the government to field all required staffs, regular dean  and vice chancellor besides installations of all required equipments that is necessary for running a University and after reaching an agreement with the Education Minister we had suspended agitation”, Bruce said adding that as the government had failed to fulfill our demand even after two years and as the career of the under graduate students under the DM University is at risk, the AMSU along with other students’ unions of colleges affiliated to DM University – DM Arts, Science, Commerce and GP Women college will left with no choice but to launch a, intense but democratic agitation.

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Chandel,Jan.9

Kanankhu Baptist Church Celebrated it’s Silver Jubilee under the theme “Growing Stronger, Deeper and Reaching Higher” at Kanankhu Village in Chandel today.

As part of the celebration, a memorial stone for the silver jubilee was unveiled and Souvenir Released in the morning session, after which First Pastor of Kanankhu Baptist Church, Ts. Beton pronounced the Invocation Prayer.

Rev. KI. Tangthu Executive Secretary of ANBA attended the programme as Speaker. Local Pastor Hb.Shangmary  delivered the welcome address.

During the evening session, several artistes and local youth presented cultural songs and dances for the audience.

MP of Rajya Sabha Dr. RK.Ranjan, Former Minister Dr.Khasim Ruiva, Member of ADC Chandel Willingson Tongsin, Executive Member of ADC Chandel Ts. Kanlun and chiefs of several Village also took part in the celebration among others. A grand feast was also prepared for all.

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Guwahati, Imphal  Jan. 9

Total 6 music bands from Manipur and Sikkim will perform during the fourth leg of Rhythms & Aromas of Northeast at the Town hall in Ukhrul on January 10 to compete and get selected and further perform at 4th Guwahati International Music Festival 2020 in Guwahati. The bands who will be competing on January 10 are Salt and Light Travelling Band, Echoes of Mercy Band, Oking Band and the Antic Molecule Band from Manipur and Granite Yard Band and solo artist Ridgex from Sikkim. Selected artistes will also undergo intensive mentorship by industry experts and the chance to perform with music legends of Asia.

The first State-level music audition for artists from Assam and Nagaland was inaugurated in Dimapur on December 30, 2019. After Nagaland, auditions were held in Aizawl on January 4, Shillong on January 7, 2020.

Eastern Beats Music Society – a prominent socio-cultural organization working for promotion of NE culture and establishment of new vistas with other countries, especially Asia – has announced the launch of its highly ambitious and a first-of-its-kind Pan-Asian music project ‘Rhythms and Aromas of Northeast India’. Under the project which is being held with the support of North Eastern Council, Shillong, the society is calling for auditions from talented artists and musicians from the 8 states of Northeast India to be a part of a unique exercise which will culminate with the 4th Guwahati International Music Festival 2020.

‘Rhythms & Aromas of Northeast India’ is being held in multiple stages across the entire region where local talents will be identified, mentored, groomed and provided a stage to perform alongside celebrated artists of the region and other parts of the country. The mammoth three months long exercise also includes a unique music conference where stakeholders of the music industry will be invited to deliberate on latest musical trends as well as the business side of music.

To be held in the format of a festival promoting Northeast India through its rich and diverse music traditions, the objective of the project is to nurture and celebrate the rich musical talent and ethnic cuisines of the region, and use it as a means to foster people-to-people connectivity with ASEAN and other Asian countries. In the grand finale to be held in the last week of February, the artists will perform alongside music legends of Asia, and the best of the selected Northeast artists/ bands will also walk away with prize money of Rupees One Lakh Fifty Thousand.

A brainchild of Northeast-based writer and cultural activist Aiyushman Dutta, the initiative will have multiple-pronged benefits as it will help identify and groom upcoming musical talents of the region, document the musical landscape of the region and also establish new cultural relations with our neighbouring countries and countries in Far-east Asia through music and food. The project also seeks to look at music as an industry and focuses on the creation of a vibrant musical eco-system, says Dutta.

The Society’s Founder Secretary Aiyushman Dutta said that a team of co-ordinators from all the north-eastern States have been working tirelessly to identify new progressive musical talents and groups. “Once the artists and bands are selected, they will get the unique opportunity to interact and get mentored by the veterans of the Indian music industry and learn about the latest trends in the industry. We are also inviting a few journalists and news channels from our neighbouring Asian countries to our final event. As such, this will definitely be a big platform for the artists, besides helping create positive stories in the global media about Guwahati, Assam and the Northeast as a whole.”

The Guwahati International Music Festival was mooted way back in 2010 in order to provide a platform wherein musical maestros from across the globe can share stage and collaborate with our indigenous music and cultural practitioners. The Society’s President Peter Todd Baruah said, “In the first three editions, the festival has helped create new vistas for cultural collaborations of our topmost northeastern folk exponents with the finest of musicians from Goa, Nepal, UK, US, Germany, China, Bangladesh, Thailand, etc.
In the fourth edition, we have tried to provide a platform for the budding artists from the region to share stage with the maestros through these unique auditions.”
Organized by the Eastern Beats Music Society, the Guwahati International Music Festival involves a medley of music workshops for students, lecture-demonstrations by veteran artists and musical concerts by master performers. A number of global maestros have performed in the previous years of the festival. Among the artists who have performed in GIMF, mention can be made of Pt BickramGhosh, master percussionist and Music Director of the Hollywood blockbuster ‘Matrix’ Greg Ellis (USA), Padma bhushan awardee Buddhadev Dasgupta, veteran harp player Brendan Power (United Kingdom), Nepali rock legends Abhaya Subba and Steam Injuns (Nepal), radical Baul singer and poet Mac Haque (Bangladesh), Ralf Kamphuis (Germany), RishiiChowdhury (United Kingdom), Edwin Fernandes (Goa), Scavenger Project (Mizoram), Hornbill International Rock Competition 2019 winners UDX (Nagaland), amongst others.

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Thursday, 09 January 2020 17:33

Film Policy- awaiting action

‘The Manipur State Cinema Policy, 2019’ was approved by the state government in an effort to improve the Manipuri film industry during a cabinet meeting chaired by the Manipur CM in Imphal. The main motive of this meeting was to find out ways of improving the Manipuri film industry, and understandably, the decision has been welcomed by the artistes and others associated with the Manipuri film industry including the Film Forum Manipur (FFM)- Manipur’s apex body of filmmakers. With the approval by the state cabinet, the plight of Manipuri film and those associated with film-making were expected to improve considerably.
The role that film plays in projecting an image and presenting the cultures and customs of a place or region is enormous, evident from the plethora of advertisements and publicity stunts employed by agencies to attract the attention and imagination of the public. To this day, films remain the most effective and widespread medium for inspiring the public or spreading awareness, portraying a culture or custom and enticing tourists.
Unfortunately, however, despite the importance and the increasing need for making advancements in film-making, the Policy is yet to be implemented thus rendering it a lame and impotent decision as of now- one among the multitude of such critical decisions which, if implemented in the right spirit, could have made substantial differences in various spheres of public life. The continuing apathy could not be more evident from the fact that the annual budget 2019-20 proposes a total expenditure of Rs 16117 crore from the State’s consolidated fund out of which a total of Rs 28 crore was allocated to Arts and Culture or less than 0.2 percent of the total expenditure. Comparing this with that of neighboring Assam which also saw the Film Policy receiving cabinet approval in 2019 which includes, amongst various incentives, an annual subsidy of upto 20 films, 25 percent subsidy for films with expenditure of Rs1 crore, Rs 1 crore subsidy for national award winning films and Rs 2 crore for Oscar winning films, besides a huge corpus for film artistes and various welfare schemes including pension benefits. Plans are afoot to include cinema halls under service industry to enable them to avail applicable benefits under the Industry Department.
According to an in-depth analysis of the current situation prevailing in the Manipur Film industry vis-à-vis the national scenario, noted economist Dr Chinglen Maisnam commented that the most important factor which will determine the future of the film industry in the state is the political will of the state government. Drawing comparisons and supplying relevant data to substantiate his comments, the economist states that Manipur produced a total of 15 films as against 34 from neighboring Assam and a national total of 2446 according to the Central Board of Film Certification- an achievement worth mentioning in view of the stifling conditions under which various operations have to be performed, financially, socially, politically and technologically.
The fledgling film industry in Manipur has come a long way despite the persistent challenges and inherent drawbacks, and is still making remarkable progress. If the state is to receive the benefits and services which this wonderful medium of entertainment and information can provide, then implementation of the Film Policy both in letter and spirit is the only way out. It is in the interest of this state and the societies comprising it that the film industry needs to be made strong and flourish. The role of films in protecting and propagating the message and image of a vibrant and united Manipur should never be undermined.

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