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Maheshwar Gurumayum

Maheshwar Gurumayum

Maheshwar Gurumayum, Sub-Editor of Imphal Times is a resident of Sagolband Salam Leikai. He has been with Imphal Times since 2013. An avid adventure lover, writes mostly travelogue. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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Protective Thinking: Honourable Governor Shri. R.N. Ravi effects

By- Pakinrichapboÿ Advocate

16th August 2019, a historic day as Nagaland accorded a warm and grand reception program in honour of newly appointed Governor cum Interlocutor R.N. Ravi. Maybe the grandest reception program ever held in Nagaland history in honor of its Governors.
Looking back now, its hardly a surprise to see the current show down between Governor on one side and the Nagaland Government, Naga Political groups and CSOs in opposite side.
If we refresh Governor reception speech, we can mutually conclude that he came to Nagaland with a huge ambitions, unlike his predecessors, he means to do more than discharge his official duties, build a new Nagaland as per Central Govt. version.
Now, lets take a quick glimpse of his reception speech for better understanding of the Governor moves and the effects likely to be felt in the days to come.
Governor Ravi remarked, “that when the country moving at a fast pace, a never seen before pace for growth and development, the country is sending missions to the moon and mars and the inspirational youth are dreaming big because of congenial atmosphere, in the midst of all these it saddens me when our people in Nagaland are craving for basic necessitiesÿfor a good motorable road, good education, access to proper health care, decent employment opportunities, it saddens me all the more because this land is richer in resources than many pasts of the country and the youth is more talented than larger part of the country”.
He further pointed out that the dark shadow of unresolved Naga political issue cast shadow on every aspect of Nagas life. This cloud must go because our people deserve sunshine.
He also said of substantive issues being resolved including powers belong to the people and that people are the masters. On few symbolic issuesÿ options were offered and interlocutors were urged to explore. He also implored on the need to work out the best, dignified honorable solution. Besides the above points, Governor spoke on the Prime Minister expressed need for the peace process to be concluded within time frame of three months and status quo which means the Nagas have to bear the burden of multiple taxations, fear of gun, dreams of Naga youth being choked and suffocated and way out to all these darkness by concluding the peace talks. He lastly assured that Article 371A will not face the same fate of Article 370 as 371A is a solemn commitment and sacred to the people of Nagaland.
In reading the Governor speech, one can can summed up the positive and negative effects in having Shri. R.N. Ravi as the Governor of Nagaland. Where the positive effects and negative effects will be a contradiction in itself for its recipientÿthe Naga tribes.
Positive effectsÿ
As he accurately pointed out the backgrounds of Nagaland, he appears determined to take actions to push Nagaland forward in terms of building infrastructures, reducing government corruptions, increasing employment opportunities for youths, eradicate Naga Armed groups rights to collect taxes and thus push for state economic growth. Having said it, accomplishing it will be a herculean task.
Negative effects:
The writing on the wall is clear now for National national workers and the public, whether we wish to see it or not. That as political analyst Sangeeta Barooah Pisharoty pointed out in her article, ÿHas Governor Ravi’s Bid to Assert Control Jeopardized the Naga Peace Accord?, The Wire, 30.06.2020 ) that the past peace accords between the Centre and the armed groups and agitation leaders in Northeast have been of three broad kind, she put Naga peace talk in the third categoryÿthe Centre factionalizes its potential interlocutor before bring some groups to the table and tiring them out through a long peace process-during which their networks and sources of funding are weakened- so that a watered down peace accord may be handed over for an honorary exit. In some cases, agreement may be not be necessary at all. It may prod some leaders to join state politics instead (ULFA- pro-talks, Kuki groups in Manipur etc). For good or worse, the fate of Nagaland will be decided by the decisions of the NPGs.
Governor’s letter dated 16th June may be the first move for now, but final checkmate to Nagaland government and NPGs is just a matter of time from now.
Almost one year before Nagaland Govt., NPGs and some CSOs register opposition to governor’s letter conveying to invoke provisions of Article 371A (1) (2), Sangeeta Barooah Pisharoty had hinted governor might try take the charge of maintaining law and order as Governor is bestowed with power by the said article to over rule Chief Minister to maintain law and order. (With J&K status revoked, alarm bell rings in Nagaland, The Wire, 09.08.19).
In the face of such political fiasco, the common man lives on unperturbed by the looming dark clouds or sunshine.

Van Mahotsav at Chandel

IT News

Chandel, July 4:

As celebrated every year throughout the country during the first week of July, the District Forest Division, Chandel celebrated the VAN MAHOTSAV 2020,  at Lamphoupasna, Chandel district.

Speaking on the occasion Deputy Commissioner, Chandel, Krishna Kumar said that the forest department has done a good job, but the voluntary organisations, village level organisations and other civil society organisations should come up with some ways to protect the sapling planted today. He added that after the survey of the same next year, if successful, can become a role model and can be implemented in other villages of the district. He further said that district administration is looking for a valuable partnership with the villagers as such programs cannot be successful without their active participation and contributions.

While addressing the gathering DFO Chandel, N. Ganesh, IFS, thanked the villagers and the civil society organisations for their active participations. He further said that while efforts for afforestation are going on, deforestation is going on other places, so instead of concentrating the efforts on afforestation it will be more effective if the forest protection is decentralise through the villagers and the civil societies and the district level officers. He further assured the villagers that he will try to help them out on the Agro Forestry models.

The main event of today’s program was the tree plantations by the dignitaries, DLOs, representatives of civil organisation, villagers etc.

 Today’s function was attended by SP Chandel , N. Modhunimai, ZEO, SDO, Chandel, 18AR, Medical department, District AIDS Control Officer  and may villagers and different civil society organisations.

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AR bust illegal arms workshop in Ukhrul District

IT News

Imphal, July 4:

Troops of Assam Rifles along with Manipur Police busted an illegal arms workshop run by a suspected NSCN(IM) cadre near Lunguira Tang in Ukhrul District of Manipur on 01 Jul 2020.

Based on specific input, the joint team launched a search operation in the area. During the detailed search, the troops busted an illegal arms manufacturing workshop run by Lightson @Likeson, s/o Late John Shaiza. On seeing the search party, the individual fled from the spot abandoning the tools and spares used in fabrication and repair of small arms. The team also recovered one 9mm Pistol (Made in England), three Point 22 mm rifle and two 12 Bore Shot Gun along with ammunition.

The recovered arms, ammunition other stores have been handed over to Ukhrul Police Station for further investigations.

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Signage that send a Hearty Laugh

By -Kamal Baruah

Last summer, we drove down along the groves of Willows and Poplars surrounded by an perpetual view of the mountains. The wonderful panorama of the valley is flawlessly a travellers’ paradise. We reached the point of the strange world “Magnetic Hill”. It’s a perfect pit-stop for tired riders at 14,000 feet after 30 km drive at Leh-Kargil-Baltic National Highway. Visitors often confronted with various road signs on border roads. Soon we stopped our vehicle in the box on the road marked “Park your vehicle”, we experienced the wonder. It was a mind-blowing illusion at driver’s seat observing our static car in neutral gear started moving upward slowly. The phenomenon was unusual that defied gravity. In reality, the hill is no sources of magnetic field; it’s just an optical illusion that makes the downslope of the road leading to the Magnetic Hill. So when the vehicle is climbing uphill, it’s actually going downhill.
The hilly route gave us a smooth ride “Be soft on my curves” at the frontier which reminded me the difficulties in late 90s. There were times when air warriors were airlifted to Leh Airport as there was virtually no road to move where even Angles fear to tread, yet soldiers ventured out into the land of the mystic Lamas. It is Ladakh, Army survive for its daunting task to protect their territory over the land of snow coated mountain peak. Nothing gives a high as intense as high mountain passes in that arid region yet remained soldiers’ first love to their Regiment. The groups of aboriginal inhabitant still in those mountainous regions face hardships amid border conflict however they are still living on the edge today.
City dwellers do not foresee such difficulties, how the lives of folks on the border are living. There’s a lot more to do, but so far, so good. It faces tight funds and uphill goals in tough terrain. Hopefully a quest to improve the plight of border areas has begun. BRO – Boarder Roads Organization has been empowered for construction and maintenance of crucial roads infrastructure for the armed forces in inhospitable terrain. In an unusual gesture, Arunachal villagers forego land compensation for road construction near China border. Those ultra-patriotic Indians are an example for the rest of the country to follow.
People Liberation Army puts up massive signage in the border area to claim it as their land and often got confronted by Indian troops in border areas for encroaching construction work, building structures or writes on rocks and trees. Being in combatant uniform, we had the opportunity to visit far-flung Himalayan border and at the same time it has caught the fancy of tourists on wheel for its innovation for patriotism saying “We cut mountains but connect hearts”.
It is also interesting to find funny and ridiculously witty boards yet conveying serious messages on roads. One of the many signage across the road read “Am curvaceous, be slow”. Isn’t that inspired travellers on road? There is plenty of such signage on road; interestingly they are unusual and looked good too either but have a meaning a lot for safe driving and people involved of unquestionable integrity and patriotism. India and China share three and half a thousand km long border running along Arunachal, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Himachal and Ladakh. You can have the same feeling either in Tawang (Arunachal), Nathu La (Sikkim) or in Leh. They like those ideas saying “Love thy neighbor but not while driving”. They are actually rejuvenating travellers after a tiring stretch.
The surface access on Sino-India border is closed for half of the year due to heavy snowfall and incessant rain thereby its supplies are possible through airlift only. While China has always been upgrading its border infrastructure, India has not given any importance for long. The bulk works are mostly entrusted to BRO the “Pillars of the Nation” with few numbers of projects to CPWD and ITBP too. Besides roads, the strategic infrastructure includes bridge, tunnels, arfields, mobile towers, strategic railway lines and border outposts (BOPs) in high altitude areas. Project HIMANG is doing great job in Ladakh saying “God made Ladakh and we connect it to rest of the world”.
Since the old existing roads are narrow it is required to realign for a lesser height for vehicles carrying artillery and troop movement. The GREF, BRTF are helping BRO aggressively for tunnel projects and bridges. India is all set to ramp up its infrastructure along the international border in Arunachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Ladakh to complete strategic Indo-China Border Roads (ICBRs) but are delayed mainly due to strategic security consideration, environment clearances and limited working season. It has also gone with Jimmy Buffett’s road sign “Without Geography, you are nowhere”
Now 255 km Darbuk-Shyok-Daulat Beg Oldie DSDBO road between Leh and Karakoram Pass along the LAC in eastern Ladakh over the Chinese military buildup is nearing completion that could provide all-weather access. Tourists are not given permission to travel those protected / restricted areas (extreme north) other than the Nubra Valley and Pangong Tso Lake in the East. This writer had the privilege to work in Forward Base Supply Unit THOISE (Transit Halt of Indian Soldiers) en route to Siachen Glacier where the temperature plunges minus 50 degree C. But in summer, fruits of apples, apricots and walnuts bloom. Interestingly, there are no insects or mosquitoes in that sparse vegetation.
Thanks to BRO’s sense of humor that ends up giving a smile after every turn in that rocky terrain. “Haste makes waste” – hurrying will result in poor ending. So we wait for another drive on that frozen highway DSDBO and see some heartier laugh from the signage over the steering wheel.
(The writer is a former air warrior and now works for SBI)