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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Imphal, April 26:

Commemorating the incident of Patsoi-Langjing Khunou 1980, at which civilians including women and children were tortured, raped and molested by troops of CRPF, the proscribed group People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK) and its army wing Red Army today observed Indian Colonialism Resist Day 2021.
A statement of the rebel group, issued by Leibaak Ngakpa Luwang, Secretary –in-charge , Publicity and Propaganda , PREPAK, said that people of the state are in the verge of extinction due to the series of activities committed base on the militarization and Colonisation. The internal feud that has been going on among the various ethnic people of the region and the unwanted incidents among the people of the region are all architect of the colonial regime. More activities to spew venom to the various community are still on. Their attempt is to ignite a civil war in the region, the statement said.
Talking about democracy, the PREPAK statement said that India though proudly announced as the largest democratic country in world, people of the country are still yet to received the real taste of democracy. The rich, the powerfull are running the country and not by the people. The same way is being taught to the people of Kangleipak too.

The swamping rise in the 2nd wave of COVID-19 Pandemic across the country finally in the state of Manipur with a record of 142 new cases yesterday, which is perhaps the highest single-day surge of 2021 is alarming. This is a more serious case than the 1st wave and the government and the people should take this issue with extreme seriousness. Yesterday, the country recorded as many as 3.49 lakhs of people testing positive with COVID-19. Among these Maharashtra has been reported as the highest hit state with around 67,000 new cases daily. The number is on the rise and there are complaints of lack of oxygen supply for treatment of Covid patients in major states like Maharastra, Delhi, Karnataka, etc.
When the first COVID 19 issue sparks across the globe, India was among the first country to take the case with extreme seriousness. And among the states of India, Manipur perhaps was also among the first to take up precautionary measures to break the chain of spreading the virus from people to people. This is being said so as the state government had already shut down the market hubs – including the famous three Ima Market, 2 or 3 days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a total lockdown across the country to contain the virus.
All sorts of gatherings including religious related activities were banned when the COVID -19 crises reached its peak in April 2020. Media and social activists across the country blame the mass gathering - Tablighi Jamaat somewhere near the capital city of the country.
All was well, as long as the election time in different states came after the dreaded virus have already intruded to each and every nook and corners of the country.
Health advisory had been issued. And the local administrators issued Standard Operative Procedures to be followed by all. Even curfew had been imposed to make sure that the virus is contained. During those times, the worst-hit community was the daily wage earners, migrant workers, and people who are living below poverty line.
Now the so-called social distancing and advice to stay a home turn as a joke when it comes to election time. Legislators who make laws happen to be the ones who started violating the rules that they make. Nothing has been taken up against the violators of the COVID-19 SoPs. Social distancing, which one has to follow at least 1 meter distancing was a joke during meetings organized for election campaign. Today we saw lakhs of people gathering and offering prayers Kumb Mela, and thousands have been reported tested positive.
Something is seriously wrong with what is happening in the country. And if one recount the series of events and happenings during the Yaoshang Festival in the state of Manipur, just some few days back, one can simply imagine that there is definitely something that is not implacable to the running of the administration, no matter those involving have full awareness of how the COVID -19 has been spreading. Perhaps the system doesn’t allow to fight the COVID-19 pandemic even though those in the government wish to do so.
Well, many things had happened but not everything has ended. Government can take up measures to fight the spread of the virus even today. If the authority takes up measures to break the chain of the COVID-19 with immediate effect then the later days may be a brighter day for our children.
For the state of Manipur, the Chief Minister Advisory in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic is appreciated and should be appreciated by all. Report about the shortage of Oxygen at other major cities in India had alarmed the state of Manipur and today Manipur has a Medical Oxygen manufacturing plant at both JNIMS and RIMS. The Government also open a COVID care ward at Bal Bhavan which is the urgent need of the hour.
The Chief Minister’s understandings of the seriousness of the issue and his advice to his cabinet Ministers, Legislators, and government functionaries to refrain from organizing , participating, or promoting events to attract large gatherings of any size from today is indeed the need of this hour.
With the kind of situation faced by the state right at the moment, some of the experts in the field suggested total lockdown for at least 14 days and also strict checking of the outsiders entering the state. The government has already taken up measures and the only thing left is whether there is a need for total lockdown or not. Saying so the way the government is opening shops ration basis is appreciable.
More importantly, the SoPs should be let followed by all including those in the administration. Those who failed to follow the SoP should be strictly dealt and the People are expecting the kind of action that the Chief Minister may proceed against those violators of the advisory.

By- Dr. Aniruddha Babar,
Dept of Political Science, Tetso College, Dimapur, Nagaland
The garb of religion is the best cloak for power.
— William Hazlitt
As a Thinker and an Academician, I spend maximum of my time challenging my own notions and beliefs that has been developed over the period of time as a result of physical/sensory experiences, personal meditations and contemplations. I am always suspicious about what I see, what I read, what I learn, what I think, what I say and what I teach. My students and apprentices help me in this rigorous endeavor of ‘Self-examination’ and ‘Introspection’. This present work is a final result of a thought provoking classroom debate that started with academic discourse on ‘St. Augustine’s ‘City of God’.
Christian Socialism is a religious and political ideology that helps in integrating Christianity with socialism. Christian Socialism is mainly intended towards promoting socialist economy and left wing politics. Christian Socialism is developed and built on the teaching of the Bible. The proponents of Christian socialism believe that capitalism is the main evil of the society that results in causing inequality and discrimination. According to the proponents, Capitalism is idolatrous, and associated with the sin of greed. Therefore, Christian socialist considered capitalism as the main source of greed and inequality in the society. The first major movement related to Christian Socialism started in the United Kingdom in 19th century which intended towards becoming politically involved and theologically reflective.
However, despite of the significant Social Equality approach in Christian Socialism, it has been criticized by many scholars and researchers. Christian socialism has been significantly criticized for being pacifist and utopian. The pacifist belief informs that all forms of the violent acts are against the Christian belief. However, there have been Christian social pacifists, who have supported war. For example, Henry Scott Holland, John Clifford, R.H. Tawney supported the First World War.
Moreover, dealing with the debate on ‘Christian Socialism’, In Rendering Unto Caesar, Lawrence Reed, president emeritus of the libertarian-leaning Foundation for Economic Education, writes that Jesus was not a socialist in that he promoted voluntary giving and charity rather than the mandatory taking by government (taxes). Conservative evangelical Christian Johnnie Moore, Professor of Religion at Liberty University, a “bastion of the Christian right” in American politics, writing on the homepage of Fox News Radio’s Todd Starnes, claimed that Jesus was a capitalist. Traditionalist conservative Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association, a Christian fundamentalist organization in the United States, also claimed that Jesus was a capitalist who advocated “voluntary redistribution of wealth”. Charles Haddon Spurgeon was critical of socialist doctrines, and warned that those who seek socialism “may soon have too much of it”. Specifically, he regarded collectivist Christianity as inferior to faith on an individual level. He said that “I would not have you exchange the gold of individual Christianity for the base metal of Christian Socialism”.
Christian socialists and their political ideology is criticized because it is based on utopian thinking and such a belief and thinking is not rooted in reality, rather it remains the vision of entirely just and perfect world merely in a theoretical form. Some of the scholars have also argued that Christian Socialism is a mere political thought, which displays the utopian dream in the worst sense of the present world. It has been further argued that considering the Christian Socialists ideologies are nearly impossible to be translated in practice and in policies of the government, because of lacking reality. Christian Socialism is far from providing any satisfactory answer to how they wish to overcome the problems associated with budget deficits, how they would address mass unemployment, complex tax issues, international relations, strategic affairs, trade & commerce and how they can address other forms of inequalities and discriminations in the society. The opponents of Christian Socialism have also argued that such socialism lack the strong proposal about how they wish society to function. Their utopian vision is considered to be very disengaged with the world around them, and therefore, their socialism is mere a fantasy that would never be able to achieve reality.
Although, Christian socialism is considered as the major critique of the post-modern capitalist’s society, but it is itself filled with many ambiguities. For the Christian Socialists, the new world that they wish to establish is not a society that is more just and safe; rather they consider it to be the ‘Kingdom of God’, and for establishing such kingdom, there would be a need of profound reversal of the entire social order, in which first shall be last and last shall be first (as stated under the New Testament of the Bible). Christian socialists have argued that those who have studied the teaching of the Jesus Christ would have known that he had hardly spoken about the life after death rather he has placed a strong emphasis on establishing the kingdom of God. Kingdom of God, means establishing a right and a communistic society, where every individual would be equal, as every man was made in the image of God. Thus, they shall be equal in his kingdom.
Christian Socialism is significantly inclined towards establishing a grand and glorious society, with the passionate aim of making the world like heaven. However, how real is this belief, when there are no strong strategies or policies to establish such society? How this new society would sustain? However, it has also been identified that not all the Christian Socialists have similar perspective, such as R.H. Tawney and William Temple have opposed such Christian view of establishing the kingdom of God or if such kingdom could be established ever on Earth. Tawney had been one of the most influential Christian Socialists, who had believed that humans could not be freed from their sinfulness, nor a perfect human society could be established. Therefore, it is important to consider and acknowledge the realistic view of the human nature, for understanding that how men and women would function within a new society.
Christian socialists have distinct perspective within themselves, for example, some of them believe that sinfulness of the humans would be ended for establishing the new world, while others within them argue that sinfulness of the humans could not be ended, but it would have no impact on establishing a socialist communist world. For example, a Christian Socialist Headlam, have written that sins would not disappear under socialism, but he nowhere suggests that it would have any impact on establishing a righteous society. These evidences informs that Christian Socialism is based on the fluid ideas that do not have any strong bases, rather theological ideas are tried to be included in political ideology of socialism. Christian Socialists seek to establish a society on the basis of mutual cooperation and collaboration. For example, Christian socialists Hardie, Lansbury, Tawney and Temple have positively argued about the collective ownership of the properties and land. Although, they believe that personal property would remain as it is, but it is the private property that is identified under dispute. However, again because of the lack of proper strategies and ideas about how such disputes would be resolved, Christian socialism again leaves a gap. This is the reason that Christian Socialism is denied and opposed as being not only the part of socialism but also the philosophical spectrum of Politics & Statecraft, because the Christian socialist methods are without any solid base, and ideas. Competition, which is an important element of the modern society, is completely against the Christian worldview, as competition is ethically dubious. Christian Socialism lacks the answer towards how the new society would be able to respond towards the extremely competitive, technologically oriented modern complex world. Therefore, Christianity and socialism are incompatible to each other in all forms, as both are dissimilar in forms of origin, aims, methods and principles.
Finally, as I lost deeper in the abyss of my mind in the middle of the silent night; I ask one question to myself. How wise is it to regenerate and crossbreed theological principles with political philosophy? Will Theology be able to withstand the ‘Realist Temptation’ of power’? Being a follower of Jesus Christ, a realist thinker and a student of Philosophy, Christian Theology and Comparative Religions; I can say that the Jesus Christ was a social reformer of his day, advocating the transformation of oppressive systems of power. He gave hopes to those who had been thrown at the bottom of the pit. Naturally, therefore, his first disciples were all from the lowest strata of society who could relate to his ‘teachings’, the ‘path’ and most importantly his ‘suffering’. However, with the passage of time the light of Jesus’ wisdom went through multitude of ‘prisms’; reaching to the kaleidoscopic paradox which not only disturbs me but also makes me want to question the nexus between the Political Power & Religious Faith. The Franciscan friar Richard Rohr (2018) explains this paradox:
“As long as Jesus’ followers were on the bottom and the edge of empire, as long as they shared the rejected and betrayed status of Jesus, they could grasp his teaching more readily. Values like non-participation in war, simple living, inclusivity, and love of enemies could be more easily understood when Christians were gathering secretly in the catacombs, when their faith was untouched by empire, rationalization, and compromise. In 313 A.D., Constantine legalized Christianity. It became the official religion of the Roman Empire in 380. After this structural change, Christianity increasingly accepted, and even defended, the dominant social order. The church slowly lost its free and alternative vantage point.  Before 313, the church was on the bottom of society. Within the space of a few decades, the church moved from the bottom to the top, literally from the catacombs to the basilicas. When the Christian church became the established religion of the empire, it started reading the Gospel from the position of maintaining power and social order instead of experiencing the profound power of powerlessness that Jesus revealed.”
As night passes, the clouds of thoughts gathers in my mind and my inner eyes starts searching for Jesus who has been in the ‘Prison’ of the conscience of his followers for eternity. Time has come to free ‘Jesus’ from our own selfish interests and political ambitions. Jesus was the first and last Christian who never gave ‘Christianity’, but rather taught how to live like a man which I believe we all have forgotten in our mad rage for the ‘POWER’.

The Karnataka High Court is holding a hearing on March 21 to tackle a legislative proposal for the regulation of online gambling in the state. If it pushes through, the proposal could be a step forward to regulating the sector in India for betting and gambling websites like PureWin.com.

Ban on online gambling and betting in Karnataka sought

On February 16, the state government presented a proposal before the Karnataka High Court that sought to ban all forms of online gambling and betting—until regulation is established. Gambling in Karnataka is governed by the Karnataka Police Act, 1963, as well as the national Public Gambling Act, 1867.

Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum granted a six-week timeframe, allowing the state government to file any objections to the proposal.

“AGA seeks time on the ground that a proposal to have a legislation is being placed before the cabinet. He seeks six weeks’ time,” the division bench stated in its order. “State government shall place on record the decision taken by the cabinet while filing the statement of objections.”

Filed by Sharada D R, the petition noted how the “complete regulatory vacuum” in the online betting and gambling sector has resulted in exposing the vulnerable sections of society—particularly youth—to the “hazardous and predatory situations” amid the ongoing pandemic. Karnataka is one of the six states that account for the majority of new COVID-19 cases in the country, according to the Health Ministry.

The petition pointed out that the state doesn’t have a mechanism to monitor whether an online game is a game of chance or a skill-based game. For instance, the game of rummy is considered a game of skill, but “what holds good for the game in the offline mode may not be true for the online mode.”

An ENV Media report, titled India’s Richest Cities and Its Large Online Gambling Communities, placed Karnataka among the states and cities with the biggest online gambling penetration and presence. Karnataka recorded 9.3% in traffic generation (along with West Bengal), while Telangana has 9.9% share. Leading the pack is Maharashtra with 17.4% in traffic generation.

Other states also reviewing online gambling acts

India’s gambling industry has been largely operating in a grey landscape at the moment, but that is poised to change in the near future as more state governments start to amend their Gaming Acts to match the current landscape.

The Kerala state government, for instance, has amended the Kerala Gaming Act, 1960 to ban online rummy with immediate effect.

In November 2020, the Madras High Court has asked the state government of Tamil Nadu to bring a law that will curb online betting, resulting in the introduction of an Ordinance recently. In Gujarat, a public interest litigation (PIL) was filed in October 2020 to add online gambling to the Gujarat Prevention of Gambling Act, 1887. Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh has also banned online gambling games including rummy, poker and fantasy sports. These popular games can be played on websites such as https://www.purewin.com/en-in/

The Tamil Nadu state government also passed a bold legislation to ban online betting. The bill, which has passed the state assembly, sought to give any individual violating the ban imprisonment of up to two years or fine not exceeding 10,000 rupees.

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