Home » It’s Not Nude, So Won’t You Condemn, Mr. Modi?

It’s Not Nude, So Won’t You Condemn, Mr. Modi?

by Aribam Bishwajit
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In July, a gut-wrenching video displaying two women paraded in the nude stormed the internet. Notably absent was the voice of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who, after an unforgivable period of silence, eventually deigned to condemn it. Astoundingly, his voice remained muted regarding the chilling episodes of arson and cold-blooded killings that have been ravaging Manipur since May 3. By cherry-picking the incident for condemnation, the Prime Minister unwittingly but unmistakably cast the Meitei community in the role of chief antagonists in this escalating turmoil. This narrow viewpoint not only smacks of myopia but also gross oversight. The reprehensible incident drew unanimous, heartfelt outrage from the Meiteis, marking the streets with their collective disdain. And rightfully so. Standing shoulder to shoulder with his people, Manipur’s Chief Minister, N Biren Singh, resolutely led a state-wide repudiation. The national leadership’s selective responsiveness was both alarming and deeply unsettling.
Today, the nation’s attention is again captured, this time by haunting images of two missing Meitei students. The chilling photos, now viral, depict a grim tableau: in one, the students sit in a grassy enclosure, the girl’s eyes — a mirror of despair — locked into the camera, while in the background, armed men stand ominously. Another image bears testimony to a tragic finale, showing their lifeless bodies. And yet, the unsettling silence from national corridors of power persists. The Prime Minister, in particular, has yet to utter a word of condemnation. This silence has given rise to a bitter question among the anguished masses: Does Modi’s indignation arise only when victims are stripped of their dignity? Nearly half a year has elapsed, and Manipur remains ensnared in the throes of violence. Both Prime Minister Modi and Manipur’s Chief Minister, N Biren Singh, along with their bureaucratic machinery, appear startlingly impotent in stemming this tide. The recent brutal killings of the two Meitei students believed to be the handiwork of alleged Kuki militants, demand immediate and unequivocal condemnation. If the Prime Minister is to dispel growing suspicions of bias or selective empathy, this moment demands his voice be clear and unyielding.
The disillusionment with the state’s lawmakers is palpable. Civil Society Organizations, once seen as potential mediators or pressure groups, have fallen short in pushing the government toward decisive action. Today’s demonstration, with thousands of students flooding the streets demanding justice for their slain peers, speaks volumes. They were not driven by charismatic leaders but by a burning anger fueled by the government’s evident inadequacy. Chief Minister N Biren Singh’s administration, with a track record of swiftly tracking down online detractors, must now redirect that efficiency—the recent proclamation by Manipur’s Cyber Crime Police Station — “Digital Footprints are difficult to remove. Think twice before sharing any kind of information on Social Media” — rings hollow if it cannot trace the originators of these heartbreaking images. Where is the assertiveness they so proudly boasted?
When confronted with the video of the naked parade, swift action was indeed taken, leading to arrests. Why, then, is this glaring inertia in the face of a heinous crime against the state’s youth? Is the state administration lingering in anticipation of a nod from PM Modi, which might never come, especially given the victims weren’t disrobed this time around? Chief Minister N Biren Singh is at a defining crossroads. He must rise to the occasion, showcase leadership, and regain the eroding trust of Manipur’s citizenry. Merely holding onto the Chief Minister’s chair without decisive action will inevitably etch his legacy as one among those leaders who let Manipur down at its most critical juncture.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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