Home » Meira Paibis: Silent Heroes in the Pursuit of Peace, Not Applause

Meira Paibis: Silent Heroes in the Pursuit of Peace, Not Applause

by Aribam Bishwajit
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Chief Minister N. Biren Singh, in his speeches leading up to the fateful day of May 3, has been eloquent in claiming peace in Manipur under his administration, often juxtaposing it against the preceding tenure of the Congress government led by Okram Ibobi Singh, of which, notably, he was a member. Reveling in the role of ‘Chief Minister’, Mr. Singh appears to have developed selective amnesia about the governance challenges of his previous affiliation.
His narrative, laced with pride, often underlines the sleepful nights enjoyed by Manipuri women since the BJP’s ascendancy in 2017. He does not hold back from criticizing the earlier Congress era, which saw the brave women, the Meira Paibis, stepping up to shield their families from threats.
Meira Paibi, emblematic of “Women Torchbearers,” signifies more than a movement; it’s a testament to the courage and resolve of Manipuri women. Conceived in the 1970s, this movement became the bulwark against societal ills, drawing inspiration from even older legacies like the Nupi Laan. Their endeavors stretch beyond mere activism, directly influencing public discourse and governmental decision-making.
But times have changed, and not for the better. Under Mr. Singh’s reign, the Meira Paibis, once safe in their Meira Shang, are now compelled to find refuge on the streets. The turmoil engulfing Manipur since May 3 points to alarming questions on governance. Yet, in these tumultuous times, the Meira Paibis have been the true pillars of support and resilience.
From the onset of the recent violence, these brave women, armed with nothing but unity and determination, were at the frontlines. Their unique alarm, a stone against an electric pole, speaks volumes about their collective spirit. Amidst the strife, where Manipur witnessed the loss of its own and saw countless injured, it was the Meira Paibis who were on the ground, taking the most hits.
The concern they harbor for Manipur’s future, especially its youth, is palpable. Their valor, even unarmed, stands as a testament to their indomitable spirit against adversaries, including security forces. In contrast, while the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Manipur seem engrossed in blame games and glory hunting, their true mettle remains questionable. The Meira Paibis, however, have stood firm, their primary goal being lasting peace.
No accolades can truly capture the essence of the Meira Paibis. They seek neither credit nor applause. Their true reward? A peaceful and harmonious Manipur. As the political narratives weave and wane, it’s time the contributions of Meira Paibi receive the recognition they so rightly deserve. It’s high time society and government grant them their rightful due. Our mothers have braved countless storms; now, they rightfully deserve tranquillity.

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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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