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Politeness pays

by Rinku Khumukcham
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Politeness misinterpreted as timidity, manners mistaken for weakness and etiquette viewed as unnecessary procedure- this perhaps best sums up the increasingly erratic attitudes when it comes to social interactions. The rising social aberration is being perceived as a manifestation of the rapid assimilation of western cultures and traditions which, by default has been concluded to be inferior and incomplete, not to mention debauched. What is ironic is that we cannot understand our own delusion of greatness and exalted lineage, even less justify it. And yet we still refuse to admit to the fallacies of our own self perceptions. This has created an inexplicable situation where we cannot come to terms with the fact that the very culture we so loathe and despice and which we consider as inferior has exerted an irresistible allure and appeal, especially for the younger generation. On the other hand, our own traditions and cultures which have been developed and passed on through the generations have today seemed to have lost a lot of sheen, not because of any inherent defects or drawbacks, but from the fact that our changing society have failed to a certain degree to make efforts to evolve with the times, and therefore has started to be left behind. The traditional hardliners and zealots are not helping the matter any by trying to militate against the encroaching customs and traditions and at the same time forcibly impose the beliefs and customs, thereby portraying a picture of rigidity and absoluteness which tends to put off most of the general public. All these developments have culminated in the evolution of a worrisome trend of trying to display an attitude of one-upmanship either consciously or otherwise. The emerging trend can best be witnessed with those who wield power and authority.  It can also explain the burning topic of increase in intolerant behavior amongst those who are engaging in the standoff- the state security personnel and the agitators demanding the implementation of Inner Line Permit System in Manipur. It has been an acknowledged fact that certain essential services needs to be kept out of the ambit of the conflict- a practice which has been honored even during times of war. Yet in Manipur, notwithstanding the heightened tension, undue intimidation and unwarranted harassment of individuals engaging in these essential services has been increasingly reported. An ambulance of a private medical hospital was damaged by supporters of ILP, while police personnel deployed at various points in Imphal West and East Districts have prevented media persons from performing their duties and covering the events happening in the state, even after every relevant documents and curfew passes have been presented for verification. The present agitation is to right a perceived wrong. It would do well for all of us use restraint instead of resorting to intimidation and coercion which would turn the conflict into a meaningless scuffle amongst our own kith and kin.   

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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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