The tenacity of the people of Manipur to cling on to concepts of normalcy while actually indulging in acts that reaps results to the contrary can only be marveled at. We profess unity while setting up and supporting ethnically intolerant groups. We demand peace while burning and inciting violence. We insist on freedom even when we are indulging in extortions and intimidations, and we ask understanding of others according to our own terms and views. We publicly donate only to claim it back in private. Perhaps the present social churning threatening to alter the social fabric of the state is an event whose time has come.
Maybe we all have been contributing, albeit unwittingly, to its present condition. But all is not so dark or dismal. There are changes, unintended fallouts that promise to yank the people from the stupor and the self-deceiving delusions of superiority. There are signs of the people awakening to the realities staring them back in the face, even if that reality is not very savory or one everyone have expected or desired.
We have come to participate in social discussions and debates, and have slowly yet surely started to learn to air our vows, never mind fact that, more often than not, a large number of such views and personal opinions reflect the underlying ethnic leanings and are unnecessarily abrasive and harmful.
This is, after all, a starting phase to the trend of social participation and will hopefully learn from the mistakes, and with time, to polish up on one’s thoughts and outlooks.
The most significant outcome is perhaps the increased awareness not only of one’s own history, tradition and customs, but also of other communities as well. There is also a tangible change in the manner in which the public consume resources. The sustained lack of facilities have evidently stirred the curiosity and raised the enthusiasm of the public. There is an increased effort by various groups and individuals to usher in self reliance, especially with regards to food. If the well-meaning but clueless state government can harness the present agitations and unrest, then perhaps we can channelize the energy into something productive instead of playing the reluctant leader. It may be hard to admit for a lot of self-appointed leaders and undeserving representatives, but one cannot deny the fact that at the root of the present turmoil is economic considerations.
The sooner we admit and understand that, the easier will it be to work out a solution. Times are changing, hopefully for the better. With increased awareness, participation and enthusiasm, it is now the duty of everyone in the state to take up the cudgel and wield it productively, and not to batter each other until nothing remains. Every life is precious, and in order for all of us to make our existence worthwhile, we first need to snap out of the illusion of superiority of language, caste, creed, clan, religion and customs.