By: Amar Yumnam
Imphal, Feb 5:
In my previous piece and the second on the contemporary social chaos in Manipur focused on Manipur Crisis: Absence of Domestic Policy and Collapse of Foreign Policy. I concluded my piece thus: “now in a very unusual way and in a Federal Democracy some costly things have happened: (a) allowing the different ethnicities to continue killing each other; (b) the commonality of the ruling political party at the Central and the Provincial levels do not necessarily ensure shared attention, coordinated articulation of understanding of issues and policy formulation; (c) both Domestic and Foreign Policies have been non-existent while killings in a federating unit is allowed to continue; and (d) international borders are playfields for anybody despite sharp manoeuvres in the neighbouring country by a fast rising global power.
“All these naturally make one ask if India takes Manipur as Disposable. Well I, for one, do not think so. But there appears that the ruling political party, the BJP in this case, finds certain features in the social legacy of Manipur which might ultimately make their agenda for converting everything into the singularity as they perceive fail terribly at the global level. This is an issue needing separate articulation.”
It is this articulation on why some of the pride qualities of Manipur may not fit into the Oneness Model the ruling party and the government that I am attempting in this piece. The ruling party and their government have a single slogan for One Nation and One In Everything. They are singularly committed to this and very aggressively serious on pursuing this model. The Demographic, Ethnic, Geographic, Cultural, Historic, Pre-Historic, Economic, Social and any other diversity are being sought to be founded on a Singular Source – the endeavours in this regard are based on a Singular Attention.
So while thinking over why is it that the Union Government maintains silence on the Manipur’s social crisis cruising to complete a year, we must keep in mind this One Nation and One In Everything model of the ruling political party. Let me mention the common notions people feel as reasons in this regard:
1. Manipur is such a geographically small place vis-à-vis the Vast India. So whatever happens in this small place cannot impact upon the mind of the Large India.
2. The population of Manipur constitutes only a miniscule in the Huge Population of the large country. So what happens to the Huge should be given priority over whatever happens to the miniscule.
3. The economy of Manipur is only a pie in the Trillions of the Big Economy. So attention has to focus on the happenings in the Big rather than on the disturbances in the pie.
4. The province does not have attractive resources for profitable exploitation. There are no mineral resources, while the forest resources are already close to final exhaustion.
5. The geographic diversity makes any potential investment for development unattractive as the potential required investments are higher than normal in the Large India.
I would, however, like to move beyond these common enunciations and try to put some explanations as strong potential reasons for the continuous non-attention to the prevailing social crisis given the One Nation and One In Everything model.
First, despite the smallness, Manipur is marked by diversity in Religion, Geography and Ethnicity. This has the potential to raise the cost of movement towards Oneness in a very uneconomic way in all imaginable dimensions of Monetary, Social, History and Cultural. This is an Error Term in the One Nation and One In Everything model.
Second, Manipur has a proud history of legacy as an independent kingdom of the South East Asia. This definitely is an Error Term in the One Nation and One In Everything model until a history is evolved where Manipur has been only a constituent of the Legacy of the Large India in South Asia.
Third, the Meeteis claim to be Hindus. But this Hinduism turns out to be very different and “impure”. The Meeteis deeply follow their traditional religion and do give regular offerings to the Ruling Deities of their tradition. But there is a uniqueness here. No Meetei would have any complex in going to the Govindjee Temple for worshiping Lord Krishna and Goddess Radhika after completing their prayers to their Lainingthou and Lairembi; in fact they equally value both. Instead, every Manipuri would feel proud that on the same day he/she could fulfil the worshipping of the Lainingthou and Leimarel and Shri Krishna and Radhika. This way makes any Manipuri feel higher fulfilment in purification and getting closer to Gods and Goddesses. In fact, there is no place like Manipur, in my knowledge level, under the Sun where the Traditional Religion is followed absolutely religiously along with another religion with equal virtuous commitment. With the fast-rising globalisation of the Meeteis on the strength of their knowledge capital and greater exposure of Manipur to the outside world, there is the potential over time for the Religious Practice of Manipur being appreciated as The Best Religious Practice at the global level. Now this is a Big Error Term for the One Nation and One In Everything model.
I feel that the usual smallness arguments are coupled by some Error Terms of Manipur in establishing a complete One Nation and One In Everything Model in the minds of the policy-makers and their influencers that explain the inattentive nature of the Union Government towards the social crisis in the province. But I do pray to Lainingthou, Leimarel, Krishna and Radha to kindly address the present crisis without waiting for Removal and Correction of the Error Terms.