Paojakhup Guite

Paojakhup Guite

Paojakhup Guite, a resident of Saihenjang village, Tuibong Sub-division, Churachandpur and now living at 1st Street, New Lambulane, Imphal East, Manipur is a regular article contributor of Imphal Times. Guite finish his graduation from St. Edmund's College, Shillong, Meghalaya. He may be contacted at [email protected]

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By - Paojakhup Guite

Is Coronovirus an invisible gun of modern China? There are many myths and conspiracy theories regarding the virus and its origin. Donald Trump, the US President is one such propounder. President-elect Joe Biden may or may not think ditto. History has it that germs have played a crucial role in the politics of discovery and conquest by colonizing people of different lands.
Twenty-three years ago, Jared Diamond in his celebrated “Guns, Germs and Steel: A short history of everybody for the last 13,000 years” had pointed out that guns and germs were primary instruments that shaped the modern world history. Industrial Revolution in the second half of the 18th century added another third tool in the form of steel. Metallurgy, thus, contributed tremendously to make way for discovery and conquest much easier. Jared Diamond (b.1937) is an American geographer, historian, anthropologist and ornithologist. His book was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1998 for general non-fiction category.
Electoral politics in Manipur is much influenced by gun culture. In the most recent by-elections at the high of COVID-19 Pandemic flouting SOPs, electioneering was at its peak. “Gunshots were heard during the Public Meeting held today (October 28? subject to correction) at Kangchup…..empty bullet shells recovered from the spot of gunshot at Kangchup….”. This was a statement Dr. Lamtinthang Haokip, the INC candidate for 51-Saitu (ST) A/C was quoted as saying. The incident took place while the INC candidate was on an election campaign at Kangchup. Even in a modern democratic set-up, guns are still in vogue to intimidate innocent electorates. This sort of rigged election has, over decades produced undue results.
Germs and their genesis
Food production and domestication paved way for origin of diseases. Eurasia and the Fertile Crescent (South-west Asia) are T-points where human nomadism took a halt at. Sedentary culture came to limelight at these two centers for the first time. Hunting-gathering came to an end and was replaced by cultivation which necessitated humans to stay put, thereby built a structure that could withstand cold winter and wild animals. Thus, harvested their cultivations. Domestication came next.
Now that a time came for a germ to inevitably groom from its cocoon (foods and animals). Zoonotic diseases began to spread within human populations who were territorially and geographically contagious of one another. Ironically, these communities are the ones who had the capability to strengthen their immunity by developing medicines and antibiotics for themselves. Modern medical science was already at its initial stage to them. Conversely, there are some human populations totally isolated from those of Europeans. They were mostly natives of their land- islands, New World, etc.
From Natives to Captives
For instance, the Aztecs of Mexico and the Incas of Peru became victims of geographical discovery in the 15th and 16th centuries during the Age of Discovery. This ended up in conquests.
The two tribes of the New World were dominant empire builders of their time. Spanish Conquistadors spared no effort to advance their sinister design of conquest. Advancement in maritime navigation and growth of germs and guns came in handy for the conquerors. They forayed into the New World carrying germs with them. Diseases like chickenpox, smallpox, malaria, measles, influenza, etc., were unknown to the isolated native tribes of the Americas. Nor did they have the immunity to resist the imported viruses. These native Americans could neither develop one which could severely infect back to the invaders so that they died in droves.
Ultimately, because the natives could not develop the strength to fight back the viruses, they lost to the Conquistadors forever. Hernan Cortes (1485-1547) conquered the Aztec Empire of Mexico and Francisco Pizarro (1478-1541) led the conquest of the Incan Empire in Peru. Therefore, the natives became captives in their ancestral land in the hands of the Spanish Conquistadors.
21st Century China Way
Spanish and other European conquerors invaded the land and the people in person with or without germs and guns. This was the case during early modern age.
However, 21st century modern warfare has been changed. Invaders need not necessarily be present on the intended land (battlefield). We have many long-range missile types that can be launched from a continent to another continent. Launchpads can be from surface, air or water. Still, more lethal than those of missiles has always been germs.
The infamous COVID-19 undoubtedly, has its origin in China. Many allegations have been put on the Xi Jinping led Communist government. Conspiracy theories like China’s aspiration to overtake the United States of America (USA) as a world Superpower is in the offing. There is a suspicion that the novel coronavirus was engineered in a lab in China, meaning the virus started in a laboratory there. The theorists believe that SARS-CoV-2 was the most effective bioweapon for China to wrestle power with the USA.
The Chinese mother of whistleblower and a virologist Dr. Li Meng-Yan claims that the new coronavirus is not natural and that China manufactured it. She said she has proof for her assertion. “The genome sequence is like a human fingerprint. Based on this you can identify these things. I will use this evidence to tell people why this has come from the lab in China, why they are the ones who make it. Anyone, even if you have no biology knowledge, will be able to read it.”
Dr. Li Meng-Yan is a researcher at the Hong Kong School Public Health. She has allegedly fled China.
Thus, the surreptitious warfare strategy of China, if anything as per revelations by the woman whistleblower, shows a shift in modern warfare technology: from guns to germs. However, it is reasonable to retrospect the past Pandemics such as Spanish flu, Black Death, Cholera, etc. These global diseases bore no political connotations as to their country of origin as COVID-19 does. It’s high time global leaders shunned their blame game and rather stand on a war footing to give the Pandemic a defeat. Common men should follow suit, so that we win the battle against the pandemic virus. Let’s do our best to remain devoid of guns and germs. Let’s stand up to make way for steel in order to have developments in our society.

(Views expressed here are personal. For queries, the writer may be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 6009962948)

Population and territory are important characteristic features of a sovereign state to have an effective government, more so in democratic ones. In other words, the four important pillars of a state are population, territory, government and sovereignty.
Under Article 82 of the Constitution (Readjustment after each census), the Parliament by law enacts a Delimitation Act after every census. Thereafter, the Central Government constitutes a Delimitation Commission. In India, four such Delimitation Commissions had been constituted- in 1952, 1963, 1973 and 2002 under Delimitation Acts of 1952, 1962, 1972 and 2002 respectively.
The Delimitation Commission set up under the Delimitation Act, 2002 was to readjust the division of each state and union territory into territorial constituencies for the purpose of Lok Sabha and state assembly elections on the basis of Census figures of 2001. The Commission has completed the delimitation exercise and the Delimitation Order, 2008 in respect of all the states, except in four North-eastern states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland.
Gerrymandering- The Beginning
Gerrymandering is the practice of setting boundaries of electoral districts to favour specific political interests with legislative bodies. The concept was introduced in 1812 by the American politician and diplomat, Elbridge Gerry.
Right from day-one post-independence, Manipur tribals have always been taken along and been part of India’s democratic journey. This was for the first time experimented in India’s first election in 1951-52 under the auspices of the Delimitation Commission. Notwithstanding the tribal population being short of the required number, the Delimitation Commission reached an agreement that for the purpose of Lok Sabha elections, the electorates of the erstwhile Thoubal sub-division (excluding Bishenpur tensil) in the Manipur plains were clubbed with the Outer Manipur PC because, the number of eligible tribal voters in the Outer constituency was only 1,80,641. With the addition of 1,20,185 non-tribal voters of the Thoubal sub-division, the total strength of the Outer Manipur PC rose to 3,00,826. At that time, the Inner Manipur PC consisted of what was then Sadar sub-dvision (excluding the area which formerly constituted the Mao sub-division) and Bishenpur tehsil of the Thoubal sub-division. Today, the Outer Manipur PC consists of the tribal areas of Jiribam, and the districts of Ukhrul, Kamjong, Churachandpur, Pherzawl, Tamenglong, Noney, Kangpokpi, Chandel, Tengnoupal and Senapati or the area which formely constituted the Mao sub-division, along with the non-tribal areas in the Thoubal sub-division (excluding Bishenpur tehsil) and Jiribam. This arrangement is known as Gerrymandering.
Delimitation Justice- A Holy Grail in Thoubal
Today, the erstwhile sub-division of Thoubal (excluding Bishnupur Tehsil) comprises of eight Assembly Constituencies spreading across Thoubal, Kakching and Jiribam districts. These three non-tribal districts have the total voter strength of more than 2,35,000 as against their population size of 1,20,185 in 1951-52. Buoyed by its population strength, people of these districts began to show their dissent. They do not want to accept the gerrymandering anymore. For them, this arrangement is egregiously a travesty of justice, hence no more acceptable. The issue is not just about the denial of their right to contest the Lok Sabha election. More importantly, it is about the violation of their constitutional and citizenship rights. This injustice apparently makes the Representation of Peoples Act (RPA), 1950 an elephant in the room. This Act’s mandate is to give proper and separate representation of both tribals and non-tribals. Therefore, they are opposed to this constituency arrangement and boldly point out that the RPA Act, 1950 is more important than the equal distribution of population in the two Parliamentary Constituencies of Manipur.
Laishram Jogeshwor Singh and Rishang Keishing, Members of Parliament from Inner and Outer Manipur Constituencies respectively submitted the people’s dissent note to the Delimitation Commission in March, 1954 that the arrangement was “much criticised and protested against by all sections of the public of the Manipur State”. On 12th April, 1954, the Delimitation Commission held a public consultative meeting on the issue at Imphal. On 16th June, 1954, the Commission issued its orders without change in the letter and spirit of the existing arrangement. Even the Commission failed to provide justification of its order. Unfortunately this fateful decision has only ended up in antagonising all the people involved on the issue over time. In the past, the Thoubal MP Candidature Demand Committee with support of the people in these segments had even boycotted the elections.
Moreover, various Civil Society Organisations also demanded that the lone Rajya Sabha seat of the State be at least given to the people of these 8 Assembly Constituency segments as consolation.
It is worth remembering that the 8 Assembly segments had elected several Ministers from these segments as well as Okram Ibobi Singh, a unique record holder as the first and only MLA who became Chief Minister of the State for three consecutive terms.
However, apparently, the fate of political representations of the tribals in Parliament is held by the vagaries and mercies of the non-tribal electorates of Thoubal and Jiribam. In other words, electorates of the two non-tribal areas look like a King-Maker.
In 2014 Lok Sabha Elections, Soso Lorho of Naga People’s Front (NPF) could manage to garner 2.8 lakh votes from tribals and only 5,358 votes from non-tribals, while Thangso Baite of the Congress was voted winner with 1.9 lakh tribal votes and a huge 1,06,120 non-tribal votes. This way, the non-tribal votes cast in a solid block somewhat unfairly decided the winner in the tribal constituency. But, the story was otherwise in the 2019 General Elections. Due to the fragmentation of Kuki votes and consolidation of Naga votes, Soso Lorho emerged victorious with 3.62 lakh tribal votes and just 6,450 non-tribal votes (3.54%) over K. James (INC) who got 87,926 non-tribal votes and H. Shokhopao Mate (BJP) who was voted 63,255 non-tribal votes. As a result, the non-tribal voters failed to determine the winner this time. The tribal people of Manipur need an effective voice of their own in Parliament. That is why one seat was allotted to them in the first place. Yet, by adding a block of valley voters to this reserved constituency, that very intent seems to have been defeated by itself. All stakeholders apparently agree that the 8 non-tribal Assembly Constituency segments need to be taken away from the tribal Outer Manipur Parliamentary Constituency.
Skewed Population- An Achilles’ Heel
In the Census report of 2001, nine sub-divisions including Mao-Maram, Paomata, Purul, Saitu Gamphazol, Chakpikarong, Machi, Chandel HQ, Kasom Khullen and Moreh of three hill districts such as Senapati, Ukhrul and Chandel have shown unrealistic, unnatural and abnormal population growth rate as expressed in percentage. Each of the districts has hit more than a 100 per cent mark of population growth rate. This has drawn criticisms from different quarters of Political Organisations, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and even the State Government. They point out that the population growth is rather baseless, because such a growth rate is biologically impossible in a ten years time (1991-2001). Moreover, the Constitution of India was specifically amended as 84th Amendment in 2002 not to have delimitation of constituencies until the first census after 2026. Thus, the present constituencies arranged on the basis of 2001 Census shall continue to be in operation till the first Census after 2026 and, therefore, existing total number of seats in each state is frozen till 2026.
The Centre while made an announcement that the delimitation will now be conducted in the four North-eastern states, it also notified that the delimitation shall be based on the 2011 Census. However, it is not acceptable to the people of the three hill districts, thereby plead with the Centre that the Delimitation Act, 2002 shall be used and the delimitation exercise shall be based on 2001 Census. They assert that the delimitation process is long overdue, while already done in other states of the country based on 2001 Census report. People of the three hill districts have been pressing hard for the conduct of delimitation as soon as possible, so that their befitting population size would be served justice.
Although the Centre shifted to 2011 Census as the base year from 2001’s, yet people of the valley districts are not convinced to accept it. They observe that the Census report of 2011 was incorrect and not acceptable even for the people of the three hill districts.
Strongly reacting to the proposal to conduct delimitation based on 2001 Census report, the Ethno Heritage Council (HERICOUN) has appealed to the State Government, Opposition and all political parties, CSOs to stand unitedly and sent a clear message to the Central Government that delimitation process should be done fair and square. International Peace and Social Advancement has also urged the Government(s) and authority (ies) concerned to conduct the delimitation process only after completing the 2021 Census. Recalling that the then Central Government had resolved not to have delimitation till 2026, IPSA warned that ignoring the sentiment of Manipur might invite agitation. The 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act deferred delimitation in 1976 until 2001; second time, the 86th Amendment Act deferred it until 2026 where in both Amendments; existing total number of seats across states were kept frozen.
To ensure a representative democracy, the Centre should work in tandem with the State Government, Opposition and various CSOs. Foreigners inhabiting in the state should be detected and deported to their respective states or countries before conducting the proposed delimitation exercise. Biometrics data (Aadhaar) and physical evidence should also be collected while counting heads to ensure transparency. The three hill districts that reported abnormal growth of population should be scrutinized at the earliest. Taking all these steps beforehand would enable us to become one. The buzzword “Chingtam-Tam Amani” principle will dwell in us.

Of late, rumours roared buzzingly across the State that COVID-19 had reached its climax of transmission: Community Transmission. In epidemiology, community spread happens to be the third stage. At this stage, sources of the disease are not known. The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines Community Transmission as one which is “evidenced by the inability to relate confirmed cases through chains of transmission for a large number of cases, or by increasing positive tests through sentinel samples (routine systematic testing of respiratory samples from established laboratories)”.
In the US, a Community Transmission of the disease (COVID-19) has three specific source countries. Therefore, community spread in the US means those cases which are occurring in people who did not have any known contact with others from China, South Korea or Italy.
Similarly, in Manipur, the third stage of transmission of COVID-19 may be evidenced by inability to relate confirmed cases through chains of transmission for a large number of cases to those who have a “staying history” in quarantine centres i.e., occurring in people who did not have known contact with someone from Community Quarantine Centres (CQC) or Institutional QCs or Home Quarantines. Community Transmission as such is yet to take place in the state (if not prevented in the right direction).
As of I write this piece, Manipur has contracted 4-digit cases of COVID-19. These thousand cases have been clinically confirmed through sentinel samples thanks to the Government of Manipur. However, none of these cases can be traced or related to a community spread. Most of them had their transmissions happened among the inmates themselves inside the Quarantine centres. I call this mode of transmission as In-Situ transmission. Apart from this transmission, we also have some confirmed cases on who had initially tested negative while in a quarantine centre, but later confirmed positive after a requisite 14-day or more quarantining. Still in this case, s/he is believed to have contracted from fellow inmates i.e., both having a staying history in Quarantine centres. I call this mode as Ex-Situ transmission. Both the in-situ and ex-situ transmissions are non-local, non-community. They can be collectively called Managed Transmissions. The managed transmissions, namely in-situ and ex-situ transmissions are said to be the spill-over effects of mismanagement of transportation and quarantine facilities of returnees.
Air Transmission
One of the fastest modes of transport is airways. Ministry of Civil Aviation was quite prompt to consider the home sickness of its people living outside their home states. The Union Ministry works with State Governments of the country in unison to repatriate the expatriates. As a result, while a stringent lockdown was strictly enforced on ground, traffic began to jam in the air from 25th May, 2020 after a brief ban on airways.
The passengers reached quarantine centres in 4 to five hours time. Asymptomatic persons carried with them the disease. Hence, the disease travelled in such a breakneck speed to reach the jewelled land (Manipur) through air. Thus, air is being polluted. At the initial stage, due to lack of testing technology and of Personal Protective Equipments (PPE) kits, quarantining alone was not robust enough to contain the disease within its four walls. Worse, Quarantine centres were not able to provide basic amenities to the inmates. This raised questions of security concerns. Lack of basic amenities poses an existential threat (basic necessities like toilet, washroom, diet, etc.) to humankind. This existential threat to the inmates was a viable route for the virus to spread easily to as many as people in a very short span of time. This sort of Quarantine centres is no less than the holocaust of the Nazis.
In a nutshell, COVID-19 is a passenger-borne and not air-borne. Let’s give time to the World Health Organisation to refute its own earlier finding that the virus is not air-borne. Kudos to those experts who have, after a series of rigorous research, lettered the world health body to review its earlier guidelines on transmission of the Coronavirus. If the air-borne transmission is proved, Lockdown 6.0 is likely to be imposed all the more harshly. Alas, our atmospheric aerosols have been adulterated by the airways!
Real Transmission
Maximum contractions in minimum time of the disease happened through railways. Numbers of passengers are comparatively larger and the time taken to reach a destination is over 19 times more than that of airways. Defying Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), passengers turned the Shramik special trains as an Opera centre- enjoyed the whole journey with music, songs and instruments on the train. Not maintained social distancing guidelines. They thronged in groups
Therefore, Rails apparently have become the real breeding ground of COVID-19.
Behavioural Transmission
Only pointing at the infrastructural loopholes in the Quarantine centres might not do us good. Expecting a VIP treatment will be counterproductive- since late last year, we have had an unstable government in the state. In fact, hitherto, finance might not have been an issue. Rather, the issue at hand is the moral failures of the inmates who could not bear the brunt of existential challenges. The Government, therefore, under the garb of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have invested most of their times in lecturing.
Flouting the guidelines on the train continued till the Quarantine centres. Some inmates were seen in their worst discipline. They even felt like meeting in their rendezvous. Some were exposed to their erotic dancing moves by themselves. The news of this undesirable behaviour went viral and national. While even religious gatherings were prohibited, some inmates were found in group in some Quarantine centres without maintaining social distance and performed their religious worships therein. For such zealot persons, humanity appears to be contradictory with religion. Rather, the two are complimentary and go hand in hand. As long as humanity exists, so will also religion. Religion is something which is ingrained in us, and humanity needs to be inculcated. For atheists, humanity is their religion.
Prison Bluff
Government should not always play a face-saving tactic. Declaring that a violator of Quarantine SOPs be put into a prison is a gimmick. Nevertheless, the government calling for the bluff was the immediate and viable solution against the clamours of half-fed disgruntled inmates.
Battle against COVID-19 is not to be fought by government alone. It is a people’s war. From government to returnees to quarantinees to common people, we have to stand together on a war footing to emerge victorious against this disease. Doing this would reduce the burden of doctors, Para-medics and other frontline health workers. Eventually, human beings will develop such a technology and immune system to edge the dreaded SARS-CoV-2 out of humanity not to come back forever.
(The write-up tones satirical, and yet the writer puts up his best to walk the tightrope.)

In early 1990s, Mrs. Themneihat Haokip was an exceptional prodigy with exquisite acting skills. At her tender age, she was casted in two of the many Thadou-Kuki blockbusters. She was one of the most talked-about actresses of her time in the town of Churachandpur, (called locally as Lamka) among other Kuki inhabited areas. Pi, Themneihat Haokip was as a cynosure of all eyes. With these celluloid achievements, she raised Kuki Films to a new height.
She was born to (L) Songkhojang Haokip and Nemngah Haokip at Sangaikot village, Churachandpur District on May 11, 1978.
The Kuki film fraternity and her hard-core fans were shocked in awe to hear the sudden demise of the acting diva. She passed away on the night of 2nd June, 2020 at around 10:30pm at District Hospital, Churachandpur. She died reportedly due to a stroke. She was survived by her four children and husband. She was married to S. Langginmang Simte of the same village, so her legal name would be Themneihat Simte. But, her screen moniker would remain intact throughout the essay as Haokip for the sake of brevity.
In this write-up, as a tribute to the late A-lister actress, I would like to present a quick review of her most hit “KUM SOM KILUNGSET”.  Pi, Themneihat’s starrer “Hinkho” was another film that attained an impressive box-office.
Plot: The Real to Reel
Kum Som Kilungset (Transl. Ten Years of Love) is a Thadou-Kuki romance film. The film is directed and produced by Pu, Letthang Doungel under NISO Films Company. Pu, Doungel is a pioneer in the Kuki film industry and is the owner of the film company. It was released in the year 1994. The film is starring Mangboi Doungel and Themneihat Haokip. The former plays Helen and the later as Hoinu. The film marks her debut as an actress as also a lead actress. The roles rolled out by the female protagonist depict the high-handedness of patriarchy. Her mom knows Hoinu’s affairs with Len. But, mom is not able to side with Hoinu. Doing that will be taken as undermining voice of the head of the family (Hoinu’s dad)
It revolves around a love story between Len (Mangboi Doungel) who lives in a town, and Hoinu (Themhoineng Haokip) who hails from a village. It is coincidence for Len to meet Hoinu in her own village while the hunky educated bachelor goes there to celebrate Christmas. The social gatherings during the festival turn out to be a good horoscope that makes way for the relationship. This results in them being closer and closer during the five-day-stay. This ends up in romance between them. The depiction of Christmas festival in the film has a well-intentioned moral or theme. The director would like to convey a message of parity between Patriarchy and Christianity. In Christian ethics as found in the Bible, hardly one finds women holding power or authority. Similarly, in the plot, Hoinu cannot have an independent decision-making power to pick her man of choice. Nevertheless, Hoinu was hopeful that she can convince their orthodox parents who, in contrast have arranged their daughter’s marriage with a villager young man. Hoinu is dissuaded both by parents and the villager lover by hook or by crook to untie the love that she has for Len. However, the Romeo-Juliet duo became inseparable.
Len has to leave soon for home as he is permitted for five days by his widowed mother. Len is an obedient young man. He loves his mother and the-only-brother of the family. They have no sister in the family. Despite his infatuation for Hoinu, he maintains his integrity; thereby he cannot stay over beyond five days.
Time has come, and as he is leaving, Len gifts a silver bangle to signify his pure love for his fiancée. Hoinu, like a typical young girl, pleads with her fiancé to remember her with a song called “Damsel tan O sopiteho…”(a local farewell hymnal of Kuki Christians). Back to home, Len continues his studies and does a part-time teaching in a school in the town (Lamka).
One fine day, Hoinu goes to the woods with his sister to collect firewoods. While the firewoods are being collected, Hoinu keeps humming with the song “Damsel tan O sopiteho…”, ostensibly with the belief that Len will keep thinking about her. Suddenly, Hoinu starts to smile and laughs herself louder and louder on nearing a big Banyan tree. Initially, Hoinu is joined by her sister in the laughter, because the sister thinks that Hoinu is filled with a good mirth. Sister looks up and down the tree, and she sees some weird objects hanging in the tree. She yells with her screeching voice, “Heno…!(Mom…!)”. She calls mom for help, but to no avail. The younger sister comes to know that Hoinu is possessed by demons of the wild tree. Hoinu becomes ill. On hearing the pigeon news, Len has become so restless. This time his mom has passed away and he lives with his brother alone. But, he is unstoppable by his household responsibilities. Rather, he is all set to sail to Hoinu for the second time. While Len makes a bantering with Hoinu’s mom and sister in the kitchen, Hoinu who is in the bed, disappears into the same wood and the same Banyan tree that have previously caught her to laughter. Len follows her and somehow manages to get rid of her illness and brings her home.
Len is gain about to leave the next day for home. During this second visit, romance between grows well and mature enough and knows no bound. This time around, they made heavy promises to each other. This film inculcates the intricacies of a relationship of what could happen when lovers make promises to each other.
Hoinu first takes two bunches of ribbon-like threads out of the folded hem of her wrap-around Khamtang Ponve ( a traditional shawl of Thadou-Kuki women). The first thread-bunch is red in colour. Hoinu tells to Len “Red colour signifies blood that embodies my sacrificial spirit and I will abide and stand by my promise until my last breath”. She continues her vow, “heo Len, do not disbelieve me. Women are made for man and to conceive. Behold, if I happen to choose another man, let a barren life befalls me. I will ready to accept such bad destiny as not bearing and conceiving a child with that man. The Sun, the Star, the Moon and the vegetation around us are witnesses to my promises”. In the Kuki tradition, a younger one addresses an elder one with a prefix “heo” before name of the person. The prefix literally means ‘brother of older age’. Len also follows suit saying, “Hoinu, if the fruit of the hard labour that I put into my study is not for you, then let them all be in vain. I won’t ask for any hand other than your self’s. Let the Sun, the Star, the Moon and the vegetation around us be witnesses to my pledges”. Then, they parted ways, each heading toward its own home.
Their love affair becomes twisted. She is told many bad things about Len. But, Hoinu never gets disappointed. However, she makes repeated attempts to meet Len in person. Due to communication gap, they cannot meet. Len is never aware that Hoinu is going to be married off to another man. Unaware, Len makes the third visit to Hoinu. This time he is beaten black and blue, because he is suspected of problem-making in a Send-Off Ceremony that is slated to be held the next day. Hoinu still loves and gives him time to elope. But, Len declines it because doing that will create a bad precedent and history will keep record of them. For the last gesture, Hoinu gifts the silver bangle to Len, who again declines it because that is what already gifted by himself to Hoinu.
Even after two years of marriage, Hoinu does not conceive one and leads a barren life. She confesses to her husband that she and Len had made vows to marry each other, which otherwise she will not bear any children. On her husband’s request, Len frees Hoinu off the vows by letting her go. Then, she thankfully conceives. On the other hand, Len is unable to attain any achievements due that promise he makes to Hoinu. He personally goes to Hoinu that she may untie him from the vows. Now that Len is as hopeful as Hoinu to be successful in future.
From the year they meet at Christmas and make love up till the separation, ten years have completed. Hence, the name of the film is “KUM SOM KILUNGSET” ( Ten Years of Love).
Lastly, but not the least, the passing away of Pi, Themneihat Haokip Simte is a loss to both Kuki Film Development Association (KUFIDA) in particular and all the Manipuri film fraternity associations and corporations in general.
(Review is of the writer’s self-wisdom. Not strictly to Review as a genre of Journalism.)

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