Janghaolun Haokip

Janghaolun Haokip

Janghaolun Haokip, a resident of Kholep Village, P.O –Motbung, Kangpokpi District, Manipur -795107  is a regular contributor of articles to Imphal Times. He completed his B.A (Psychology) Delhi University, Delhi and is currently pursuing Bachelor of Divinity at Manipur Theological College, Kangpokpi, Manipur. He used to work as a Assistant Teacher in English Literature for two years at MBC Higher Secondary School, Kangpokpi Mission Compound, Kangpokpi.

Haokip can be contacted at : [email protected]

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Yuval Noah Harari, a renowned world historian, in his book Sapiens –a brief history of humankind wrote, “Homo sapiens held the record among all organisms for driving the most plant and animal species to extinction. We have the dubious distinction of being the deadliest species in the annals of biology, and if we knew how many species we’ve already eradicated, we might be more motivated to protect those that still survive”.
In fact, this reminds us of the critical stage we have come to. It is true that over the years of its evolution and revolutions humans have caused immeasurable damage to the environment. We have changed the course of nature with all the scientific advancement that we call technology. All the comfort that hi-tech offers are but polluting and degrading the natural environment. Perhaps, we have endangered species, driven them to extinctions, and worst, we still seem to be at a point where we are yet to realise what we have caused and what it may cost us humans.
Sadly, even today, many of us don’t seem to notice the dying nature around us. Our rivers are drying up, and our forests have very few –our ecology has been imbalanced. There are no more trees to store rainwater, and consequently we are ravaged by floods during rainy seasons (which happens every year but we still deny to learn and change), and scarcity of water during winter –we cannot even sustain ourselves for a year anymore. But we still don’t seem to realise or otherwise we are still gripped by selfishness with a little sense of social responsibility. What will it cost us?
In a few years from now there will be no more freshwater but gallons of treated water. We will go inside our rooms and turn on some kind of machine to give us fresh air instead of going out in the open for it. Or someday the air will become so polluted that we have to walk around with gas masks. We will turn to our record-players, and will have mobile applications to listen to the sounds of nature; of flowing streams and of the sound of birds and breezes hustlin with the trees because we will have no more of them in reality. It’s not impossible if this trend of pollution and degradation continues with a little effort to turn it around. In fact, we already have a few of such applications that play the song of birds. Where are we getting at?
We’d rather not talk about the entire world and the whole impact of global warming, and of the rising sea levels and the depleting ozone layer. But let’s look at our state as the least we can do. What have we done to prevent flooding? What have we done to prevent the depletion of natural forests? What have we done to preserve our ecosystem? If it is Jhum cultivation that destroys our forests, what alternative have we offered? If it is the avoidable emission of gasses from burning of plastic wastes or other harmful materials, how much awareness have we given? How much effort have we taken to safeguard our natural environment? When crores and crores of rupees are spent for other sectors, how much has been granted to restore the environment, or for afforestation and reforestation? Are we simply ignorant?  
An average tree takes at least 7-10 years to grow to its matured height, and another 7-10 years to grow to its full size. How many of those today are being destroyed in less than a minute with machines? Or how many trees are cut without planting another, which too is the least alternative we have. In fact, we need those trees for furniture to beautify our homes, but we also need them to survive to give us clean and pure air and to regulate the availability of water. What about plastic wastes and industrial wastes? Those rivers filled with dirt and poisonous substances? These are simple sciences we have learnt in high school. What must we do?
This is a challenge to the people and the government as well to start being responsible towards the environment. We need a convention that would agree on a certain set of laws and the government to take the initiative while the people must as well engage responsibly. We cannot leave it to a handful of activists anymore because the seriousness calls for a more collective action and a more well-thought out consensus otherwise which certain consequences could harden our lives as well as threaten our very existence.  We must now realise the necessity and urgency.
We should no more lose our mind. We are speaking of high-end technologies and the wonders of science but we are forgetting the necessity to preserve the very essence that makes our lives possible. It’s time now to go back to saving the natural environment. Protection alone cannot do anything anymore, because there is the least left to be protected. We need now to rebuild the environment, plant trees and safe-guard the little that we have, for good and for the entire human race.

Friday, 19 February 2021 16:46

When all goes wrong

Life is a journey, so people say. A journey that is but a mystery of misery and ecstasy. It is cruel and it is kind, and it is colorful and it is dull. In fact, there is seldom a permanent state of life but everything around life only keeps changing with time.
It is true that somewhere in between the highs and lows, we all wish for the same thing –for everything to be just nice and soothing to the soul. We wish to wake up to a life endowed with fulfilled dreams, and for a life that we can call perfect, and never worry about anything. We often choose to ignore the other side of the mystery of life, the side that demands us to struggle and wade our way through life.
That is the life we desire where nothing provokes our inner peace, and nothing is as demanding as to take us away from our comfort zones. We desire to live a life that is all about joy and having fun, with nothing to stress our minds or nothing to hold us back –a life that is a thrilling adventure and a wonderful experience. We crave for all the beauty and the gold and find as much pleasures for ourselves.
But the reality is otherwise and life is but a mystery filled with joy and misery, and no matter what we do and how much we try to ignore the other side of life, and try to hold onto the one side, it always comes at us just as it must. We all struggle, and sometimes, the struggle gets worse and everything seems to go wrong. We feel the weight of the world on our shoulders and everything we do is just not right. Our struggles are never enough and our pains are always more than it had ever been. We are devastated and frustrated and there is only little that we can do, and that even is to simply tell ourselves that it will soon all go –only trying to inspire ourselves just to let us survive through another day.
When all goes wrong, the beauty you used to see all seems to be fading away. Everything becomes a nightmare that scares you to your soul. The joy that life offered you sometimes ago all seems unreal as they drown in your pain. The only thing that becomes real is the pain that is killing your every hope and your every dream. You are unable to find your breath and you’re too weak to find your strength. And there you lay, a poor guy who used to be happy, dying but helpless –when all goes wrong.
When all goes wrong, we often give up on everything, and even the desire to live. We feel that life isn’t worth anymore because in our pain we are already blinded of what the future can bring. The agony that we are going through often deludes our mind, and strips us off our hopes and dreams for life. We seldom find anything worth living for anymore, even the beauty we believed in all changes and have become simply dull and disinteresting.
When all goes wrong, only a few people will be there trying to help you to hold on. The rest will say all things, they will tell you it’s because of your mistake, and you made the wrong choice, and that might be true indeed. They will tell you things that will kill your soul and threaten your very existence robbing you of your peace and the will to live. And the other rest wouldn’t just care.
No matter what we go through, we cannot deny, we cannot escape, and we got to live anyway. We will trust in time and its power to change as it does. That someday, it will turn life around again, and we shall shed tears no more. And as much joy and pain life is, and now that we go through pain and suffer through all that goes wrong; we will have once again all the good in the world, and as much as we forget all the goodness of life in our pain, we will once again forget all the pain in life’s goodness and all the beauty it offers.
Remember that somewhere in life, we all have to struggle somehow. Some a little harder and some a little less, but the fact is we all go through difficult times that even if we have all the wisdom in the world, we will still make mistakes, or at least, life will still give us adversities. And that is why even when all goes wrong, we must move on, because like a movie, life always has, for all of us, a happy ending to offer. You just have to hold on like I am doing now, and hope, for the best is yet to come.

Life, like time, always goes on, and I believe that’s their very essence. There is no force or neither human invention that is powerful enough to go back to time or to a time of life. In fact, none of us would have believed in the Time Machines in science fictions because we are all somehow conscious of the futility and impracticality. Even so, it is not to wholly deny the colossal potential of human intellect and innovation as we have so far witnessed.
The idea here is not so much about whether we can go back to time or to a time of life, rather, it’s to dwell in the question of the more sentimental aspects of life –of feelings and emotions, and of joy and pain –relative to time and life. It is to venture into the heart of life, and explore and discover the essences of life so that living becomes a beautiful upbeat adventure than an undying misery. That is the goal of this essay, to find the beauty of life in understanding the heart of things that made up this thing we call life.
Life is beautiful. Yes it is! But for most of us, unfortunately, it doesn’t always stay that way. It is often overlaid by adversities that entirely change how a person sees the world and perceives it from a thing of beauty to a thing of suffering. There are people who speak of the vanity of life –that all sorts of optimism or positivity are nothing but diversions to the true nature of life –a life of suffering and pain. It is of course not reasonless because we all have our hard times at some points in our lives. But the point is how to let the beauty of life stay and how to find beauty in adversity so that life remains beautiful amidst the tears. In short, let’s learn to be hurt and still be okay.
I remember falling in love with all the passion and excitement of a teenager. I must’ve been 18 at that time. The world was beautiful like I had never known before. The days were all fun and amusing and the nights were beautiful just dreaming of her. For once, I even felt like I could just bring her home and make her my wife even though I can’t even take care of myself yet at that time. I loved her that much and life was beautiful like I could ask for nothing more. But it all abruptly turned upside down when we decided to part ways. The days were tiresome and the nights were long, and life was despairing and being alive was a misery. But life still went on and somehow I grew over the pain.
To this day, sometimes, I still couldn’t believe how something that meant so much could slowly fade away just like that. It was literally a part of my life. There were nights I couldn’t sleep because she didn’t text me goodnight or days that were so colourless because she didn’t come to school. Now, as I look back on what it meant in my life and how it all changed, I guess now I understand how life goes on and how things change. Ostensibly not all, but at least, even at the worst, I have learnt that it will change and it will be alright again.
I want to remind us of this, that even when you feel like letting go, there is always beauty to see. Somewhere somehow someway, there is still something that can still carry us on. It is the change in life, like seasons, like the dawn and dusk –life changes as it goes on. The sun will shine and the sun will go and the night will come and just like that. The best will change and so will the worst. In other sense, life is a journey with ups and downs and the most beautiful thing about it is that even the roughest roads will not last nor the saddest moments of life. Every pain that you are going through today will pass. Every suffering and suffocation will never last.
You just have to believe! You just have to hope! As simple as that, and that is how we will still be okay even when it hurts. Or when the sun doesn’t shine, just imagine the stars and everything beyond. Think of all the mystery of the universe, of creation, of how long it will take to explore the universe. Think of things so big that pain eventually feels small and gradually fades away. Furthermore, we have to accept the inevitability that all the pain and misery are parts of life too. We have to understand that it will not always be a good time and adversities may haunt us too. And as crazy as it might sound, if we can understand that and so accept it, we can laugh at our tears, and smile at our scars. It only takes acceptance! Otherwise it’s dangerous, because if you disagree to accept the facets of life –as the inevitability of suffering and pain –there will always be things to cry for, and the choice is always yours to make.
Life goes on and a glitter of hope is all you need to move on. Hope –that comes from understanding and duly accepting the heart of life and what it takes to live –of suffering and pain and of joy and delight. Life goes on with someday to cry and someday to smile. Live the best of every moment and live it to cherish it because time and life, once gone, can never be recalled. And even at your worst, remember, life goes on, and THERE IS ALWAYS BEAUTY TO SEE.

Tuesday, 06 October 2020 17:14

RAPE: Whose fault?

Social media today is filled with the question “Whose fault is rape?” In fact, everyone else intuitively has the same question as rampant rapes are happening all over India on a daily basis. The question is indeed noteworthy as one tries to root the cause of the rise in rampant rapes and as one desperately tries to solve the problem surrounding rapes in the country. We shall briefly explore the question in this article.
Rape in India is unfortunately not something uncommon. It is undoubtedly one of the major obstructions in regards to the country’s race towards providing safety for women and of course women empowerment. This ostensibly means that rape in India is something which has been demanding a serious action plan from the authorities concerned although it remains largely neglected.
According to sources, rape is the fourth most common crime against women in India. The 2019 annual report of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) stated that 32033 rape cases were registered across the country, which is an average of 88 daily cases. The number of the cases is very high as compared to Saudi Arabia which has none or negligibly less cases of rape. Therefore it raises a cause for concern of how India is doing so poorly in effectively controlling the number of rapes in the country.
As stated earlier, rape has always been surrounded with questions. With it, the notion of “who takes the blame” has been a relentless question of angry protestors especially on social media channels. The recent Hathras case has sparked another wave of controversy and has left everyone in a crossroad. The BJP MLA’s statement that rape will stop when parents give sanskar to their daughters and inculcate good values in them is regrettably immature and extensively sensitive and irresponsible to the conclusion of many people. This has brought us back to the question “Whose fault is rape?” “Who is to blame?”
The question is indeed abstruse but alarming. Albeit the fact that there can be no single answer, the rising need to find a solution has compelled one to come to a conclusion. Ironically, in the recent Hathras case, there were upper caste people who were rallying in support of the rape accused. They were literally holding placards in support of the rapists and in condemning women in general. According to them, when women get raped, it is absolutely not because of the man. The hypothesis can be summed as, “women get raped because they demand it”. In fact, according to this hypothesis, rape isn’t even rape but mutual agreement to have sexual intercourse.
Women get raped because they do not dress properly or they go out at night. The problem is because they stay alone at home or do things that would sexually arouse a man. They are solely responsible for the actions of a man, and therefore they should also take the blame. For some others, they should be taught manners and dos and don’ts to be able to survive in a patriarchal society. I remember some years ago in Delhi I read somewhere that women should learn to say “bhaiya” so that they are not being raped. Moreover, there are also people who believe that there is natural or divine entitlement for men to treat women as they wish or as it pleases them. The validity of these arguments or stances are not known, however, these are the most common notions of people who believe that it is the fault of women to be raped or sexually abused.
On the contrary, such beliefs are strongly against women empowerment and extremely hurtful to the sentiments of the women folk. It undermines equal rights for men and women, and most of all the right to freedom. Men have their own free-will and every action is a matter of their own choices, therefore, putting the blame on women is simply outrageous and nonsensical. It only intends to play women as an object or considers women as a lesser human being than men are. Furthermore, the notion of such “blame” is extensively primitive in nature as resolutely opposed to modernism and intellectualism. Women hold that women aren’t any lesser in capability whether intellectually or physically than men. A stronger notion is that the society as modern and educated as it has become must cultivate more reason into itself and must distance itself from ideas as the superiority of men that is rationally absurd and morally defiling.
Although being largely out of question, the problem of rape has also to do with the existing law and order of the country. This may seem unclear but one must understand that it is the law and order in a government that dictates the running of a country in both internal as well as external affairs. In India, although rapes have become more rampant and severe having caused thousands of lives, there are no sets of laws against rape that are entirely effective. In fact, there are people who are blaming the ineffective law and order in the country for the rising cases of rape. In addition, rape in India is often politicised which is absolutely unnecessary and only hints at the existing law and order problem. Interestingly, the legal process against a rape accused in India is particularly long. For record, the Nirbhaya gang-rape case took seven years until the case was finally over when four of her killers were hanged.
As earlier stated, there can be no absolute conclusion as long as we are trying to put blames on each other. The answer as we see it is an endless debacle –a vicious cycle. Another problem is that blaming has the potential to divert us from the core issue which is fighting against rape. As such, it is necessary for us to look into it not as a problem between men and women but a problem of a greater evil that is threatening our society as a whole. It requires each of us to be responsible in spreading a positive message through our lives and actions so that people do not become victims.
In fact, all of us are responsible. The question from the start should not be “Whose fault?” but it should rather be “What is my responsibility?” As a woman, if you live in a society that has not been properly cultured to respect women as they should, it is best for you to take necessary precautions while also working to educate and bring change in the society and fighting for the same. For men, it should not be about the external circumstances but it should rather be about your inner convictions and your respect for women and your love for humanity.
All in all, men have greater responsibility. Because a man is the one who acts against a person’s free will. Nevertheless, it is fairly advisable that women should not go psycho with her notion of freedom. In a compendium, it depends and varies from person to person, and there cannot be a generalisation that holds true for everybody, and all we can do is to love and respect each other, very much, so that we hold our desires –our lust and our freedom –below the rest.
I sincerely hope your conscience has a room for this humble point of view.

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