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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By -Janghaolun Haokip

The BJP since its founding in 1980 has undergone massive transformation and has come to power in 2014 under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Today the BJP is the country’s most formidable political force with unparalleled influence and power as it is seen in the current scenario of the country.
As rightly stated, BJP is a right-wing party, and its policy has historically reflected Hindu nationalist positions. It has close ideological and organisational links to the much older Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and has in fact worked together in promoting and encouraging the hideous ideology of Hindu supremacy.
While in the country the BJP is widely accused of fascism, in Uttar Pradesh, and especially in Hathras, under the leadership of BJP Yogi, the people are being taken back to a hundred years ago when the world had no taste of the modern day and what it offers. People couldn’t travel a hundred years ago as there were no proper roads and vehicles but Hathras is unfortunately in the same situation today as the people are forcefully being confined in their homes.
In fact, what we face today is much worse and outrageous. The government has utterly abused the force and power in their hands. It has gruesomely controlled everything that it can or everything that there is, because there is not much that is not politically controlled, except of course for the few people that remain loyal to the country and their positions. Unsurprisingly, we have the #godimedia and the police forces that take commands from the “higher-ups”. The bureaucracy too isn’t entirely spared as they can be transferred from posts to posts in a big country like India. The legislators are indeed the hands of the ideologies.
Unfortunately, the power vested upon them has now been used to lay burdens on the people to the extent of threatening their lives and their entire existence. Imagine people are not allowed to speak or stand up for their rights and are forcefully silenced and chained.  Therefore, what we face today is utter violations of Human Rights, it’s not merely suppression and oppression but a more serious threat to the entire humankind which most of us fail to realise.
Indeed there is a growing need to fight against these modern imperialism and autocracy. When people are being threatened not to speak to save their lives, one doesn’t need to assume the reality that we are now facing. The reality is an absolute madness that blinds the government to see the truth of what the people and the country needs but to see only power and force to subjugate and willingly rule over people.
What happens today is mentally distressing, emotionally devastating, and politically outrageous. The people therefore need to collectively stand together and fight for the oppressed. It doesn’t matter if one is a dalit, a woman, a tribal, or an upper caste. Today it’s dalit and woman, but someday it will be you and me too. We need to raise our voices for the voiceless.
For those forcefully being confined, we must raise our voices today. For the parents who aren’t even allowed to perform the last rite of their lovely daughter and bid their last farewell we must demand justice. For every daughter who is being threatened not to have their freedom we must educate our society. For those being manipulated and used by ideologies of the heathens we must pray for wisdom. This must be a collective fight!
The Youth must stand together today, in fact every right thinking person must stand together as human beings with a goal for common good, and peace and harmony for the society. We demand #Yogimustresign, and the reign of BJP that has outrightly rejected the values of the constitution and the ideals of the making of the country must end!
Today we call out to everyone to come and stand with us and fight this fight for humanity. It doesn’t matter if it is a BJP or a Congress, the truth is where we must find our answer. The welfare of the people is what must concern. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you are from, and what you do, we must all stand for the one TRUTH –Justice and peace for all.

Friday, 02 October 2020 17:47

International Day of Non-Violence

On June 15 2017, the United Nations General Assembly announced that it adopted a resolution which declared that 2nd October will be celebrated as the International Day of Non-Violence. The idea behind it is to disseminate and educate the masses about the message of non-violence and to promote peace and harmony for the world.
“Non-Violence”, one of the core principles of Mahatma Gandhi, the founding Father of our Nation, is the notion of entirely being harmless to self and others. In other words, it is the belief that everything can be resolved through peaceful means, that there is always a way to avoid violent thoughts or actual violence in a way that is harmful and hurtful to none. Non-Violence is basically the abstinence from causing any physical hurt or injury.
In a world constantly gripped with violence and wars, the message of non-violence has thus become increasingly significant. Violence has held human societies and has become the final answer to anything that challenges a disagreement. It fails to approve diversity and indirectly promotes autocracy which is extremely detrimental to societal growth and upliftment, and specifically to peace and harmony.
The message of “Non-Violence” therefore has a great role to play towards transforming the society. It has the scope to educate people and constructively engage them towards building a peaceful society instead of one resorting to violence that are physically dangerous and mentally distressing and have countless negative impacts to the society at large. Non-violence must be a living message that constantly reminds people of the other side of life beyond anger and frustration, and ego, and pride and prejudice.
Apart from simple disagreements, the ignorance towards understanding conflicts or disagreements is also a serious concern that leads people to resort to different forms of violence. Understanding conflicts gives practical insight on desirable ways to resolve conflicts when it so arises. It offers people different ways and means to resolve a conflict without the use of violent means. The whole idea of understanding conflicts can be summed up as teaching people and making them aware of the inevitability of conflicts and how to overcome them.
In fact, it is rightly said that violence begets violence, for what else can come out of violence? What else can come out of a man who is angry and ready to cause harm and damage? This is true also to the context of our society. If violence could have solved problems, there would be no need for a World War II because all the problems would’ve already been solved by the end of World War I. Violence is a vicious circle as also stated that there are no winners in a war. The notion is simple, one wins today, the other wins tomorrow, and the war goes on. There is no time for actual peace.
Violence is only getting worse. Countries threatening each other are major headlines of every news report nowadays. Yesterday we read about problems in the middle-east; today we read of tensions rising in between India and China, and for tomorrow the newspaper are preparing reports to make the rising terrorism in the world as their headlines.  What do we know? What if the countries actually start declaring war on each other? Will it not be a worldwide disaster with all the nuclear warheads and weapons of latest technology? Or in simple words, can Humanity survive through another World War? I believe NOT.
Such is the desperation –the need to understand the significance of non-violence. One needs to responsibly reflect on the ideas of Non-Violence and the consequences otherwise and must be able to voluntarily promote at one’s own capacity the need to discourage violence of any degree and form, and to promote non-violence and peaceful and acceptable means.  There must be a call for a collective and constructive effort on humanitarian grounds. In order to do so, people must understand the threat that violence poses for an individual as well as the society at large.
Violence ostensibly threatens an individual’s life, the physical and mental health of a person; it destroys societal peace and harmony. In fact, in today’s reality, it threatens the entire existence of mankind. Of course, the world does not end with all the violence of today, but we must be warned that violence is increasing at a rapid rate. Violence against women –of sexual assault and suppression –is indeed extremely unfortunate. What is more distressing is the rising trend of such incidents. It is clearly visible that the violence that we see in tens a decade ago is now seen in hundreds, and who can deny that in another decade we will see these hundreds in thousands?
The International Day of Non-Violence celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi must serve today as a call towards realising the importance of non-violence and therefore promoting the same. It must remind us of the ideals of the soul that has led us to freedom, and the nation and state, and who we have become today.
“With violence we win things, and with non-violence we win hearts”. It’s for us to choose today as learned and concerned individuals, and especially for the youth with a vision and mission. 
Wishing you a fruitful International Day of Non-Violence!

Thursday, 24 September 2020 18:36

My idea of Justice

1.  Introduction
It would be hard to imagine a civilization without ‘justice’ being a part and parcel of the fabric of the whole system of governance. Had there been no notion of justice, there would be discontented peoples from all walks of life. From the dawn of civilization, ‘justice’ stands for   giving and making an equilibrium on the part where some wants to prove that might is right. But is it possible to have an unbiased and fair treatment? The answer lies as we turn the pages of the world’s ancient civilizations –the most notable –the Mesopotamian civilization. In it we are assured that there was unbiased and a fair judgement for all. “An Eye for an eye” states the Hammurabi code, a code which is just and fair as well.
2. My Idea of Justice
My idea of justice is absolute fairness for all, irrespective of one’s race, religion, or region, and regardless of socio-economic status, political leanings, or professional and personal backgrounds. It is granting everyone the natural right to liberty in having what they deserve without restrictions on grounds of the individual’s capacity and ability, but purely on grounds of simply being human; and as a citizen of a state with certain defined laws and rights thereby granted to the individual. It does not discriminate or differentiate, it does not suppress or oppress, nor the rich or the poor, and nor the capable or the incapable. My idea of Justice therefore seeks to uphold a person’s dignified integrity and safeguard the person from any illicit threat to the person’s mental and emotional well-being. It aims to promote and encourage fairness for all; while it discourages any violation of rights that are so perceived or naturally recognised through conscience and laid down laws of our world and our institutions.
3.  Challenges to Justice
Unfortunately, as beautiful as it is in its essence and meaning, the idea of Justice has for the most part been undermined by various mechanisms. The elements of these mechanisms are mostly inimical to the overall human society as it hinders and obstructs the natural law of justice and equality for all. They are detrimental to peace and harmony, and trust-building and reliability of the society. Elements of hate, prejudice, and selfishness or egocentrism are often the obstructing elements of prosperity and tranquillity of our society that are projected and materialised through mechanisms as governance and societal and organisational set-ups, hindering a harmonious and well-developed society.
My idea of justice, particularly in our society, is far too neglected; justice no longer consoles the cries of innocent women and children, the powerless, and mostly the weak and the poor. It fails to stand in solidarity and as a solace for the victims of grave violations of Human Rights, and fails to grant them their mental and emotional liberty to peace and harmony. In other words, it unfortunately indirectly promotes crime through its inactions. Consequently, crime rates are at a rapid rise. Mention could be made of the rise in crimes against women and children. They are often victims of trafficking, forced labour amounting to prostitution and child pornography. This rise in crimes against women and the subsequent lack of justice make victims desperately run from pillar to post. People therefore begin to lose faith in the system and thereby the citizens support and glorify the taking of the law into their own hands without any regard to the system that they see as failed, biased, and unreliable.
4. Factors responsible for the failure of Justice
There are many factors responsible for victims being failed by the system of Justice. However, we will only largely discuss the most relevant factors below:
4.1 The importance of being learned
Everyone must be aware of his or her rights; the rights to equality and the need to fight for it. If one does not know his or her rights, there is no way that he/she could stand out and fight for Justice, but worse, he/she wouldn’t even be conscious of what Justice really is. And therefore, we become vulnerable to being exploited against our rights. One must therefore deliberately learn and understand his/her rights. This simply means that you have to possess the knowledge of human rights and equally know what to do and where to go to seek redress if your rights are violated.
4.2 Understanding the “money-trap”
Most of us today are victims of what we termed as “money-trap”. We are often readily inclined towards misusing the influence of money. As the saying goes ‘Love of money is the root of all evils’, people tend to show injustice for the sake of money. In other words, Justice has become buyable with a price. The truth then becomes stored in obscurity. Even criminals who are liable to getting an appropriate punishment are being acquitted under the escape clause wherein the root cause is money. The law fights, aids and abets the rich whereas many destitute people are deprived of justice simply because they have no money to override the system.
4.3 Power fall-out
It is indeed very unfortunate to say that with unchallenged power comes the natural tendency to abuse it. The power that is ‘the guardian of Law’ often fails to bring many crimes to justice but has subverted the idea itself due to reasons best known to them. Many a time, there are impending cases which come to an eventual closing due to the practical influence of power. This further grows deeper into the system to lead people to strive for power and prominence with the sole objective to enjoy and misuse it thereby victimising the whole society and the system of governance.
4.4 The rich-and-poor gap
The wide disparity between the rich and the poor often makes someone look down on the poor because they are lacking behind in many crucial aspects that concern the way and means of living. There are people who wait for a chance to exploit the helplessness of the poor in a world filled with the influence of money and power. This grows bigger and deeper into societal division and hence creates a misunderstanding that becomes the root of disharmony and other evils of the society.
4.5 The failure to fight back:
Our ignorance can often be taken as an excuse or be compromised with our right to Justice. Likewise, our failure to redress the issues and taking up a reprisal is taken as our weakness by possible perpetrators. We fail to stand up and face injustice to its roots but let injustice take shape until it has grown highly influential and wherefore become destructive to the society as well as an individual life.
5. Counteractive and Countermeasures
 5.1 Justice and Morality
As written by Linda J. Skitka, Christopher W. Bauman, and Elizabeth Mullen in an essay of the relation between Morality and Justice, “Morality and justice have apparent similarities. Both facilitate social interaction, coordination, and cooperation. Both can feel like external standards that somehow should carry more weight than individuals’ preferences. That said, morality and justice are not synonymous.” However, the point is that they are complementary to one another. As such, the morality of mankind can be more or less determined from the Justice it serves, or likewise Justice that we serve as mankind and to mankind are the answers to our standards of morality.  This is about serving Justice as morally conscious beings, irrespective of colour, creed, or caste or anything, regardless. It is to consider Justice as a moral obligation so that it becomes a necessity rather than something depending on our mere choices.
5.2 Justice and Human Rights
International standards recognize access to justice as both a basic human right and a means to protect other universally recognized human rights. The notion of Human Rights is the direct influence of Justice. In other words, Human Rights in itself is Justice. They are interrelated, and interdependent on each other.  The definition of Justice by the international community as declared in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) expressed under thirty articles of rights is a notable one. Similarly, every nation or state has their own system of rights and provisions of Justice which are all good in its expression.
However, the rising problem has been the lapses in concerned institutions towards implementing and enforcing these theoretically commendable natures of Justice. The effectiveness often goes unchecked, unnoticed and unconcerned which opens up a wider scope to outright violations amounting to serious crimes as murder or any danger or threat to life. This therefore calls for revived policies and programmes for implementing the promotion and defence of Human Rights and Justice for all.
5.3 Justice and Politics
Unfortunately, politics today has become synonymous with extra-judicial activities of propagandas and conspiracies. It is today a common understanding that politics is naturally ill-advised and inclined towards narrow and selfish goals. In addition, it is the centre of blames and accusations, particularly related to Justice and employment of justifiable mechanisms. However, on the other hand, politics or the political entity is the framer of what Justice is and what it is not. It is at such a crucial position that it has the power to dictate the notion of justice. Therefore it is a must for the political entity to realise their relevance and significance towards framing policies best suited for Justice, and as such framing and implementing strict laws and regulations against perpetrators to warn people of dire consequences if Justice is at any way and at any point being undermined or exploited.
5.4 Justice and the Judiciary
The Judiciary is inarguably “the guardian of Justice.” The government of India affirms that the objective of the judicial system is to ensure the rule of law and legal security for individuals. It is the Judiciary that has the legal authority and authenticity required towards anything so related to Justice, and of promoting and safe-guarding Justice. The world indeed owes much to its Judiciary, as even in India; it is the Judiciary that always stands up for Justice in engaging itself in different situations, regardless of the height of severity, and certain high risks involved.
This is not necessarily to say that the Judiciary is entirely unquestionable in its nature and functioning. Nevertheless, it is the Judiciary that is the inner wall in promoting and defending justice. It is the last resort for individuals and people to turn to in times of any obstructions to the access of Justice. With it, it has a great role to play in granting Justice where it has been denied, promoting where it has been neglected, and defending where it has been exploited thereby keeping Justice accessible to everyone and by everyone.
6. Conclusion
Different individuals and communities of the world have different worldview, gender roles, and beliefs among others, and thus having different notions of what is just and what is unjust. There can be no wholly valid individual idea of justice as any individual idea of anything may be one-sided and may fail to employ a certain perspective.
Nevertheless, we ought to prepare ourselves today by understanding the essence of Justice and advocating the same. The world needs to come and stand together; each convicted of his/her responsibility towards access to Justice for all. In addition, we also ought to educate our children by positioning true education at the forefront as we nurture our younger generation. With it, it must remain our motto that “Truth alone triumphs” as Mahatma Gandhi had quoted, so that we must bear in mind that the failure in access to Justice is also a failure in our moral principles, our system of governance, our judiciary, and most of all our Humanity –our goals and objectives as human beings and individuals.

Let us therefore tirelessly strive towards granting access to Justice for all. This is my idea of Justice

If ‘Justice delayed is Justice denied’, then the Kukis have been denied Justice –their rights to live with dignity and integrity. In fact, for almost three decades now the Kukis have been demanding Justice for the victims of the ‘Ethnic Cleansing’ or the “Kuki Genocide” carried out by the NSCN IM against the Kukis. Will the victims be granted Justice? 
Kuki Black Day
Every year on 13th September, the Kukis observe the Kuki Black Day in dearly remembrance and in mourning for their families and relatives who were mercilessly slaughtered during the Ethnic Cleansing or the Kuki Genocide of 1992 to 1997. Thousands, including women and children, were victims of mass slaughtering on that fateful day. Recounted stories of survivors narrate stories of terror and anguish that are mentally and emotionally torturing and devastating. 
On 13th September 1993, more than a hundred villagers were killed by the armed cadres of NSCN IM in a single day that came to be known as the “Joupi Massacre”. These helpless villagers were served a quit notice to leave their villages and were also warned of dire consequences. However, the villagers were betrayed and were gruesomely murdered even after they had left their villages and homes. 
The Kukis under the leadership of the Kuki Inpi, an apex body of the Kukis, and various other civil organisations and their branches, have been observing Kuki Black Day on 13th September every year. The Kuki Black Day is generally marked with peaceful procession and a prayer session which will be followed by candle lighting and people paying homage to the departed souls who were victims of the Kuki Genocide. 
Why Ethnic Cleansing?
The Ethnic Cleansing or the Kuki Genocide was a programme of the NSCN IM under the banner of Nagaland for Christ and their claim of Greater Nagalim. The militants claimed that the Kukis were living in a Naga territory while the Kukis took it as an outright insult to their dignity and integrity as they were living in their own ancestral lands, defending it from Kings and conquerors of which the English are notable with whom they had valiantly fought the Anglo-Kuki War (1917-199).
 The ethnic cleansing by the Naga separatists, as termed by BBC, was aimed not only to inflict terror and agony to the people, but it was also nefariously aimed at encroaching land and establishing power to rule at will. It was an extremely atrocious act to strip people of their rights by means of power and torture. Indeed, the Ethnic Cleansing has cost the lives of thousands of Kukis let alone the thousands and thousands of Kukis who were forcefully displaced from their ancestral homes. 
Why has Justice been denied?
13th September this year marks the 26th year of commemorating Kuki Black Day. For twenty six years a number of memorandums have been submitted to the government to deliver Justice to the victims of the Kuki genocide. Several efforts have also been made by various civil bodies of the Kukis in seeking Justice. 
The results have rather been extremely unfortunate since the government does not seem to take the least desirable effort to deliver Justice to the Kukis as a whole and to the victims in particular. The government has been largely unresponsive. On the contrary, the government has been long engaged with the perpetrators in talks to sign a peace deal. While the government’s effort to bring peace is applaudable in the militancy and violence gripped states as ours, one questions why Justice has been denied to the victims of the Kuki genocide. 
It is indeed intriguing why the government and the people remain silent when hundreds of people have been mercilessly killed, a hundred villages torched, and thousands of people forcefully displaced. Moreover, what is more shocking is the unimaginable and indescribable manner and circumstances of the genocide.
 A call for Justice
The genocide calls for justice. The indescribability calls for an action from the government to deliver Justice to the victims. The unprecedented loss of life and terror inflicted upon the lives and minds of the people seeks for restoration. The pain and sufferings, the agony of the people, and the inhumane actions and immorality calls for Justice. 
It is indeed extremely imperative for the government to rightly deliver Justice at the earliest. The government must realise that any challenge against its institution and the country as a whole cannot be left unattended but must be effectively addressed for a greater good towards a common goal as a nation. It must stand as a guardian to constitutional morality and stand out to serve justice in the right manner and in its essence of humanity and equality for all. The issue therefore calls the government to constructively engage and address this painfully significant issue of Justice. 
From Humanity to Humans
As the Kukis observe the Kuki Black Day, let us all be reminded that it is not just a dark day for the Kukis, but also for Justice and Humanity, and for the state and the country. It is indeed a black day for us all as responsible persons and citizens in our quest towards societal harmony and common good for all. With it, it is an earnest appeal that it is no longer just the Kukis to cry for Justice but for us all, as the same human kind, to constantly fight against anything that hinders growth
 for a better world. 
Today we mourn for the victims of the Kuki genocide, and we also pray that such inhumane thoughts and action do not once again grip our hearts. And as for JUSTICE for the victims of the Kuki Genocide, Twenty Six years have gone by and the government must no longer wait.

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