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Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 15+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents. Rinku can be contacted at [email protected] 

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A woman

By-Dr Nunglekpam Premi Devi
Independent Scholar

Aged with her time; she sits crawling down;
Wrinkle and wrinkle over and over her face adoring;
Her arms so flapping hanging down losing in the air;
Soft and wrinkle, she beats her body temple lose;
Her feet old and cranky; strong and struggling;
Her hands weak and fingering pointing;
She loses her smiles amidst the air ‘ha ha ha’;
Her lips so murmuring softens with no boundaries;
She held her words vibrantly lower and dark empty;
Her mouth a shallow cave with springs on;
Yeah! She’s beautiful; she’s a woman of nineties;
Her teeth show no mercy, she cracks no stone.

Her ‘enaphi’ small and dried, up she held within;
Her bosoms so cold, cover with those silky patterns;
She tightens up high her ‘phanek’ upon her breast;
Her earring hard gold piece solid hanging down loosely;
She manages her hairs’ bun now and again;
Round and round she did that, folding hair bun;
Her tucked ‘takhet lei’ a golden fascinating prize;
Ah! She walk tortoise holding her basket;
With those barely oversize chappal ‘phat phat phat’;
She sits and she talks little; her face so gloomy tired;
She walks long down the road, a mile distance;
Her head so brightly shining with her white grey hairs;
Holding her basket tucked beside her hip;
She speeded as she walks down to her home.

Vegetables! She sells in the market singjamei;
Evening her day, her basket with vegetables she hold lovingly;
‘si leikhro, si leikhro’ ‘ei yumda hanning le thengle’ she begged;
‘kaya gi no mabok’ ‘Mabok nungairibra? I ask her;
‘Nungairi ye ngbu nungairibra, udba yamna kuirene’;
She shows her live moment as she enquires me;
She forget her odd living, she forgets her poor;
She carries back her left over vegetables,
Holding her ‘pothon’ on the other hand, she walks hurriedly;
Ah! She’s a mother; she’s a grand-mother,
How lucky! She’s feeding some lives by her earning;
With all those happy faces, when she’s back home;
She buys ‘rice’ for a day with her selling;
O! The believer, she’s blesses ‘ebok’ to three life;
Her selling a golden price, a life saver.

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The flavor of Utsav Tarpon

By- Nganthoi Lourembam

It’s the season of Utsav Tarpon. This month is fully preserved to offer feast to the deities in the name of those departed souls. This is the time we get to eat variant dishes prepared by the Bhamons (Manipuri Brahmins). I remember as a girl I had to go early in the morning and help the ladies in washing and cutting the vegetables which will be soon cooked by the Bhamons. I used to get impatient to eat those dishes specially PakoraThongba (fritters with gravy) but the feast would be served only after the dishes were offered to the deities and then to the departed souls. I remembermy aunt telling me a joke about these Bhamons; though we were supposed to eat the feast much later, the Bhamons eat all the dishes even before offering to the deities since they have to taste the salt. I am still not sure how far is that true. Normally we eat lunch at 10 or 11 am, but during the feast we get to eat at 1 ‘o’ clock. I was so impatient back then just by looking at the plates (made by banana leaves) filled with rice and different curries. Waiting for the prayers to finish felt like eternity and when the time came, one of the Bhamons would shout Chak Take (meaning lunch is served) and I ran with my friends to get ourselves a plate because often the number of people outnumbered the plates. And if we didn’t get a place to sit then we had to wait for the next round along with the Bhamons. No one wants that at least the children. The moment we sat down we would admire the beauty of the dishes; it’s so vibrant and every dish looked tasty. If we had smart phones like now our Instagram would be filled with these food pictures. But thank God we didn’t have phones then because the uncles and aunties sitting next to us would have given us a slap if we had taken pictures instead of eating them. And the most funny part is the dishes I so admired were so many that the moment I start eating all my hunger would vanish. I could never finish my colorful plate.
When this month arrives it brings the aroma of feast. I remember wearing warm clothes when I was cutting vegetables in the early morning. The streets used to be blinded by fog. It was a beautiful part of my childhood memory. I used to call it the month of different dishes.
Recently after several years I attended a feast offered to my great grandfather. Everything changed. It must be only my thoughts but the aroma is gone. How am I sure that the population of our state increased was after seeing many new faces in the feast. All my cousins got married and had kids. My nieces and nephews became taller and bigger. The Bhamons were new and looked younger. The food was served in steel plates not in the banana leaves and the saddest part is the water was no longer served in Khujai (a traditional water container larger than glass) but the water bottles were provided for each plate. Maybe I lost my appetite the aroma I used to admire was not there anymore. Change may be good in terms of road and infrastructure. But it makes me wonder ‘how far we need to change’? The flavor that once I admired got lost with the change of banana leaves maybe. However, for me the taste of Utsav Tarpon will always be the one I remember from the past like someone said if you want to be happy in the present then recall happy times from the past.

Discussion on Manipur Merger Agreement held at Red Land Shillong; Shillong Times said it was annexation, but our intellectuals are afraid to use it – RK Bobichand

IT News

Shillong/Imphal, Sept. 21

September 21 of 1949 was the day that the then king of Manipur, Maharajah Bodhachandra was forced to sign the “Merger Agreement”. The Shillong Times in its report said that Manipur was annexed by India, but what is most unfortunate is that intellectuals of today’s Manipur seem to be afraid of stating that Manipur was annexed to the Dominion of India.  This was stated by RK Bobichand, Deputy Director Free Press School of Journalism, while talking as a resource person on the One Day open discussion on Manipur Merger Agreement and Question of Manipur National Identity organised by Shillong Manipuri students Union at the historic Red Land of Shillong in Meghalaya today.

‘Red Land’ is the place where Maharaj Bodhachandra and his team were kept under house arrest and forced to sign the Merger Agreement on this day of 1949.

Bobichand further said that the people of the state of Manipur had agreed that Manipur was annexed by the Indian Union and that annexation was resolved as “Illegal and Unconstitutional” by a public convention held at GM Hall Manipur in 1993. However, the intellectuals and some high profile politician of the state are afraid to say that Manipur was annexed to India, he added.

“While we know that Manipur was annexed, and remaining silence without highlighting that the erstwhile Asiatic Kingdom was annexed by the Indian, will do no good to the state”, Bobichand said and added that our intellectuals and other thinkers need to research and write the truth that Manipur was annexed and not merged. Only then the world will know the proper history of the state as the world forum need documents and facts written, he added.

Advocate L. Jadumani, Consultative Member UCM, who also attended as resource person while speaking on the occasion recalled on how the then Home Minister of India Sardar Vallabhai Patel responded when the emissary of the Dominion of India, Mr. Prakash messaged him that Maharaj Bodhachandra declined to sign the agreement.

It was on record, Jadumani said, and added that the then Home Minister of India Sardar Vallabhai Patel asked Mr Prakash if there were no Army. This means that the Dominion of India was prepared to even wage war to Manipur if the agreement was not signed by the Maharaja of Manipur.

Jadumani said that Mr. Prakash was that time not the Governor of Manipur as his tenure was already over but was sent as he used to have a close affiliation with Maharaj Bodhachandra.

That time after the signing of the Merger Agreement at Shillong Manipur was annexed to the Indian Union on October 15 of 1949. The then Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru and the Home Minister Sardar Vallabhai Patel, has announced the merger through media and made many promise to Manipur. Where are the promises now?, Jadumani questioned.

“The event that took place here in Redland, Shilong is a clear example of Manipur to have been annexed by the Indian Union” Jadumani said. 

He further said that there is nothing wrong to be with India but in one condition. If Manipur and India have to be together then Manipur should have its own identity that have been inherited before it became a part of India and the identity and status of Manipur should be respected by India. However, if we see the attitude of India it is well known that the erstwhile Kingdom was reduced to the status of Part C state governed by a Commissioner.

Ningthoujam Munich Singh President, Manipur Sahitya Parishad Meghalaya & Regional Director, Indian Council for Cultural Relations, who also attended as resource persons highlighted the significance of organising the discussion programme at Red land Shillong.

The One Day open discussion programme held at Red Land Shillong was attended by various leaders of students’ bodies including Dhanakumar Ningthouja President  SUK ,Peter Laishram, President AMSU, Pangambam Nilakanta President, AAMSU,  Sazad Bhuiyamayum, Vice-President MSF, Salam Akash, President DESAM, Yumnam Rajesh, Ex-President AIMS and Chongtham Thagamba Meitei President  SMSU dais members.

Image Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHBmmzdIYIQ

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Irregularities in Horticulture Dept; A Class Contractual post engaged in Horticulture Dept. by violating RR

IT News

Imphal, Sept. 21

Time and again irregularities for the appointment of engaged contractual post or regularization of the contract staff have been happening in the Department of Horticulture & Soil Conservation Department and so far no enquiry or no action has been taken up by the Government authority even as the Chief Minister had time and again promises to root out corruption from the state.

After 18 contract staffs of the MHID had been regularised as Gazetted officers in the department by violating the government rules and regulation, the government is likely to regularized another contract staff who was appointed by violating the regulations for appointment of engaged staffs. Source said that the proposal for regularization of the said contract staff is going to be approved by the state cabinet.

A class – I Gazetted officer post of Agriculture Officer (Chemist) in Fruit Preservation Factory (MAGFRUIT) under the Department of Horticulture & Soil Conservation, Manipur was engaged on contractual basis for a period of 1  (one) year vide Directorate of Horticulture & Soil conservation, Manipur, proposal letter n. DH & SC-1/820/2018 date 22nd June,2018 . As per approval from the Finance Department (PIC) Vide order No. U.O. 355/2018-2019/FD (PIC) dated 20/02/2019, the Government had conveyed approval vide letter No. 9/2/2018-HSC dated 7th March, 2019 for engagement of the said contractual post. The contractual engagement to the post was done without any notification or advertisement in the newspapers / media which itself is a violation for any engagement to the post, was a result of nepotism.

When the state is facing acute shortage of Government employment with many eligible candidates looking restlessly for a job, such an attempt will be a great demotivation and encroachment of their rights to fair competition for gaining employment.

Earlier, 18 contractual staffs in the designation of Horticulture Assistant under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme “ Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH)” was regularised earlier by a Cabinet decision as class II Gazetted officer in the cadre of Assistant Agriculture officer / Equivalent in the State Horticulture & Soil Conservation Department.

While the matter of the regularization of the A.A.O.s in the Department is still in the High Court of Manipur since 2017 registered as case No. WP(c) 208 (2017) Registration Date 21-03-2017.

Till date as many 31 hearings was postponed without a judgment/final hearing. So, it becomoes apprehensive on the part of unemployed Agri/Horti. Graduates, if such regularization should take place in the near future

It may be noted that the present Government is claiming high on transparency and good Governance while on the other hand, such a trend of regularization in the Department of Horticulture & Soil Conversation, Manipur is in vogue.

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