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We are trying to preserve our culture and CAA is a threat: Artists of Manipur

A group of artists has come together with other concerned citizens of Manipur in the series of protests against CAA. In a short conversation with the participating artists, some of them expressed their views on the role of artists in the current issue of CAA. Cultural dancers and langden performers, Nirupama and Telish also participated in the protest. Nirupama said, “The people of Manipur have been worried that the indigenous community is at the verge of disappearance.” She further added, “As artists, we have a huge role to play. The implementation of CAA is a threat to our culture, language, and tradition, which we, as artists, have been trying to preserve.” Tellis said, “Apart from the usual forms of protests, art should be used as a medium to reflect the issues of the state and educate people with a touch of entertainment, just like sumang leela.” They requested all artists, cultural activists, and teachers to come out and protest against CAA. According to them, “We should boycott to participate in any kind of festival organised by the state, only then the central government will show interest in finding out the reason. Otherwise, it will be like us agreeing to the implementation of CAA.” Akhu, singer and songwriter of Imphal Talkies, said, “As per my understanding, the creativity of an artist stems from the soil of their land and surrounding, be it a poet or singer or any artist who has been my inspiration.” He further added, “This time, it is very fortunate to have independent artists come together and even write a song for the protest. It is rare, but I believe it has strengthened the bond among us artists and also has helped in making each other aware of the political situation of Manipur.” He said that art has always been inspired by his environment. “As a responsible citizen and an artist, I want to express our happiness and sorrow using art as a medium.” Another singer, Silheiba said. “Everyone has their own interpretation of art, but before being an artist, we are humans living in our society. For me, I do not ascribe to the idea that art should not offend anyone and should focus only on its beauty. We should all voice out whenever there is any kind of oppression or suppression in our society.”

Cecil Thounaojam

Cecil Thounaojam has been a freelance writer for Imphal Times and currently working as an in-house journalist for Imphal Times. He has completed MBA and worked as a copywriter for 5+ years in digital advertising agencies. Cecil is from Nongmeibung, Imphal East and he can be contacted at [email protected]

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