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Items filtered by date: Friday, 15 December 2017 - Imphal Times

The hopeless traffic regulation

Time and again many newspaper published in the state has been highlighting the problem s being faced by the people due to the unorganised manner of the traffic regulation in the city.  Imphal city in particular has been witnessing a phenomenal increase in the amount of vehicles- an indication of the rising social status of the public and improving economic conditions in the state. While these factors are a welcome sign, the fact remains that the concerned authorities have failed to keep pace with the times and the changing social scenario in the state resulting in heavy traffic jams and delays which needs to be addressed immediately. The short term policies and systems being implemented from time to time in an attempt to ease the congestions and traffic jams have not been able to alleviate the problem in any way, on the contrary these ad-hoc measures have managed to confuse the public and compound the problem the authorities have been trying to solve. The formation of Traffic regulation and parking committee has not been of much help, and one can only wonder if they are functioning at all. Queries put up to the concerned departments have only resulted in more bewildering responses- a classic example of the effectiveness of passing the buck around that has been at work in all government set ups. While formulation of policies and systems to control and regulate traffic may be a beginning in the right direction, the fact remains that the increasing number of vehicles need additional space to accommodate them and juggling acts of the traffic system by the experts, however efficient and experienced they may be, will not bear fruit. Construction of additional parking spaces at strategic locations, bypasses and flyovers, and most importantly providing subways at important and crowded junctions will go a long way in reducing these problems. Construction of public utilities does not automatically guarantee improvement- their proper usage is as important- an obvious example being the use of footpaths by the vendors and shopkeepers to stock and ply their goods forcing the pedestrians to walk on the road. The need to streamline and re-orient the traffic police personnel is also being felt by the public. Turning a blind eye to the irregularities being committed by the drivers of various public and commercial transport vehicles in consideration for a “quick handshake” has been well documented- despite the dangers and inconveniences such greedy acts causes. The present government ministers and high ranking officials may not be feeling the burden such traffic jams causes as they seem to have a prerogative of the right of use of the road over the common public but unless some concrete steps are taken up very soon, the only option that would be available to them would be to use their feet with their retinue of escorts and assistants wading through the impossible traffic- surely a distracting relief for the stranded common public on the road.

NSCN-IM views on Meitei and Naga relationship

(Produced here Joint statement of Isak Chisi Swu and Th. Muivah released on April 12,  2001)

This statement is written for the Nagas and the Meiteis that they may once again search their heart to discern their rights to be free. To blame others should not be the only way to justify ourselves; we have got to correct ourselves too if we are to be sure of what we must be. Therefore, to begin with:
When a people doubt the right to self-existence, they commit the genesis of political crime; when a people lose faith in themselves, they commit the greatest crime in life and politics. There is no positiveness in them anymore. Yet they wouldn’t know that they are lost. Such a people live under the delusion that others think the better for them, that others care the best for them. There is no salvation for such people; they are perished in their own account. Here lies the issue of struggle, for a people everywhere deserve the better. Right and wrong must, therefore, be examined to keep our way straightened. We have to walk on said ground. Doubt and fear should never be permitted to haunt our ways. We should never forget that the best for us is also in store, and that is within reach. We are destined to rule ourselves. To realise this vision al illusions need to be shattered, all erroneous thinking needs to be dropped; all untenable status quo must be shaken off the mind of every revolutionary.
It is time to unearth together that the chauvinism of any shade works but alienation of brothers and sisters. It ultimately brings about self-destruction whenever it is left unchecked. It is, therefore, a must for a sensible society to do away with that if it has to prove itself appropriate to the realities around. It is dangerous for any society to harbor such ism. Inordinate assertion irrespective of others’ rights is also a fanaticism, which must therefore be equally in order to be realistic. Prudent approach to issues that needs sensible resolution is the most called-for in time like this.
Our Meitei brother living in the Imphal valley will do well if they calmly redress the mistakes made in their unguarded moments in days gone by and set themselves to be at right – of course, the sooner, the better, because the world does not accept anybody’s whim. The reverses suffered by the Meiteis are pure and simple –as history has revealed – failure of statesmanship. The Nagas are in no way responsible for those unwelcome misfortunes. We will not meddle in their affairs even in the days to come. We shall honor the universally accepted principal basis that the people concerned alone have the right to decide what they should be. Meiteis are at full liberty to determine their fate. Our only concern is that they do not make wrong choice again; that is, to say there should be no repetition of the past like when they allowed both the good and the evil of the world to pass by them unawares. We are brothers and we will be brothers forever. We too can certainly be one but through freedom.
We are outspoken and it is befitting to ask the wise men of Meitei today; Is not your desperate attempt to use the Indian state and its might against the Nagas heading for your own destruction? Is it not suicidal for you? It is prudent to think beyond what you feel. We are sorry; we do not see in it even a shade of farsightedness. It may at best be the blunder that can seal the doom of the Meiteis for the worst. Who is the sole danger to the political survival of the peoples in Manipur? It is India. We can save it from such impending danger? Only the Meiteis and the Nagas. It is the issue that demands the most of the intellectuals who claimed to have realsied that the fate of the people is safe only in the hands of themselves.

The Nagas and the Meiteis like many others came from the east probably, following the same routes without much difference in chronology of time. Until the advent of the British into Burma and learnt from the natives there, we were not called by the name ‘Nagas’. The Meiteis too were not known by their personal nomenclature, until they were settled down in the Imphal valley. Truly, names are in various cases originated accidentally. Much digging into the past however, is still needed to make it clearer. But in spite of the distant past, it is true that the Nagas and the Meiteis are most closely related. It is the assimilation that wrought through the alien influences that we see the point of diversion taking place though it is not yet beyond arrest. When the turn of the world brought the finest opportunity, thank god the Nagas being jealous for what was theirs could unhesitatingly decide on their own – making thereby clearly the differences. This decision taking in a fine morning has no doubt, cost the Nation dearly in terms of blood, tears and sweats. But we have picked up again the glory of the history from the ground where we took our stand. We, are, therefore never the losers in safeguarding who and what we are.
Nagas do not struggle for status anywhere. Theirs is unequivocal in that their politics is unfounded on clear cut basis of their indisputable historical facts. Obviously, they no longer accept anything that has been imposed arbitrarily on tem in the past by the colonial power – old and new. They don’t accept either any claim made on what is theirs. Their task is to undo all distortions made about them and the partitions drawn on their territory against their will. It should be recalled every invasion and that is their history. They have never consented to be a part of any other people or nation. The only decision ever taken is that they would be a free nation as they had been and it would never be changed. Thank god for the gift of this eternal right! Therefore, Nagas do not wish fiends would come between them. Therefore our Meitei brothers are urged to see that their national cause is well founded so that the danger involved in using unruly tribe or group for expediency against the Nagas may be safely abandoned before it is too late. UNLF should understand this before they destroy themselves. The killings you unleashed among the revolutionaries in Manipur is also really a bad politics. It is wise to take initiatives for rectification now.
We hear the freedom bell ringing across the valleys and hills alike but through the blood of the patriots – the proud sons and daughters of the soils. In their unsparing sacrifices we see the greatest of our time; in their bleeding wounds we find the eternal source of inspiration. Unconquerable hearts they carry within, because freedom they knew was too dear to part with, because it is freedom that gives meaning to life. That freedom is ours as long as we hold top it above our lives and our all. All that is ours belongs to us; all that is theirs belongs to them. This is the fairest of all precepts. But do we know that the world belongs to those who are prepared for the worst. Comrades are gone, accomplishing the good fight. It is time for the Nagas and the Meiteis to stand up shoulder to shoulder to the challenges. Why should we fail in our time?  And so let us not as when the dawn of the new day shall be. It is we to make it.
Precious years are gone leaving trails of glory and humiliation behind. The better of our time is also spent, never forgiving the follies of yesterdays. But what has been overcome in our time so that we safely claim the future? We cannot get away with it so long as the greatness of a generation lies in saving its today to own the days yet to come. Where is then the sure – promise? Nothing is certain until this generation takes the future into its own hands. The cause is clear; and to be resolute for it is the call of the day. No more to wait for time: why should the sun be allowed to set before the day’s work is done! Arise and come along. Make no delay.

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CM attends to around 620 complaints on Meeyamgi Numit; Government would launch ‘HAKSHELGI TENGBANG’ on 1ST Jan. 2018: CM

Imphal, December 15: Chief Minister Shri N. Biren Singh said that the government is planning to introduce a new healthcare scheme ‘Hakshelgi Tengbang’(Manipur Health Protection Scheme) on 1st January, 2018. This was stated by him while briefing the media persons on the occasion of ‘Meeyamgi Numit’ held at Chief Minister’s Secretariat today.
Hundreds of people turned up on the Meeyamgi Numit to address their grievances to the Chief Minister Shri N. Biren Singh at CM’s Secretariat. The Chief Minister attended to as many as about 620 complaints and personally met nearly 1500 people from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm.
Speaking to media persons, Chief Minister said that Hakshelgi Tengbang scheme would provide a cashless benefit upto Rs.2 lakh per year per BPL/AAY family on floater basis. He stated that five Companies have participated in the biding process and one Company has been selected for providing the health insurance scheme to the poor and needy people of the State. The selected Company in collaboration with the Panchayats/local clubs would conduct a joint survey for identifying the real/needy people. He lamented that there were manipulations in issuing the BPL cards in the past so a fresh survey is being needed to identify the real/needy beneficiaries. He said that if the government rely on the existing BPL/AAY card holders then many real/needy people would be left out and might not get the benefits of the scheme.  Camps would begin soon in various areas of the State to identify the poorest of the poor, he added. He believed that widows and poorest of the poor etc. would get proper benefits from the scheme.

Chief Minister stressed that among several grievances, many came for providing medical treatment, financial assistance and seeking livelihood on Meeyamgi Numit. Mentioning on improving health sector in the State, Chief Minister said that a new scheme for persons with disability “CM gi Sotharabasingi Tengbang” was launched recently. However many persons with disability came here today due to lack of proper publicity about the scheme to the people, he added. He further said that officials of Social Welfare Department have been deputed here to assist the needy people and forms are being provided to the needy people.
Stating the importance of Neuro Surgery Department at JNIMS, Chief Minister said that the Neuro Surgery Department would be opened soon. The required infrastructure and machinery have already bought and 6 Nurses are being given special hands-on training to assist the doctors in Neuro Surgery Department, he added. The Operation theatre is almost ready for use, he added. Condemning the acid attack incident happened in the State, Chief Minister said that such attack is first of its kind in the State and the government would deal the matter seriously. Such attack is ‘crime against human’, he added. He further stated that the government would provide free medical treatment to the victim. The government is also planning to provide livelihood to the victim’s family, he added. To curb such incidents in future, he said, the case would be brought before the Fast Track Court which as set up for crime against women.
Chief Minister stated that programmes/awareness regarding the organ transplant from the dead bodies would be started soon in the State. Seeking people’s support, Chief Minister stated that such organ transplant would save many lives in the State.
On the occasion, Chief Minister released a half yearly bilingual journal titled “Phijeegi Mani Laktagee”(The Hidden Treasure). The journal is being published by Relief Centre for the Welfare of Differently Abled Persons, Manipur.

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How did Buddhism spread to Japan

I am a human being and I am not perfect. So, please kindly read the message and not the messenger  

By Sanjoo Thangjam
In India several hundred years after the time of the Buddha, Buddhism developed a rich tradition of visual imagery for depicting sacred beings. Based on descriptions recorded in the scriptures, Buddhas are typically shown as human figures with supernatural attributes to represent their spiritually elevated status. The most commonly depicted bodily markings include a bump on the top of the head to indicate wisdom, a mark in the middle of the forehead that also shows great understanding, lengthened earlobes that are a reminder of the Buddha princely youth and a body with idealized proportions and contours. In addition, Buddhas are often, although not always shown as ascetics who wear simple monastic robes and are devoid of decorative shawls, scarves and jewellery. Bodhisattvas, on the other hand, are customarily shown richly ornamented, representing their continued engagement with this world. Buddhist icons offer messages or information to viewers through their hand gestures (mudra). Common gestures include the ones for meditation, teaching, and assuaging fear.
The appearance of Buddhist imagery varies according to when the object was made, contemporary and local stylistic preferences, the materials used and skill of the craftsmen, and religious requirements. Whereas Zen-related representations often are relatively austere, encourage a contemplative attitude, and can be closely linked to Chinese prototypes, icons associated with the court-supported temples of the Esoteric schools can have multiple arms and heads to express great power and superhuman abilities and be richly ornamented with sumptuous materials and complex layers of decorative patterning.
An age-old East Asian route of trade and influence ran from northern China through the Korean peninsula and across the Korean Straits to Japan. Travelling along this route, Mahayana Buddhism was introduced to Japan from Korea in the sixth century traditionally, in either 538 or 552, as part of a diplomatic mission that included gifts such as an image of Shakyamuni Buddha and several volumes of Buddhist texts. By the seventh century, when the religion was firmly established, Japan had dozens of monastery complexes, various orders of priests and a body of skilled artisans to craft the icons and other appurtenances that the practice of the faith required.
It is said that Vajrayana or Esoteric Buddhist and its attendant pantheon of deities and secret, mystical rituals was introduced to Japan in the early Heian period, after 794 by a number of Japanese priests. They studied the religion in China and returned home to found influential monasteries, two of which became the centres of the main Japanese Buddhist sects, Tendai and Shingon. Images of wrathful deities, such as Fudo Myo-o (Achala in Sanskrit), were introduced at this time as part of the Esoteric Buddhist pantheon.

In the late Heian period, that is, until 1185 and following centuries, Pure Land Buddhism became very popular. The Salvationist Pure Land Buddhism taught faith in Amida (Amitabha in Sanskrit), the Buddha of the Western Paradise. Believers trusted that the diligent recitation of his name enabled the soul to be reborn in a heavenly Pure Land rather than in a Buddhist hell or other undesirable rebirth. Intense devotion to Amida produced voluminous requests for Buddhist statuary and paintings and in addition to the many temples dedicated to him an additional Salvationist deity popular at this time was Jizo, who had been introduced to Japan centuries earlier as a Bodhisattva in the Mahayana Buddhist pantheon.
Jizo is a deity of compassion and benevolence whose attributed powers expanded as time passed. During the Kamakura period (1185–1333), Buddhism became the faith of all people of all classes. This was due in part to the many priests who became itinerant evangelists and brought Pure Land Buddhism to the masses.
Zen is the Japanese development of the school of Mahayana Buddhism that originated in China as Chan Buddhism. While Zen practitioners trace their beliefs to India, its emphasis on the possibility of sudden enlightenment and a close connection with nature derive from Chinese influences. Chan and Zen, which mean “meditation,” emphasize individual meditative practice to achieve self-realization and, thereby, enlightenment. Rather than rely on powerful deities, Zen stresses the importance of the role of a teacher, with whom a disciple has a heart-mind connection. This allows the teacher to offer the student helpful assistance in his spiritual development. Zen also values intuition instead of habitual, logical thinking and developed expressionistic and suggestive (rather than explicit and descriptive) painting styles and poetic forms as well as illogical conundrums (koan) to stimulate one’ intuition. While Zen was first introduced into Japan several centuries earlier, it did not become firmly established until the thirteenth century, when the warrior class began to favor this school of thought.
The writer is a lay Buddhist and Human Rights Activist for People Who Use Drugs (PUDs)


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