Thursday, 21 February 2019 - Imphal Times

By Oken Jeet Sandham
KOHIMA, Feb 21 (NEPS):

Governor of Nagaland PB Acharya again announced the Nagaland Government’s stand on the resolution of the Naga political issue. He was addressing the Third Session of the 13th Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA) on Wednesday.
“In this very House, in the First Session of the 13th Nagaland Legislative Assembly, I had mentioned that the top agenda of my government is early resolution of the Naga political issue and that we will work with all stakeholders for a solution that is honorable, inclusive, sustainable and acceptable to the people,” the Governor recalled.
Acharya reminded the House that after the People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) Government was sworn in on March 8, 2018, the Political Affairs Committee (PAC) was set up. Then PAC along with PDA Legislators had a joint consultative meeting with Naga tribal hohos and civil society organizations and resolved to urge all Naga political groups to join the peace talks in order to achieve an inclusive solution, he added.
Governor also stated about holding of the consultative meeting of all 60 Legislators of NLA on September 18, 2018 and consensually deciding to re-constitute the Joint Legislators’ Forum (JLF) on Naga political issue and to pursue the Naga political issue to its logical conclusion.
“The PDA Government is committed to facilitate an early resolution of the Indo Naga political issue through a negotiated agreement that honors the unique history and rights of the Nagas,” he added.
Appreciating the efforts of Government of India for ensuring that they moved closer to a solution “that is inclusive, honorable and acceptable to Nagas,” Acharya said “With the concerted efforts of the Tribal Hohos and mass based civil society organizations, the Church, NGOs and NNPGs, different groups have now come together and this seems to be most opportune time for the Naga political groups to resolve the decades old Naga political imbroglio so that we achieve (a) lasting peace.”

Published in News

IT News
Imphal, Feb 21,

Non availability of textbooks prescribed by Board of Secondary Education, Manipur, (BOSEM,) despite commencement of academic sessions, which has been a recurring issue in the State in the past few years has been highlighted in the state assembly on Thursday.
Rajkumar Imo, opposition and Congress MLA during the zero hour in the assembly informed the house that it is most unfortunate and is a big failure even after most of the Government schools have commenced sessions for around a month and majority of the private schools have conducted around 3 weeks back of its academic session. But the issue of non availability of school textbooks remains unchanged.
On the other hand, various outfits in the state have also drawn the attention of the concerned authorities within this purview for the past many weeks.
“Manipur is in deals with shortage of text book,” president of the All Manipur Students’ Union (AMSU) Manjit Sarangthem warned the authorities concerned of launching various forms of agitation because of failure to provide the prescribed textbooks for elementary school level upto the High School level. He threatened that the students’ body will launch stir if the books in demands are not made available in the markets within the next February end.

Published in News

By - Siam Sarower Jamil,
Dhaka, Feb. 11,

At least 70 people were killed and 55 others injured as a deadly fire broke out in a densely populated residential area at Chawk Bazar in old town of Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh on Wednesday midnight.
Major AKM Shakil Newaz, director (Operation and Maintenance) of Fire Service and Civil Defence, at a press briefing on the spot told Imphal Times that a total of 70 bodies were recovered from the buildings.
Earlier, Bishwajit Kumar of Dhaka Medical College police outpost said 65 bodies reached to the morgue of the hospital till 8:00am (Thursday) Among them 57 are male, five female and three children.
He also said 55 injured people are admitted to the hospital and among them 18 are in burn unit and 37 are at the emergency unit.
Dhaka South City Corporation mayor Sayeed Khokan announced closure of rescue operation at Churihatta at about 12:40pm.
The mayor said the city corporation will strictly implement ban on setting up chemical warehouse and illegal factories in Old Dhaka.
Brigadier general Ali Ahmed Khan, director general of Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence, earlier confirmed 45 deaths and said the number might go up as the fire fighters were still working to bring the flame under control. ‘We’re still searching different floors of the affected buildings,’ Khan said.
Among the injured, at least 16 people sustained burns while 30 others were injured while trying to escape the fire.
Fire service control room said that the fire broke out following an explosion at a chemical warehouse housed in a five-storey building at Churihatta around 10:45pm.
The fire immediately spread to another adjacent building as 37 units of fire fighters rushed the spot to contain the fire till 1:45am.
Primary reports quoting locals suggested that the fire followed an explosion.
Television channels live telecast vehicles burned down in the fire.

Published in News

IT News
Imphal, Feb 21,

Ongoing 7th session of the 11 Manipur Legislative Assembly which starts yesterday passed demand for supplementary grant of 2390,04,51,000/- for 42 departments. Finance Minister move the supplementary grant for approval of the house.
Supplementary grant of Rs 14,18,93,000 have been granted for the financial year ending March 31, 2019 for state legislature; Rs 4,10,00,000 for the council of ministers;  Rs 8,99,47,000 for the secretariat; Rs 1,14,12,000 for the Land Revenues Stamps and Registration And District Administration; Rs 300,86,12,000 for the Finance department; Rs 8,24,16,000 for Transport; Rs 143,69,25,000 for Police; Rs 146,76,77,000 for Public Works Department; Rs 1,21,85,000 for Information and Publicity; Rs 42,24,92,000 for Commerce and Industries; Rs 149,90,38,000 for Public Health Engineering; Rs 79,90,51,000 for Power; Rs 74,44,000 for Vigilance and Anti-corruption Department; Rs 9,36,72,000 for Youth Affairs and Sports; Rs 9,76,27,000 for Election; Rs 45,33,46,000 for Consumer Affairs Food And Public Distribution; Rs 3,93,51,000 for Co-Operation; Rs 54,44,71,000 for Agriculture; Rs 15,32,54,000 for Animal Husbandry and Veterinary including Diary farming; Rs 14,32,67,000 for Environment and Forest; Rs 32,07,86,000 for Community and Rural Development; Rs 87,76,78,000 for Education; Rs 90,67,81,000 for Medical Health and Family Welfare Services;  Rs 149,06,62,000 for Municipal Administration, Housing and Urban Development;  Rs 37,19,32,000 for Labour and Employment. ; Rs 262,70,41,000 for Tribal Affairs and Hill Development; Rs 2,25,28,000 for Jail; Rs 8,84,22,000 for Home guard; Rs 2,11,00,000 for Rehabilitation; Rs 3,76,33,000 for Minor Irrigation; Rs 6,48,92,000 for Fisheries; Rs 9,52,69,000 for Panchayat; Rs 57,23,000 for Sericulture; Rs 239,21,33,000 for Water Resources Department; Rs 1,80,36,000 for Arts and Culture Department; Rs 5,04,58,000 for Horticulture and soil Conservation; Rs 87,35,80,000 for Social Welfare Department; Rs 21,78,18,000 for Tourism; Rs 1,07,00,000 for Science and Technology; Rs 172,77,68,000 for Minority, OBC and SC; Rs 112,97,90,000 for Relief and disaster Management and Rs 46,41,000 have been granted for the financial year ending March 31, 2019 for Economics and Statistics.

Published in News
Thursday, 21 February 2019 16:49

Manipur to reintroduce lottery

IT News
Imphal Feb. 21,

Manipur Deputy Chief Minister Yumnam Joykumar has disclosed that state will reintroduce lottery and it is expected to collect Rs 100 cr annually. He was replying to a supplementary question by opposition Congress MLA Surjakumar Okram in the state assembly on Thursday. Joykumar who also holds finance portfolio said that concerning the selling of lottery tickets it is not still decided whether it would be sold in the state or outside the state or both inside and outside the state.
He also said that Rs 857.89 cr has been collected as GST revenue of the state since the introduction of GST  on July 2017 till January 2019. He was replying to a question raised by Surjakumar in the question hour. Joykumar said that the state is projecting Rs 754.78 cr as GST revenue collection next year. Earlier, Surjakumar has asked whether it is true that the tax revenue has increased manifold after introduction of the GST.

Published in News

IT News
Imphal Feb. 21,

‘The unique culture and identity which is the treasure of the indigenous people of the land will vanished in thin air if the language which is now under a great threat extinct’, says Dr. L Mahabir Director of Language Planning and Implementation Government of Manipur.
Speaking on the occasion of International Mother Language Day organised by Directorate of Language Planning and Implementation Government of Manipur as President of the function held today at Manipur Press Club, Dr L.Mahabir said that around the world many languages of small communities has been facing a great threat and lie on the verged of extinction and many of it becomes endangered languages. So the people need to be aware of such situation.
He appealed the people to use the mother language as much as they could. He also appealed to include the different mother languages of the land in educational sector making the people able to learn to read and write. And if we neglect to use our mother language than it will surely become extinct, he added.
The function also include seminar where various teachers read papers on various topics as a morning session and poetry reading in the evening session.
The function was also attended by Professor of linguistics department of Linguistics Manipur University Dr. N. Promodini as the chief guest of the function.
It can be mention that the UNESCO theme for International Mother Language day this year is ‘Indigenous Languages Matter for development, Peace building and Reconciliation’.

Published in News
Thursday, 21 February 2019 16:48

Police on the hunt for IED expert

IT News
Imphal Feb. 21,

Manipur police and para military personnel engaging in the counter insurgency campaigns in this volatile border state are on the hunt for an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) expert who is giving slips to the dragnets spread to trap him.
Addressing a press conference at his office, on Wednesday, Superintendent of Police Imphal West District Jugeshchandra Haobijam, IPS said police and security forces are trying to nab the IED expert but unable to trap him. “He can run from the clutches of the police and para military forces but he can’t hide,” the SP said.
Four hardcore activists of the proscribed Kangleipak Communist Party, People’s War Group (Marxist Centre) who were responsible for extortions and planting Improvised Explosive Device (IED) at the gate of Catholic School Canchipur, here were arrested from different hideouts in Imphal area during the past 36 hours. One .32 pistol along with one magazine and 23 ammunition, two number of two wheelers, three mobile handsets and incriminating documents have been recovered from them, the SP said.
He further said that a combined team of CDO Imphal West district led by Inspector P Achouba Meetei, OC CDO Imphal West, comprising of Dy SP (CDO) IW Rojit Irom MPS and a column of 6 Assam Rifles under the supervision of Th Krishnatombi Singh, MPS Addl S.P. (Ops) Imphal West arrested them. Upon their interrogations it came to know that they had planted the IED following school authorities’ failure to fulfil their demand - to provide quota in the admission of students and donations.
The frisking and checking at Takyel Khongbal near wooden bridge, about 3 km from here on Tuesday at around 7.30 led to the arrest of Sagolshem Sanatomba alias Sanajaoba Singh, 30, son of S Shohodeva Singh of Langathel Thoubal. Following his disclosure it came to know that under the instruction of one Mani he was coming to serve demand letters.
Upon further questioning, he admitted that he along with Mani planted an IED at the gate of Catholic school, Canchipur on February 14 under the command of one Sanabam Gunajit, an active member of KCP (PWG) who arrested at about 9 pm on Tuesday.
Heisnam Kiran Kumar Singh alias Boinao, 28, and Sanabam Gunajit were also later arrested.
When asked is there any left out for the rebels responsible for serving warning to the Catholic schools authorities in the state, the SP disclosed that there is one KPC man giving slips to the dragnets of the law enforcing personnel.
Police and Assam Rifles have taken up stern actions following a series of agitations launched by various organizations including students’ bodies demanding educational institutes a free zone.

Published in News

Plastic bags are a ubiquitous contamination of our landscape, urban and rural.
Many social organizations, Ngo, students bodies had launched campaigned against the use of Plastic polythene bag in the state. But as none including the government fails to extend supports plastic polythene pollution is killing the environment of our states. Infamous fresh water lake – Loktak has been the dumping site and most water of the lake has been contaminated with the plastic waste.
Much has been promised to keep the Imphal clean and some of the officers in the state government are trying all it can to make the city clean. Off late Imphalites saw the IMC engaging large number of workers to clean the city. The kind of initiative is also worth appreciation, not because it will keep the city clean but also this initiative provides jobs to many people particularly those people who have been looking for jobs of any kind.
But then when it comes for keeping the city clean or ban of the use of plastic polythene bag, it is always the government first that should be in the forefront to materialize the kind of initiative. However, a mere promise or announcement without converting those in action will certainly lead the good works of the students’ body or some sincere employees in the government department into under frustration.
This is being brought up as the people sees no sustainable measures on the side of the government on either for ban of plastic use or for dumping site of the garbage collected from the urban area.
Earlier this newspaper has highlighted on how the Lamphelpat, the site where the Chief Minister of Manipur had promise to protect as wet land area to keep the environment clean, has been converted into a dumping site of garbage collected from the Imphal city.
Cores and crores of rupees has been spent at Lamdeng in establishing the solid waste management plant at Landeng and last year the government had already announced that it is working. When the Landeng solid waste management plant is working it is surprising to see why the garbage are being dump at Lamphel area and that too by exposing in open air. The way that the IMC dump the garbage at Lamphelpat shows that something is wrong in the multi crore worth Solid Waste Management plant at Lamdeng in Imphal Wast.
The garbage being dump at Lamphelpat will have serious environmental effect. We all know that Environmental pollutants have various adverse health effects from early life some of the most important harmful effects are perinatal disorders, infant mortality, respiratory disorders, allergy, malignancies, cardiovascular disorders, increase in stress oxidative, endothelial dysfunction, mental disorders, and various other harmful effects.
The government, particularly the MAHUD department should clarify on why the garbage from the Imphal are being dump at Lamphelpat instead of taking it to Lamdeng Solid waste management plant.

Published in Editorial

By:—Rajkumar Panthoiren
pursuing MA Sociology in the University of Hyderabad

    Haobam Paban’s “Loktak Lairembee (Lady of the Lake)” and Ivan Ayr‘s “Soni” are two polar opposite narratives in that the former deals with the lower rungs of society who are practically social immobiles on account of their subservient relationship with the State which has in Weberian sense the ultimate monopoly of the “legitimated” exercise of power, while the latter deals with the narrative of two agents of the State who are caught up in the functional disruptions that are part and parcel of their work of law enforcement, worsened by their character disposition of harbouring an intact conscience. The first is based in the soil of Manipur, or rather on the floating phumdis of Loktak while the second one is based in the rugged streets and tense police stations of New Delhi—both products of feature film medium debutants. Both the films serve as a case study through which the Marxian framework of the State existing as a necessary means to facilitate and sustain the politico-economic interests of the few ‘haves’, resulting in the absolute denigration and alienation of the majority ‘have-nots’, can be utilised. Both reveal the pathological malaise of the normalised ascendance of psychopathic elements in the ultimate echelon of power games and power consolidation, which is manifested in the excesses done by the elite political class. Their actions are in tandem with their sole aim of maintaining the capitalistic power engine that sustains not only the direct monopolisers of power but also the subsidiary and other support structures in the form of vested corporate elites. Now, who does the State use to further the aforementioned excesses? The optimally fed, paid-for agents of the repressive state apparatus, Louis Althusser would say. In both the films, the concrete, accessible figure we see is the police while the over-lordship of their political masters casts a long, dark yet invisible shadow throughout the story lines.   
In psychoanalytical terms, both the films chart the characters’ internal conflict between the executive ego and the moral superego and also, the suspended cognitive dissonance they undergo. The executive ego of the State is very much active as seen in the special importance it gives to maintaining the “sanctity” of its formal, rational institutions, while its moral superego has been appropriated by the dominant elite using self-serving rationalisation mechanism.
“Loktak Lairembee” has its basic plotline based on the controversial Loktak lake phumdi (floating biomass) clearance operations by the Manipur Government in cahoots with a dubious corporate body in 2011, which resulted in displacement of several indigenous fisher-folks whose lives depend solely on fishing activities done in the lake. Tomba and his wife Tharoshang are as deprived, if not more, as any of the rest of the phumdi-dwellers. Tomba suffers from some sort of a psychotic depression and there are visible strands of schizophrenic hallucination and paranoia, which is indicated by his occasional sighting of the mysterious lady who travels alone in her own boat. His present condition is a result of a previous burning of their hut for which they had to relocate, and as the Government continues to burn down huts and dredge phumdis, he is still anxious of another repetition of his previous fate. A conversation between him and his wife reveal that they have a daughter studying in Imphal and arranging for her education fees is a damning task for them, which is worsened by Tomba’s inability to contribute anything economically on account of his psychological condition. Although Tharoshang rebukes him for not standing up again as any responsible man should for his family, he is indifferent but not unconscious.
A psychoanalytical understanding would point to the decimation of his masculine ego which was in a way irreparably damaged by the ultimate, supposedly invincible outlet of power-consolidation— the State. This was why he needed a push for reclamation of his protective and assertive male authority image. Yes, he is a practicing patriarch but he cannot be simplistically reduced to an oppressive character as a careless feminist misreading might do. In his mind, he failed to “protect” and “safeguard” the interest of his family; for a man like him who has nothing more than his simple sanctum sanctorum called home where a semblance of his projected importance finds a vent, the sanctity of his living space (the phumdi hut) to be trampled upon is akin to him being reduced to impotence.
The incident of discovering the gun (the pivotal metaphoric tool) excites him as well as shakes him even though he does not have the tools to explicitly articulate so. The gun serves as a redemptive tool for him to reclaim his lost ground, in his own eyes as well as in his wife’s. It’s another matter that his hopes would later turn out to be nothing more than a delusion—an act of a defeated fighter who has been pinned down and drained of any energy or will but attempts desperately to throw back a ressurective punch, only to be punched down by the dominant fighter in decisive terms.
Thus, Tomba, the defeated fighter, is a non-entity to the State, the dominant fighter, with no potential for threat either physically or ideologically. In Marxian terms, Tomba is partly out of the false consciousness loop but doesn’t have the requisite resources and environs to attain/induce any semblance of class consciousness. His repressed anger only cripples him psychosocially. This is representative of his equally subdued phumdi dweller compatriots. The gun that he planned to use to “defend” (thawai kanba) his family ultimately pricks his superego and unsettles his executive ego, which shows that even though helpless, his conscience is very much alive. Or, to restate as a question, is his conscience alive because he is helplessly subdued by the State? Contrast this with the mechanical, oppressive nature of the State which is driven by few vested individuals and which has no remorse in destroying the phumdi dwellers’ lifestyle and also falsely pinning the blame on them for the lake’s pollution.
To contextualise, it is pertinent to remember that a company which existed only on paper, K-Pro Infra Works Limited, was selected for the Rs 224 crore-worth phumdis clearance work, flouting the norms of CPWD requiring at least three bidders for the award of work. The company was the lone bidder and came into existence only (on 22 June 2009) after the tender notice was given (on 4 June 2009) by the Loktak Development Authority (LDA). The proliferation of phumdis has several artificial causes such as construction of the Ithai Barrage dam, rapid urbanisation of Imphal, unchecked sewerage discharge from nearby satellite towns, etc. In earlier times, the excessive phumdis were discharged through the Manipur River which is not possible now as the river has been perennially blocked by the Ithai Barrage.  The Loktak Multipurpose Hydroelectric project is also another factor hugely impacting the ecosystem of the lake. So, instead of tracing the root causes borne out of careless planning, absence of impact assessment and furtherance of corporate interests, rather the government had the audacity to blame the phumdi dwellers, who share a symbiotic relationship with the lake, for pollution and thus exonerating itself of its grave missteps which caused the problem in the first place.
Coming back to the plot narrative, the last scenes show that Tomba finally gets to use his gun on that mysterious lady one late night (most probably in a psychotic hallucination episode). Just after the lady was done in, she miraculously comes back knocking on Tomba’s door to give him the two used bullet casings from the two “fatal” shots fired by Tomba. The closing shot shows the camera manoeuvring underwater in the lake to finally fixate on the gun lying enmeshed in organic matter. The gun’s fate can be interpreted as Tomba coming to terms (assuming he, not his wife,threw the gun in the lake) with the fact that his helplessness and “impotence” cannot be redeemed by confronting the infinitely more powerful State by violence (his lingering, not acted upon fantasy). The State thrives on the proliferation of such helplessness and mental bondage.
Also, the metaphorical image of the haunting Lairembee of the lake, who doesn’t die even after being gunned down, represents the invincibility of the State as an overarching structure which transcends even the impositions of time (constantly churning, death-less). It’s interesting that the mythical Lairembee’s invincibility somehow impinges upon Tomba’s attempts, howsoever naive, to secure justice, which ironically places the Lairembee on the side of the State. This can be interpreted as power colluding with power (the Lairembee and the State), while indicting the powerless under them for being powerless. This appropriation of transcendental power by the capitalists gives scant space for the building up of ‘class for itself’ consciousness of the proletariats. Stray and individual attempts to reclaim a sense of power is thus, by the very configuration of the power structure, reduced to delusional and, even if real, non-threatening abortive attempts, amply illustrated by Tomba’s meek coming to terms. The film indicates that the capitalistic tendencies function very efficiently because the State and all its bureaucratic paraphernalia exist majorly for these interests, not for the overstated welfare functions of all. And these tendencies are always consolidated by none other than the high functioning psychopathic elements who come in the form of political leaders and their corporate backers, begging a disturbing question: is psychopathy an absolutely needed qualifier in the matrix of functional prerequisites to attain power?  
In “Soni”, we follow the story of two policewomen in Delhi passionate about fighting crimes against women, but that doesn’t mean they are to be bracketed as gender-specific police as they are efficient police officers in all aspects. Being women gives them the extra edge in comprehending certain nuances involving crimes related to women. Their job involves decoy operations at night while being undercover in the streets of the capital city. The title character Soni is the junior of her Superintendent rank boss Kalpana Ummat, and both share a warm, sisterly bond that cuts through the formal hierarchy. Both are passionately devoted to their job of fighting crimes but their temperament is diametrically opposite— Soni is the hot-headed, righteous rebel while Kalpana is the balanced and well-meaning officer who gives importance to protocol. This film is a character study of these policewomen done in very realistic terms. The rational bureaucratic structure is being scrutinized by questioning its efficacy on the ground level (policy output vs. policy outcome). Several questions can be framed through the film: what is the root of crimes such as drugs-related, kidnapping, extortion, political and bureaucratic embezzlement of funds etc. and gender-related crimes? Does one reinforce the other, or are they complementary? How does the perversion of economic base structure come into the picture while looking at the dysfunction of the politico-ideological superstructure?
On top of the gritty law enforcement work they do, Soni and Kalpana also have to fit in the gender roles expected of them at home, more so in Kalpana’s case who is constantly reminded by her mother-in-law of her wifely obligations such as bearing a child. Kalpana’s more practical husband Sandeep who is also an IPS officer, with a higher rank than her, berates her for not being authoritative enough while dealing with subordinates (referring to her empathetic support of the “problematic” Soni). Now, there are certain important moments in the film which shape the characters’ assertion of their organismic selves (Carl Rogers), each time being cornered by the State’s vested check and balances system (to maintain the anomic status quo, a false sense of societal equilibrium).
At a checkpoint, Soni slaps an uncooperative and misbehaving drunk Naval officer after several of her warnings were retorted by patronising threats. In the beginning scene, while undercover in a night decoy operation to check crimes in the streets, she beats up a molester chasing after her who also didn’t relent despite being ignored initially. The checkpoint incident induces an institutional enquiry on her and she gets transferred to a desk job in the police control room. She gets reinstated to her normal post shortly after Kalpana bats for her. In the third instance, while she and her supportive boss Kalpana were in a restaurant having a quiet time, she again gets into a major fight when she found some pampered hooligans holed up in the ladies’ toilet and consuming some Class A drug, thus causing public nuisance; in this case too, her reasoning attempts were futile and she was provoked to physical action when one of the hooligans breached the sexual lines (the provocateur being a corporate honcho’s ward). As expected, the police unit’s head (Sandeep) is pressurised by the corporate honcho, an influential election funder, using his political links. Sandeep, the practical officer that he is, considers the consequences and relents and the hooligan is made to go scot-free, which is resented by his wife Kalpana. Soni is put in the dock again.
So, it can be clearly seen how the very concept of law enforcement entails dysfunctional adjustments and accommodations that are concretised through the strict hierarchical set-up. And the Weberian rationalisation of bureaucracy prescribing one-fits-all framework is demonstrated by the inter-institutional consensus (the police and the Navy, in this case) on what is within bounds and what is not. The Naval officer’s drunk misdemeanour is sidelined as a stray and excusable thing while Soni slapping him for the very act of disruption of police work is seen as an act of excess; would this have been the case if in the place of the Naval officer was a civilian having no political or otherwise backing? Or rather, would a simple civilian have the motivation or nerve to display such privileged misuse of authority even in place where their authority, if any, is not in force? Highly unlikely, except in rare cases of psychological deviance. This exposes the beautiful lie of the so-called equalising effect of law enforcement (all equal before the law) because at the end of the day, the law enforcers are more like authority posers than anything else who are constantly kept in check by the State’s various vested requirements. And all of these institutions are subservient to the State and its constant will to the maintenance of its power concentration.
In order to maintain this happy nexus, the State has to make several “small adjustments” such as the case of Soni’s temporary transfer to a desk job to satisfy the inter-institutional equilibrium and also reinforce intra-institutional hierarchical role allocation’s strict adherence. Also, in the case of the restaurant hooligan, Soni was supposedly at fault just because she responded physically to a serious nuisance causer, while the nuisance causing hooligan’s ticket to exoneration from lawful persecution was not legal defence but extra-legal “adjustments”. Police brutality, even to the extent of death, done on weaker sections of society rarely invites recall and reprimanding of the personnel(s) involved but even non-deadly physical escalation in cases involving the privileged sections results in consequences for the personnel(s) involved. This is the dangerous dichotomy that the State promotes.
In an interesting turn of events, in the penultimate scene, we see that Kalpana goes ahead and brings in the already let off restaurant hooligan and this time, frames several charges on him (drug trafficking, criminal trespassing, attempt to kidnap and assaulting an officer on duty), to the utter shock of the hooligan who still threatens her by invoking his privilege. It’s a redemptive and cathartic act on her part and her own kind of rebelling within the bounds of the system (set protocol). Despite the potentially aversive consequences involved, she doesn’t relent which is sort of an act of reclamation of her conscience. It can also be read as a reassertion of her “position” of an IPS officer that she had achieved through her own struggles which carried genuine meanings for her (righteousness, sense of duty, sensitivity for the less fortunate and so on).
In the final scene, Soni is back in the police control room with a book in her hand which was gifted by Kalpana: ‘Raseedi Ticket’ written by the acclaimed Punjabi writer Amrtia Pritam. It’s a symbolic gesture because the book is the autobiography of a non-conformist of a different era who lived her life on her terms and so in a way, the solidarity and solace that Soni and Kalpana shared between them is solidified by the historical link of another person they mutually admire. They trace their own turmoil and inner dissonance arising out of their being in acute contact with harsh social realities to an identifiable figure who, to them, sort of lived through similar turmoils in her life.
In “Loktak Lairembee”, the State manages to subdue Tomba and his nascent rebellion which anyway was borne out of his psychological disturbance rather than a real, concerted will on his part to better his life chances. His inability is not something personal to him because like him, his phumdi dweller ilk does not have the intellectual and physical resources to match up to the State. Their material conditions bring them down, the reversal of which they attempt through investment in their children’s education. But then, they are unable to ensure top-notch education for their children because education is also a pricey commodified enterprise meant for the well off and the burgeoning middle class. Tomba’s attempt to reclaim his lost ground through the discovered gun results in cognitive dissonance, which gets resolved through his act of abandoning the gun, out of his view and reach, deep in the lake’s waters. And so, the meek resolution seals his fate and we are not given any hopes of betterment of Tomba’s life condition. Tomba’s story is just the tip of the iceberg.  

On the other hand, Kalpana and Soni, even though they are bound by the dysfunctional and self-serving diktats of the State, are better off as they still have a scope to right things in areas they can to compensate for the areas they cannot. The State’s bureaucratic machinery intends to make and expects of one to become depersonalised, efficient work cogs. The invisible hand that sustains the iron cage of capitalism doesn’t allow for conscience to function. This way, many young and bright people who initially were principled and optimistic get absorbed into the system’s tentacles and become either psychopathic converts or regress back to the unconscious realm of void, with no personal stand or opinion on anything. In “Soni”, we see the struggles of Kalpana and Soni to remain sane and maintain their integrity while bearing the onslaughts of the State’s dysfunctional adjustments. Their triumph lies in the fact that they do not relent as easily as the State might want them to. And maybe, it is because of the existence of many actual Kalpanas and Sonis in the real world that the State has a slight semblance of humanity.  
All in all, it would not be an exaggeration to say that the State as we know is a repository for potential and actual criminalities, with its existence necessitated by the human need for a representative and symbolic consciousness, and sustained by absence of fairer, viable alternatives.
“Loktak Lairembee” won the National Film Award for Best Film on Environment Conservation/Preservation at the 64th National Film Awards in 2016, among many other accolades. “Soni” won an award in debut category at the Pingyao International Film Festival, 2018. Both the films were received positively in various international film festivals.

Published in Articles
Thursday, 21 February 2019 16:45

“Solid waste to Energy”

By: Sanjenbam Jugeshwor Singh.

    Energy recovery from waste is the conversion of non-recyclable waste materials into usable heat, electricity or fuel through a variety of processes, including combustion, gasification, pyrolization, anaerobic digestion and land fill gas recovery. This process is often called Waste to Energy. Infact, Waste-to-Energy (WtE) or Energy-from-Waste (EfW) is the process of generating energy in the form of Electricity and/ or heat from primary treatment of waste or the process of waste into a fuel source.WtE is a formof energyrecovery. MostWtE process generate Electricity and/or  heat directly through combustion or produce a combustible fuel commodity such as Methane,Methanol or Synthetic fuel.
During the 2001 to 2007 period, the Waste-to-Energy capacity increased by about four million matric tones per year. Japan and China each built several plants based on direct smelting or on fluidized bed combustion of solid waste. In china, there are about 434 Waste-to-Energy plants in early 2016.Japan is the largest user in thermal treatment of municipal solid waste in the World with 40 million tones. Some of the newest plants use Stoker technology and others used the advanced oxygen enrichment technology. Several treatment plants exist Worldwide, relatively novel process such as direct smelting, the Ebara fluidization process and Thermoselect JFE gasification and melting technology process. In India its first Energy bio-science Center was developed to reduce the country’s greenhouse gases and its dependency on fossil fuel. As of June 2014, Indonesia had a total of 93.5MW installed capacity of Waste-to- Energy with a pipeline preparation phases together amounting to another 373MW of capacity. Waste-to- Energy technology also includes fermentation which can take bio-mass and create Ethanol, using waste cellusic or organic materials. In the fermentation process, the sugar in the waste is changed to carbon dioxide and alcohol.The most common source for WtE is Incineration, which means to burn organic waste to get energy .Incination is not just conducted to recover energy rather it is most of time conducted to get rid off waste.
The solid waste management plant at LamdengKhunou established by Govt. of Manipur, after successful conversion of solid waste into manure / fertilizer in the first phase, now started generating1MW of Electricity per shift per day on trial basis successfully. Infact, solid waste treatment plant was initially lunched to produce manure/ fertilizer only from the solid waste. But now WtE project to produce Energy from Waste is being taken up in Public private partnership (PPP) model. The installation work to generate Electricity from waste at this plant is completed now. The project was taken up in association with INOVATIVE ECO-CAREPvt,Ltd and THERMOTECH SYSTEM Ltd of Ahmedabad .Now the plant started producing 1MW of electricity.
   To generate 1MW of electricity at WtE plant at LamdengKhunou,needs about 100 metric tons of solid waste It is reported by  the concern authority that about 120 metric tons of solid waste can be collected from local Urban bodies of Imphal area which is classified as Cluster-A.To generate electricity round the clock in a day, the plant needs to work in three different shifts. Therefore about 300metric tons of solid waste is required. As the solid waste from the Imphal area is not sufficient to run the plant 24 hours, therefore collection of solid waste from other urban local bodies beyond Cluster-A area is required. It is highly appreciable to learn that the Government of Manipur has handed over vehicle to transport the solid waste from other urban local bodies under NLCPR project. 31 vehicles have been handed over to collect solid waste from seven (07) local urban bodies under cluster-B of Thoubalarea. The report also mentioned that, there will be a secondary collection Center at Thoubal, which after compaction will be taken to LamdengKhunou to use in WtE plant.As ,this even will not able to meet the requirement of the plant ,Government is trying to collect the solid waste by opening four(04) more  secondary collection centers at Bishnupur,Kakching and MayaiLambi,so that the required quantity of 300MT of solid waste can be collected to meet the need of the plant. Infact, this step taken up by the Government of Manipur is very good and right step to keep the environment of our City and towns clean which in turn will help to save our LokatakLake from all kinds of threat poured on it also.At the same time, we will get additional electricity though it may be little. If this project/ Mission is successful, it’s not hard to say that our dream of Imphal to be a clean Smart City will be achieved. However, to get all these objectives lies in the hand of our general public. So let’s all join in hand to make Imphal in particular and Manipur in general, environmentally very clean city and state.
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