Thursday, 22 August 2019 - Imphal Times

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Imphal, Aug 22,

At least 12 people including 4 police personnel and a journalist were injured during a protest rally organised by the JAC demanding justice for Reamei Chungamlu who was found dead in a mysterious condition. The incident happened as the police tried to stop the rally at Thangmeiband area today afternoon.

Following today’s police action, Joint action committee formed against the mysterious death of Reamei Chungamlu had announced indefinite blockade along the National Highways and total shuts down on all the state and national projects being taken up in Zeliangrong inhabited area.

The protest rally started from Tarung Community Hall and marched towards Thangmeiband. Police halted the rally at Thangmeiband Sinam Leikai near Savio School.  To disperse the protestor police used smoke bombs, mock bombs and tear gas shells.

General Secretary of Rongmei Naga Students organization Zenthui Pamei strongly condemned the police brutality and added that those who are there to protect the people attacked the people.

He added that they staged a peaceful rally demanding punishment of the culprit at the earliest.

He also strongly condemned the Chief Minister for not allowing to the JAC to submit memorandum.

Reamei Chungamlu was found dead under mysterious circumstances on August 17 at Moirang Pangsang Leikai.

Published in News

By - Siam Sarower Jamil,
Dhaka, Aug 22

Bangladesh has described the matter related to Jammu and Kashmir as an internal issue of India.
‘Bangladesh maintains that the abrogation of Article 370 by the Indian government is an internal issue of India’. Ministry of Foreign Affairsof Bangladesh said on Wednesday evening sharing Bangladesh’s position on Jammu and Kashmir.
The foreign ministry statement said that Bangladesh has always advocated maintaining regional peace and stability, as well as development as priority for all countries .
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government on August 5 stripped Jammu and Kashmir of its semi-autonomy and statehood, creating two federal territories.
The order abrogated Article 370 of India’s Constitution, which gives the state of Jammu and Kashmir its own constitution and decision-making rights for all matters except for defense, communications and foreign affairs.
The article also forbids Indians outside the state from permanently settling, buying land, holding local government jobs and securing educational scholarships.

Published in News

IT News

Imphal, Aug 22

On day-2 of the 48 hours bandh called by the Hill Tribal Council (HTC), Kuki Women Union and Human Rights (KWU and HR), Kuki Students’ Organisation (KSO), Moreh Youth Club (MYC) and All Moreh Traders Association (AMTA),  normalcy in border town Moreh was severely disturbed  as bandh supporters cordoned Assam Riffles camp at Moreh and shouted the AR personnel to stay inside the camp.

The civil society bodies began the 48 hours bandh from 5 am yesterday in protest against the alleged atrocities and disturbance to the common people by 43 Assam Rifles, Moreh at Moreh Gate no. 1.

Police seems to be helpless with the protestors going hostile and the Assam Rifles too resorted extreme tolerance in controlling the bandh supporters. 

All shops and business establishment in Moreh town including government offices continue to close during the bandh. Large number of bandh supporters burnt tyres at various places including at the road near AR camp. Women folks confronted Assam Rifles troopers at many places. 

Road from Pallel to Moreh was also blocked by bandh supporters.

Earlier the civil bodies had warned serious disturbing agitation if no concrete solution fails to come up before the expiry of the bandh.

Published in News

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Imphal, Aug 22

‘Ekta Parishad’ Manipur, demanded the government to provide ‘Patta’  ’legal entitlement’ for the landless & shelter-less poor families living without any Patta residing at the valley areas of Manipur.  

Speaking to media persons in a press meet held today at Manipur Press Club, the ‘Ekta Parishad’ Manipur Project Cordinator, Haobijam Surjit stated that around 70% of the household doesn’t have any legal (land) entitlement, according to 2011 Socio-Economic Census and out of which 40% is population without patta and lies in the valley areas.  

He further said that as they didn’t have the pattas, the people can’t avail the government schemes and also the students can’t obtain the OBC certificates due to lack of land document or patta. 

And according to the Parishad Survey, 3 district of Manipur, namely rural areas of Bishnupur, Imphal East & West District, around 3000 plus household doesn’t have land patta though they possessed land, he added. 

Surjit continued that the landless poor deserved to have homestead land, decent houses under Right to life, (Right to Shelter) Article 21 of Indian Constitution,  

Surjit further stressed that since 2017 November rallies were also staged and also the Parishad had sent letters & reminder to Manipur CM, Guv, state Revenue Minister & secretary, and all the concern DCs.  

The Parishad then filed a PIL to High Court of Manipur, wherein the Court in its directive on 19th August to expedite the concern authority to resolve the issue, Surjit stated. 

Surjit urged the government to take their issue seriously and to discuss and take decision in the assembly session for the poor peoples of the land.

He said that until the poorer section is uplifted crimes in the state will never decline and added to give patta to the patta less people for an egalitarian society.  

Surjit warned that if Government fails to heed the calls of this homeless people, then a strong but democratic movement may arise by the homeless people from District to state level which can make the state government a big headache. So Surjit asked the state government to expedite the legal entitlement process.

Published in News

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Imphal, Aug 22

All Tribal Rights’ Protection Forum Manipur (ATRPFM) expressed strong condemnation to the shooting by police that injured a Kabui lady while staging protest against the alleged murder of Chungamliu Riamei .

The State Government and the police cannot deny justice for the victim who was believed to have been murdered on August 17 at her marital home and criminals cannot be encouraged by concealing facts, the statement said.

The Forum also expressed strong resentment against the crime committed to tribal women alleging the death as murder.

The murder look like suicide and the State Government and police just let it go without delivering justice to the victim, the statement said.

The statement further said that the report of postmortem cannot be concealed by the authority as hiding the fact by the concern authority is “Justice delay is justice denied”.

The Forum appealed to book the culprit(s) immediately and deal in accordance with law of the land.

Published in News

IT News

Imphal, Aug 22

Titular king of Manipur, Leishemba Sanajaoba participated in the 2nd International HUNIC Conference, 2019, held in Thailand as a Special Guest, becoming the first one from Manipur. Organized by the Humanities and Social Sciences, Surindra Rajabhat University, Surin Province, Muang District, Thailand, the inaugural function was held on August 22, 2019. Maharaja Leishemba was one of the distinguished guests, which included Chancellor of the S.R. University, Deputy Governor of Surin, Muang District, and eminent scholars from Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, etc.

He was felicitated with “A Certificate of Honour” by the Chancellor, and, in return, the Maharaja also presented Lengyan Phee of Manipur to the Chancellor and other distinguished guests present. While speaking at the gathering, Leishemba Sanajaoba expressed delight to have been invited at the conference and various similarities between Thailand and Manipur, such as culture, lifestyle, rituals, food habits, attires, physical anatomy, etc.

He further added that just like Thailand, Manipur was once a sovereign kingdom for thousands of years before it became a part of India in 1949. Manipur had its unique civilisation and history, he said, and had a close historical relationship with Thailand. The Maharaja expressed his hope for the return of the close relationship between Thailand and other South East Asian countries and Manipur with the coming of the India’s Act East Policy. He concluded his speech praying for love and peace to restore in the regions.

Published in News
Thursday, 22 August 2019 18:12

Restoring public education system

Education is considered as the cornerstone of socio-economic and cultural development of a society or country. Education has emerged as the most important single input in promoting human resource development, achieving rapid economic development and technological progress, creating a social order, based on the virtues of freedom, social justice and equal opportunities. Education plays a vital role in the present world, for not only raising the standard of living but also as a mechanism to prevent conflict situations. It has been widely regarded as the best opportunity for an individual to acquire and broaden the knowledge and skills to make informed judgments and choices for a better and fulfilling life.
With the recent unfortunate incident where a minor girl was allegedly murdered inside a private school hostel and the issues and disruptions that followed, the focus is once again on the education system and the manner or method of implementation of laws and regulations in the state. Much debated, discussed and deliberated as it is, the condition of government schools in the state still portrays a sorry figure, statistically and figuratively. Preceding governments have framed policies, announced ‘radical’ changes and promised revolutionary steps but nothing has yet to materialize from all the efforts. The present government is no exception, and the government schools remain as a symbol of hopelessness, a last resort and refuge for the utterly helpless and rejected lot, if not worse. Shunned by the high and mighty, these schools remain mere numbers with nothing much more to write about, except of its failures and hopelessness and above all, its potentials.
It is these stigmas- the accepted belief that there is no future for students in government schools which drove the parents to clamor for private schools in the state. This rush fuelled the scramble for establishment of more private schools to the extent that it is now practically impossible to control or manage them, not that the state government has done much in this regard on their part till now. Over the past few decades, lower middle-class and middle-class families have come to believe that private schools will ensure their children a bright career. The subsequent mushrooming of English medium private schools have led to the decline of public schools and many public schools that once teemed with children are facing closure. Others have shrunk and cater to a homogeneous section of children from working class and migrant families.

Data from the Department of Primary and Secondary Education reveal that many schools in the state were “temporarily closed” during this academic year. Schools were also merged with another. While officials argue that the department never declares a school “closed” — the official word for it is “zero enrolment” school — the fact is that a large number of public schools function with 10 to 15 students and one or two teachers, or with no students and only teachers.
The school education sector thus becomes a happy hunting ground for profiteers who do not give the slightest regard to the actual welfare and development of the students. On the other hand, the state government is still shouting hoarse of plans to overhaul and revamp the government schools, with even a few ‘model schools’ to show for it. It is still spending a considerable amount of money and resources with very little expectations. Evidently, there are very serious and grave lapses and mistakes in the system of government education system, from planning to implementation and evaluation. It is only when these faults are identified that corrective measures can be formulated and taken up. 
Another big hurdle in the effort to improve the government schools in the state would be the patronizing attitude of the government authorities, partly from the fact that their children are in private schools or in schools outside the state. It would be interesting to observe their response and commitment to the development and welfare of these government schools if their children are made to study in these schools.
Where there is a will there is a way, and so if the state government put their heart and soul into it, a solution is never impossible. All it would require is determination, perseverance, dedication and willingness to go the extra mile. A good public education system can contribute to state-building and reduce- if not remove- much of the social hurdles on the path of progress and prosperity. With so much at stake, shouldn’t the state government roll up its sleeve and make a real and genuine effort to change the society?

Published in Editorial
Thursday, 22 August 2019 18:11


By : Sanjoo Thangjam

Catholic priests take up to three vows, depending upon their affiliations.
Since various religious institutes exist within the Catholic Church, the vows priests must take vary depending upon their affiliations. Not all priests must take the same vows. Most institutes require that priests take vows of CHASTITY and OBEDIENCE to the hierarchy of the Catholic Church. However, some institutes exist, such as the Eastern Rite Catholics, that do not require priests to remain celibate.
The strictest Catholic institutes require priests to take a vow of poverty. Other priests do not take this vow at all and can engage in the world’s economy and can even hold side jobs. Whether or not priests have taken poverty vows, all clergy are admonished to live modest and simple lives by abstaining from unnecessary extravagances. Those who do take vows of poverty generally receive a meager living stipend for basic personal needs. Any goods they use, such as housing, vehicles and clothing, do not belong to the priests themselves, but to the institution.
The Western Catholic division of the Catholic Church selects priests who have taken vows of celibacy. However, this is not universal for all practitioners of the faith; priests in the Eastern Rite typically are married. The tradition of celibacy vows dates back to medieval times. The Catholic Church argues that it does not mandate any Catholic to abstain from marriage. By default, it does not mandate abstinence as sex is only permitted in a heterosexual marriage. EVEN SO, MOST DIVISIONS CHOOSE PRIESTS AMONG CANDIDATES WHO HAVE TAKEN THE VOW OF CELIBACY.
Most Catholic priests take a vow of obedience, an attempt to put the good of the Church before their own personal good. They work for what they consider to be the betterment of the community and not their own personal benefit, and by doing so, they are dedicating themselves to the service of the church. They see the commitment as a means of obtaining ultimate freedom. The vow also mandates that priests follow the order of the Catholic Church hierarchy, with the pope at the top, followed by the bishops. Priests may still appeal to higher authorities within the hierarchy if they disagree with a decision.
Other Responsibilities of Priests
Priests are responsible for the spiritual guidance of their practitioners, as well as for participating in community projects. Some priests live in communes, where they focus on meditation, prayer and study. Others work in the community, spending time visiting the sick, running community programs, conducting counseling services and holding mass and prayers. Some members of the clergy work in education as teachers for Catholic schools and universities in addition to their responsibilities in leading church services.
The writer is a lay Buddhist and Human Rights’ Activist for People Who Use Drugs (PUDs)

Published in Guest Column

Karnivool, Intervals, Shubha Mudgal, among the artists to headline the festival this year

By : Vikash Singh

Meghalaya: August 2019 - India’s happiest music festival is all set to take centre stage in the beautiful hills of Meghalaya from November 1-2, 2019. The fifth edition of the much loved BACARDÍ NH7 Weekender just got bigger and better with its exciting line-up of local and global artists.
The festival will see electrifying performances by international artists like Karnivool and Intervals, with more to be announced soon. Indian artists who will play at the venue are Shubha Mudgal, Benny Dayal and Funktuation, When Chai Met Toast and Raja Kumari. Among some exceptional talent from the North-east set to perform this season are Soulmate: North East Blues Special, Imphal Talkies and Khazi Bloodz.
“We’re thrilled to be back in Meghalaya for our fifth year in the state. Since our festival’s journey began in 2010, BACARDÍ NH7 Weekender has programmed extraordinary talent for an equally passionate and growing audience of music fans. The festival began as a home for indie musicians to connect with their fans like never before, and over 10 years, it’s been surreal to witness the festival grow in the most organic way - both sonically and as a community. With over 82% of our lineup making their festival debut this year, we hope to see fans, old and new to celebrate this decade of happiness with us.” said Supreet Kaur, Festival Director.
Anshuman Goenka, BACARDÍ Director Marketing, India commented, “Ten years ago, BACARDÍ’s passion for music and our inherent legacy of creating immersive experiences, led to a creative partnership with OML, giving India one of its first music festivals ever - BACARDÍ NH7 Weekender. Fondly referred to as India’s Happiest Music festival, our commitment to providing unique experiences and showcasing true talent, remains undeterred. In the last ten years, BACARDÍ NH7 Weekender has successfully brought independent music to mainstream culture and we are confident that in the next ten years, the community will grow bigger and stronger. This year, we look forward to celebrating the festival, our fans and the spirit of always doing what moves us.”
 After its opening act in Meghalaya in November, the festival will travel to Pune from November 29- December 1, 2019, where it will celebrate a glorious decade of bringing the best musical talent to all music aficionados.
Since its inception in 2009, BACARDÍ NH7 Weekender has emerged as one of the biggest and most awaited music festivals in India. Over the last decade, it has featured over 600 artists from India and around the world across genres.
Those who’ve missed the pre-sale of tickets for the concert in Meghalaya, can now buy tickets – Season and Under 21 – from
 A quick glimpse into what’s in store this year:
Critically acclaimed and widely followed, Karnivool are a progressive metal band from Australia. With their acclaimed 2005 debut, Themata, and 2009’s ground breaking follow-up, Sound Awake, Karnivool established themselves as one of the most vital forces in progressive modern music. Now a major international draw, appearing at festivals such as The Big Day Out, Sonisphere (France), Download (UK), SXSW (US) and Hurricane (Germany), and gaining high praise from international press titans such as Rolling Stone, Billboard Magazine, Kerrang! and Rocksound, Karnivool have belied expectation again with album number three, the brazen and introspective, Asymmetry. This expansive new work was designed in the band’s Perth studio over two years, before in late 2012, the Karnivool caravan headed across the continent to bunker down with legendary producer, Nick DiDia (Rage Against The Machine, Mastodon) at Byron Bay’s Studios 301. A new album is expected this year, with the band having teased it to its audience on social media. This will the band’s 3rd time in India, and their first time in Meghalaya with BACARDÍ NH7 Weekender.
Intervals is a Canadian progressive metal band. Formed in Toronto, Ontario, the band has toured throughout Canada and the United States with bands such as Animals as Leaders, Protest The Hero, Between The Buried and Me and The Contortionist. Formerly featuring Mike Semesky, Lukas Guyader, Matt De Luca and Anup Sastry (the drummer from Skyharbor, a Delhi-based prog-metal act featuring artists from the world over), the band currently features Aaron Marshall with a host of guest musicians. Having made an instrumental release titled The Way Forward in 2017, the band is currently on tour across the world promoting its new, unique sound.
 Shubha Mudgal
Shubha Mudgal is a Hindustani classical vocalist trained by some of the finest scholar musicians and gurus of the country. Awarded the Padmashri by the Government of India in 2000, she has received several accolades and awards and has also worked on several projects related to music education. She was also awarded the Nana Shirgaokar Chair for traditional music at the Goa University from 2013 to 2015. Along with her specialisation in Hindustani classical music, Shubha Mudgal is also well known for her work with popular music. She performs with a group of accomplished musicians and composers with whom she has had a long association such as Dr. Aneesh Pradhan, Sudhir Nayak, Aditya Balani, Gaurav Balani, Anil Chawla, Srijan Mahajan and Nitin Joshi. While she has performed multiple times at the happiest music festival, this is her first ever performance with BACARDÍ NH7 Weekender in Meghalaya.
Soulmate is a blues rock band from Shillong, Meghalaya, India. Often referred to as legends of the rock and roll and the blues scene in Shillong, the band is primarily made up of Rudy Wallang and Tipriti Kharbangar, although they frequently team up with session musicians when on tour. Tipriti is considered one of the finest female singers to have emerged from North East India and Wallang remains one of the most respected blues guitarists of India.
 Benny Dayal and Funktuation
Primarily inspired by the genres of Funk, Soul, R&B, Disco, and Pop, Funktuation is a rare combination of a live band playing dance music. The band with Benny Dayal on vocals, Carl Fernandes on bass, Alok Merwin on synth and keys, David Joseph on drums, Allwyn Jeya Paul on percussions, Joshua Satya on guitars, and Toby Joseph on sound, started out playing covers of funk music from the ’80s and ’90s, while their front-man, Benny Dayal, began to make his mark in the film music industry. Though Benny’s Bollywood career kept him supremely occupied, he, along with the band were determined to evolve into their own identity, and slowly started writing their original music. This mellifluous funk band has been making waves in the Indie music scene since its inception in the year 2011, also at the same time traveling all across the country and the world playing Benny’s Bollywood hits but with a funk-twist. They finally released their first Tamil-Funk EP ‘Funk Katcheri’ in January 2019 prior to which they dropped their first music video ‘Oora Paaru’ in November 2018. The band has a unique energy which started making waves ever since they came together. They have also collaborated with various other artists for gigs and generated some fantastic numbers to the delight of their audiences. Their biggest asset is their ability to adapt funk into regional languages such as Tamil, Hindi as well as English. They also love putting in a bit of R&B, Disco, and Soul which effortlessly blend with the genre.
 When Chai Met Toast
When Chai Met Toast is a four-piece, neo-folk band from Cochin, Kerala formed in 2016. Their debut EP ‘The Joy of Little Things’ was released in 2017, followed by their second EP ‘Believe’ in 2018. They are constantly touring multiple cities and are a festival favorite across India. Their YouTube channel is going strong with over 3 million collective views. Apart from their releases, the band has also worked with the stand-up comedian Kenny Sebastian on the soundtrack of his Amazon Prime Show, ‘Die Trying’. They are known for their foot-tapping energy and unique brand of infectious happy music, which transcends age, genre and even language.

Published in Guest Column
Thursday, 22 August 2019 18:08

Kashmir Lockdown and its Implications 

Removing article 370 and 35a were on the agenda of BJP for a long time. For BJP, it is a delivering of a promise to their constituency when they removed 370 and 35a. Hence, it makes sense for them to rejoice and take a moment off from the regular publicity and propaganda and move towards a widespread heightened propaganda till they reap the fruit of their recent doings. 
There are multiple arguments that are roaming around in favor of the removal of these provisions and against it.
First, no special status to a particular state must be given. Mainstream politicians in Kashmir, such as Mufti and Abdullah, have argued that these are not special provisions. These are rather conditions with which the state of Jammu and Kashmir joined the Indian Union. These provisions allowed Kashmir to have its own constitution, its own flag and it protects the land and resources of Kashmiris.  These conditions are now no more. For these politicians, BJP’s decision breaks the bridge that link India and Kashmir constitutionally.
Second, there is a new Kashmir on the way. We see on the ground another bridge being built using the brute force of military and paramilitary. In order to lay the foundation of this new relationship between Kashmir and India, there is heavy deployment of military and paramilitary forces with complete restriction on movements and communication. The brute force of the Indian state has put a lid to Kashmir. This is the foundation of a new Kashmir. 
Mainland Indian can buy property in Kashmir. Indian state wants integration of its peripheries culturally and politically. It is the duty of the state to do so. Congress directed it in its own way. BJP is building Akhand Bharat. Ultimately, it is about strengthening the unity of India. Furthermore, it will improve the material and social conditions of communities listed as Schedule Caste in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Most importantly, Ladakh and Jammu are happy about it. The territory of Jammu and Kashmir has been carved out into three pieces and people fear the beginning of settler colonialism in Kashmir.
Indian, if it makes as much effort as the Chinese are making in Xinjiang and Tibet, can push in people to Kashmir and motivations to settle there as a service to one’s country and get paid for a good job is high for Kashmir than the northeastern state. It could become a factor for rapid increase in settler population. However, we need to see the things as they unfold.
The implications of these arguments do not limit themselves to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir; it extends to the region with states such as Nagaland and Mizoram with so called special provisions. If the mood is to remove the special status of all the state, then there are reasons for the region to fear. The governor of Nagaland had to assure that the resources of Nagas will remain protected under 371A. The government of Jammu and Kashmir publicly went on saying that he has heard nothing before the abolition.
 With all these on its plate, BJP is not directing its attention on the Naga Issue. It wants to resolve the Naga Issue within three months. We can only hope to see what it unfolds. Whatever the outcome, it would entail more militarization of the region given that one or the other would be left unhappy and would have to be taken to task by the state. 
When it comes to Manipur, the civil society bodies are demanding special constitutional protection for the land and resources and for restriction of people coming to settle in the valley. The unfolding in Kashmir must make things unsettle if BJP is stripping off constitutional safeguards over land and resources and with the fear it can very well strip off similar safeguards in the north east state, the future of the indigenous people’s movement for the protection of their land and resources at least in the valley area looks bleak.

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