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Sunday, 08 November 2015 17:29

Armistice Day Celebrated


IT News
Imphal, Nov 8: Armistice Day, Remembrance Day or Poppy Day celebrated at Imphal War Cemetery, Dulaland, Imphal today.
Each year in November, Imphal Campaign Foundation WW2 led by Yumnam Rajeshwor, Co Founder of Imphal Campaign Foundation WW2, paid tribute to the men and women who gave their lives in the two World Wars and subsequent conflicts.
November 11 is known as Armistice Day, Remembrance Day or Poppy Day. The day is observed on the nearest Sunday ahead of November 11, and hence Yumnam Rajeshwor along with other volunteers of Imphal Campaign Foundation WW2 pay tribute to the men and women died on the day today at War Cemetery Imphal.
This day marks the centenary of the First World War year.
During the First World War, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, the guns of the Western Front fell silent after more than four years of continuous warfare. In many parts of the world, people observe a two-minute silence at 11am on 11 November.

By - Dr. Malem Ningthouja
The brutal murder of a ‘Muslim’ headmaster Md. Hashmad Ali alias Babu (55) was confirmed in the wee hour, before the dawn of 2nd November, 2015. Outside Manipur, there was a deliberate mapping of Manipur into the ongoing ‘communal intolerance’ prevalent in ‘mainland’ India. To cite two examples, the Hindustan Times, dated 4th November, 2015 carried a news under the title Headmaster Lynched for Stealing Cow; Shutdown Call in Manipur. The following day, the New York Times published a news under the title Indian Muslim, Accused of Stealing a Cow, is Beaten to Death by a Hindu Mob. These news depicted about an ‘antagonistic co-existence’ of communities or uneasily relation between majority Meeteis (Hindus) and minority Panggals (Muslims), as if marked by occasional clashes ever since a riot took place in 1993 and the emergence of Panggal based Islamic militant groups.
In these reports, the murder and the agitation for justice are being construed with communal overtones. These were being shown as continuity of community hatred and extension of the recent Hindu Muslim tensions centred on the ban on beef and protection of cow. The Hindustan Times report incorporated a photo with the caption the murder of Muslim man in a UP village for allegedly eating beef had sparked national outrage. Similarly the New York Times incorporated a photo with the caption Kashmiri villagers shouted pro-freedom slogans last month while carrying the body of a Muslim driver attacked by far-right extremists angered by rumours of cow slaughter, an issue that stirs religious tensions in the Hindu-majority country. These news distorted the facts of agitation and conveyed manufactured news about an irate Muslim public helplessly fighting vis-à-vis the regime of the Hindu majority that have denied the former protection and justice. The blame was on the Meetei.
The misinformation have achieved widespread publicity, continuously reverberated on uncensored social networks. Such yellow journalism, indulged by some journalists objectified the Meetei as Hindus, hatching religious fundamentalism against minority Muslims. However, information from the ground, provided by the relatives of the victim and other ‘Muslim’ friends, who are directly involved in the agitation for justice, says a different thing and exposes the intention of the yellow journalists. But, before placing the findings, there are at least three points that had to be briefly clarified. First, Meetei cannot be homogenously identified with Hindu or Hinduism. Two, the Muslims who have settled for centuries in Manipur are known as Meetei Panggal. They possess localized linguistic and cultural characters that mark them distinctively peculiar to non-Manipuri Muslims. Third, Meetei and Meetei Panggal are neither socially exclusive to one another nor they are compartmentalized into watertight antagonistic communal politics. To sum up, the anachronous depiction of these communities by the media needs to be reviewed.
To focus on the murder of 1st or 2nd November, it was plotted by Ali’s distant relative and immediate neighbour Md. Matlib (a ‘Muslim’) to settle some personal grudges.

In fact, Late Md. Hashmad Ali, the headmaster of the morning Keirao Litan Makhong Primary School, a calm and respectable person in the Panggal neighbourhood of Keirao Makting Awang Leikai, under Irilbung Police Station in Imphal East. It was socially revealed that Ali’s relation with Matlib had become strained because of land dispute. Some days ago there was an intensive altercation on this issue and Matlib had threatened to kill Ali. On the unfortunate night of 1st November, when Ali was alone at the home, Matlib hired three other ‘Muslim’ friends and six Meetei co-workers from the Meetei neighbourhood to kill Ali. At around 8 p.m., Matlib sent two Meeteis, who alarmed Ali that Malick had met with an accident on the way to home and that they were being sent there to drop him to the hospital. Ali believed in their story. When all of them met at the Nandeibam Leikai, they raised the alarm of cattle thief, fatally tortured Ali with iron rods, and abandoned the body on the road near a Meetei temple known as Lai Moriba Temple.
The rumour about cattle thief and mobbing, which were aimed at covering up the objective of murder and the crime, became redundant following the arrest of and revelation by Khumallambam Brojen, the owner of the controversial calf. The accused are now socially known. However, the law enforcing agents are deviating from the prescribed course of delivering justice; probably due to political pressure in favour of the ‘accused’ by the candidates who are contesting the Thongju Kendra bye-election to the Manipur State Assembly. On the other hand, if there was community mobbing, it was not when Ali was murdered by a hired gang. Mobbing occurred in the ‘Muslim’ locality when the house of the prime accused was burnt, which had badly affected other members of the family who might have not involved in the crime. Such tendency of mobbing as a form of vengeance and justice has become an undesirable trend in Manipur. Police irresponsiveness and inaction for justice have not only protected the criminals but also encouraged the aggrieved sections to take law into their hands. In all these, there is neither Hindu mobbing nor communal conflict. The Joint Action Committee against the Brutal Killing of Md. Hashmad Ali (JAC) is seeking the support of peoples across communities and agitating for justice. It remains uncertain about the durability of the JAC and different tactical courses it may take, if

Saturday, 17 October 2015 17:02

Performance anxiety


The electoral politics being practiced in the country in its present form has come under increasing attacks and criticisms from all quarters, and with credible reasons which are acquiring greater relevance considering the fact that even after more than sixty years since the country regained independence, the rate of development and progress across every parameter remains dismally low, especially in comparison with countries like China and many of the southeast Asian countries. Yet, despite the conceived flaws and drawbacks, representative democracy or electoral politics remains the most widely followed form of electing public representatives throughout the world, a clear indication that either the system or the method of implementation has gone awry, either through inefficiency or as a deliberate mechanism. The seemingly inexplicable contradiction should be analysed in detail if the country is to make radical changes and expedite progress and development. A perfect or fail-safe system, when used in the context of a political environment, is something non-existent, and yet this inherent drawback should not be allowed to be used as an excuse to cover up deficiencies or, more alarmingly, to pilfer from the huge amount of resources allocated for public welfare by a few who have the wherewithal to control and regulate such schemes. There has been a perceptible increase in the pace of initiation of development measures with more promises and assurances, a signal to the changing work ethos of the government and the increasing awareness of the general populace of the intricacies of governance coupled with the willingness to air one’s views and opinions ably supported, and at times, sensationalized by the rapidly expanding reach and influence of the print and electronic media. What is woefully absent is the fruitful completion of these initiatives. Till date, almost every public project conceived for the general welfare of the public has yet to have a smooth run and are often beset with disruptions, cost and time overrun, and in many cases, ending up being scrapped altogether after huge amount of funds have been sunk in. There surely has to be a remedy for these unfortunate and undesirable deviations and shortcomings. Public opinions have it that the overlapping jurisdiction and authority of many implementing agencies and departments have been playing an unenviable role in propagating such rampant inefficiencies, discord and opportunities for pilferage and misappropriation in the actual implementation of the schemes and projects which are always often launched with much pomp and promise. A persistent and continuous monitoring system with clearly defined objectives and procedures should help in carrying out the plans. A system of checks and measures to take prompt actions, whether remedial or punitive, should also be in place which would act as a deterrent for any individual or department with the intention or inclination to deviate from the given procedures and process. Perhaps it is high time for the government think tank to hunker down and draw up a system which would improve the delivery or implementation system rather than conjuring up populist schemes and grand plans that serve to benefit a few unscrupulous individuals because of the inherent loopholes and defects that allows them an easy escape route.

 

IT News
Imphal, Oct 17: Reacting to Imphal Times news report about NSCN-IM proposal for 3 states formula in Naga areas, MLA N Biren today said that the dream of the NSCN-IM will never be possible.
“They can put up any demand but the question is whether it will be accepted or not, 3 state formula as mentioned in this newspaper is the demand of the NSCN-IM but it is impossible”, Biren said.
Giving reason on why it is not possible, Biren said that Manipur was not created by either India or the British and the allegations by the NSCN-IM about the division among Naga is 100% wrong.
“When Manipur was not merged to the Indian Union Mao, Tamenglong, Ukhrul etc. were all parts of the erstwhile kingdom however upto Mao it was Maipur North, and Ukhrul as Manipur east but a Tangkhul politician had had converted the region into districts based on communal line”, Biren said.
He further added that there were no issues between Manipur and Nagaland.
The journalist turn politician, who is now an MLA in the Manipur Legislative Assembly also said that When British restored Independence to Manipur on August 14, 1947, the  territorial council of the free Manipur consist of Tangkhul, Mao and other communities.
“The main agenda of the NSCN-IM is to disintegrate Manipur, but the attempt will never be succeeded as long as a single Manipuri survive”, the bold MLA reiterated.
Biren also said that NSCN-IM do not represent all the Nagas. In Nagaland, the people there rejected the outfit but the use of gun power made the people silence due to fear. Once they drop the guns they will be surely driven out from the state of Nagaland.
“That time we the Manipuri should be ready to welcome them”, the MLA said.

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