Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 25+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents. Rinku can be contacted at [email protected] 

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Sunday, 25 April 2021 18:59

KYKL observes 27th Raising day

IT News
Imphal, April 25:

Proscribed group – Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL) today observed its 27th Raising Day. According to a statement by A. Yaiphaba, Secretary, Publicity and Research of KYKL, the observance was held at CHQ, Batallions , Units, Tectical Units and at civil and militia unit located at Kangleipak and beyond. The observance was observed in a simple way in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the statement said.
The statement said that main function of the observance was held at its CHQ 1st Battalion. The main function was graced by Lt. Col Ingba of KYKL army wing MYL and CO of the 131 Bn of KCP Punsiba. TCaptain Dhana – the CO of the 1st Bn KYKL- MYL , Major Shanta of KYKL, Captain Tamba of KYKL and Lt. Yaifaremba of the KCP attended as special Guests.
The observance began with the hoisting of the party flag by Lt. Col. Ingba and later after paying tributes to the revolutionary martyrs Kangleipak and WESEA region who had laid down their lives fighting the enemy.
Later, the message of the KYKL Chairman N. Oken was read out by Major Shanta of the Army wing of KYKL, Meeyamgee Yawol Lanmee (MLY). The Chairman message on the occasion of the KYKL raising day elaborated on how the revolutionary movement can march ahead by uniting all revolutionary forces of the region.
Lt. Col Ingba in his speech also called on all the revolutionary bodies to unit together for marching ahead. The KYKL leader also deliberated on the attempt by intruder to suppress the mongoloid people by exploiting and intruding the socio-political, culture and traditions of the indeginous people of WESEA region .
Captain Dhana, Lt Punsiba of KCP. Captain Tamba of KYKL also spoke on the various political and socio-economic issues of the WESEA region.

Sunday, 25 April 2021 18:57

History and Crisis of Indian Democracy

By- Kaustov Kashyap

Right after independence, the path that was chosen by India to realize her destiny was a difficult one. For a nation with a humongous population with widespread illiteracy and poverty, democracy was nothing less than a mirage. Before this great experiment in the country of sub continental size, democracy flourished only in the cocoons of rich nations of Europe and America. According to some western thinkers, certain prerequisites were required for the introduction of democracy in any country.
They included an educated population, absence of poverty, and vibrant democratic culture. Unsurprisingly, none of these conditions was available in our country. The colonial rule robbed us of our wealth and fortune. The reading of thinkers like J. S. Mill suggests that the oriental societies were barbaric and democracy was not meant for them. He placed India in this category.
The History Of Indian Democracy
When India decided to be a democracy there was an agreement across the world that this grand experiment would fail. The decision to grant universal adult franchise was termed as the “greatest gamble in the history”. Nowhere in the world was democracy introduced at such a large scale. It was a revolutionary moment for the country.
Amid all these suspicions, there was optimism on the side of Indians as the soul of a nation, long suppressed, was going to find utterance. In the words of our first Prime Minister Pt. Nehru, “Long years ago… we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially.” He further remarked, “At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom.”
After almost 70 years of this experiment, history stands witness to the spectacular success of democracy in this land of great diversity and resilience. But this is also the time we should ask ourselves some tough questions. Has the pledge been redeemed? Why did the freedom promise remain unrealized for most of us at the bottom?
The experience of the last decade especially since 2014 has raised many questions on the functioning of democracy in India. The journey of democracy in India was like a roller-coaster ride but it managed to emerge stronger after every crisis. The most severe assault was of course during the era of emergency (1975-77). But the period of emergency, rather than breaking the neck of democracy, only deepened its roots and made the resolve to protect it stronger. Post – emergency period saw the emergence of a strong civil society and various social movements.
The next major challenge was the period of the 1990s. The country faced an economic crisis of an unprecedented scale. There was political instability without a stable government. Faced with immense pressure, democracy again demonstrated remarkable resilience. Millions of people have been lifted out of poverty and the country witnessed one of the highest growth rates in the world. This helped normalize our relations with the west, uplifted the international stature, and gave strategic weight to India’s position.
But since 2014, the developments that have taken place in the country not only challenge democracy but also raise some serious questions about its viability and existence. Constitutional values like secularism, liberty, equality, justice, fraternity, etc are being challenged. Democratic norms and practices are blamed for being an obstruction in the road to development.
Senior bureaucrats and politicians are blaming “too much democracy” for delayed development. In short, democracy today is not only challenged but facing an existential crisis. It would not be an exaggeration to say that we are living in a state of undeclared emergency. So, we must identify the major trends that pushed us to such a sorry state of affairs.
Why Are We In Such A Sorry State Of Affairs?
Shrinking Public Space – Public space is that part of a democratic society where different ideas compete, confront and converge. It acts as a zone of harmony. The success of any democracy can be measured by identifying the richness of this space. A well-represented, diverse, and inclusive public space is an indicator of a healthy and mature democracy. The divisive agenda of the current government based on the ideology of Hindutva has done great harm to this invaluable democratic asset. The result is intense polarization, mutual hatred, exclusive nationalism, etc.
Weakening Institutions – Vibrant and functioning institutions are the bedrock of any democracy. From RBI to Constitutional bodies like Election Commission, the credibility of institutions is being questioned. This is resulting in a loss of public trust.
Hijacking Of Parliament – Parliament which is the highest deliberative body of the country is getting diminished with each passing day. Once the temple of Indian democracy is now merely a rubber stamp to approve the executive’s agenda. Bills are pushed without parliamentary scrutiny. Increasing resort to ordinances even during normal times is a worrisome trend.
Turning Into A Police State – Political prisoners accused of crimes against the state are filling up jails which is again a dangerous signal to the rights of citizens. Activists, students, NGOs, etc. are all facing the wrath of the government for speaking up freely. Draconian statutes like UAPA, NSA, 124A, etc. are unleashed with full force to curb dissent.
Demonizing Opposition – For the first time in the history of this country, the opposition is becoming so meaningless. An opposition -‘Mukta(free)’ Bharat is a precursor to the fascist ambitions of the current government.
Electoral processes – With serious doubts raised over the impartiality and independence of the election commission, the future of democracy in India seems to be in a perilous state.
Problems From Colonial Rule
All the above-mentioned problems remind us of colonial rule. The only difference, it seems, is that the government committing these sins is elected by the very people of this country.
Democracy is not the private property of few rich people. It is a collective asset of all citizens. To blame others only is nothing less than turning back to our Constitutional and moral responsibility to protect it. ‘We The People’ will have to unite and punish those who are trying to subvert it. The democracy that we have today should not be taken for granted. Millions of fellow citizens sacrificed their lives for it. The time is difficult and any resistance on our part would invite severe repression by those in power.But great struggles demand great sufferings and sacrifice. I would like to conclude my article in the words of our great freedom fighter Bhagat Singh – “If you oppose a prevailing belief, if you criticize a great person who is considered to be an incarnation, you will find that your criticism will be answered by calling you vain and egoist.” This is the time to remind the saboteurs of our freedom that governments will come and go but democracy is here to stay forever.

By – Rajeshwar Yumnam

The Indian National Army was defeated in the Battle of Imphal in March- June 1944. On August 15th 1945, with the Japanese surrender in the 2nd World War, the INA were left with no option but to surrender. Almost all of them surrendered after their retreat from the Indian Border. 
It became one of the most important and difficult post war problem for the British Empire to decide how to deal with 19500 former I.N.A officers and men who participate the Imphal Campaign. The disposal of the question might well decide the success or failure of the British control of post-war India. The trial was the most ominous event since the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857. Its outcome would produce enormous impact and have a decisive influence on Indian officers and men in the British Indian Army, the watchdog for the administration of the British Empire over India.
The British government of India thought it would demonstrate the prestige and power of the British Empire by executing betrayed INA officers following a military trial and by attempting to teach the Indian people, particularly Indian officers and men of the British Indian Army, a lesson in order to establish an unshakable control of India. The British thought it could be done. The decision produced a consequence opposite to their wishes; the British miscalculated and blundered despite their unrivalled experience in the administration of Indians, and their implementation of policy.
Gandhi, Nehru and other leaders of the Indian National Congress seized on the blunder of the British Empire. They took advantage of the trial whereby the British were determined to punish severely 20000 INA officers and men, whose relatives and friends were also serving in the British Indian Army. Congress leaders tried to win British Indian Army officers and men to the Congress side and to mobilize the Indian masses in an anti- British movement. The trial was a God- given opportunity that would tip the scales of the movement decisively. It was as if Congress had laid a snare and the British Government had been caught.
On September 14, Congress held an executive Committee in Poona and adopted and declared the resolution that I.N.A. officers and men are heroes who fought for the independence of India and they should be released at once.
The mass movement had started by then. In December 1945, Col Dhillon once said, ‘Don’t worry. India will gain independence within a year. If they execute any one of us, no Englishman will leave India alive.’
Netaji Subash Chandra Bose’s discretion had enabled the INA to take part in the Imphal Campaign and had brought the INA within reach of Independence. Though the military campign had ended in a fiasco, the political war of anti-British and pro-Independence agitation as a result of INA brought to victory.
With the progress of the first INA court martial, the Indian people’s anti-British and pro-Independence agitation spread like a fire, gaining in intensity. India turned into a raging elephant. The court-martial, originally intended to consolidate British control over India, turned into a trial to pass judgement on the criminal act of British control over India for 200 years and to give it the coup de grace. Transcending differences in religion, race, class, language, political affiliation, and military-civilain rivalry, 400 million Indians, with their wisdom, talents and energy, were united together in rebellion. It was an unprecedented spectacle in India’s history. It was truly a great national war of the Indian people in which their destiny was at stake.
Violent mass protest movement erupted in delhi, Calcutta, Lahore, Madras and other principal cities on 5th November when the trial re-open. On the same day, in Calcutta where Netaji Bose was born, 100000 people staged a huge demonstration, carrying with them placards bearing slogans such as ‘Save INA. National Heroes’, “Suspend the INA trial and release the defendants Immediately” ‘ British Go Home from India at Once’. They clashed with police everywhere and bloody tragedies spread in the city. Also there were riots in Madras resulting in countless number of casualties.
Every newspaper including The Hindustan Times (supporting Congress), the Dawn ( supporting the Muslim Leaque) and the Statesman ( supporting the government) gave extensive news coverage to the INA trial and carried editorials about it.
The first court martial entered its final stage in late December. The procecution tried desperately to establish the case of treason against the British Crown by the three defendants and of Muder and tortures by INA officerds and men. The defence and the defendants counter- argued, ‘The INA war of liberation is similar to the American War of Independence which fought against British control and exploitation.
It was a justifiable act, acceptable amongst the military establishment of an independent nation, for the defendants to have executed men who violated wartime military discipline in the battlefield, according to the principle of the INA’s military criminal codes’ . the INA as an army of the independent government, took part in a joint operation with the Japanee Army. It was not a puppet army. It was injustifiable and illegal to try in a British military court the regular officers of an independent government which has the right to fight.
At the conclusion of the trial, Chief counsel Dr Desai delivered an eight-hour speech over two days declaring that ‘ a subjugated people have the right to fight’.
On 3rd January General Auchinleck, suspended the life imprisonment sentence of the three of INA officers, General Shah Nawaz Khan, Lt Colonel P.K. Sahgal and Colonel G.S Dhillon. General Auchinleck was very conscious of the fact that even officers and men of the British Indian Army who were responsible for maintaining India’s peace and security were becoming awakened to national Independence, and that they could not be relied upon any more. He was afraid of the British Indian Army turning from a watchdog of the British Empire to an arm of the Indian National Congress.
The British government had succumbed to the demands of the Indian masses and had chosen the path of giving up the power of administration . he British government realized the irreversible course of the situation and began secretly to formulate the second best alternative- an honourable withdrawal while maintaining and protecting British interest in India as far as possible. The military trial in the red fort, contrary to their original expectation and calculation, created the decisive factor for the British withdrawal from India.
The historical significance of the trial was clearly expressed in the article contributed by Nehru and published on 17th January, 1945 as quoted in its preface, . ‘… The issue of the trial is neither the legality of the court nor eloquence. It is a power contest between the administrator who controls India and the will of the Indian people. Its outcome is a victory for the Indians… Will the trial, held in the last week of the year 1945, terminate the chapter of British control following that of the Mughal dynasty? Yes, the trial presages the end of that chapter’.

IT News
Imphal, April 24:

Four RTI Activists – all residents of Senapati district, Manipur, were reported to be in trouble after they sought information through RTI Act. Source close to Imphal Times said that two among the four have been detained in their respective houses while the other two were absconding after they received threat called and intimidation by persons identifying themselves as member of the NSCN-IM which is currently ensuing peace talk with the government of India.
As per information received from a complaint to the State Information Commission by another RTI activist all the four RTI Activists identified as Kh. Inoch S/o Mr.Khulu of Phaibung Village, Senapati District, Manipur Mr. P. Johnson Samo S/O Late Pazii, Taphou Phyamai Village, Senapati District, Manipur Mr. S.P. Benjamin S/o Mr. Simthar of Ngari Raidulomai Village, Senapati District, Manipur and Mr. P.R. Amose S/o Rozii of Khabung Khunou Village, P.O. Karong.
The complaint filed to the Information commissions is being produced below:
Using RTI Act: On 5th November 2019, Mr. Kh. Inoch submitted an application to the State Public Information officer(SPIO)/Chief Executive Officer, ADC, Senapati District, Manipur for seeking certain information regarding the details of development works and fund mean for tribal area implemented in the 17-Phaibung Autonomous District Council under the RTI Act. As he could not get the required information, Mr. Inoch filed a Second Appeal before the Manipur Information Commission after filling First Appeal and hence the Appeal Case No.18 of 2020. After series of hearing, the SPIO has been issued a show cause notice by the Information Commission but instead of giving reply of the notice and providing information, the SPIO has challenged the said show cause notice before the High Court of Manipur and on 21.07.2020, the Information Commission directed the SPIO to give due information along with a fine of Rs.25000/- under RTI Act.
On 28th September 2019, Mr. P.Johnson submitted an application the State Public Information officer/Chief Executive Officer, Autonomous District Council, Senapati District, Manipur for seeking certain information regarding funds sanctioned and execution of different work programmes under various departments implemented in the 16-Phuba Autonomous District Council (ADC) for the years from 2015 to 2019 under RTI Act. Having not getting information, the applicant filed a Second Appeal before the Manipur Information Commission being Appeal Case No.12 of 2020 after 1st Appeal. But instead of providing information as well as the reply of the show cause notice of the Information Commission, the Public Authority has been challenging the said show cause notice before the High Court of Manipur and on 21.07.2020, the SPIO has imposed a fine of Rs.25000/-by the Commission.
On 24th October 2019, Mr. S.P. Benjamin submitted an application to the State Public Information Officer (SPIO)/Deputy Commissioner, Senapati District, Manipur under RTI Act for seeking some information regarding the development works implemented under the award of 13th and 14th Finance Commission in the 16-Phuba, ADC, Senapati District for the year from years from 2015 to till date. The applicant filed a Second Appeal before the Manipur Information Commission being Appeal Case No.13 of 2020 after 1st Appeal.
Thus conducting series of hearings, on 10.07.2021, the Manipur Information Commission has issued a show cause notice to the SPIO for not providing information but instead of proving the reply of the show cause notice and required information, the said show cause notice has been challenged by the public authority before the High Court of Manipur and as such, the SPIO has been imposed of fine of Rs.25000/-and directed to furnish the required information by the Information Commission. Similarly, Mr.P.R. Amose has also submitted an RTI application for seeking information about the development funds of 24-Karong ADC but no information till date as the matter has been challenged before the H.C. All the four RTI applications are pending before the High Court of Manipur till filling this report.

(i) Using Lokayukta: Having not finding the execution of works in the field as well as not getting the information requested under RTI Act, on 14.12.2020, Mr.Kh. Inoch also filed a complaint before the Chairperson, Manipur Lokayukta for investigation of the developments funds mean for 17-Phaibung ADC. Similarly, Mr.P. Johnson Samo and Mr. S.P. Benzamin filed a complaint before the Chairperson, Manipur Lokayukta filing in the Form-I of Rule 15(2) of Manipur Lokayukta Act for investigating the said development works.
Thus, on 05.02.2021, Mr.P.R. Amose also filed a complaint before the Chairperson, Manipur Lokayukta to investigate the development funds mean for citizens as the works have not been executed in the field. All the three complaints are pending before the Lokayukta, Manipur for further investigation till date.
(ii) Human Rights Violation: (a) The above name human right defenders/whistle-blowers have been reportedly threatened and intimidated by the faction of NSCN(I-M) to withdraw their applications through mobile phones as the mobile numbers were indicated in their respective RTI applications and the threatened and intimidation has been started from the month of March 2020.
The Zee News has reported that on 20th January 2020, some cadres of faction of NSCN(I-M) abducted Mr. Enoch and tortured him and kept him for 8 days at some unknown location and pressurised him to withdraw the RTI application and ultimately he forcibly agreed to withdraw his RTI application.
Meanwhile his wife filed a missing report to the Police but it was also reportedly compelled to withdraw and the so called cadres of the NSCN (I-M) faction took a fine of Rs.1.5 lakhs for filling complaint to the police. However, the remaining three applicants could not be abducted by the said Armed Opposition Group because they have been hiding at Imphal.
(b) Getting information of such threatens and intimidations to the above named 4 whistle blowers, 31 villagers of Mr.P. Johnson’s native village have openly supported them and filed 31 RTI application. But the said faction of the NSCN(I-M) abducted one applicant again and threaten him to withdraw all the applications otherwise grievous action and thus all the applicants withdraw their applications.
(c) Further, it is also reported that all the complainants have been threatened and intimidated by the said faction of NSCN(I-M) to withdraw their complaints submitted to Lokayukta otherwise dire consequences. However, they approached the Lokayukta, Manipur to withdraw their complaint but they have been denied. It is logically concluded that the threat and intimidation made by the said outfit is due to instigation by the elected ADC Members in collusion with public authority/Chief Executive Officers. It is learnt that the Four elected ADC Members bribed huge amount of money to the said NSCN (I-M) faction.
(ii) Follow-up:- (I) Now, out of the above named four human right defenders, Mr. Johnson and Mr. Bejamin are reportedly hiding at Imphal and the remaining two namely Mr. Inoch and Mr. Amose are residing in their respectively village like house arrest i.e. they cannot move from their respective villages. Mr. Johnson and Mr. Benjamin could not meet their family members including children and wife for the last 5 months and their jobs for livelihood have also been curtailed by the outfits issuing self style threatened notifications and they have been awaited by the outfit to torture them as and when they return to their village/home.
(II) Nobody of Senapati District can use RTI Act and Lokayulta as banned by the faction of NSCN(I-M) of the area. The citizens have fear psychosis for working on good governance, transparency and anti-corruption
(III) The victims cannot be met because they have serious fear psychosis and this report is filed based on the information collected from the Information Commission, Lokayukta and other reliable sources. (IV) On 8th February 2021, the Chief Information Commissioner of Manipur Information Commissioner instructed to the Director General of Police, Manipur for taking up necessary action for safety and security of the victims but the Manipur Police cannot do anything against the group as they are undergoing with cease fire with GOI through Indian Army.

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