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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IT News/ AIR
Imphal, April 23:

Union Government today said that 13 crore 54 lakh 78 thousand 420 vaccine doses have been administered in the country till now. 
As of the state of Manipur around 2 lakhs people have been vaccinated. Most of those vaccinated as of yesterday were front-line COVID warriors like the Health care service providers. As many as 20,000 have been vaccinated so far to people who are above 45 years of age.
Dr. Th. Nandakishore of the state health department while talking to a local TV show said that Health workers and other frontline workers are given priority as they are the one to provide service to COVID infected people. Vaccinating the health workers also will help to prevent the service center from becoming a spreading area.
On the other hand, as reported in the AIR the Union Health Ministry said, the country has reported 3 lakh 32 thousand 730 new COVID19 cases in the last 24 hours. With this the total cases have reached 1 crore 62 lakh 63 thousand 695.
The Ministry said, 1 lakh 93 thousand 279 people were discharged in the last 24 hours. Till now, 1 crore 36 lakh 48 thousand 159 persons have been recovered from Covid-19.
The recovery rate is now at 83.92 per cent. Active cases in the country are 24 lakh 28 thousand 616. The Health Ministry informed that 2 thousand 263 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours and the death toll due to the pandemic has reached 1 lakh 86 thousand 920.

IT News
Imphal, April 23:

Students’ Union of RIMS (RIMSSU) has stated that inspite of appearing the ongoing examnination the students of RIMS under the aegis of RIMSU has been cooperating with the authority to the truth on the death of Sanaton Athokpa.
A statement of the student body said that from the very day of the incident, the Union (RIMSSU) has been doing what so ever is in their capacity to find the truth regarding the sudden demise of Sanaton.
The Union also expressed deepest grievances and concerns about the sudden demise of their colleague.
“We understand and honour the sentiments of the family, friends and relatives of the deceased”, the RIMSU said and added that cooperating with the Magisterial investigation and providing relevant information without any hesitation inspite of the ongoing University Examination, does not make the students false individuals.
“Infact we would like to inform that the students’ has been co-operating with the Magisterial Enquiry ordered by the Government (to be conducted by the Addl. District Magistrate, Imphal West under section 176 CrPC) and also cooperating with the statements and investigation regarding the enquiry in both Lamphel Police Station and Addl. D.C Office, Imphal West as and when demanded without any hesitation”, it added.
The RIMSU also said that the students are in no way being pressurized by the RIMS Authority not to be cooperative or speak.
“Students are never being silent rather they are supporting the ongoing investigation such that the truth may take its own course. We would like to inform that a condolence meeting was organized by the students’ Union in presence of all the students, staffs and RIMS authority including the Director, Dean, Medical Superintendent on 16th March, 2021 morning at Jubilee Hall immediately after the sadly demised of our beloved friend”, it added.
The Students’ Union (RIMSSU) appealed to all concerned to honour the Magisterial Enquiry so that the truth take its own course.

Every man is a hero of his own story, every woman thinks of doing her best to make her recognize in society, but the reality is that criticisms from back biters make people lethargic while performing their duty. Yes, I am talking about the COVID-19 warriors, who are working putting their life at risk. Only those who really see them from a close angle understand how these people are risking their lives with little knowledge and equipment for saving the lives of the common people. Little knowledge doesn’t mean these COVID warriors are not qualified, but it is being said so because the Virus that is invading the human race is new. Scientists across the globe are trying to understand its characters and are still yet to find a real cure, even as some vaccines have been invented to protect from the virus. Then if one visited COVID testing center opens by the government, those warriors – both men and women will be seen working whole heartedly.
Sometimes people should learn to appreciate instead of criticizing for a little mistake they committed. After all, they are also human beings and to err is human. For us in the news professions, we keep running for news that too about the mistakes committed by authority. We do sometimes fail to see the 100 good works done by the persons and what we care about is to make public about a single wrong. These happen because people are interested in reading or listening about mistakes committed by authority. During these COVID-19 seasons, there were only a few good news published in connection with the COVID warriors. 99% of the news published has been about negligence on the part of the health workers or in other words the COVID warriors. We failed to notice the tensions, risks, and trauma that they would have been facing. We failed to notice how they challenge all odds either from their locality or family to save people’s lives. A little anger shown to clients over exhaustion is often spread like wildfire to defame them. But nobody tried to understand the reason for their anger.
People including me, the editor of this newspaper sometimes gave slashing criticism to the way the government is trying to contain the virus. But we too failed to come up with a concrete policy on what should be done. After all, we are not experts in the field. Well, criticism too is needed but while criticizing we should also follow what we have been told to follow. As mentioned earlier there is still no approved protocol for treating a COVID-19 patient, the authority is also doing what they think is better.
We had already experienced its height last year and this year we expect that the authority will take measures more acceptable to the people. If we citizens doesn’t trust the authority then we the people will be at risk. Let’s give respect to COVID warriors particularly the grass-root health workers.

By- Dr. Thangjam Ranjit

Meetei community, who had ruled the state in the South East Asia for about 2000 years with more than 70 kings, is bonafide indigenous people of the state. None can challenge this hard fact. Accordingly, Meetei is one of the main tribes of the state and N.E. India and possesses all the characteristics of being a tribe living in permanent society, Though, the majority of Meetei population embrace Hinduism/Vaishnavism, they have not been given up their age-old traditions, culture, way of life, etc. of their forefathers. They have been following the rituals of birth, marriage, death, etc in the way their fore fathers practised, even before the time of their conversion into Hinduism during the reign of King Pamheiba (1709-1748). This is again confirmed by the Census of India 1931, Vol-1 page 430. It records “Manipuris as wholly Hindu Tribe but retaining their distinctive language and culture. Followers of Sanamahism/Meeteism who constitute over two lakhs population also strictly following traditions and cultures of their forefather till date, similar to other Meetei Hindus.
The fact that Meeteis are living in permanent tribal society are borne out by the historic resolution of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), a specialized agency of UNO. DILO adopted its Convention No. 169 in 1989, based on general attitude of respect for the cultures and way of life of indigenous and tribal people and the fundamental assumption that indigenous and tribal people constitute permanent societies. This landmark resolution however, contradicts ILO convention No. 107 of 1957 which is based on temporary tribal societies but obsolete now.
The fact that Meetei (Manipuri) is a tribe, that too, a Principal tribe of Manipur and of N.E. India is authenticated by many official records, gazetteers, publications, memoirs, books, etc. Mention may be made of Census of India 1891, 1901 and 1931; Imperial Gazetteer Bengal and Assam (1909), Gazetteer of Manipur by Captain EW Dun (1886), Gazetteer of Bengal and N.E. India (1909): Statistical Accounts of the Native State of Manipur, the Hill Territory, under its Rules by Dr. R. Brown, Political Agent in Manipur (1873); the New Encyclopedia Britannica; Ethnicity and social change by Prof. Gangumei Kamei; among others. History of the Tangkhuls Nagas written by A.S.W. Shimray mentions Tangkhul and Meeteis are descendants of the same progenitor and that ancestors of the Tangkhul and Meeteis are brothers. The “Meitheis” written by T.C. Hodson, late Political Agent of Manipur, an Anthropologist mentioned Meetei as a tribe so on and so forth.
On the other hand people in the hills, except few thousands Zeliangrongs, almost 99% of the population have embraced Christianity and have abandoned their traditional cultures and ways of life. In other words, the old rituals of birth, marriage, death, etc of their forefathers which were in practice before embracing Christianity are no longer in practice. They are living in the way true Christians of the West are living by forgetting the old tradition and culture of their forefathers. However, in the midst of the strong influence of Christianity in the hills and Valley of the state, sizeable population of Meetei and Zeliangrong are still following the cultures and traditions of their forefathers. That is why UNO describes such communities, who have been following the old culture and way of life of their ancestors as “Permanent Society” Meetei being bonafide indigenous people of the state and following old cultures and traditions of their forefathers are Scheduled Tribe, according to Supreme Court of India, the highest of Court of country as per is judgment of 5th January, 2011.
Again, Meetei qualifies the old and new criteria laid down by the Govt. of India Ministry of Tribal Affairs. The old enteria are; 1. Indication of Primitive traits; 2. Distinctive culture, 3. Shyness of contact with the community at large, 4. Geographical isolation and 5. Backwardness.
The new criteria (under consideration) proposed by Panda Committee 2014 are : 1. Autonomous religious practices, although practicing the Hindu way of life would not be a bar; 2. Marital relationship with other tribes (majority in the tribe should marry within the tribe or with other tribes not with non tribals); 3. Distinctive culture; 4 Historical and geographical isolation. 5. Socio economic and educational backwardness and 6 Distinctive language.
Meetei having been officially documented as a tribe or principal tribe earlier, qualify both the old and new criteria of being a tribe in the context of Article 342(1) of the Indian Constitution, and accordingly Meetei can be enlisted in the ST list of the state /country and received constitutional safeguard for Manipur Valley/Imphal Valley where Meeteis can inhabit in Schedule Area in the same manner as that of the hill areas of the state by hill people.
Had Meeteis been enlisted in the ST list along with our brethren in the hills, without indulging in corruption by the then so called educated people of the state to the visiting members of Minority Commission of the Govt. of India in 1950, the present situation of mistrust and seemingly hill valley divide among the people in the state would not have been existed but a peaceful, progressive and harmonious tribal society of a hill state called Manipur/Haoleibak/Kangleipak
The term ‘Tribe’ or Tribal people’ is synonymously used as first people original people, native people, indigenous people, first nation, Adivasis, Janajati, Hill people, soon and so forth by historians geographers, academicians and general public, all over India and the world over.
The dictionary meaning of Tribe’ that “a group of people of the same race, and with the same customs, language, religion, etc. living in a particular area and often led by a Chief “ is no longer in vogue but vastly with the administrative and political considerations. Meetei community being the indigenous people of the state/country and possesses all the conditions laid down by the Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs, deserves to be included in the Scheduled Tribe list of the country. According to the Supreme Court of India, the highest Court of the country, in one of its landmark Judgments, on the 5th January, 2011, in connection with the harassment of Nandabai (25 yrs), a tribal woman of Bhil Tribe (Ref. Spl. leave petition (Crl) No. 10367 of 2010 in Kailash and others vs State of Maharastra), it has been stated that “The present Adivasis or Scheduled Tribes are the descendants of the original inhabitants or aborigines of India.
Meetei community and other communities, having close consanguineous relation, have been in existence since the formation of nation state, with Meetei as the principal Tribe, called Kangleipak, Meitrabak, Manipur, Mackley, etc, can be called original people, native people, indigenous people or Yelhoumee in Meeteilon/Manipuri.
The very argument of some pseudo scholars, pseudo leaders, pseudo Hindus and non-indigenous people that Meetei do not possess tribal characters or do not fulfill the criteria laid down by Ministry of Tribal Affairs is absurd and baseless.
Again, the rhetoric of some anti Meetei chauvinists, non-indigenous people and biased CSOs that Meetei are also foreigners to this heart land of Meetei i.e. present Manipur are nothing but to draw a parallel line and to score their ulterior motives that they are also natives of this land. To put the argument at rest, one should understand that the different communities who were living as subjects during the hay days of the kings of Manipur, to be approximate, upto the reign of King Maharaj Chandrakirti or Ningthem Pishak as a sovereign kingdom, are natives or indigenous people and those who came from outside to the then kingdom/nation state later and took shelter are true foreigners, non-natives or non–Scheduled Tribes.
Again, true indigenous people will have only one place to live on for their culture, tradition, etc. of their forefathers, and are in existence since time immemorial, whereas the foreigners will have other places to go for better living as cultures, traditions, etc of their fore fathers are to be found away from their present location in the name of ancestral land.

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