Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 15+ 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] 

Follow him

Thursday, 22 October 2020 17:27

Ray of hopes at last

The good news of today is that all elected representatives of the state today rolls head to set another effective strategy in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. Besides, health workers, civil society representatives and other government officials, opposition MLAs from the congress party attended the peoples’ meet convened by the Chief Minister N. Biren Singh led government. At a time when there is a hectic war of words is rolling on the ground in five assembly constituencies between the oppositions and ruling for the upcoming bi-election scheduled on November 7, this time people sees hope for survival from the attacked by the COVID-19 as representatives from the opposition Congress and the ruling BJP is joining hands to save the people, irrespective of the differences in their political ideologies. The kind of meeting convened today should have been held when the pandemic started invading us, but saying so it is never too late to begin something new , something effective to protect the people.
Saying so, it is still skeptical to the people on whether the kind of gathering held today will be fruitful and will be able to safe the already jam situation. Besides, there has been runours going around about the government doing what they felt was right instead of the various suggestions given by experts in the field. People had heard some experts in controlling epidimology neglecting their suggestions by those in the government and also by acting without making any co-ordinations among concern departments. There were incident of releasing order in the morning with a SOP and later another of the same with different SOP by another government authority , which confused not only the public but to all those COVID warriors.
Imphal Times hope those mistakes do not repeat this time as the situation today seems to be going out of hand. The deadly virus now spread at community level and people fear that many more would have been infected if tested.
As per what the Chief Minister N. Biren had stated in his opening remark he accepted the fact that there is lack of manpower to fight the pandemic. For that he suggested co-operations from the general public like club members or the meira paibis to make sure that the SOP to break the chain of the virus be broken. The idea needs to be welcome by one and all, but when those leading the public fails to follow the said SOP and when those citizens whom they empowered to prevent the spread of the virus violated the SOP, the statement or say the appeal by the Chief Minister is nothing but another speech which is more feed in talking at public meeting organised for election.
The suggestions given by experts as well as by the opposition political party representatives should be well recorded and converted into action. Considering any suggestion from opposition party as another virus for ruling party will be the greatest mistakes ever committed by any leaders of the state.
Together lets save Manipur, have some patients and follow SOP by reducing election campaign for the upcoming bi-election.

By - Ningthoujam Bidyaluxmi Devi
Since British left Manipur in 14 August 1947, one day before India’s Independence, Manipur restored its sovereignty and become an independent kingdom in the South East Asia. On the basis of 1947 Constitution,, Manipur held its first democratic election in the mid 1948 on the basis of adult franchise and it was a pioneering moment of the post British imperial election in the Asian Societies as it was followed by Burmese independence 1948,Chinese revolution and Indian Republic holding its election in 1952.
Just after independence, the Indian union tried to hasten the integration project. It soon implant Dewan targeting to Maharaja and the Manipur State Congress which support the merger of the kingdom in the Indian Union, as the continuity of princely states was not suitable in the process of integration of Indian states. It keep a vigilant eye on the hills to restrain the communist mobilization in the region.
The Manipur Student Federation held a public meeting on the 15 August 1947 at the Rupmahal Hall, Imphal with black flag procession as a mark of protest against integrationist onslaught. The process of MSF were significant for it addressed the political scenarios of the world particularly they sympathized with the communist movement in China, Burma, Indonesia, Malaya etc
Political parties with socialist leaning favoured the idea of Purbanchal; the Praja Shanti wanted to maintain the status quo; the Congress supported the integration with India and the communist were not in favour integration as they were aiming at a communist revolution in Manipur.
Since the date of dissolution of Manipur National Assembly and termination of the government of the sovereign state of Manipur in 15 October, 1949 onwards, the Indian state had been administering the territory of Manipur under varying arrangements. It is argued that from the standard of international law and especially international humanitarian law, the Constitutional incorporation of the state of Manipur in 1972 as the 19th state or administrative unit of the Indian union through the North East ( Reorganisation) Act 1971 was an act that characterize the ultimate official annexation of the former by the latter. Prolonged unlawful occupation and subsequent annexation of a territory while attracting the rules of international law bring in political implications of a serious character especially on the lives of the people of the annexed territory. Obliterating the sovereignty of a state through annexation by the occupying power tends to derecognize a people and their nationhood of its earlier historical existence as a politically independent entity while imposing a new sense of belongingness and allegiance to a foreign rule.
From 1959 onwards., laws of India were extended to Manipur. Indian laws concerning civil, criminal, property, succession etc. were also extended to Manipur. Repressive legislation to which the people of Manipur have been subjected to includes__1) the Sedition Meeting ( Prevention) Act 1911. 2) the Armed Forces Special Power Act, 1958 as amended in 1972 . 3) the Punjab Security act, 1980 . 4) the National Security Act 1980. 5) the onslaught Activities (Prevention ) Act, 1967 and it’s amended version of 2019 etc These legislation seems to operate under the enabling environment of martial laws established by Article 34 of the Constitution of India. Of all these , the AFSPA 11958 proved to be the most draconian instrument that legalized impunity to extra judicially execute people on a mere suspicion. Section 4(a) of the AFSPA empowers the armed forces and military personnel of the Union of India to shoot to the extent of causing death on mere suspicion in a disturbed area. This laws is also extended to other parts of the North eastern Region( Nagaland Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura,
and Assam) and also to the former state of Jammu and Kashmir where there are armed resistance movement against the Union of India.
The cumulative effect of all the legislative and administrative arrangements of the government of India in the occupied territory is that it has internalized the very issues of occupation and annexation by maintaining Manipur as an integral part of India. The issuance of Indian passport, driving licence, voter ID and other documents to the occupied people of Manipur had the effects of changing their nationality from Manipuri to Indian. These have been a consequence of the incorporation of the territory of Manipur. The implication of imposition of Indian nationality is that it carries with it the effects of extinguishing the national identify of the people of Manipur and the aspirations for an independent
statehood. This is clear violation of article 47 of the Fouth Geneva Convention which prohibits the change in the status of the people in the occupied territory and also article 45 of the IV Hague Regulation 1907 which prohibits compulsion of the inhabitants of occupying states.
Besides the administrative structure which has been set up in the territory of Manipur have been oppressive, bureaucratic and operates to strengthen military rule of the Union of India. Civil administration is dependent on Indian military to carry out its normal functions. This is testified by the operation of AFSPA since 1958 and which continue to extend after review for every six months. The case of Extra Judicial Execution Victim Families Association Union of India brought to the fore of 1528 cases of extra judicial execution in the territory of Manipur carried out by the Indian Armed and security forces.
There were hundreds of rape case neglected by the judicial; Manorama case is still fresh in the minds of the People of Manipur.
Thus, India’s occupation of the territory of Manipur in 1949 was followed by its annexation brought a series of political turmoil, chaos and atrocities in the state.
Political and economic development are indispensable and as such the political tussle and chaotic political conditions were reflected in the economy of the time and it affected the economic growth of the state.
In the period between Manipur’s merge with India and its statehood, Manipur’s economy was getting increasingly integrated in the mainstream economy and there was a decline of employment in the secondary sector about 45! as set by the census report of India 1961 and 1971 . The impact of the structural shifts, especially in labour, has been telling on the agricultural sector. The de industrialization and the tertiarisation of the economy has led to marginalization, structural retrogression and near stagnation in agriculture, turning the agriculture into a secondary occupation.
The state economy was fully controlled by the centre and exploit it’s mineral resources whatever possible and tried to convert the state to a mere importer. Manipur witnessed a series of people’s conglomeration 1 ., expressing deep concerns with both the process and impact of oil exploration in Manipur . The people of Manipur protest against the petroleum exploration in the District of Tamenglong and cancelled the public hearing held in Nungba in 17 August 2012 . But without informing and taking the consent of all indigenous peoples of Manipur, the government if India, through its Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, granted license to Jubilian Oil and Gas private limited, a company
based on Netherland, for exploration and drilling works in two oil blocks that are located in Jiribam( erstwhile lmphal East) , Tamenglong, and Churchanpur district of Manipur.
Despite abundant availability of oil and gas in Manipur, the government of India and the government of Manipur have been maintaining a deafening and deceitful silence for long, even to the extent of refraining from making a public official statement on the availability of oil and natural gas in Manipur.
More objectionable is the fact that a mere private company, Jubilant Oil and Gas Private Limited, has been conferred full ownership of all resources in Manipur. The first official response of the to the community’s assertion against oil exploration is failing an FIR at Nungba Police station against the communities rejection the environment public hearing at Nungba on 17 August. The oil exploration move proves the clear disrespect of the people of the state and its social and cultural right of the indigenous people.
Several United Nations Human right bodies, while deliberating Mapithel dam and the proposed Tipaimuk dam construction in Manipur, have urged upon the government of India to respect the rights of the Indigenous people over their land and obtain free prior and consent before any development process.
A deep rooted and multi faced adverse impact of the 105 MW Loktak Multipurpose Hydro Project, commissioned by the National Hydro Power Corporation ( NHPC) continued to hunt Manipur for long. A simple interaction with denizens of Loktak wetland within the peripheral parts of the wetland would unravel the alterations, a change more of nightmarish experience to the communities of lost of land, lost of fish species and seasonal plants and a change in culture that brings lamentations to memories of abundance, and of freedom and glories in their bygone days, prior to the dam.
The NHPC ‘s Loktak project is simply becoming a symbol of rudeness plunder and oppression of the people of Manipur. The people of the state could not get free electricity and the taxes were gone to the center and they even have to buy it from its own state. NHPC continues to reap maximum profit at the cost of Manipur’s land and suffering for its people. There were economic loss due to submergence of 80,000 acres of agriculture land many people were displaced of their home.
Thus the merger of Manipur into the Indian Union marked a turning point in the historical, political, social and economic changes in Manipur. . From the standard of International Law and particularly under the legal other of the United Charter and International humanitarian Law, India continue unlawful presence in Manipur represent an illegal territorial, regime with intention to change the international status of the territory of Manipur as well its government system and demographic characteristics. India’s economic and political exploitation of the state of Manipur made the state to belong among the underdeveloped states and made it a mere importer of goods depending on other states.
So, lastly , since India is a vast county with diverse ethics groups, communities and race, central government should respect their unique identities and culture. The Center needs to make a mechanism for monitoring the grievances of the different communities and groups. It should change its biased nature.

(This write-up is the 2nd prize winner of the on line essay competition organized by Imphal Times)

IT News
Imphal, Oct 21:

The International Human Rights Association decried the hunting of villagers of Saikul area in Kangpokpi District by police of the who are in camaraderie with the obliterated Kuki Rising Monolith, which has been destroyed by some angry civilians on the eve of October 17.
A statement said that the matter was informed to IHRA by Thadou Youth Association’s President Mr Henminlen Hangshing, after the girls, hiding in the jungle, had released their weeping video to social media.
The monolith was inaugurated by the Chief Minister N Biren Singh on the same date through video conference from the Chief minister secretariat.
In rapport with the demolition of the monolith, police are hunting for those involved individuals to be arrested for accused of destroying public property according to law of the land.
The statement said that the act of atrocities allegedly committed by the police has enormously infringed Article 7, 9 & 10 (1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Which read as Article 7. No one shall be subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment. Article 9(1).
The IHRA said the concerned police officer should stop such acts of inhuman brutality and degrading treatment as per human rights concerns.
The International Human Rights Association also appeals to the government of Manipur to cease the degrading treatment of the people of Saikul to reinstate the same memorial stone since it is a “Historical Negationism” that has violated the rights of Self-determination guaranteed by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, 2007.
The IHRA also requested the Government of Manipur to reaffirm Anglo-Kuki War 1917-1919 as it’s inscription and the words ‘In defense of Ancestral Land and Freedom” as its meaning of Anglo-Kuki War 1917-1919 as per the Universal Declaration of Human Rights guaranteed by the United Nations.

Wednesday, 21 October 2020 18:21

Protesting the assets of the future

Tragic is not the word to describe the present state of affairs of our state, even though the feeling in the hearts of the general public cannot be far from it.
The Government has shown, in fits and spurts, that things can and does happen if the rulers so put their hearts to any task, which begs the very relevant and necessary question. Is the Government deliberately keeping the state on tenterhooks with engineered chaos and calculated mayhem? Nothing that has been done for the development of the State so far looks and feels systematic or sustainable. Leave aside the various infrastructures being constructed with shoddy workmanship and dubious results, people today knows how they are handling these critical time due to the invasion of COVID-19 Pandemic.
The haphazard and stop-gap measures in terms of the essential services being provided, mostly on paper to dispense off with the official requirements without ever taking the trouble or the initiative to check on the efficacies of such schemes and welfare measures.
The reality we are undergoing today is a far cry from the trumped up reports and statistics that make up the records meant for display at the centre, the most obvious result being the promotion of Manipur from the most protected state category to the most danger state.
Yet the Government, in its quest to prolong the reign, have failed to address the situation with pragmatic solutions and progressive steps that would steer the state in the right direction to make sure that people are safe and secure from the attack by COVID19 pandemic.
Today what we see is that almost all leaders or aspirant leaders in their quest for power and money have almost forgotten to harness the potential of the youths- the future of the state. According to house listing and housing census data 2011, the number of youths between ages 18-22 in the country is 149.36 million. That’s about one-fifth of the total electorate of 725 million estimated by the Election Commission. Instead of thinking of securing them these youth are again exposing to the deadly virus.
Stating that almost, if not all, the problems ailing the present society can be remedied by protecting and moulding the youths of today to bring about the still elusive change and progress would not be an exaggeration.
No amount of resources or materials can effect change or usher in progress unless those who are to direct and utilize these resources be prepared and groomed to take on the responsibilities and challenges with confidence and determination. A radical mental revolution based on progressive thinking and broadened outlook beyond self preservation and personal enrichment, tempered with the spirit of equality and infused with the dignity of labour is the panacea for our society long festered with enmity, greed, doubts and subdued mindset. The Government should make policy to ensure safety of the youth instead of using them as a tool to gain power and money. Future matters.

Please publish modules in offcanvas position.