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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] 

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Van Dhan Vikas Yojana will transform tribal economy: CM

IT News
Imphal, Oct 14

Chief Minister N. Biren Singh said that the Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Vikas Yojana will transform the tribal economy of the State. This was stated by him at the inauguration ceremony of Van Dhan Vikas Karyakram and State Level Advocacy Workshop at Classic Grande, Imphal today.
Speaking as Chief Guest of the function, Chief Minister announced that altogether 75 Van Dhan Vikas Kendras would be opened in the State. Under the Van Dhan Vikas Yojana, the State government will be focussing on collection, processing and value addition of eight Non-timber forest products such as hill broom, gooseberry, wild honey, mushroom, wild apple, bamboo shoot, Indian Olive (chorphon) and turmeric.
Chief Minister mentioned that it is indeed great that Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has initiated various welfare programmes and schemes for the NorthEast and tribal people of the region. The Hill Areas Development Programme (HADP) has been introduced for hilly states like Manipur to bring equal development in both hill and valley of the State. Tamenglong district would be getting 90 lakhs under the programme, he added. Chief Minister said that Cold chain systems would be constructed in five hill districts of the State. Tamenglong and Noney would be covered under HADP. The three other districts viz. Imphal West, Imphal East and Pherzawl will be covered under the State plan.
On the occasion, Chief Minister maintained that in last two and half years, peace has prevailed in the state. With the support and cooperation of the people, the growth rate of Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) has doubled from four per cent in 2016-17 to eight per cent in 2018-19, he added. Manipur has topped in terms of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) businesses registration among the NorthEastern States of the country. He also stated that Manipur has also topped in women ownership in MSME businesses. Manipur women owned 50 percent of MSME businesses, he added. 
Chief Minister stated that the State Cabinet recently approved the ‘Stand Up Manipur’ scheme under the existing Start Up Manipur Scheme to provide subsidy and soft loans to Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe, OBC, Women and Minorities of the State for setting up business.
Stating that Manipur is facing menace of drug abuse and there is mass plantation of poppy in hill areas, Chief Minister said that the government has declared ‘War against drugs’ and mass destruction of poppy plantation is taking place in various parts of the State. The Government is actively providing alternative livelihood to the poppy farmers. Chief Minister hoped that Van Dhan Vikas Yojana would also help such farmers by improving their livelihood and income.
The inaugural function is jointly organised by TRIFED, Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India and Forest Department, Government of Manipur.
Minister for PHED Losii Dikho, Chairman, TRIFED (Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India)   R.C Meena, Chairman of Manipur Tribal Development Corporation Vungzagin Valte, MLAs Shri Khasim Vashum, O. Lukhoi, H. Dingo, Vice Chairperson TRIFED Pratibha Brahma, Chief Secretary Dr. J. Suresh Babu, PCCF and Head of Forest Force K. Angami, Managing Director TRIFED Pravir Krishna, officials of Ministry of Tribal Affairs and others attended the function.

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Shut down called affects normalcy in Thangmeiband

IT News

Imphal, Oct 14

Normal life was severely affected in Thangmeiband Assembly Constituency today after the JAC formed against the mysterious death of Ningthoujam Babysana re-launched its agitations by shutting all kinds of everyday activities in the constituency demanding justice for the deceased minor girl by handing over the case to CBI.

Since early morning today volunteers of the JAC burnt tyres at the Manipur State Legislative Assembly area to prevent any movement along the route. Shops and all business establishments remain close in the assembly constituency and the street looks deserted.

At around noon large number of people came out and gathered at DM College gate area and started enforcing the complete shut down by forcing all movements along the road. A large number of police force which rushed the spot dispersed the agitators by firing mock bomb and tear gas shell. Later, the police re-enforced and put the situation under control. The police also allow resuming vehicular moments on the street. 

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Framing “Nattaba Lamchat”, the Mob Trial of Women’s Morality

By -Rubani Yumkhaibam

Few civil society collectives in Manipur punishmen and womenfrom time to time for committing nattaba lamchat. What is nattaba lamchat? It does not have aname; we do not call the supposed “offender” a rapist, a murderer, a drug peddler, a hacker, and so forth. For the most part, nattaba lamchat is a vague attribution of immorality to people’s intimate concerns, especially sexual conduct. What is moral and immoral is defined by the norms of the particular society, here the Manipuri society, and it is not always associated with violation of law. More fundamentally, the construction of moral/immoral agenda is distinctly coded in the language of women’s sexual morality. In this context civil society collectives are playing a custodian part in preserving the morality of women.  The article is a reflection on the mobtrial and punishment (mostly violent and humiliating)of women accused of sexual immorality, framed in theconcept of nattaba lamchat. Men are also victimised by the construct of nattaba lamchat, however given the centrality of women in the culture of moral censorship in the Manipuri society, the article addresses the women’s question.
The 21st century Manipur is ridden with mob violence- lynching, punishing, trials - which is often projected as delivering “justice”.Whenever an unfortunateincident happens in the neighbourhood – it could be a petty instance of thievery, or a gruesome instance of inadvertent killing - people waste no time, and the self-made platoon of justice raises its fangs and sets on beating, humiliating and even killing the persons involved. In order for a fruitful critique of such a violent behaviour to emerge, it will be required to analyse the socio-psychological motifs of the people occupying an unstable political and economic zone. Given the festered bureaucracy of the land, deliverance of justice is often difficult and delayed. Such a frustration enthuses  people to take law and order in their hands. We live in a time in which we can rely on neither the governmental rationality nor the “mob justice”. (The moral decline of the revolutionary ideals of justice and liberty in the hands of the mob haspreviously been seen in many intellectual movements in human histories, like the French Revolution that ultimately descended into the Reign of Terror.) Can a frustrated society like ours handlemob justice? However, we are fed with many manifestations of mob trials.  That being said, nobody needs a telescope to see that theculture of dialogue and construction inthe Manipuri society is dead long ago! Many people in the mob brigade are driven by a misguided sense of justice, verging onto retaliation thereby ending in a complete disregard for humanity.It is in this violent culture of mob trial, which involves physical punishment and public humiliation, that we see women’s morality being monitored in the public domain.
In one of the most unfortunate incidents in the past few days (happened at Bishnupur district), a man and a woman became victimsof a mob “trial”,the crime being nattaba lamchat. There was a filming of the entire trial and the video became viral on the social media. Lame is the age deluged by smart phones, unemployed and frustrated youths looking for heroics! The law of the land intervened and the culprits, the locale mob, mostly women, were arrested by the police.Many such incidents of violent mob trials have happened in the past, but the public anger at the particular incident is almost unprecedented. What angers the public?  The anger rises from the beating, humiliation and the spectacle of the shameful trial to which the man and the woman were exposed. More critically the exposure of a child (of the woman being punished)  to the public humiliation of the mother, and the resultant abusive handling of the child was particularly distressing for the people. The culprits may legally bepunished in the days to come. But the lessons we learn are not just about the inhumanity  of the mobtrial and the punishment of the culprits; policing of women’s morality in the public domain is the critical issue at the core of the incident.
What fares as tenacious in such cases is civil societies’ taking on the role of moral guardians (not benign though), especially when women’s sexual morality is involved. We as a society believe that public morality will be kept intact if women’s sexuality is kept under control. From the dresses women wear to the tone of their voice, women’s presence in the society is sexualised and moralised, and is linked with the larger project of cultural cleanliness. Women are continuously projected as having potential for moral/sexual  offences. Subsequently women’s sexuality is channelised within the sanctity of marriage, the failure of which leads to the public (read mob) trial of the moralaberrance. So, when a married woman is found out to be engaging in an intimate relationship with another man, she is charged with nattaba lamchat. Such women are given speedy trialinfull vista of the public, by civil society organisations. Some regular proceedings of such trials are keina katpa, shaving off the women’s hair, slapping, and beating. What the moral league reads in these cases is the punishability of a woman’s sexual relationship with a man other than her sexual owner, the husband, and this act of punishment must be carried out of in the public. In the process,  a victimless crime is made, the one in which the supposed offender is victimised, much like the way rape victims are portrayed as inviting the rape upon themselves by wearing this and that, going here and there. Burqa donned women are also raped, so dress and outings cannot be considered as logically provened antecedents of rape crimes.  
The pivotal place of women’s sexuality in constructing women’s morality, and by extension morality of the society, is followed by the straitjacket classification of women into two constructs – virgin and whore. In the name of preserving the moral aesthetic of the society, the guardians are continually monitoring the private ecology of a woman as either a virgin/virtuous wife  or a “lamchat naidabi” whore. The virgin will extend into the ideal of a sexually loyal wife,we are continually creating an image of an ideal wife, an ideal mother, an ideal girl. On the other side, a whore is constructed as  maramhenbi, lamchatnaidabi, oktabi, all built around the notion of sexual “excesses” – adultery and  pre-marital intimacy. Women’s sexual conduct is looked upon as a taboo that has to kept hidden in the  polite society. Ironically when such an “excess” is detected, it is exposed to a chaotic degree. In this scenario, a woman earns the non-existent crime of “nattaba lamchat”, a fragile framework that strikes virgin-whore dichotomy. The virgin/whore dichotomy is a neurotic split that plagues the male perceptions  of women.
Is the punishment of the sexually immoral, lamchat naidabi woman in the public view enough? No, for the moral guardians, the public trial and the consequent punishment are  not enough. Shaving off the hair, slapping (an extremely insulting physical response), beating, complete with keina katpa (a form of saving grace after disgrace)  are acts of mutilation of the female body. These acts are a writing of a shameful history on the ecology of a female body. The informing ideology behind the mob trial of lamchat naidabi woman isa humiliating attrition, an inculcation of fear and stigma in women, just as much as cutting up the human body in a penal revenge, so that she will atone for all time to come. (Fear is a powerful weapon that is continually fed to women; the fear of rape and  the fear of public disgrace are two powerful breeders of sexual control over women.)   There is no legal and moral justification for keina katpa. Keina katpa  trials neither aimed at delivering justice to the injured parties  nor encouraged ethical order in the society. Such trials are a fascistic reaction born out of “moral panic” around the body and sexuality of women, the idea that if  women’s sexuality is not monitored, they are going to corrupt family, culture and tradition.  Infidelity and adultery are not claimed as virtues to be appreciated and cultivated, but our worldview towards such complex human decisions points to the misogyny of the Manipuri society. From a technical angle, it is meaningless to forcefully marry off a wife to another man, even if the man is a lover. It is no measure of sapient moral restoration. Has our society consented to polyandry? Patriarchy can have no liaison with polyandry.So, why are the vigilantes using keina katpa as a moral drive? Even when keina katpa is imposed onan unmarried woman, it is aimed at exposing and punishing the woman, the inscription of fear.
The fact that brigades of righteous women have taken up the torch of correcting other “deviant” women is continuously arresting the cause of women in our society. Such women have internalised the misogyny, and they are being exploited by the patriarchy as voice of morality in the Manipuri society today. The moral agenda implied in the crimeless crime and violent punishment of nattaba lamchat will not raise women beyond the subservient role they are playing today. There is no such crime as lamchat nattaba for which a woman can be punished in the public view. The collectives of civil society organisations run by women need to focus more on the problems Manipuri women face today, such as political effects  that affect the economic activities of women, spousal abandonment, domestic violence and the restraint on women not to speak against it, increasing instances of drug peddling among the economically-deprived women, etc. These are important ethical and social concerns that affect women’s lives. One can hope that the younger generation of women are sensitive to the critical issues of inequality and subjugation that have kept the false consciousness of nattaba lamchat enforced.

Thank you, Santa Khurai, for the potent outrage. 

An open letter to the authority of BSNL


I, on behalf of IWSC, Khumbong would like to draw your kind attention and necessary favourable action.

That, the mobile and broadband internet service provided by Khumbong telephone exchange is very irregular and disappointing. It is learnt that the exchange is now entirely depend on the electric power provided by MSPDCL. The DG set installed inside the exchange is not operational due to the stoppage of fuel supply. Moreover, the battery/power backup used in the exchange is now no more reliable as all the batteries are obsolete and they are in the condition of disposal. As such, the mobile and broadband internet services stopped with the outage of power supplied by MSPDCL leaving many customers disappointed.

You may aware that there are many BSNL customers (who trusted the services of BSNL) under the coverage of this telephone exchange. Further, there are different Government offices, school, bank and other business establishments in Khumbong and its neighboring villages who entirely depend on services of BSNL for their different routine activities.

I, therefore, request your good self to kindly look into the matter seriously and take appropriate actions to improve the services provided by Khumbong telephone exchange in the interest of customers who trusted BSNL. We are looking forward a prompt and positive action in this regard. Thanking you.


With sincere regards,

Atom Samarendra Singh

Secretary, IWSC, Khumbong

Cell no. 9436287906