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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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On the demand for ST status ….

The demand for the ST status for the Meitei/Meetei is not a child’s play as incorporated with the existence of the erstwhile civilization. It is not only about the Meitei/Meetei, but also a demand that will have a connection to the history of tomorrow. While discussing the matter, we have seen people who disagreed being threatened to inflict fear, portrayed as illiterate, and projected as hateful towards Meitei/Meetei. The reasons for ST demand seem to change with time. In the beginning, it has mentioned that on the grounds of constitution, Meitei/Meetei lacks development, lives in isolation, and if granted ST status, people could receive employment benefits due to reservation, even to the point of claiming to be able to produce more IAS officers and overpower India. However, looking at the current scenario, Indian government’s employment rate is seeing a decline every year in spite of the reservation facility. The most important element of India’s neo-liberal economy at present is Public Private Partnership (PPP), wherein the government’s employment rate is falling. Therefore, the 7.5% ST reservation is not going to bring about a huge change in the employment of Meitei/Meetei. After considering this, the reasons for ST demand have been changed.
Status of religion before Hinduism
Claims were made of Meitei/Meetei lifestyle having both tribal and primitive elements. There was also a time when they said that they were not demanding for ST status, they just wanted to lie about it. The Meitei/Meetei religion prior to the Hindu conversion, was falsely portrayed as just a religion with no temple and with maichou only at the level of maiba-maibi but not at the king’s level, stating multiple times that the religion belonged to tribal and primitive regions. The philosophy and related festivals of this religion had a respectable status, but the constant fabrication of lies just to avail ST status might create a false impression of the religion.
At the same time, they are saying that availing ST status will not bring any change to our religion. Whether it changes or not is a different matter. No thought has not gone in to understand that labeling a phase of our religion as tribal religion is us bringing ourselves down in front of the world. If there is no element of backwardness or underdevelopment in being ST, then why are they provided with reservation as a part of Redistribution Junction? It is just an act of willful ignorance in spite of knowing the reasons behind providing other protective measures. If the attitude remains as ‘let people think whatever they want’, then a question arises if all the efforts to strive forward were in vain.
Various rituals of celebrating and offering prayers to Sidaba mapu, Lainingthou Lairembi, Apokpa etc. were unavoidable elements and did not exist as just mere word-of-mouth. A number of Puya on religious matter clearly stated that our religion was not a tribal religion. We need to study the stories and philosophy of seven Maichou’s in order to understand the same. It was also not so that Meitei/Meetei religion suddenly became regional or tribal after Hindu conversion.
Hill-Valley Relationship
The hill-valley division to run a state has been going on since the time of British colonialism. Various 20th century leaders have stood against this division, mentioning it time and again in the resolutions of Nikhil Hindu Manipur Mahasava. Government’s attempt to separate the hills from the valley does not help in building a united Manipur. Instead of enabling people to think collectively, it has led to people think either for hills only or for valley only. The division has been going on since the time of merger into Indian Union, when various administrative and judicial bodies meant only for hills were formed. Thus, the hill-valley division continues till date. The current situation is not about Meitei/Meetei not being ST and chingmee becoming ST . Therefore, the claim that the ST demand will bring the Meitei/Meetei and chingmee closer, is a distortion of history. It is nothing but encouraging the colonizers by putting the blames on the self for the differences between the hills and valley.
Meitei/Meetei becoming ST could bring back and intensify the hill-valley division and be the reason behind the idea of Meitei for Meitei and Chingmee for Chingmee. Till now, we are not able to decolonize ourselves.

Five Oscar Winning Film- Hugo directed by Martin Scorsese to be screened with interaction on September 21

By- Meghachandra Kongbam
Imphal, Sept. 18

With the support from Manipur State Film Development Society, Film Society of Manipur will screen English film-HUGO (2011) directed by Martin Scorsese on September 21, 2019, the third Saturday at 4 pm at MSFDS Auditorium here, under the monthly film screening programme with interactive session towards the promotion of good film movement in Manipur.
Hugo is a historical adventure drama film  adapted for the screen by John Logan. Based on Brian Selznick’s book The Invention of Hugo Cabret, it tells the story of an orphan boy named Hugo Cabret who lives alone in a railway station in Paris in the 1930s and wrapped up in a mystery involving his late father and an automation. His journey leads the discovery of Georges Méliès, the father of Special  Effects in Cinema. Hugo  received critical  acclaim and 11 Academy Award  nominations including Best Picture, more than any other film that year, and it won five awards: Best Cinematography,  Best Art Direction, Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing, and Best Visual Effects.
School children from a few schools in Imphal will also attend the film screening and the interactive session so that they can learn the film medium and what the good film is about.
Eminent personalities from the Critics Forum, Manipur and Film Society of Manipur will share the space of the interactive session to be conducted after screening of the film.
All the members of the Film Society of Manipur and Critics Forum, Manipur are informed to attend the screening with their family and children and to take part in the interactive session.

WORLD OZONE DAY 2019: Issues on protection of the ozone layer

Dr. Konthoujam Khelchandra

The United Nations International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer is celebrated every year on September 16. The theme for this year’s celebration of World Ozone Day is”32 Years and Healing”.  This event commemorates the date of the signing of the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer in 1987. This protocol has led to phase-out of 99% of ozone depleting substances in refrigerators, air-conditioners and many other products. The latest reports of Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion completed in 2018 indicates very favourable results as there is ozone layer recovery rate of 1-3% per decades since 2000. The UN report further highlighted that the ozone layer protection measures has actually help in combating climate change by averting an estimated 135 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions from 1990 to 2010.

This year’s World Ozone day, the Montreal Protocol is celebrating its 32th anniversary. The protocol accentuates the extraordinary collaborations and environmental benefits achieved by the world governments through the operation of Montreal Protocol for the effective protection of ozone layer. This protocol provides an inspiring example where the global community is truly succeeding in reaching sustainable development objectives. It is expected to return to pre-1980 levels by mid-century, assuming all countries continue to meet their compliance commitments. In 32 years of successful implementation, the protocol has been continuously strengthened to cover the phase out of nearly 100 ozone depleting substances. It is the world’s most widely ratified treaty, with 197 signatories. Its multilateral fund has enabled an unprecedented transfer of ozone friendly technologies to developing countries assisted by a powerful network of well-trained national ozone officers in every country of the world. The protocol is widely hailed as a classic case of science-based policy making and action to protect a global commons. It also certainly reminds us that we have to keep the impetus of ensuring a healthy planet where all inhabitants can harmoniously coexist by interacting and inter depending on each other. 

Depletion of stratospheric ozone: Certain industrial processes and consumer products result in the emission of ozone depleting substances (ODSs) to the atmosphere. The main ODS are chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrochlorofluorcarbons (HCFCs), carbon tetrachloride, methyl chloroform and halons (brominated fluorocarbons). CFCs are the most widely used ODS, accounting for over 80% of total stratospheric ozone depletion; used as coolants in refrigerators, freezers and air conditioners in buildings and cars manufactured before 1995; found in industrial solvents, dry-cleaning agents and hospital sterilants; also used in foam products- such as soft-foam padding (e.g. cushions and mattresses) and rigid foam (e.g. home insulation). Halons are used in some fire extinguishers, in cases where materials and equipment would be destroyed by water or other fire extinguisher chemicals. But, the problem with halons is they can destroy up to 10 times as much ozone as CFCs can. ODSs are manufactured halogen source gases that are controlled worldwide by the Montreal Protocol. These gases bring chlorine and bromine atoms to the stratosphere, where they destroy ozone in chemical reactions.

Current ODS abundances in the atmosphere are known directly from air sample measurements. The initial step in the depletion of stratospheric ozone by human activities is the emission, at earth’s surface, of gases containing chlorine and bromine. Most of these gases accumulate in the lower atmosphere because they are unreactive and do not dissolve readily in rain or snow. Natural air motions transport these accumulated gases to the stratosphere, where they are converted to more reactive gases. Some of these gases then participate in reactions that destroy ozone. Finally, when air returns to the lower atmosphere, these reactive chlorine and bromine gases are removed from earth’s atmosphere by rain and snow. Impacts of ozone depletion: The ozone present in the stratosphere filters out most of the sun’s potentially harmful shortwave ultraviolet (UV) radiation. If this ozone becomes depleted, then more UV rays will reach the earth. Exposure to higher amounts of UV radiation could have serious impacts on human beings, animals and plants.  It can have serious implication to human health causing more skin cancers, sunburns and premature aging of skin, more cataracts, blindness and other eye diseases. It weakens the human immune system. It also has adverse impact on agriculture, forestry and natural ecosystems. Several of the world’s major crop species are particularly vulnerable to increased UV, resulting in reduced growth, photosynthesis and flowering. Only a few commercially important trees have been tested for UV (UV-B) sensitivity, but early results suggest that plant growth, especially in seedlings, is harmed by more intense UV radiation. Damage to marine life- in particular, planktons is threatened by increased UV radiation. Planktons are the first vital step in aquatic food chains; Decreases in plankton could disrupt the fresh and saltwater food chains, and further lead to a species shift; Loss of biodiversity in our oceans, rivers and lakes could reduce fish yields for commercial and fisheries.

The Efforts to protect the ozone layer and to combat climate change are mutually supportive. The most recent adjustments to the Montreal Protocol, adopted in 2007, accelerate the phase out of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). The level of climate benefits that can be achieved depends on what chemicals and technologies replace HCFCs. Their phase out thus offers a unique opportunity to acquire cutting-edge technologies that not only eliminate ozone depleting chemicals, but also saves energy and maximises climate benefits. Although the substantial phase-out of HCFCs has only just begun, it is heartening to see that industry is applying the new alternative technologies. These technologies will not only eliminate damage to the ozone layer, but also reduce adverse effects on climate.

Conclusion: On this World Ozone Day, let us celebrate and reemphasise the greater necessities for protection of ozone layer. Ozone in the stratosphere absorbs a large part of the sun’s biologically harmful ultraviolet radiation; stratospheric ozone is considered good ozone because of this beneficial role. In contrast, ozone formed at earth’s surface in excess of natural amounts is considered bad ozone because it is harmful to humans, plants, and animals. Natural ozone near the surface and in the lower atmosphere plays an important beneficial role in chemically removing pollutants from the atmosphere. So, the phase out of the controlled uses of the ozone depleting substances and related reductions has not only helped protect the ozone layer for this and also for future generations to come. It has also significantly contributed on global efforts to combat climate change and furthermore it has protected human health and ecosystems by limiting the harmful ultraviolet radiation from reaching the earth. Finally, we should continue our untiring efforts for preservation of ozone layer for the betterment of our mother earth.


Dr. Konthoujam Khelchandra

(The author is currently working as Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental Science, Pachhunga University College, Aizawl. He can be contacted at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Her Kitchen

By- Dr Nunglekpam Premi Devi
Independent Scholar

She sits and she turns; front and back;

She’s clean as she cooks and enters ‘her’ kitchen;

She washed and mops ‘her’ piece of kitchen land,

With all those ‘lafu nura’ she wipes round and again;

Dark and cool; neat and tidy; small and single space;

Sunlight lit through small window above her head;

Her kitchen mesmerizing with all richness;

Lights and heats; meitans and warmth so cozy;

She looks as graceful as she enters her kitchen;

Her ‘phanek’ up held high her breast,

No sandals approaching; softly touching her kitchen land;

She asks ‘what do you want to eat’?

‘What should I cook for you’?

As she matches fire she Phoo phoo phoos,phooo and fooos.

Muddy Leirang, twigs’ bundles and woods;

Locating in the middle of ‘her’ room, small and dark;

She cooks for self and she smiles without sins;

With no gas stoves, tools and tables, gas cylinder and cookers;

‘Her’ chafus, Uyans all in old and new use,

All in an imbalance position, she still works on,

Spoons and khabeis; chegap and no gas lighter;

Cups and plates; pukhams and tengkots and mugs;

All in spreading, all in one in one standing;

Found spreading all around ‘Her’ reaching all by her hand;

She cooks and she boils; she keeps and she covers;

She sits down and she stands up again and all;

As she walks and she speaks; her hands so engaged;

She lights her leirang and she matches now and again;

As though she starts now and again, all with blows;

Phoo phoo phoos phooo phooo and fooos.


She boils and she rotates and she let it down;

‘Her’ body’s bending and ‘her’ knees up to her chin;

Ah! She’s beautiful at her own; she’s goddesses of life;

She owns ‘thum chafus, morok kaouta, ngari utong,

Machu utong, nga ayaiba utong, one to two tilhou,

Bit of maroi napakpi, few maroi nakuppis, slices of drid heiribok,

Few gingers, heijang thang, all small and all small,

Uchan and samuk; she adore on her wooden phan;

Spreading her hands, right and left turning in and out;

Reaching all her essentials ‘thum chafus’ and cooking;

Happy as she is burden to none; she rotates chafus now and again;

Her hands holding fire twigs now and again, all with blows;

Phoo phoo phoos phooo phooo and fooos.

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