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Cecil Thounaojam

Cecil Thounaojam

Cecil Thounaojam has been a freelance writer for Imphal Times and currently working as an in-house journalist for Imphal Times. He has completed MBA and worked as a copywriter for 5+ years in digital advertising agencies. Cecil is from Nongmeibung, Imphal East and he can be contacted at [email protected]

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1st Federal Assembly of NEFIP re-affirm to oppose CAB

IT News

Imphal, Sept 6

The first Federal Assembly of North East Forum for Indigenous People (NEFIP) which was constituted at the Conference Hall of Hotel Shangchia, Zerkawt, Aizawl, Mizoram with the Federal Assembly Member from all the NE States of India reaffirmed to oppose CAB and any legislation related with CAB and influx of illegal immigrants. 

The Federal Assembly began from 4 September, 2019 and continued till 6 September 2019 constituting the Federal Assembly and it first Central Executive Council and office bearer. The resolution taken by the first federal Assembly known as Aizawl Declaration supports the demand for implementation of ILP and all alike legislations by the NE States and further Appeal for implementation of NRC alike legislations by the respective State Assembly of NE States.

NEFIP further reaffirm the resolutions taken at Shillong Meeting held on 30m April, 2019 to plea and ensure UNDRIP and other indigenous people’s tights related International declarations and conventions and added that they will initiate to ensure UNDRIP be implemented in latter and spirit to all the NE States.  NEFIP a conglomeration of CSOs of the Seven States of NE was formed on the 3" April, 2019 with the urgent call to oppose the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) 2016 passed by the Lok Sabha of the Indian Parliament in December last year.

Ten delegates from Manipur participate in the first federal assembly of NEFIP.


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‘No clean drinking water for people of Saman Village’

IT News

Imphal, Sept. 5

Social Welfare Educational and Cultural Association has expressed that residents of Saman Village of Keirao A/C, Imphal East, are deprived of clean drinking water as Waithoupat Water Supply has stopped distributing water. Chanam Sanayaima, Secretary, Social Welfare Educational and Cultural Association, said that the then government of Okram Ibobi, who inaugurated the construction of the water supply in 2006, promised that this water supply would provide water to the people of Waithou, Waithou Chiru, Saijin Palak, Saman Tangkhul, Thiyam Konjin, and other places of Thoubal district. The villagers had requested for construction of proper canals since the water reservoir blocking the water supply would hinder the farming process. It was agreed upon, but was not done so. 

After the completion of its construction in 2010-2011, the water supply started distributing water for 1 year as trial only to some areas of Thoubal district, but skipped the neighbouring villages. When the villagers complained, the then government responded that they did not have pipes and the water distribution will start once they had the pipes. He further said that the current Chief Minister, N. Biren, has also inaugurated the construction of another water supply in Tangjeng, Thoubal District, on August 19, 2019, using the water from Waithoupat Water Supply Scheme. 

The poor conditions of the canals has caused flood every year, damaging the neighbouring paddy fields. The villagers have requested the concerned department to fix the canals and provide clean drinking water, but never been heard. Sanayaima added that if this water supply is not opened to all and the pipeline is not constructed properly before September 30, the villagers will ban the drawing of water and other related activities from phase 2 and 3 of the water reservoir from October 1, 2019. He appealed for the concerned departments and the government to look into the matter as soon as possible.

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Babysana case: Finally, CBI is all set to take the case

IT News

Imphal, Sept 4

Central Bureau of Investigation has given administrative approval to handle the case of Ningthoujam Babysana’s death in the boarding of Standard Robarth Higher Secondary School, said a reliable source. The source added that the case will be handled by the CBI Kolkata.

The source further said that the request to handover the FIR number 138 filed by Singjamei police station to CBI has been timely received and an official order to investigate the case has also been sent to the Special Crime Branch (SCB) of CBI Kolkata.

The case might be handled by Deputy Inspector General of Police, Abhay Singha. Mention may be made that Lungnila Elizabeth’s case was also handled by CBI Kolkata.

As per the source, it has been more than a week since the case has been handed over to the Special Crime Branch, CBI Kolkata. The FIR filed by Manipur Police and the post-mortem reports have been analysed. As per the rule, an official notice just needs to be released stating that the case is going to be handled by Special Crime Branch.

Regarding this, if the DGP and Chief Secretary of Manipur put pressure, then the investigation might start in a day or two. The case was handed over to CBI since it is in public interest, said the source.

It is also worth mentioning that there have been continuous agitations and bandhs by JAC and people of Manipur for the handing over of the case to CBI. Even the father of late Babysana has expressed willingness to give his statement if the CBI is involved. The entire state has been in a chaotic situation and regular functioning of various educational institutions has been disturbed all this while. The news of CBI finally handling the case might bring back the normalcy of the state with the hope that justice will be served.

Image Credit: Financial Express

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NRC and “We Don’t, So Shouldn’t You” syndrome of Mayangs

“We Don’t, So Shouldn’t You” is a fragility syndrome that many mayangs suffer from whenever people from the “north east” nation-states voice their opinion against the oppressive mayangs, the Indian state and its Acts and laws.
It is a condescending speech and a tone of voice that attempts to speak over and silence the indigenous voices, claiming moral superiority. This fragility syndrome has been identified many a times in various protest-situations and has become a mayang pattern. When the movie Mary Kom was in the making and even after its release, many from the “north east” nation-states protested against the casting of a mayang in the role of a Manipuri from the Kom community. There was no identity or cultural relevance between the mayang actor and Mary Kom. The use of prosthetic to make Priyanka Chopra “look like” Mary Kom was racist and an ideal example of “chinki face” - a mayang donning chinky look with over-emphasis on slanty eyes, which has been a racial marker and the highlight of most of the racial aggression and violence against people from the “north east” nation-states for ages.
 The capitalization on cultural misappropriation in the movie is a whole different bizzare narrative. During this time, people from the “north east” nation-states voiced their anger on different platforms, but it had received the “We Don’t, So Shouldn’t You” syndrome as response from the mayangs. When indigenous people said that we protest Priyanka Chopra playing the role of Mary Kom, the mayangs came up with responses on the lines of “We don’t protest Ben Kingsley playing Gandhi in a Hollywood movie, so shouldn’t you.” When brought up even today, their response is, “We don’t protest Saif Ali Khan playing a Sikh in Sacred Games, so shouldn’t you.” At the time of the protest against CAB in the NER, it was only the people of “north east” nation-states going out on the streets and protesting against it. Apart from those mayangs who opposed it using the Hindu-Muslim narrative (which wasn’t the main problem with CAB), the CAB-supporting mayangs resorted to responses on the lines of “We don’t protest people from other states coming to Mumbai/Delhi/Banglore and other metro cities, so shouldn’t you.” Recently, during the debate around NRC, the mainland Indians were again drawing their same go-to-for-everything Hindu-Muslim narrative and calling NRC islamophobic and Assamese xenophobic without knowing/realising the main purpose of NRC from indigenous people perspective.
To their surprise, when the NRC result came out, the majority of foreigners identified were Hindus. However, since the population identified as foreigners was 19 lakhs, they started focusing more on “NRC making poor people stateless” without knowing/realising what the indigenous people have been going through because of the huge influx of Bangladeshi Bengalis, both Hindus and Muslims.
It was at this time that some started to show “We Don’t, So Shouldn’t You” fragility syndrome with arguments on the lines of “We don’t protest for NRC in adivasi areas in India, so shouldn’t you.” In this whole set of pattern, they have always either skipped or ignored the only relevant lens through which they could see the reality, which was the indigenous-settler lens in order to see the settler colonialism. On top of it, this “We Don’t, So Shouldn’t You” fragility syndrome translates to the ‘mayangsplaining’ narrative that indigenous people are not capable of framing their own opinion and it is always the mayangs who should be guiding them to show the right path. It portrays indigenous people as a stupid bunch of people with no ability to think critically or even decide for their own good. This narrative goes back to 1950 when their beloved Dr. B.R. Ambedkar said, “So far as the two states of Manipur and Tripura are concerned, election will not be possible, for the simple reason that so far as these two states are concerned, there are hardly any local authorities existing there. Tripura is really a tribal area. Manipur is a very backward area. There are hardly any local bodies and organizations. The education status of these two states is also very backward.” It was a different kind of mayang superiority complex then, it is a different kind of mayang superiority complex now. Listening to the indigenous people is not their forte or an area of interest; “We Don’t, So Shouldn’t You” is.