Post of the week

The Responsible Indians

A reconsideration of the great Indian personalities with reference to the Manipur Merger Agreement 1949 and the successful expansionist world view of the Indian Hindus


Manipur became independent on the midnight of 15 August 1947 with the lapse of British Crown’s suzerainty. Two years later, on 15 October 1949, Manipur was merged into the Union of India. So far so good, but the merger was more a scam than an agreement. The then king had to sign the agreement while he was kept under house arrest in Shillong. Historical records show that the Jat Regiment was posted around the residence (the Redlands) where the king and his aides were putting up. 

To put it bluntly, any forced agreement is illegal and there are enough reasons to prove that the Manipur Merger Agreement is null and void. In this context the protest against Indian laws like the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act is meaningless but that’s another story.

The Manipuri Story

Recently, an Imphal-based journalist made …

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Non-Governmental Inc.

NGOs have funds that can employ local people who might otherwise be activists in resistance movements, but now can feel they are doing some immediate, creative good (and earning a living while they’re at it). Real political resistance offers no such short cuts. The NGO-isation of politics threatens to turn resistance into a well-mannered, reasonable, salaried, 9-to-5 job. With a few perks thrown in. Real resistance has real consequences. And no salary.
(Text courtesy: Massalijn
— Arundhati Roy in The NGO-ization of Resistance. The queen of Indian resistance has been also saying that NGOs are a link between the Empire and its subject.

In this part of the world, the term ‘NGO-isation’ instantly conjures up myriad images of the Indian post-liberalisation economy, the dark sides of neo-liberalism, the Samaritan’s nature of aid agencies, human rights violation, and India’s concept of national interest, among many other things. Then in one corner of this so-called cou…

If You Believe Election Will Bring Social Change, Here’s an Idea Why That Is Quite a Misconception

Psephologists and supporters of the elected MLAs in the recently concluded Manipur Assembly Election would want to kick my ass, but at the cost of this threat I’d like to make a few statements. 

This election tells so many things about us, but so little about anything positive.

Let me start with a fact: Political reform is a myth; and electoral politics mere hokum. This statement might be quixotic if we consider the facts and figures of the largest democracy called India but apparently arithmetic does not dictate our lives and thus the idea of a myth. Besides, we have had so many elections but nothing change. For that matter, we have one of the first democratic elections in Asia as a sovereign state even before the union of India but, as we can see, that amounts to zero change.

Some of the people, who are close to or follow the elected MLAs and who worship the elected representatives, might see fault in this argument but against all of them combined together, let’s prove they have som…

The Government Mandate & Nearly a Dozen of Haiku


No one would have guessed
All roads lead to Raj Bhavan,
The government gang.

What do you stand for?
How do you stand for your goals?
Never, ever ask.

Some won by killing
Others by selling heroin
How did I lose all?

Full persuasion
Fuller any shit would count
Form a government.

All prostitution
All the government people,
We pay for the fuck.

They would use a name:
Horse trading or a bargain
—We have ass trading.

Al the butts galore
Watch out their thrill of kissing
STD society.

I had sold my soul
For ten drinks and many meals
Chatni waanomba.

I couldn’t finish it
Then with guns, now with the laws
Let me drill your ass.

Those who know break it
Those who know the petty laws
The legislators

Hail amnesia!
Hail our leaders and looters!
Public memory.

An inner voice says
A reform is always a myth;
One revolution.

Breaking News: Nongthombam Biren took oath as the chief minister of Manipur—and as the first BJP CM in the state—today afternoon; 15 March 2017 (it is also the fourth day of Yaosang). With cou…

23 Words for Emotions That We All Feel, But Can’t Explain

From this bleak world, into the heart of night,
The dim, deep bosom of the universe,
I cast myself. I only crave for rest;
Too heavy is the load. I fling it down.
~Amy Levy, A Minor Poet

In Pictures: “Rainin’ in Paradize” by Manu Chao

It was funny when I heard his name for the first time. In my mother tongue Manu Chao means big penis, and the name fitted only somewhere between Brazzers and some random XXX sites, but never in the world of popular music that endorses art as a form of political engagement or resistance. Then I got Bongo-bong while listening to his music. Truth be told, we prefer a good lie to a simple truth, more so when we talk about politics. In my hometown, we have bands like Taptaand Imphal Talkies & the Howlers that sing daringly about our short and brutish lives in a conflict zone.

Here we have a graphic collection based on one of Manu Chao’s terrific songs, Rainin’ in Paradize that was first released in 2001.

A Rant on the Promises of the Election Month

If I win the election
I won’t give a rat’s ass,
I might give you what you will ever need
A bridge over the Loktak
A dozen fancy locations to build hotels over there
An affordable whorehouse at the city centre
A connection between the rivers Imphal and Ningthi
A black-topped road all the way to Kabo Valley
A platform to merge the hills and valley
And half a dozen homes closer to Babupura
And for namesake, a college or a university
And another road that leads to nowhere,
Ask not what I can do for you
Ask what you can do for me
And be a free human — just be free.

What are promises for, if not those are not broken
What are we for, if not we are ‘not’ chosen
If I win the election
I’ll get you more jobs in the police
More security forces than people would want security
I’ll build the longest and largest gate at Mao
Maybe longer than the chronic queues
Those around petrol pumps in the town
But take my word for it, peasants and plebeians
I’ll never form an alliance with India

Typographical Reflection on the Biggest Circus of the Largest Democracy

The assembly election is due tomorrow and then on the next Wedneday, 8 March. It is significant on two counts: one, electoral politics is the sole factor that reminds us of our lives in a democracy; and two, it is going to decide a part of the fate of the people living in Manipur for the following five years. Over the years, however, the sole consequence of this regular circus is farcical to say the least.

For the lack of a better term, the best that can describe our political life is jungle, where the authority has paradoxically no power except in flexing muscles around the public exchequer; while the establishment is perforated with people poking their fingers into; and any group who care a tad can take the power into its hands; and there is no sight of solution to the eternal problems of armed conflict, social decadence and underdevelopment in a neocolonial state called India. This is the tragedy of our times and the following is a concise typographical reflection on it.

PCRM Appeals for Issue-Based Poll in the Manipur Assembly Election 2017

Press release/02032017

What We Are Is What Manipur Is

2 March 2017: Like every system, the present electoral system in Manipur does have its weakness and strength. However, it is still a crucial aspect of our collective life. It is through this system of election that we elect a few ordinary women and men like us to take the responsibility of governing our collective life on our behalf. Therefore, it is worth remembering certain issues while exercising our voting right.

Private Vs Public Interests

The people whom we elect as members of the State Assembly shall represent us, including the interests with which we elect them. Thus, if the interest(s) that guide our decision to cast our votes for a particular candidate or party is private and personal, the elected individual will also likely to represent similar interests, namely, his private/personal interests.

On the other hand, if the interest(s) that guide our decision to cast our votes for a particular candidate or party is informed by is…

A Political Gimmick to Seek the Details of Framework Agreement

The other day, two Imphal-based civil society organisations, the United Committee Manipur and the Committee of Civil Societies Kangleipak have taken a remarkable initiative to make the political class accountable to the people of Manipur with reference to the Framework Agreement signed between the Government of India and the NSCN IM faction.
But quite contrary to the motives, the mention of candidates has given some food for thought not necessarily healthy; so, here’s a brief recollection on the event that was held on 24 February 2017.

83 candidates pledge to seek FA details
Source: The Sangai Express (25 February 2017)

Imphal, February 24 2017: As many as 83 candidates belonging to different political parties including seven independent candidates have pledged to urge the Government of India to bring out a white paper on the Framework Agreement it signed with NSCN-IM on August 3, 2015. At a swearing ceremony held today at GM Hall here under the aegis of UCM and CCSK, the candidates …

The Tragedy of Democracy in Manipur

Democracy can be simplified as a system in which, according to the Principles of Democracy, ‘power and civic responsibility are exercised by all citizens, directly or through their freely elected representatives’.

Democracy 1.0

It’s the participation of the people that make it very attractive, comparatively to other forms of modern political system. 

But in a place like Manipur, the problem starts with the people for reasons that are uniquely Manipuri and we are not unaware about it—we simply feel we are too tiny to negotiate with a large system.

If we refer to facts and figures, how many of us would we go to vote, on March 4 and 5, for a reason like we admire the altruism of a candidate/political party so we should give our vote to him/her or his/her party? Ninety-nine percent I can declare that the answer is none.

We will be choosing the lesser evil on the basis of how much the candidates are related by birth, how much they can offer individual jobs, which ethnicity they belong to, o…