Don’t they need no education?
Demanding the Government of India to disclose the whereabouts of UNLF chairman RK Meghen alias Sanayaima, students of the Imphal Public School, Canchipur formed a human chain in front of their school gate today. The young protestors were seen holding placards inscribed with slogans like ‘Disclose where is RK Meghen’, ‘Manipur-India political conflict should be resolved democratically’, etc during the demonstration.The Sangai Express Nov 25 2010
It’s quite a common sight in the state in times of major crises, schoolchildren coming out of their classrooms to protest against the establishment. Let’s brush aside the main issue—the arrest of Sanayaima and New Delhi’s intolerable silence—for a while and take a look into this trend. Maybe the people, regardless of their age, have got used to the culture of political protest.
It would be ideal to let the kids learn their lessons instead of allowing them to hit the road on their first experience of the grim reality. Some of us might argue that the books are not enough to make people understand and act, that the movement should be a consolidated effort. On one hand, these children are immature and the very attempt to take them in makes the situation more depressed on the other. Just imagine the effect the turmoil in the state has already on them. (I was once like them.)
The right to education, the right to this and the right to that are apparently futile when we don’t have a right to live. That’s true but to call out the kids from their classes looks like that of a sycophantic activity. With a civil society that is dismaying as the government, the whole structure of our society break down quite vulnerably and quite often.
Ironically, these kids have the freedom to demonstrate wherever it is possible, on the road, in the marketplaces and whenever there is a man-made calamity. If they ever have to dissent, let their agenda be on conducive environment and better education. The world is still too large to explore for us. (For instance, it still takes us more than a day to travel from Imphal to Jiri which is only 220 km apart.) So there is a lot more in this big, bad world to learn about—discovering other people and places—if not about refined erudition or the right to live or the right to protest.
RK Meghen aka Sanayaima, the chairman of the proscribed UNLF is a nobody and there is no such thing as armed rebellion—these are what the government is trying to tell us and others. To the mainstream views, insurgency is a mere by-product of unemployment and regionalism that are aggravated by underdevelopment. Why they have failed to see or have deliberately ignored crisis after crisis is that they have a conviction to suppress the political conflict by force. Abduct, kill, murder, suppress.
To the Powerful Government of the Country: Do you know how much it hurt us with your insensitivity? Do you think you can ever go on like this? Do you fuck yourself?
Editorials on the issue:
The Silent Agenda (The Sangai Express)
Children in Adult World (The Imphal Free Press)