October Fifteen

Sixty two years ago, a story began with a sad beginning and for the narratives, there has been no conclusion. The rhetoric can be spared for those who love deliberation and articulation but this is a fact: Manipur was annexed to the union of India. And annexation, it is quite clear from dictionary definition, that it means 'the formal act of acquiring something (especially territory) by conquest or occupation'.

The revelation of thought takes men out of servitude into freedom.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson    

India will never buy this story, omit the learned scholars who have read and understood the land with their frame of reference that they have built from great erudition and patriotism and nationalism and all fuckism. This is the problem. Understanding and feelings are quite different things altogether.

Some general knowledge. Manipur is a tiny state, a hinterland in India. From being a proud country, with national identities defined by its history, culture, philosophy, national flag, constitution and a hell lot of other things, a fat and coward king of those days was put under house arrest and forced to sign the Merger Agreement, to be a part of India. Everything was quiet except for some resistance by the then future revolutionaries.

But a harm was done beyond repair. And there have been 'freedom' struggles. There have been so realistic and believable peace negotiations. And the problems have furcated into other issues as well, for instance, a failed state it has become now, ethnicity and its myriad problems, redefining colonial rule (neocolonialism?) and so on. And the resistance continues till now.

Please see the image below, if you have never heard about the movements for self-determination. And seeing the photos, from two of the widely read English newspapers in Manipur, please don't be confused that Manipur is a matriarchal state or anything like that. We are most of the time too busy that we see the manly world is run by men only. The women are busy cooking and recovering from their last labour. Or they might be busy with their folks doing this and that.

However, nationality, the nation-building process and all the other nation and national things have been made complex with bills and laws and codes and those parliamentary things.

The question that people need to answer is why people are coming out to protest, declaring "We Want Independence" and challenging the Indian colonial rule. Why is India producing such kind of people? Why is India creating such kind of schism among the people?

There is no answer. But October 15 has been celebrated as the Black Day. This is the day when Manipur was forcibly bookmarked into the history of the great book called India, way back in 1949. Another day of the year into the oblivion, while India is trailing China in the game of the biggest, most successful economy in the world. Another general strike called by the insurgent groups... while people are grappling to make their living worth a life of a human being. What we need is, I presume, a complete freedom from all kind of authority.

Read Land Records: Some Manipuri Arguments Against India            

Every voice is heard in democracy? (A shot from an unknown location, October 15 2011, Manipur )



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