The Great June Fighting

The Great June Fighting
Just a way of life
Image from Indy Media
June 18— celebrated as the Great June Uprising and Unity Day—is a historic day in Manipur. Twelve years ago on this day, the state killed 18 people during a mass agitation against a ceasefire agreement between the union of India and a separatist organisation. The state can kill because it is the state; we know, it is high above the gods and the laws.

In their mighty power, the terms ‘uprising’ and ‘unity’ might be misleading.

If we go by the fact, in 2001, half a million people were up in arms against the union’s overt plan to contain the issues of insurgency. The Union has been successful for the last six decades, though occasionally it fumbles. So, in a way, it is unsurprising why the government had to amend the clause of ‘without territorial limit’ in the agreement. The initial impact was so powerful that the State Assembly building was burnt down. This was preceded by an official meeting, on June 14 of that year, between the union and the Isaak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim. The conclusion of the farce was that we lost more than a month in violence, dirty street politics and protests.

The Union is playing a game that we do not know even the rules. Our forced ignorance reeks of absolute absurdity. Yet the Union’s plot is remarkable, considering the chronic indifference to the plight of the people in this highly militarised and volatile region.

Apparently, it knows just the perfect way to deal with the people and their problems—in the exclusive Union approach. Their expertise has given rise to hollow phrases such as the Alternative Arrangement, Supra State, Greater Nagalim and what not.
The Great June Fighting
18 JUNE 2001
The State Assembly was burnt down; the lords who sit there
escape—except a couple of them who were
physically assaulted on the street
Image from the Hill Post

Almost a half of the people in this land of 2.7 million population—mostly the dominant valley people, or we can say the Meiteis occupied the 99 per cent—has been observing the Great June Uprising Day on June 18. This is where all hell breaks loose.

On the other hand, the narratives run in the opposite direction. The Nagas are more furious; obviously, because their political class has been fighting for a sovereign nation in one of the longest armed struggles in the world. Anyone against their way is the enemy.

In the same breath, anyone against the Meitei is as well the Meitei’s enemy.

There is a term for this kind of political game: territorial pissing.

The nation-building process of India is going fine, despite the dissenting voices, as articulated by the dozens of major separatists groups across the so-called Northeast India.

The Great June Fighting
A screen grab from the June 18th edition
of the Sangai Express

We would gain if we can learn how to indulge in orgasmic intervention just like how the state excels in this department. This is a fine legacy of the old colonial masters’ policy of divide and rule. The union has improvised this policy by incorporating several finer tips and tricks from Chanakya (c. 370–283 BCE), one of its illustrious teachers, who use to lecture even before Jesus Christ swam on the water (He did, as his walking on the water had become too mainstream). So far, the union has been able to let the rot continue.

The whole system has been pissing us off big time—but it has become so familiar, so much that piss-offness is our second nature.

At the end of the day, it depends on us how we live together. No surprising it is easy to state, and much easier ‘not’ to work for the goals. Indeed, the goals lies outside our comfort zone, while we are just too occupied and contented with the grunge and grime that define our collective lives. We hope there is some hope left in us.



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