Why Insurgency is Just Like a Tickle to the Government

“Those who tickle themselves may laugh when they please.”
--A German Proverb

We grew up with encounter and stories of the police, the insurgents and their love stories, hardly having any idea who was who. No wonder, we had different perceptions about them. When we were in school, the rebels had a kind of Robinhood image—but that was not to stay for long.

The lack of clarity is synonymous to what a life is in my hometown. The lack of vision and direction for our collective life is no less muddy.

Besides, the plot has become exponentially thicker than those early days and the stories of the good guy and the bad have blanked out. These days, most of the narratives are about living a hellish life in a conflict zone, where ironically a few section of the population are indulging in the time of their lives.

The Threesome

It is an open secret how the minister-contractor-militant nexus is running the show as much as they are plundering whatever they can lay their hands on. See how they can shamelessly exhibit the dislike for the multiple development impediments. It is a farce when mercenaries don the mask of a social worker. And in terms of severity, with their cloaks, Zorro can be beaten hands down.
His Master’s Motto
Image from

A popular mainland weekly published some years ago, when the head of the present ruling government donated a substantial amount of Rs 1.5 crore to two insurgent groups. Many people had lost the ability to laugh forever when the minister answered it was in the interest of national security.

Now on the other side of the law, revolution has been equated with extortion and the law-enforcing agencies are no far behind in being a hulky moron, with the existing social condition and issues like unemployment furthering their pursuit of innovative business goals, directly through bribes and backdoor policies. They call it the institutionalisation of corruption. For supplements, guns are the order of the day.

The Never-ending Débâcle

Insurgency has many faces in Manipur. Apparently it is different to how people perceive it, depending on which side of the fence they are standing. To the government it is like tickling their asses. Tickling can be annoying as well as sensually pleasant, again depending on the particular case, so to say. And insurgency is tickling to the lordly masters, for both purposes.

See the difference between a heavy blow and a tickle. You can never ignore a blow: defend it, hit it back, do anything but you cannot ignore it. And when getting tickled, laugh or as in the government agencies’ approach, enjoy it with that wicked lust.

History shows the armed movement started around the Sixties not as titillation, but as a real pain in the ass for the government. Possibly it was because the partisans were very clear about what they want in those days. The annoyance of the government was obvious from counterproductive steps like the imposition of draconian acts like the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 and other martial black laws. To interrupt, how on hell can you say we live in a democracy?

Power, Pain and Pleasure

The clarity had gone a long time ago. The rebels are mostly clueless like fishes out of the river. And the provincial government, it is having a field day. It has enough reasons why it is always moving its asses to the side the ticklers are sitting.

His Master’s Number
Regardless of the acute problems that we have in front of us, there has never been an open call for a lasting solution. You have to make separate tables and list them properly, in a long drawn-out process, if there is a need to count the number of people who have been killed, tortured, maimed, disappeared and raped. And continue the same process for the endless numbers of scams and grafts and all.

It has been a pain for many of the natives; even more so, in the first three decades after the erstwhile kingdom was merged into the union of India with the controversial Merger Agreement. But from the outset, it has been a story of negligence and indifference. For such a big union, a tiny Manipur was supposedly an issue that a Brigadier can solve with ease.

A balm for the irritation was provided with the recognition of the then Part-C territory as a full-fledged state in 1972. But that was clearly not enough as apparent from the rise of armed and unarmed socialists and Marxists. Lucky for the establishment, the Irabot-led left movement had lost momentum before gaining substantial ground. Possibly this premature downfall explains as well why the contemporary self-proclaimed leftist groups are such a disgrace to M/S Marx & Co. Yet that was just the prologue.   

On the legal side of the fence, I’m presuming—mostly in the beginning phase—the government saw no silver lining in the intensifying armed movements for the right to self-determination. Maybe, there were army men and bureaucrats who had epiphanies of patriotism. You never know. 

We have hints of the stuffs the policymakers, administrators, analysts and other smart people at the helm of public affairs are made of. Now they have not only the perfect alibi for the existing messiness, but also the source of their exasperation—the reason for getting annoyed at the tickling.

We have a long way to go, folks
Image from
Alternatively, the result is the heavy militarisation of the region, in some sort of getting the pleasure out of it. Why would not it be—when you can create a frontier in its real sense, shitting all over the area with barracks and battalions as well as in sending more than thousands of forcibly converted patriots, who could have been otherwise unemployed in some mainland towns and villages?
And the provincial government, like a loyal dog, has learnt the lesson so well. Ask them about our collective shit, and the ready-made answers are too apparent. It has been because of the prevailing law and order situation. It has been nothing but a law and order mess. Is that the reason why so many young people been have been inducted into law-enforcing departments? If that is not enough, the government is establishing as well more worthless units like the Village Defence Force, whose personnel are involved in all sorts of crime all across the towns. Do you feel that tickling sensation from the arrogance and high-handedness of the people at the top?

Obviously in the scheme of things, there is no place for the people. It is no pain or pleasure but just a plain comical tragedy. We have a long way to go, folks. Insurgency is one of the reasons why there has never been a concrete solution. And the elected representatives are getting the most out of it, unsurprisingly with a little help from their friends.



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