Of Kondoom Chicken Centre and My Hometown
Society highly values its normal man. It educates children to lose themselves and to become absurd, and thus to be normal. Normal men have killed perhaps 100,000,000 of their fellow normal men in the last 50 years.
—RD LAING, The Politics of Experience
There are a hundred more organisations up in arms, literally, against the state for full sovereignty of the erstwhile Manipur kingdom. By logic, any one of them can be responsible but the tale tells a different story. In a land where state terrorism is rife, many people are suspicious that the legal government has a hand in it—and the blast was evidently not a one-off case.
In another corner of the Earth where its masters consider they are the universal saviour of democracy, there have been comparative issues. Precisely, Malcolm X pointed out, ‘The capitalist police forces are paid to ensure that the ghettos remain full to the brim with exploited, brutalised, citizens.’
Replace the capitalist police forces with the provincial government and the ghettos with an Indian state and we get the exact equation in one corner of the largest democracy of the world. A mainland expert on the region had even acknowledged that New Delhi is satisfied as long as there is a loyal ruling class in Manipur and that the local ruling class is happy in their own world with freebies in the form of grants and funds from its masters. This was the gist of his lecture.
And, the government has company. The contractors, for sure, are its first bed partners, and then the sociopaths who have hijacked the ideals of so-called revolution and are enjoying a threesome with the government and contractors. This follows the numberless bomb explosions and murders and mindless killings are the handiwork of these people only. Who in their right mind and are claiming to fight for a public cause can jeopardise their struggle with madness like these bomb blasts? If not, it does leave some room—much to the delight of the incestuous government and contractors— for the stand-alone and factional communists who were born to disgrace Marx. Everything is possible and nothing is also possible; and we squander our collective life.
BUSINESS HOUR The Imphal Free Press, in its 25 March edition, mentioned: ‘A press release of PRO, (the) (p)olice (d)epartment said a team of Imphal West District Police Commando on March 22 arrested the man who had kept IED at (a) Murgi Bazaar (t)ea stall inside (the) (t)emporary (m)arket.’ (Police arrest man who planted bomb at Temporary Market, Imphal Free Press, 12 Mar Thursday) I’d like to emphasise on the name, Murgi Bazaar. Maybe IFP is too lazy to edit the press release or it simply does not care; and neither will it, until the MEELAL members with bombs fitted in their balls would come barging into their office and start its monkey business for using the loan words (read the mainland Indian terminology). At least that’s how things work in the town.
CLOSING HOUR Earlier this year, there was a score of blasts, yes, a score of them, around the Republic Day, which fell on 26 Jan. The deputy chief minister told the press that it was normal because he had taken up the necessary security steps and the Republic Day formalities took place with no untoward incident at the venue. That was the exact reason he gave—no wonder a couple of weeks ago, a mainland news channel headlined that ‘in just the last 80 days or so, Manipur has seen a whopping 35 grenade (and) IED blasts, a majority of these in Imphal. In addition, another 15 bombs have been detected and defused’ (NDTV, 13 Mar).
In The Abnormal Normals (http://www.calresco.org/lucas/normal.htm), Chris Lucas wrote: ‘Human societies are all about norms, correct ways to behave, standard ways to look, socially acceptable attitudes to all things. To be judged abnormal is to be rejected, to be regarded as faulty, in need of repair.’ Our life is sheer abnormal in need of repair—but how, that’s the question we have.
1 A chicken centre is a generic term for chicken and meat shops in Manipur. One: there is a tendency of following a trend. In a region where there is hardly any scope for business, people just grab any line of work that seems to be profitable in a sheep-like manner. Chicken centre is one of them. Two: the business of guns and bombs that leads from mass extortion and vision-less agenda in the name of social revolution looks no different. Everything’s fine!
2 Phrases, proverbs and examples from The Free Dictonary, http://www.thefreedictionary.com
Emma Goldman, The Psychology of Political Violence
Uri Gordon, Anarchism and Political Theory: Contemporary Problems
RD Laing, The Politics of Experience
George Orwell, Notes on Nationalism
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, War