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Showing posts from January, 2016

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An Open Letter to KSO, ANSAM and Other Highway Blockade Sponsors

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Dear Kuki Students’ Organisation and All Naga Students’ Association, Manipur, and all the bastards and highway blockers,

If we were to give you a ‘lupa-5’ coin for every highway blockade, you would have been a millionaire now. Never mind it. I’m writing to you just to say ‘hi’. What’s up, motherfuckers?

So, you are back in the news again and I want to exchange some pleasantries. That’s it. I know nothing about the highway blockade that you have announced yesterday but your lack of sense and conscience is amazing. I used to believe I have a magic when I transform into one of those zombies, who pay exorbitant prices for basic daily needs and feeds and queue up in petrol pumps around the valley every time some idiots impose blockades on the highways, but you beat me.

First of all, please don’t play your victim card and start blaming everything on the valley for your wretched lives. I know the feeling because we always blame Ibobi and New Delhi for our wretched lives. As one man to anoth…

The Ultimate Sacrilege

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Puya Meithaba, the Infamous Book Burning Incident and Destruction of Indigenous Religion During the Onslaught of Hinduism in 18th Century Manipur
This essay is a translation of a few sections on Puya Meithaba and forced proselytisation from Ningthoukhongjam Khelchandra’s book, Ariba Manipuri Sahityagi Itihaas (A History of Old Manipuri Literature); 1st edition 1969; 4th ed 2011. Sections included here: (1) Meitei Lairik Mei Thaaba (pp 33–34); (2) Santidasna Manipurda Ramandi Dharma Sandokpa (pp 35–36); (3) Umang Laigi Khubham Thugaiba (pp 37–38); (4) Lairik Mei Thaaba (pp 39–43); (5) Mei Thaakhre Hairiba Lairiksing Asi Khongul Muthkhrabra?(pp 44–45)


1     Meiteilon Book Burning

In the early 18th century, Meidingu Pamheiba (*1690–1751) was a ruler who redefined Manipuri power and could get rid of interferences from outsiders audaciously. He was known by several other names such as Maharaj Garibniwaz, Khongnaang Mayamba and Gopalsing. In fact, he was an exceptional ruler among all the Man…

The Land of Ghost

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A translation of Thangjam Ibopishak’s prose poem Bhootki Leibak, which was originally published in the collection Lamjel, in July 2015




One morning came a man—big round eyes and pointed nose and bearded and tall and big; he came to my house and introduced himself: ‘I’m Laughing Buddha; it’s a code name and I have come here with instructions from my superiors.’
And I asked him: ‘Do they tell you to bring me to them? Or are you simply planting a bomb inside my house? Or are you simply going to kill me?
Abruptly he replied: ‘No, no. I’m not those kinds who kidnap, who kill and who demand ransom; I’m not at all related to them. It’s just a simple command. Let me tell you. Before the photos of the prime minister of Britain Mr David Cameron, the president of the US Barack Obama and the president of China Hu Jintao you should prostrate and pray.’
I was surprised: ‘But why? I do it only to my wife for... Bah! I worship nobody but my mother and have I never done it to anybody; besides I have n…

For All the World

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If the world our oyster everything is well and fine except in one area. With little options and authentic sources of inspiration we have been relying too much on alien ideas, depending on them with no tangible result, leave alone seeing if it even fits in our milieu or not. This might be clearer if we illustrate an example here.
Beginning from one extreme level, we can cite the case of armed struggle against the Indian union for the right to self-determination. Socialists, Marxists and communist thoughts lay the foundation for several resistance groups. However, where do these thoughts come from? We might not be able to identify the original proponents but still we can safely say that these ideas had its origin in some distant countries. For instance, the origin of socialism can be traced back to antiquity nevertheless it developed as a logical school of thought only in medieval Europe.

In a region where government and local club properties are meant to be plundered, socialism is se…

16 Words to Learn in 2016

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Language is as mysterious as the essence of our existence. According to Noam Chomsky: “The evolution of the faculty of language largely remains an enigma. Language’s evolutionary analysis is complicated because it has no equivalent in any nonhuman species. There is also no consensus regarding the essential nature of the language ‘phenotype’.” The modern study of language is also as old as human civilisation, dating back to 2,000 years and the age of spoken languages, if we go by eminent linguists, is estimated at 60,000 to 100,000 years.

Amidst all these uncertainties I love to believe in the Universal Friendship Organisations’ conviction that one day all the people in the world will speak one language and that there will be eternal peace in our universe. Until then we can only speculate about the theories on one hand and be mesmerised about how we have evolved as an animal with complex systems of communication.

Here’s a list of sixteen non-English words that signify some universal f…

The Generation of Contradictions

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Anyone who denies the law of non-contradiction should be beaten and burned until he admits that to be beaten is not the same as not to be beaten, and to be burned is not the same as not to be burned.
— Ibn-Sīnā

When I talk to my friends, nobody support corruption in Manipur. This is remarkable because in our hometown, even the most educated morons do not mind greasing the officials’ hand as long as the latter promises a certain job, a certain favour or whatever; of course with a definite price tag on it. This is most evident in some of the coveted jobs, mostly in the public sector, which are open once in a while in our job-starved land.

Perhaps the deprivation explains the reason why we are anxious for any kind of job but the irony is that nobody supports such a system. Everybody is like clean; even cleaner than the mainland’s Aam Aadmi Party, which has been able to form some regional government elsewhere in India, thanks to their single-track campaign against corruption.

The sleaze…

Change

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The lovers want to change the world with their hearts
The teachers want to change the world with their books
The patriots want to change the world with their guns
The police want to change the world with their guns too
The poets want to change the world with their words,
I just want to change the way how I tell you to go fuck yourself.






PS: This is a re:post of the same piece I wrote in Feb 2013.

‘Khu-hing-laak-hing’

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Nobody is dead
All of us live on
All’s an illusion
’Ba lives in my dreams
So is my grandpa
As real as the sun

Hiding and seeking
Amongst winters’ fog
By May it’s all plain.

My grandmother’s as real as my mother
It’s not the idea-filled unmet peace,
Nobody is dead; all of us live on;
Just my father’s become unfinished tales,
Just my grandpa’s become one walking stick,
Just my grandma’s become her usual self.

We become the world,
Some turn into tales
For some, memories;
As real as the folks
Who are killed daily,
Tickling the cop’s ass.

Oblivion hardly makes any change
Like the forgotten Patsoi–Nambol road
My absence cannot write it off as gone.

Cremations were just a formality
Apparently breathing human beings suck
The old timers have become a feast now
Banana leaves and the delicacies;
We only just cannot see who vomits,
Over the ordeals, celebrating life.

If all these folk were still far from their graves
They would have been as good as the people,
I see them in my yearly winter …

A Fart of Gold

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In ye heat of ye talk it befel yt one did breake wind, yielding an exceding mightie and distresfull stink, whereat all did laugh full sore.
—Mark Twain
1601, Conversation as It Was: by the Social Fireside in the Time of the Tudors
A not-so legend has it that there was once a gracious yet shy girl, who went out with her friends for an alfresco meal somewhere in northern Manipur. It was a foothill where nature has generously presented its magnificence that people living in the noise- and garbage-filled Imphal will be envious for decades, if not centuries. Well, the place was insignificant on that day as the girl passed, oops, gas.

It happened while they were chatting, real chatting, before the meal. So apparently it was the breakfast or particularly those breads the girl ate earlier in the day that were the culprit; and it was not even the worst kind of blowing wind—you know those types, which can cause commotion or loud condemnation. However, our girl was so self-conscious that she d…

The Menace of Overt Military Occupation in Northeast India

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Kishalay Bhattacharjee’s Blood on My Hands: Confessions of Staged Encounters explains how the protectors can become predators—all for the sake of greed and ridiculous conformity

Blood on My Hands: Confessions of Staged Encounters
by KISHALAY BHATTACHARJEE
Publisher: Harper Collins India
Publication date: 23 September 2015
ISBN-10: 9351772586 | -13: 978-9351772583
Language: English
Prologue

Around twelve years ago it was during the Yaosang festival. One of my friends, Khundrakpam Tejkumar, who we used to fondly call Gundruba from Uripok Laikhurembi, was among the volunteers organizing the local Yaosang sports. On that fateful day, he was picked up by the Assam Rifles. His lifeless body was recovered the next day. An official report mentioned that he was a hardcore member of a rebel outfit and that he was killed in an encounter.

In 2009, five years after the incident, the Imphal bench of the Gauhati High Court found that not only Gundruba was innocent but also that the 19 Assam Rifles s…

The Silent Politics of Oppression

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SECOND SUN
by Visar Zhiti*

So much blood
Has been spent in this world,
But we have not yet built a sun of blood.

Listen, my friend,
To these trembling words:
A second sun will be born
of our blood
in the form of a heart

* Visar Zhiti (1952–) is an Albanian writer whose life and works mirror the history of his nation. He was once jailed for ten years because of his poetry that was against socialist realism and the reality of socialism. Text source: Struga Poetry Evenings, www.svp.org.mk

Introduction

Oppression is a social construct. Alternatively, it is a division between different groups of people on the basis of who can employ the most amount of force and violence. Our primitive forefathers, howsoever their lives were ‘ancient’ and backward, there was no form of oppression. This has been observed in many parts of the region as well in their historical growth as egalitarian societies.

Food is responsible for the growth of oppression. Once all of us were hunters and gatherers and the…

Ancient Civilisations and Contemporary Lives with Reference to Manipur

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The greatest advances of civilisation, whether in architecture or painting, in science and literature, in industry or agriculture, have never come from centralised government.
- Milton Friedman

It is sometimes hard to imagine that civilisations like those of the Mayans and Indus Valley did exist in the distant past. However, the simple fact is that they have been literally razed to the ground—lost forever from this fleeting world. The extinction of such one-time great civilisations also concerns me in another area. What if the Manipuri society were destined with a similar fate? This is not fatalistic because already this society has the perfect recipe for doom as well as all its elements of a failed society. It has been deluged in conflicts and contradictions.

Let’s dig into it a bit further.

A civilisation, if we go by its definition, is an advanced form of living. According to Alexander Crummell, the black American rationalist, ‘Our life, our culture, and our civilisation are but…

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