For All the World
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 seemingly a charming idea. Ideologically speaking, public ownership is lauded for accentuating the processes of social welfare. Yet today we are suffering in both the political and the personal spaces with the state emerging as the authoritative culprit while non-state actors are helping as sidekicks. In a sense.
This impels us to consider that the current campaign, regardless of its rhetoric, is merely a form of power contests. This antagonism is also time warped in the misguiding yet accepted claims of class oppression when people in other parts of the world have incorporated the ideas of gender, race, sexual orientation and environment, to name a few areas. Besides, the USSR had been gone a long time ago and North Korea—which used to be a formidable state for a brief period in the 20th century, thanks to the erstwhile Russian big brothers—has become a laughing stock in international relations today.
Capitalism is neither a substitute in such a circumstance. This system is just in its infant stage with so-called public-private partnership models and the investments of non-native private groups in large construction projects. Alternatively we are neither here nor there albeit some individuals have redefined capitalism by private accumulation of wealth and power in ways that are beyond reason or comprehension. It is notable here to mention that the ongoing conflict situation has further shredded any possible system to pieces.
Karl Marx might have no idea about Manipur, where there are groups that get their inspirations from his views on politics and economy. For the sake of argument, hardcore communists would defend its stance by relying on the concept of agriculture and labour in the region as akin to that of industry and working class elsewhere. Still we had slipped terribly when the traditional economy was merged with the early stage of globalisation during the British rule. We are still suffering from that transformation, or rather the inability of that transition, which was initiated nearly a century ago. In this already battered condition, we are forcefully trying to ape a system because, most probably because leftist thoughts favour social revolution. How do these thoughts explain ethnic nationalism?
In another area, the situation is no different when we consider the global-ideologies-for-local-lives stuff. We can take an example from the feminist landscape. In this case it is not more about being a sponge but the underdeveloped realization. It is quite evident from modern Manipuri literature, which is indebted to the triumvirate of Thoibi, Khaidem Pramodini and MK Binodini. Writers such as Moirangthem Borkeinya, Arambam Memchoubi and critics like Nahakpam Aruna are filling in their shoes so well too.
Albeit, even with the inclusion of huge roles that women play in gender-neutral sociopolitical and economical platforms, there is no consistency in their approaches and their voice is muffled in the patriarchal society. Huge roles but most of the voices are concentrated in a few areas and what exist today are some bookish ideologies so scarce and that hardly explain the politics or the culture of sex in the native environment. See the stigma and discrimination faced by the third gender in the present society. In such a situation the ‘meira paibi’ movement and Ima Kiethel are merely a showpiece in the allegedly modern society.
Ironically, either we are overly dependent in certain cases and barely reliable on others. Again, Trotsky, Tse-tung and others share a podium when we look up to the revolutionary ideals that have shaped human civilization through political means and solutions. It is depressing beyond expression, however, when we glance through the events and currents of our time in my native place—so much that the condition has set before us a question if it is at all worthy or useless, for that matter, to scrutinise the so-called movements for political liberation. In fact, many major and splinter groups are raping communism.
Thence, there should be an alternative path, obviously as opposed to all the contemporary perspectives, which can bring about the ‘maximum result’, in our indigenous living. Our end is plain: to live a life of dignity without state terrorism and brutalities of the definition-defying insurgents, still with the ingenuity to face the onslaught of globalisation and external aggression.
On hindsight this is one of our tragedies, being always compelled to take sides and fight for the basic requirements in life while neither energy nor imagination is left for other pursuits. There is no scope for improvement but for the unscrupulous means that we resort to, through them that the precept of might is right exists and completed with gross selfishness and blunder. How do we make some room to fit ourselves in? What ultimately would count, perhaps, is the total destruction of the existing society.
Add to this mess the glaring error of appropriation of the ideals pertaining to democracy and state. Our perception of territory shows that we are not even sure about the modern concept of state. This explains how in different art forms we have been witnessing new artistic yet dull works, particularly in films and music that have neither root nor depth.
To cut the long story short, we are offensively lacking in originality. For all the world, either we are following an idea blindly or we have been forced to follow it.