The Generation of Contradictions

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.
Fighting for peace

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 in this area is just one of the tiniest areas in the whole ball game. But the fact is that nobody minds it. Even our family members support it citing that it is the trend and that it would be a kind of digging our own grave to go against the wind. Eastern Dark sings it has been sheer insanity that it used to follow the ideal path but it has realised it and that soon it is going to start killing people to fit in and make up for all the missed opportunities. It reminds us of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s wisdom in Crime and Punishment: ‘Lying is a delightful thing for it leads to the truth’—just like those repetitive questions in courts that have revealed the lies of the army in killing and torturing people.

If we consider killings, murders and all sorts of crimes, nobody likes them too. Who on earth is suppose to like blood and violence? Nobody likes them but the mindless violence continues from the word ‘go’ and it has been going on forever. We never stand for crime and violence, yet the couple of examples are a witness to the fact that there is something terribly wrong with us. Contradiction has become our addiction and it is hitting rock bottom.

On the ground, last year, school children lose two to three months of mandatory study in their schools. The adults are hell bent on getting the political goals—the introduction of the Inner Line Permit System in Manipur—no matter what. Schools were closed for a hell lot of time and the daily wagers were on the brink of committing suicide but that was just on the surface of the social volcano. Last year’s crisis was one of its kinds because annually we have one or two social disasters each year. Yes, nobody likes them though!

In the last village election, early January 2016, whatever it is called in the system of Indian governance and administration, we can see the contradiction from the victory of random outsiders whose existence has been the sole reason for the protests that went on for weeks and months. So, we are tied of mindless violence and corruption and identity loss but seemingly we are even more tired to see the bigger picture. Are we tired or just cannot get rid of the double standards?       

It is not only a section of the masses but the entire people (read pro-India, pro-Manipur, pro-humanity all clubbed together) who have developed cracks in their heads. For instance, the armed organisations fighting for the right to self-determination are led by the ideals of pro-Manipuri aspirations. However, in the last general election, one of the influential rebels’ merger groups came up with the brilliant idea of banning just one political party out of the existing multi-party system.

This contradiction, in a sense, rhymes with excretion as much as revolution rhymes with extortion in our present-day society. Even the Marxist dialectical materialism can hardly help it and at this rate, we can beat the union hands down in their ‘words’ to be the largest democracy while all we know is in ‘action’ they are sending in ceaselessly gunmen, called armies and paramilitary forces, who are now no less than those irritating cockroaches. Talking about these gunmen, Grouch Marx put it succinctly: ‘Military intelligence is a contradiction in terms’.

If we were to conduct a referendum or a plebiscite on the issue of Indo-Manipuri political conflict, it is quite certain that the majority would opt for Manipur because the shit has been going on too long with too much anxiety and uncertainty. However, organise an election in the name of democracy, the same people would come out and vote because of the desperation for a change, albeit it is a tragedy that the change never arrives. Only a political scientist or a sociologist can explain this phenomenon.  

In another instance, it will be hard to find a supporter of Chief Minister Okram Ibobi, except maybe in the fuckedup Thoubal district but then it will hardly be a surprise if he is re-elected again in the 2017 election for the fourth time. It is just because, to put it roughly, we are what we are and what we always have been: A generation of contradictions. Sometimes this expression can be easily interchanged as a euphemism for a generation of stupid people.

If we were a figure of speech, we would have been called an oxymoron—a moron who loves oxygen and are absolutely unsure about the surroundings. In language we are the perfect auto-antonym. The diminishing growth is in our sheer lack of consistency but which we need desperately today. When all’s said and done, we should somehow comfort ourselves in a Friedrich Nietzschean style. In the Twilight of the Idols, Nietzsche wrote that one is fruitful only at the cost of being rich in contradictions.

Mao Tse-tung remarked that all movement and life is a result of contradiction still we protest against AFSPA and militarisation but we are joining the government security and defence departments in droves and most ironically by paying bribes in terms of lakhs of rupees. We believe Bollywood is a big bad pollution so we ban it but we keep copying not its contemporary style but that of the past decades. We would even discard the plastic and wooden idols but we cannot simply get rid of the imposed faith. We talk about going back to our roots while we are stuck in medieval history, claiming so ridiculously that it is the starting point.

Precisely, we talk but we don’t walk the talk. When was the last time we had behaved like as human beings and not as zombies unaware of which direction is which?  We are not even hypocritical but plain contradictory. The concept of doublethink would best explain this ignorance. May be after all, we are just following the universal law of dualism even if reality tells different tales of the worst kind of existence. This is a lame reason but we are out of options. In the depth of the valley of beauty, we have found the height of ugliness.

For earlier generations it is hard to trace their narratives but there is a fact. The legendary Nongmaithem Pahari, he was a sort of radical himself, who was connected with pioneering resistance groups in Manipur. However, once he had went to Mumbai to try his luck in playback singing albeit he was kicked out because of his accent. Some of his friends, who were in the same flock, had as well composed verses about the Indian nation, the very entity they were fighting against, for the right to self-determination. The ‘thickness’ of this contradiction is uncertain but it is clear that it has never got thinner.

Nobody is interested in corruption but it seems, at the end of the day, it is okay if it meets our self-interest or better if we are the one receiving the kickback. This problem of negation and affirmation is no doubt universal but what is more significant is that we are sinking in a pit unable to see the collective ethical dilemma. Undeniably we are but one kind of an amazing contradiction.



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