In Defence of Polemics
I look forward to losing two hours of my life in writing this piece albeit I’m left with no option but to spend the time. Last week, I wrote about the Diversification Plans of the Samaritans. I wrote it from my observation of the society I belong to and which I believe it is my responsibility as a member to engage with, and from my political beliefs. But unfortunately, those Samaritans against whom I have written cannot understand it and they believe they are indeed a real Samaritan, a term which I had used as a euphemism, as in using a ‘yakuza’, who could simply be called a ‘chain-snatcher’.
Here’s another gist of the story that hopefully will also shed some light to understand things despite their slowness.
The ‘official’ matters regarding indigenous society in contemporary Manipur had its origin sometime in 1980 with campaigns spearheaded by the All Manipur Students’ Union and the All Manipur Students’ Coordinating Committee. We can presume that those people or volunteers never consider about benefits from fighting for a community issue—something which the mighty, present-day NGOs would shiver just to think about it.
The crisis re-erupted in 1994. And again in 2005. A short history on the topic is elaborated in A Shortened Version of the Memorandum on the Inner Line Permit System Submitted by JCILPS to the Chief Minister. During the 2000s, the Federation of Regional Indigenous Society (FREINDS, formed in 2005) and the United Committee Manipur re-ignited the movement with an emphasis on the Inner Line Permit System. Then lastly, the FREINDS was disbanded in 2012 and since then the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS) has been spearheading the pro-ILP movement.
In such a protracted movement some NGOs, sans any consent or commitment, have seen a prospect—for in their world the longer a project, the higher are their hopes to change the universe.
Before I go further I’d like to give an example. Suppose if you have an infection in your ear, then only a Supreme Mother of Andromeda or some other galaxy would suggest you to go to a dentist. I don’t know what the ‘E’ in ENT stands for, but I would suggest you should go to an ENT specialist. What if the Supreme Mother keeps insisting you to go to a dentist? Let me suggest: Ask the whore to go fuck herself.
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On the issue of indigenous society, just before the royal entrance of the NGOs, a committee consisting of individuals who work in the Ministry of Home Affairs plus retired army personnel, police officials and all sorts of foot soldiers have been endorsing or campaigning for the inclusion of Meiteis into the Scheduled Tribe category just because of freebies provided under the Constitution of India. If you give them a bottle of poison for free, they will consume it at once because, of course, it’s given for free. And who are the messiah that will grant us all these wishes—the Union government that considers us as its favourite people because we are adorable. Not!
The least said the better for their rationales on why the Meiteis should be considered an ST; or else they would become the most reasonable group after the NGOs to exist in this universe. Blessed be the creators who bestow our land with countless whores and man-whores!
In the background I’m also aware of the opposing views especially those articulated by organisations based in the Manipur hills; but this is not about those contestations, which will require a separate room for talking.
Coming back, the ST demand committee assumes their doing is for our collective betterment while in reality they are working in just the opposite direction. What’s more, it is creating more confusion—even in the ILP domain where this committee is further assuming to help is only obliterating the legitimacy of the demand by messing all the things up.
It would not be a surprise if New Delhi the Messiah retort that they should go home and clean up their local mess first. Indeed the mess is all blatant—remember, last month, the hapless senior citizen, who was called in to a civil society organisation or a CSO’s office for clarification over a remark that an ST status is essential for getting the ILP system.
Incidentally, are there some protocols for NGOs and CSOs to call in people who are against their politics? In our hometown, people oblige because there is always a fear psychosis. It is a ritual too and we have a popular culture of ‘calling to the hills’. Ask any Manipuri. You also never know who will hurl a grenade or gift you live rounds of bullets as a murder attempt or just as a warning for ignoring the self-styled masters’ commands. It is cute when their kind of NGO and CSO leaders based outside the province try to follow suit. Cuteness overloaded, this last kind of people should be eating human excrement instead of indulging in these antics.
Our requirement: Bandmasters or real leaders?
In the same area, let’s see the leadership issue in Manipur. Last month, one civil society organisation or CSO’s leader declared that we can do ‘anything’, literally everything without restraint, as a part of the ILP campaign. Who on earth would you expect that kind of statement from a leader? Then, see our political leaders ever helping us dive deeper into an abyss of nothingness. It is under such conditions that NGO leaders are preaching about save-the-universe missions. They might think they are different but apparently not. We suffer from a leadership deficit and it only adds insult to the wounds when self-styled leaders declare about representing us.
So what is the role of the NGOs in this context? As we can see, people are not soliciting and prostituting here but trying to put things into perspective. So it will do us a world of good if we are organised as a community and not, NEVER, in the sense of initiating a movement on indigenous societies just because we are an NGO or we have been working on totally unrelated fields, say, manufacturing candles or plastic flowers, for more than 500 years. Otherwise that will be like a non-existing manager of Milestone Weather Forecasting Stone taking interest in the Burmese jades because they have ‘stone’ in common—totally unrelated, illogical and not even worth a consideration.
It will also do us a world of good if we acquire a certain sense of shame and self-criticism. Alas! But then the NGOs should not worry. I give my word that one blogger’s rant would never cost them a project, except the one on indigenous issues. Sorry for the interruption but as Gil Scott-Heron would sing: ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised’ or as I would believe: The Revolution Will Not Be Militarised.