IT HAPPENS ONLY IN INDIA,
GREAT JOB MR. PARMAR
it is good to eat as many as vegetables and fruits (totally vegetarian), but my aurvedic doctor asked me to stop eating every...
RECENTLY, I was in Mao, the first town across the Manipur
border - and a picturesque hill village south of Kohima in
Nagaland. At the highway hotel we were told that the last bus
had just left, and now there was no way of getting to Imphal
till the day after.
Imphal Must be the only capital city in the Country having
power cuts for 12-18 hours a day, and a mismanaged water
supply System. Men bending under the weight of two
makeshift buckets on a pole and walking down to sell water in
the main market are a common sight.
With the city virtually under siege (truck operators
refused to ply unless the underground group that controlled
the highway, withdrew their 'enhanced' tax collection rates.
Earlier, they were paying a levy of Rs 5,000 per truck, but then,
the Nationalist Social Council of Nagaland or NSCN had raised
the ante to between Rs 20,000-50,000 per truck), the price of
essential commodities had skyrocketed. Petrol retailed for
Rs 50 a litre, salt for Rs 7 per kg and many items of daily
consumption were just not available.
The only thing that Imphal seemed to have in profusion
was govern mental organisations and the Army, both unable to
deal with the root causes of tension, which includes cold-blooded murder of civilians by the Central Reserve Police
Force (CRPF) and extortions and onslaughts by underground
activists. The weeding out of 'tribal looking, northeastern'
faces for interrogation and punishment by the CRPF and niggardly compensation by the government to the bereaved had
vicious repercussions all over the state.
The long and bloody Koki-Naga conflict in the state is a
hopeless imbroglio. The two tribes are not traditional enemies, but now (as one Meitei said) if one is around, the other
chooses to stay away - no Matter whether they studied
together, or were friends once. Both are Christians and that
too, Baptists. But a leading Kuki Baptist priest recounted a
shocking incident: there was a big peace rally and a large meeting of all the church leaders where everybody was represented
- Kukis, Nagas, even underground activists - and a wonderful 'peace agreement' was signed. The
same night, two Naga villages and
The impasse in two Kuki villages were torched.
Manipur, "Now, all that is left for us to do is to
pray and fast for peace," said the
With the aggressive stand of Naga
represents the nationalism demanding a 'Greater
festering Nagaland' acquiring support from
within and outside, many smaller
unrest in the 'neutral' tribes - Moyangs, Anals
and Lamkangs - now call them
entire selves Nagas, obviously to identify
themselves with the power group,
Northeast and to rid themselves of the fear of
needs a losing their lands. But the Kukis are
likely to loose out on this, as they try
caring to move down to the plains and the
foothills to an already well-settled
administrative and dense population.
The Kukis and Nagas are not only
policy, not fighting for controlling the hills, but
bullets and also a key town on the India-
Myanmar border - Moreh. Moreh
raids is the region's melting pot of capitalism, with rich pickings from international trade, both legal and illegal.
The Isak Swu faction of the NSCN is particularly keen on controlling this business centre, which is also suspected to be an
international drug trade route which is thought to finance the
Piecing together local stories, what emerges is that a massive expansion of state-sponsored higher education in the
rnid-'70s had created a large chunk of educated persons who
had no opportunities to channelise their efficiency- Despite
being a literate people, Manipuris are very 'class' conscious
about small employments. At the same time, their's is a conservative society; faced with this dilemma, the restive youths
took to the underground movement.
Manipur is sitting on yet another time bomb - the
deadly drug vortex and the AIDS virus. Interestingly, the NSCN is
against drug and alcohol abuse and immoral social conduct.
Recently, a Meitei girl who had acted in a blue film was shot in
her thigh, and then excommunicated (she got away lightly
because, according to the NSCN she "confessed and was repentant"). However, the bullet-riddled bodies of the men who
made the film were found later. In such a situation, Army
action would only drive the final nail in the coffin of national
integration in Manipur. More money would fatten a corrupt
upper crust. What is needed is an environment in which the
people avail of the fruits of employment and industry, and sort
things out for themselves.