Archive for Zou

An interaction with worthy purpose

By Donn Morgan Kipgen

When on the 22nd day of October, 2007, a IGAR(S), many interesting and sensitive matters were brought up. That unpre-cedented interaction-cum-luncheon was attended by a dozen of Media boys and a same number of AR Commandants, including the CO of the 22nd Maratha LI, with Maj.Gen. B.K. Chengappa, Brig. Kayastha and Col. Pant at the dais, along with Col. Gen. Staff officer HQ IGAR(S), Col S Gupta. It was an open debate with volleys of questions, answers and swift retorts targeted upon alleged harassments and personal high- handedness upon the State’s news reporters, journalists, etc., by young Army/AR-Officers and Jawans. It was more than an AR-Media interaction since many sensitive issues were covered and discussed upon like never before . The alleged high-handedness of AR personnel was sincerely clarified, well-reasoned ad acknowledged by Gen Chengappa by “apologising” on behalf HQ IGAR(S) if they are really true as reported which has never been said or done before by any general officer of Combat Command.

He promised to see to it that such things are taken care of and asked the media persons to report any atrocities seen to be committed by his officers and all other ranks. He was brutally frank and sincere in saying that the mental outlook, IQ and reasoning of some of his officer and jawans need to be noted since all human beings have different mental aptitudes and personalities. Well, blindly shielding and protecting the wrong doings of any armed forces unit regularly are disadvantage course of action and even against the law of nature.

The MPHQ must have to address this controversial problem openly so that they would get much better support from the general public and the media boys. It is all about professional and diplomatical game plan. Yes, indeed, the action of some officers or jawans does not reflect the overall image or standard procedure of the whole establishment. Apart from the harassed citizens, the media boys have to prepare or accept the mandatory professional hazards like war-correspondents. There is no gain without pain. Undesirable circumstances can be avoided by adhering bravely to the strict media ethics and professional responsibilities.

When it comes to news coverage and news reporting, personal interest and loyalty have to be kept strictly personal – and that also apply to all armed forces personnel. Mental toughness, common sense, reasoning, ethics and “mind reading” are the best answers to many problems. There is no room to fool around in critical situations in CI and Counter-Terrorist (CT) Ops for any party concerned. It pays to go easy and patient to stay out of the harm’s way. In CI/CT Ops, there is no need to take chance for better ringside or onsight view before the highly charged smoke clears out. Once it happened, it always stay happened. You definitely won’t expect sweets and handshakes in any ambush or gunbattle site be them from the police, Military and even UG Militants. The IGAR(S), Gen. Chengappa, did frankly pointed out as to why all security forces personnel went on rampage or high-handed mode aftermath a bloody ambush and encounters. He asked the Media boys to take into account the justifiable hostile mood of officers and jawans whose colleagues were either shot dead or mortally wounded right in front of their own eyes while on routine duties. One may also add the killings of SF personnel while shopping or marketing in the civvies on off-duty period. Moreover, even ordinary citizens have been repeatedly shot dead by UG militants, “open” execution by UG militants are sometimes as good as extra-judicial killings and summary executions without trails by Peers of Jury as required on humanitarian ground. Even most sections of the general public just could not accept any type of socio-political crimes and acted as civil police cum court of the law. We have seen countless number of destruction of houses, public properties and beatings by irates public whenever there is a brutal rape case or murder case committed by local citizen(s). They also went on rampage on their own ‘goodwill’.

One important point was that of the plights and sorrows of family members and relatives of all armed forces personnel killed in action and that of civilians killed by UG militants. All the unfortunate victims of CI/CT Ops have had families to feed, children to raise, lovers to dream etc like all UG militants killed in action. So, it’s all about the two sides of every coin. Another worthy subject matter has been that of quick bails and early releases of hardcore UG militants by the police and lawyers through the Court of Law which hampered CI/CT Ops.

With the right amount of hefty bundles of banknotes, lawyers and police IOs exploited the various loopholes of the existing law. Many hardcore militants are bailed out or released out of jail in quick time period only to be ‘recirculated’ into wrong side of the ‘mainstream’ to re-operate with more authorities and powers against the very system which literally bailed them out of trouble to be a free man. Actually, these loopholes were ‘made’ so as to protect the poor, helpless and innocent citizens from the rich, literate, powerful and criminal-minded citizens. Otherwise, without solid physical evidences, eye-witness testimonies etc any innocent citizen could be framed and sent to jail for life imprisonment, or even to the hangman’s noose. However, nowadays, this legal protection for unarmed individual citizen (a suspect of a crime) has been wantonly exploited and abused by both UG militants and high-class criminals with money power.

Well, there’s nothing much to do when a law is being fully honoured by the court of law as and when injustice is justified by lawyers as permitted. In order to make an arrest or conduct raids, lots of time, plannings, resources, lives, limbs, etc were lost and, hence, the sheer disappointments of the armed forces when their prize catches are recirculated freely in quick time to make their jobs harder and harder. But, then, they are all trained and paid for this disappointing job. The show must go on.

Source: The Sangai Express


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Search for human morality

By : Oken Jeet Sandham/IFP

Religion wants to convert the human mind into a static state because that which is static is easily prone to exploitation. Yet this inertness is the very antithesis of the mind’s characteristics. A knotty problem! The founders of religions wanted human beings to shun their dynamic nature and out of fear or illusion, to unquestioningly accept certain specified ideas as the infallible truth. To prevent their shallow knowledge being exposed some so-called religious teachers avoided answering embarrassing questions by pretending to observe silence. This gets around all the fuss about answering questions and even gives the pretender the credit of appearing learned. In order to stifle the inquiring nature of the human mind, some of these charlatans go so far as to say that an inquisitive nature is very bad. So-called religious books seldom discuss such a thing as tolerance of other people’s religious beliefs. I don’t say that one should accept whatever is said by somebody, but surely non-acceptance and intolerance are not the same thing. Why this mania for refuting other people’s views anyway? Diverse opinions from philosophical books can be discussed without being disrespectful, and the philosophical and psychological loopholes of the arguments may be pointed out. But the attempt to cast aspersions on others is not indicative of high-mindedness. In the so-called books of religion there is a greater tendency to refute other people’s religious doctrines than to propagate one’s own ideas. Seeing all these machinations, genuine theologists and theosophists cannot hold religion in high esteem. People of wisdom say, that is, even if a child says something logical, it should be accepted, and even if the lotus-born Brahma (the mythological creator of the universe), says something illogical, it should be rejected like a straw. That is, it is not desirable to accept anything just because it is written in the scriptures, because if illogical sayings are accepted and acted upon, it results in the decline of Dharma. The derivative meaning of the word “Niiti” or morality is that which has in it the principle of leading. It is the starting point on the earth of spiritual practice, which is the persistent effort to establish communion with the Supreme Entity. But this is not the only significance of morality. Morality is endowed with the distinct faculty of leading human beings towards perfection. If morality fails to provide human beings with sufficient provision to move towards perfection, then it does not deserve to be called morality. Because morality must have an inspirational quality, it cannot afford to loose its dynamic nature by limiting itself to a specific time, place and person. Morality is thus a living force, the practice of which is capable of establishing human beings in supreme subtlety, in Supreme Cognition, through the medium of all-pervasive contemplation. However, there is a predetermined limit to the extent to which morality can lead human beings along the path of perfection. If morality can inspire people to reach that limit, then it is worthy of the name. Morality is not the dreamy fantasy of the idealist nor is it the means of fulfilling the mundane needs of the materialist. Rather it gives people the possibility of merging their atheistic objectivity into supra-mundane subjectivity. Human beings will have to start the habit of imbibing the spirit of morality from the very moment that the seed of activity is sewn in them. By activity I mean social activity. Judged in this light a child’s mind is the best receptacle for morality. But who will impart those moral training or education? Parents find fault with the teachers and the teachers in their turn argue that they cannot teach an individual child in a crowd of two or three hundred children. Although it is true that most parents are either uneducated or semi-educated, and it is not unjustifiable to expect that the teachers are well educated, yet it not proper to leave the responsibility for a child’s moral education on the teachers’ shoulders alone. Increasing the numbers of teachers in educational institutions may partially solve the problem of moral education, but the key to the solution lies with the parents themselves. Where parents are unfit to shoulder this responsibility, the teachers and well-wishers of society will have to come forward to demonstrate their greater sense of responsibility. Remember, when this morality, on which the very existence of humanity is based, leads human beings to the fullest expression of their finer human qualities, then alone is its practical value fully realized.

The Imphal Free Press

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Manipur Burning Topic | Noose tightening on Ibobi govt? Dissidents meet Sonia; claim support of 18; Debendra to lead | Delhi agog with resignation new

By : A Staff Reporter

IMPHAL, Nov 9: If the 15 Congress MLAs now camping at an undisclosed location in New Delhi are to be believed, the noose around chief minister Okram Ibobi is tightening.

The 15 called on the All India Congress Committee, AICC, president, Sonia Gandhi today to extend their Diwali greeting, and according to the newly appointed spokesperson of the group, Yengkhom Surchandra who spoke to IFP today, the AICC president on her own accord assured them she has read their memorandum and that she would be calling them for a more detailed discussion in a day or two.

He said the rebel MLAs have come to a consensus on senior party leader, Th Debendra, to lead them in the next government if they manage to topple Ibobi.

They would however accept anybody else the party high command wants, he said.

Earlier, the dissidents had submitted a memorandum to the Congress high command complaining of an alleged total breakdown of law and order in the state and of rampant corrupt practices of the chief minister and the coterie surrounding him.

The 15 signatories of the memorandum included two ministers from the Ibobi government, namely Y Erabot and DD Thaisii.

Surchandra said the support of three more, Gaikhangam, Allauddin and Debendra being a foregone conclusion, those against the continuance of Ibobi’s leadership totalled 18 so far, but indicated there were more feelers coming in, although he declined naming where these feelers were coming from.

Reliable sources in New Delhi said that the dissidents would also be parading their number before the AICC secretary in charge of Manipur, Prithvi Raj Chauhan soon.

If the AICC gives the go ahead, they would then demonstrate their number to the Governor, SS Sidhu. The latter is currently in Chandigarh to celebrate Diwali with his family and is scheduled to return shortly thereafter.

It is also learnt that the dissidents had cited another memorandum submitted to the Central leaders by a group of elders from the state, complaining of what they said was a total lack of initiative by the government to bring the law and order situation under its control, and of unprecedented official corruption of the Ibobi government.

The strongest indictment Ibobi received was for the repeated hauls of militants along with weapons and incriminating documents from the quarters of MLAs in the ministerial colony of Babupara where the chief minister’s own bungalow office is located, and for not taking any adequate action on the matter.

He was also rapped for alleged corrupt practices and for allegedly amassing wealth by siphoning off developmental funds through such practices.

Meanwhile, there were flutters in the state in the afternoon following a report that two ministers had resigned from the Ibobi cabinet. Other reports soon followed claiming that the number of ministers who resigned was actually five.

These however proved to be rumours, although not totally unfounded as there are two ministers who had signed the complaint against Ibobi’s leadership, and three more, including the MPCC president, Gaikhangam and the dissident leader, Debendra whose loyalties are today an open book.

Source: The Imphal Free Press


Delhi agog with resignation news

New Delhi, Nov 9 (Agencies) : The month-old turmoil over the demand to dismiss the Manipur Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh has intensified as the number of Cabinet Ministers, who have resigned from the State Government, has reached five. According to Manipur Congress party sources, the dissident group is now bent upon removing the Chief Minister as he has failed to improve the State’s law and order situation. Extortion, killing and bomb blasts have became the order of the day and the Chief Minister is watching these developments as a mere spectator, they said.

On the other hand, Chief Minister O Ibobi has flatly rejected the news report filed from Delhi that five Cabinet Ministers have resigned from the SPF Government. He clarified that no Minister has resigned from the Ministry. On being contacted, the Chief Minister maintained that despite the political unrest prevailing within the Congress party, no Minister from the SPF Government has tendered his resignation so far.

Regarding the report that two rebel Cabinet Ministers called on Prithiviraj Chauhan yesterday, Ibobi denied any knowledge about the meeting.

When The Sangai Express contacted FCS Minister Y Erabot who returned to Imphal from Delhi today he refused to make any comment but observed, “State media is more mature than National media”.

Source: The Sangai Express

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Wishing You All………….

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Faith and worship of Koireng people

By Pr Kungsong Wanbe

The Koirengs are followers of a well set traditional religion which is a system of worship of the Supreme God called by them as Pathian. The Koirengs’ attitude towards God is that while the Supreme God or Pathian is worshipped on all occasions, small gods and evil spirits representing different form of nature are to be propitiated. The mode of worship of God is through a series of sacrifice, rites and ceremonies which may be done either by an individual or by the community to get God’s blessings.

The concept of Supreme God whom the Koirengs call Pathian is very clear and well understood. The Pathian is the supreme creator of the universe; the sun, the moon, the earth, the stars, all the living creatures on earth including human beings and other natural and animal kingdoms. He is the benefactor of mankind, and is the dispenser of the destiny of men. Pathian is worshipped by simple prayer or through rites, ceremonies or sacrifices which may range from mere offering of simple water to sacrifice of mithun. These sacrifices are the mode of worship of Pathian. He is worshipped during the festivals for health and prosperity of the village, for good harvest, for protection from pests, pestilence and epidemics. The Pathian does not have any image. The Koirengs have a belief in the village presiding deities. Every village has a presiding deity who is the protector of the village. Thus, it is found, the Koirengs worship the nearby Meitei deities. For example, the Koireng villages which are in the eastern face of Koubru mountain worship Koubru as their presiding deity. Likewise, it is claimed that god Thangjing, the presiding deity of Moirang in Manipur valley was originally a Koireng God when the Koirengs were settling at Thangjing hills in the south-west Manipur hills. Even today, God Thang-jing is referred to as Koireng (Koren) lai, the God of the Koireng/Koren.

The next important deity is the Inpathian, a household God (In means house, Pathian means God). The Inpathian is worshipped in every household for the welfare of the members of the family, for good harvest and for protection from disease. Inpathian is also worshipped daily by foun-ding the Chapikung post inside the house without any offering. Sometimes, offering of animals like pig is also made when the need arises. The process of worship of Inpathian by animal sacrifice is called “In rei” (In means house, rei means duty or worship). There is also a belief in the class of spirits known as Khopu Khoter who are inclined to do harm to men. They are evil spirits who try to take advantage of a weak moment in the life of a man. The evil spirits are also given offerings and sacrifices to propitiate them not to create disturbances.

There is also a belief of spirit possessed trees and holes called Thing-cho and Khur-cho (Thing means tree and cho means possessed; Khur means hole and cho means possessed). To heal the sickness of such tree or hole spirit possessed person, the priest of the village with some companions would go to the place either of the tree or the hole to sacrifice a cock to the Supreme God or Pathian. After the sacrifice is made, they would root out the tree and burned it in the fire and they would strike iron rod to the hole. With this ceremony the sick person is healed. The Koirengs, sometimes, sacrifice a goat to pay obeisance to God in a special occasion. The sacrifice of a goat or mithun is the most special and final worship to the supreme God or Pathian.

Lastly but not the least, there are thirteen ceremonies of the Koirengs in a year to worship the Supreme God. The elaboration of the ceremonies are not mentioned in this paper. Let us look one by one.


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End the vision 2020

By Aram Pamei

A Vision of our ancestors, that has brought us this far. The people vision together, with changing times the Vision adapts, resists, modifies, but it remains with the people. It leads them to the future but is never devoid of the past but progresses from them. They are sacred and life in itself, and sustains through the forces that impinges on to them. It is collective and the people moves with it.

But in our time, our vision is being written and directed, not by the people themselves but people from outside, those powerful forces that have been haunting us all these while. It is for all of us to ask, should we leave our future to be envisioned to a few authors who are not even known to us. Has the life force that dwelt within us disappeared beyond recall?

The first thing that will strike any reader of this Vision 2020 document is the list of authorial figures looming (and rather lurking) large all over. There are 6 authors with an additional 6 research associates. Out of 6 authors only one seem to be from Assam, while the rest from outside the region. All the 6 research associates too are from outside the region.

This is an insult, and is clearly reflected in the introduction where they mentioned that the region (and hence its people) are backward and hence cannot think or vision for themselves. This is an insult to our ancestors, our traditional institutions, our revolutionaries, our academics and the people as a whole.

NEC and MDONER needs to explain to the people of NE why our Vision has been handed to a few people from outside the region. A Vision – if at all, needs to be laid down in writing – has to be written and agreed by all communities inhabiting the region. Few consultants or authors have no right whatsoever to write a Vision for the peoples of North East.

Since the British and then with India, the peoples of NE have suffered. Our ‘borders’ were nationalized, our decades of relation with our own people now across the border are de-linked, the cultural and economic ties were cut off. Our political institutions were not even respected. What kind of vision are we now supposed to adopt? The Vision document never ever mentions what has been destroyed and the process of its destruction? Never ever makes an effort to truly talk about the aspirations, the struggles, sacrifices and the visions that accompany them.

Not only that the document is also historically wrong in blaming the region’s remoteness/partition from mainland India; it is also not historically or politically correct to fully blame the partition as the reason for the situation in North East.

While traditional trade routes might have been closed with Bangladesh there are more borders with Tibet, Bhutan and Burma where close linkages were also closed that suffocates the NE. In other words, partition was not the prime cause of what killed NE but more primarily the annexation of NE that has resulted in suffocating the region.

It is important for a document of such importance to acknowledge what actually happened and is happening or else this document has no value whatsoever.

In the preface, it is mentioned that the NE is surrounded by ‘intimidating and unsympathetic environment’. We take this as a problematic and insensitive statement. Is it not possible to reverse the gaze of the dominant and ask whether Delhi or Punjab is surrounded by the same kind of environment? And does it also mean that India is a great benevolent country and that the rest are ‘intimidating and unsympathetic environment’, And if they are ‘intimidating and unsympathetic environment’ to India, the question is why did it so happen? Has it got nothing to do with the way India behaves with its own “people” and neighbours in the region?

The document keeps harping on the region as ‘backward’. Backward to whom and what is never mentioned? What is the yardstick of Backwardness? And who defines it? This has been the key argument from the past used to justify building roads and other infrastructure and bring private investments, and here too the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, is still stuck in this very logic which has no basis whatsoever.

It seem that this Institute lacks the Indigenous Peoples visions that is now well recognized as capable of not only conversing and protecting the forest, the water and the land, but even revitalizing and regenerating.

The document is clear on what it intends to do. Push it down through our throat in the names of so called consultations and drown our region under ‘development’ defined in their terms. The time is ripe to tell them – enough, you cannot do this any more, hands off our land.


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Political corruption as crime: A retrospection

By Thangkholun Haokip

In this Land of ours while a helpless poor person who commits a theft to feed his hungry children is promptly put behind bars with third-rated (neglected) citizens while those who plunder the country (looting the people) goes about as Honourable citizens basking in unwarranted glory… merely because they happen to be political bigwigs.

Different scholars may have pointed out different causes of political corruption. But my contention here is that the main factor is the emergence of political elite who believe in self-oriented rather than nation-oriented programmes and policies.

The question is what type of acts of politicians can be called corrupt? Though the term corruption has wide connotations but the following patterns of behaviour can be described as corrupt within the provisions of law: (i) acceptance of gratification as reward for work done in an official capacity. e.g. – granting licence, assigning a project etc. (ii) obtaining any object (car, house, fridge etc) or pecuniary advantage illegally, (iii) fraudulent misappropriation of public money/property (iv) being in possession of financial resources, or property disproportionate to one’s known sources of income, (v) misuse or abuse of official position, (vi) borrowing money for purchasing a costly article from someone with whom one has official dealings, (vii) accepting gifts from persons, and (viii) to use unfair or foul means to get into power and get elected, depriving the people’s voting rights by forfeiting the democratic norms is what matter-most from where corruption originated. “Because corruption is the off-shoot of corrupt and dishonest politicians”.

It would be interesting to refer to some major political scandals in thousands of crores of rupees involving top-politicians a few decades back in the Union Government. Mostly it is the Chief Ministers, Central and State Ministers, and leaders of political parties who are reported to be involved in the scams. But hardly anything has been done to uncover, trace, apprehend, prosecute and punish the culprits, on the plea of lack of evidence.

Some of the notorious scandals involving political corruption pertaining to years 1985 and 1996 such as Bofors Pay-off scandals, Hawala scandals and the Animal Husbandry or Fodder scams.

The Bofors Pay-off Scandals: It was in the year 1987 in which a total amount of Rs. 1,750 crores involved in the purchase of guns from the Swedish firm for the armed forces. It was alleged that a sum of Rs. 64 crores had been paid as kickbacks, though one estimate puts the figure at Rs. 160 crores, and another estimates it as high a figure as Rs. 204 crores. High ranking politicians, including the then Prime Minister were alleged to be involved in the scandal. A Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) was appointed in 1987 to find out the nexus between politicians and recipients of kickbacks. It submitted its report in April 1988 that Bofors had not used any middlemen to win the contract, nor had it paid any bribes. But a South Indian newspaper (The Hindu) pointing out the hollowness of these conclusions made many disclosures of commission paid to middlemen including politicians.

Following the publication of these documents an enquiry was ordered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Directorate of Enforcement. However, no action had been taken against anybody till date.

The Hawala Scandal: This scam which surfaced in 1991 not only rocked political circle but also the whole country.

— to be contd


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