The role of intellectuals of Manipur

By Thoudam Manihar Singh

At present there appears to be a total confusion of what is happening in our State “Manipur”. The future of Manipur is in the hands of our politicians. There are some politicians who engage in politics for personal gains. But, we need a political leader of distinguished ability and a statesman who is skilled in Government affairs. Moreover, we require the patriotic intellectuals of our State to get together and think seriously about the future and welfare of our State to suggest ideas for progress, leaving aside the nature of finding fault of idiots and ignorant people. Let us learn to forgive and forget. Dr Kamal says “Ishwar leiribamaktada karigi meena meebu laman khumgadage, ngakpiyu ngakpibaga mannaba athoiba dharma ama leitrabani”.
Some say that India is shining. But the ancient status of Manipur had fallen into ruin. Everybody desires status and security. We may point to the poverty and unemployment among our youths, the price rise with the vision of Sixth Pay Commission, acute shortage of water for cultivation and regularly irregularity of electricity. Free and compulsory education, under Article 21-A of the Constitution is simply a rumour which cannot be taken as an evidence in many villages of Manipur, without establishing Government Primary Schools for the poor children, like a mirage in the desert, but with mushrooming of private and mission schools which the poor parents cannot afford. Even though it is under the provisions of Directive Principles and other provisions, in the Government Policy the long arm of justice cannot reach to the poor children who are the pillars of the nation.
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Joymoti : The first radical film of India

Joymoti : The first radical talkie of India
An article by Altaf Mazid

In the history of Indian cinema are a few filmmakers who, by virtue of their creative ability, intense labour and extraordinary perseverance, have come to be considered genius. D G Phalke, V Shantaram, Pramathes Barua, Himansu Roy, Ritwik Ghatak, Satyajit Ray are some such figures. Traveling through the little roads of Assam, we find another member of that pantheon: Jyotiprasad Agarwalla (1903-51), one of the greatest cultural figures to have been produced by the state. He made only two films, far less than other filmmakers, yet with his first film alone he could be distinguished as a radical auteur of all India. Nevertheless, he is little known.

Joymoti, released in 1935, added a new chapter in the chronicles of Indian cinema, primarily in the discourse of realism. Further, Jyotiprasad was the only political filmmaker of pre-independent India, though there were many in post-independent India, starting with Ritwik Ghatak. Above all else, Joymoti is a nationalist film in its attempts to create a cultural world using the elements of Assamese society. It is the only work of its kind of that period.
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Hill Tribes Of Manipur – A Question Of Integrity: an article by Dr. Tualchin Neihsial

By Dr. Tualchin Neihsial

THE IDEA OF INTEGRITY of the Manipur hills and plain is not a novel concept. It was there in the past and inspite of religious, cultural and political differences, the people of Manipur somehow had lived together under one political head. However, this issue comes up now and then and is a burning probe today, thus exposing the validity of this very unity.

There is always a tendency, thought quite natural to shift the blame to the former administrators- indigenous or foreign and ignoring the possible responsibility of the present society which also plays a vital role. Yet, one cannot but, do so, as today’s society was built on the yesteryears. Thus, to understand the present problems, the study of the past is essential so as to bring about a positive solution, to the present day problems. It is something like diagnosing the disease of a person so that remedies can be taken.

The distinction between the tribesmen and the plainsmen was already there even before the British. The contrast between the Vaishnavite Manipuris and the freedom loving tribesmen of the hills was particularly glaring. The boundaries of the state did not enclose a cultural unit but were rather a measure of the limit to which the Darbar was in the past able affectively to extract tribute from the hill tribes. The hill tribesmen were obviously made a source of profit and till 1891 as much tributes as possible was extracted from the hills while not a single rupee was spent for their benefit. They were excluded from the direct rule of the Rajas.

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Media Persons In Northeast India :Living On The Edge

Media Persons In Northeast India : Living On The Edge
By Nava Thakuria

Media persons in Assam and Northeast India have to perform their deities under tremendous work load but with low return in terms of salary and other legitimate facilities. The trouble torn region has witnessed a media boom in the last decade, but the media persons including the journalists continued to be the victim of exploitation by their respective employers. Many times, the low patronage from the management put the journalists in most vulnerable situation.

In fact, working in the insurgency stricken- region is becoming increasingly dangerous for the journalists. The ongoing insurgency and unrest among the youth of this region, where over 30 armed outfits had been fighting New Delhi for various demands varying from sovereignty to self rule, put tremendous challenges to the working journalists based in the region. They are subjected to numerous threats from insurgents, surrendered militants and even the anti-insurgent security personnel time to time. The statistics reveal that the trouble torn region, surrounded by Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, Burma and Bangladesh has lost over 20 dedicated editor-journalists in last two decades. And surprisingly, not a single perpetuator had been punished till date.

The bygone year witnessed two assassinations of reporters in a single month.. The brutal murders of a Manipur based scribe, Konsam Rishikanta on November 17 in Imphal and an Assamese reporter, Jagajit Saikia by miscreants in Kokrajhar on November 22 came as shocking news for the media fraternity of the region. Condemnations were poured from various international organizations like Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters sans Frontiers, International Federation of Journalists with Editors Guild of India and other Northeast based media persons organizations.

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Media Persons In Northeast India :Living On The Edge

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Receiving Communities: The Encounter with Modernity, an article by Bhagat Oinam

Receiving Communities: The Encounter with Modernity, an article by Bhagat Oinam posted at Northeasterner and Eastern Quarterly (Vol 3 Issue II), A Journal by Manipur Research Forum.

Bhagat Oinam is Associate Professor at the Centre for Philosophy, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi.

Bhagat Oinam wrote as:

The problem of the receiving communities has been of handling the ‘bundles of contradictions’ brought by colonialism. The doctored version of modernity in the package of ‘colonial development’ has created exclusivist tendencies among the receiving communities, particularly that of the Northeast India.

Dialogue in our time depicts a tale of negotiation (for control of space) in disguise. The assumption that participants in a dialogue are ‘equal partners’ seems to be a misnomer since dialogue mostly turns out to be between unequals. Tale of dialogue between modernity and tradition precisely falls within this category. In the face of such a projected dialogue, what is generally missed out is the inseparable nature of these two phenomena. The space that the two occupy within the receiving communities is historically twined that cannot be displaced, yet are constantly in surge with contest and adaptation. With the world turning global, projection of ‘tradition’ in purity is an illusion, so is an unchanging modernity having an essence.

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