Thursday, February 02, 2006

Did you Know? Sad But True!!!

Manipur Burning Dangerously:


Everybody in the country knows that terrorism takes the heaviest toll of human life in Jammu and Kashmir. But not many outside the north-east region may be aware that the second in this dubious list is the tiny state of Manipur that occupies a little over 22,000 sq km. While Jammu and Kashmir accounts for over 1000 deaths in a year, the figure in Manipur is less than 400. It is, however, a high casualty rate for a state with a population of about 2.5 million.

Though acts of insurgency are common to almost all the ‘seven sisters’ of the north- east, over 46 percent of insurgency-related deaths in the region are reported from Manipur alone. The state has just 6.3 percent of the total population of the north-east and occupies 8.52 percent of the land mass of the region. What is alarming is that 72 percent of the fatalities in the security forces operating in the region are reported from Manipur. Clearly, a dangerous place from the security point of view. [ From asian tribune]

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11 Comments:

Anonymous Alka said...

i don't know why Indian Government give them step motherly treatment. Probably they will wake up only when they themselves will be targetted, instead of common people.

2/2/06 1:29 PM  
Blogger Khizzy said...

i was here but had nothing intelligent to say!
:)

2/2/06 4:07 PM  
Anonymous cool_girl said...

We do read about the situation in India's NE, but there seems to be no solution. As far as Alka's comments on the stepmotherly treatment goes, I really don't know what else the government can do. Will pulling out the Army help? Look at what happened in Assam recently, the fight between two tribes- the army did not figure in there. I am as much against draconian laws as anyone else, but look at the ground situation- the Army leaves, and the fight never ends. Please do not think this is a tirade against the NE, just some thoughts..and what about burning down of libraries and legislative assembly; as well as power stations as happened during the Manorama episode. The army or central government was not responsible for that. What about the lynching of Bihari laborers in the mid 80s. I agree the government needs to do something, but so must the people, after all God helps those...you know. Insurgency cannot survive without a mass base, otherwise all Indian state would have had separatist movements..especially non North Indian states.

2/2/06 5:21 PM  
Blogger anthony said...

@ Alka: there is much more than meets the eye least of all, this blog,. Will write you sometime.

@ Cool_girl:

Will pulling out the Army help?
Yes, and in a lot of ways.
Why must the military play a civil role? Are the police dead?

Militancy is best curved by the Local police as shown by Punjab.
Now don't bring in the tribal wars.. It is a different story. Is the war ignited so that the presence of the army is justified?
Why did the tribal wars happen, with prolongues underdevelopment there is a huge scarcity of resources, which is what the tribals fight for, if not foer the divide and rule policy of the govt and caste politics some politicians.
Are you justifying the presence of the army and the TORTURE AND INJUSTICE That we faced with the burning down of legislative, not that I supported it. It was a byproduct of the whole gameplan.
even the lynching of the Biharis can be attributed to the the fact that there is an ingrained hate for the Non-mongoloids. You see, the army who are evil in the eyes of the people look just like them. Well it was just a point. Fighting for resource is the main cause. I just don't realise how you even think that asking for the removal of the army and AFSPA is too much.
And yes, we are also doing all that we can. We are also trying to help ourselves as much as we can. You said you also read, but what you read is a fraction of the tip of the ice berg. NEWS JUST DON'T COME OUT.

Please let me not gon on with a rant.
Don't just assume that it is the nmasses that have created the militants. It is the government and the Army. How did you think that the mass is helping them out? and then compare with non-north indian states.
Do you know that the citizens are more wary of the militants than the army.
That nobody willingly help them, except maybe in the villages, which have seen torture from the army. Now whose doing is the support then?

When a militant ask for money, it means you will die if you don't pay. and people do die and get kidnapped for not paying. DID YOU KNOW THAT? The army also know it. They just fucking don't do a thing about it. We are in between the barrel of guns and we hate the army MORE because they are suppose to helping US. Because they are on our side of the law.

Just because we look mongoloid, is it fair to assume that we are all militants, and therefore their enemies.. Isn't it RACISM?

Have you ever had a Gun pointed at you. It looked like the bulet might come out of the cold metal muzzle. Have you ever been Slapped around by a Low rank constable. They are suppose to be on our side right? The WHY?

The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act of 1958 (AFSPA) is one of the more draconian legislations that the Indian Parliament has passed in its 45 years of Parliamentary history. Under this Act, all security forces are given unrestricted and unaccounted power to carry out their operations, once an area is declared disturbed. Even a non-commissioned officer is granted the right to shoot to kill based on mere suspicion that it is necessary to do so in order to "maintain the public order".

Is it necessary?

Even if the mass don't give full support now it won't be long if the govt. don't listen now.

YOU ASK THAT THE PEOPLE SHOULD ALSO DO SOMETHING?

What do we do? tell me.

Do you know that killing a militant will never stop militancy? Kill Militancy, not militants. You kill one militant, you breed two more. You kill 1 civilian, you breed 100 militants. How long must the fight go on? Have the govt tried to listen?

I have much more to say, and I am not one to blame someone easily.
I know much needs to be done... I am only talking for the civilians. I don't want our civilians to be TREATED as second class citizens.

2/2/06 5:58 PM  
Anonymous cool_girl said...

Firstly, let me begin my rejoinder (s..t, I hate these political sounding words), I hope the comment about racism was not directed at all "mayangs". That is the very non racist Manipuri term for Indian mainlanders, right? I know a lot about the militancy, and extortion, and harassment faced by the people in NE, because I have a lot of Manipuri friends..Meitei, Naga, Kuki..you name them. So my intention is not to justify any harassment of the civilian population. Just to see if the problem can be sorted by looking at it differently.

* "Just because we look mongoloid, is it fair to assume that we are all militants, and therefore their enemies.. Isn't it RACISM?"
"even the lynching of the Biharis can be attributed to the the fact that there is an ingrained hate for the Non-mongoloids. You see, the army who are evil in the eyes of the people look just like them."

Just because a poor Bihari laborer looks like a North Indian armyman, he gets beaten up. What do you call that, if not racism.

* "Why must the military play a civil role? Are the police dead?"
My Manipuri friend is preparing for the MPSC boards. He is very keen to be an IPS officer, because it helps earn a huge income, and he can live in palatial bungalows. But the asking price of one seat in the MPSC is Rs. 10 lakh, which he says will take a little time to raise. The police, I take it, will have enough Manipuris (and few of the "hated" Indian mainlanders) to see to it that the state returns to normalcy. And yet, the seniormost officers, on their meagre salary, manage to live in palatial houses, and even give in to extortion demands. Who will clean up the mess then?
I am not justifying the army presence, or torture, or rape, which I have aways felt strongly against. But if the army leaves, and there is a corrupt beaureacracy and police, who is going to lift the state out of the morass? Any suggestions?

Someone has to be the devil's advocate, otherwise emotive issues are hard to resolve. Being a citizen of a country I am proud of, (and I am proud of and fond of every part of it, even the NE, believe it or not)I think one has to wade into the mud in order to find a solution.

*"Even if the mass don't give full support now it won't be long if the govt. don't listen now."

What else can the government do? The Armed Forces Act, I agree, should go. But will it solve the problem? The government pumps in millions of rupees into the NE every year, only to be siphoned off at both ends- DElhi as well as the recipient state. Corruption in Delhi is not a new thing, but the state bureacracy, constituting many Manipuris, should be able to see to it that the money is used for purposes apart from giving luxurios lifestyles to the civil servants and politicians of the state. The only jobs in NE are government jobs, what about private entepreneurship? It is not possible for the government to be everywhere, and provide jobs to everyone.

* "Have you ever had a Gun pointed at you. It looked like the bulet might come out of the cold metal muzzle. Have you ever been Slapped around by a Low rank constable. They are suppose to be on our side right?"

This is bad, I agree. But a low rank constable treats people like that in every part of the country. As a middle class person, I too would not dare go to a low rank constable with any problems. The half starved, ill clad, ill behaved constables are a blot on the police force in any part of the country.

I could carry on with the discussion, especially about the non North Indian states, the Maoist movement, and mass support for militants, but I suppose it will just mean getting into more arguments and counter arguments. SO I will leave it here for now, since I don't want people yawnig at the long post..Will take this up some other time perhaps..Just a last comment -Maybe people in the NE should stop feeling that all "Mayangs" are their enemy.

2/2/06 7:47 PM  
Anonymous Sanity Starved said...

I used to almost live every second days with the North-East group in my college. I have very close friends from Arunachal and Manipur.
Yes, I have heard these stories. Everyone had literally seen someone getting killed in front of them.

But one of the reasons I come is because I very sweet memories of them. Somehow everyone who came from there knew how to cook awesome food and we would forego the junior-senior relationship to make them cook yummy food for us. (It is really impressive to think that a 16 year old boy knows to cook!) Sometimes, after they came from vacation, the entire hostel used to go to greet them at the station, craving for good food, of course! :D

But, then there were times the bridge across the Brahmaputra in Assam would get blown up, and they couldn't go home for years. But they were too good to me, in spite of being a Bong - I really couldn't believe their stories when they once told me the stories of what Bongs have done in that region. It is very sweet in spite of so much :)

2/2/06 11:46 PM  
Anonymous anthony said...

@ Cool_girl:
Somehow this words seem to come out of a Manipuri, not because you used the word mayang, but the tone sounds very much like me 6-7 years back. I was actually writing a post in reply to your comment and some other comments I have faced in general.

It was my opinion, a long time back that the army is there because of the militants and vice versa. If that were so, then the vicious cycle never ends. And i don't think the army's presence is just to fight terrorism.

My disagreements is with targeting of the civilians.

RACISM is a word I use with care. It is much more sensitive at the moment with tensions amongs people there. I don't say there is no racism in manipur, and i am quite open about it and against it. But your argument seem to mean that because the common people of Manipur hate mayangs( if they do), it is OK for the Army to mistreat manipuris( thought you mentoned that you are against it).

And my only prayer is for the afore mentioned ACT to be removed. Have i ever asked for the govt to provide jobs? I am a bloody capitalist, if you may, and believe in wealth creation. But the govt might make the place suitable for Investments. Like a little more power than just a few hours a day? Like some roads which are navigable..

All my blame is not just the govt., but then I can only turn to the govt, can't I? as a proud citizen of the said country..

I know the militants are a Bigger bottleneck in the developments, but I can't ask them right?

Manipur is a small state, and just developing tourism would turaround the plight, why can't RAP be removed?

A low rank constable are like that everywhere, but if you give them the power to shoot at suspiction, imagine the fear we live with. As citizens of a free, democratic nation, is it fair to live in fear.

First free the common citizens of Fear and stop giving them second class treatments.

Did you mean that the army's presence is justified because Policemen are corrupt? I don't deny that they are corrupt, but they are made such by the system. Do you know the manipur police was one of the best police forces in India. Why the Manipur Rifles wear olive Green? And they became corrupt only after the army came in. Illogical it might seem, right? Non-sequiter.

Instead of giving more powers to the police, they were sidelined, and the army was sent in. They had no work, and with outdated weapons( they were not upgraded since the army were there anyway), they didn't want to fight. Corruption followed.

I have my reasons to ask for removal of the Army, and corruption is no reason to keep them. In that case there should be Military rule in th whole of India.

About the mayang part, i also want to see the day when we all live in peace and harmony.

And I guess you do know why people of manipur( only manipuris call them mayangs) think mayangs are enemies, which is unfortunate. You do know that it is a creation of the system. I don't know if people of NE always hated "mainland Indians."

The enemity or hate wasn't extended by us. It was only a reaction. If you argue by saying that because people of the NE think the Indians are enemies, they must be kept under the Army with Draconian Laws then it is sad.

Somehow I think, there are many people like you in the govt., which is sad.


I keep saying that manipur is a little India with its own set of casteism and corruption and diversity.

How did you think that a corrupt bureaucracy will replace the Army. And no, the army is not going to leave behind manipur under a corrupt bureaucracy, we are`already under a corrupt bureacracy and there is no army rule.. There just are Lots of army with powers over the life and death of any Manipuri. That is what we want removed.

Do you think the army are there to take us out of the Morasses? They just aren't related.
We want AFSPA removed so that Civilians can breath free air.
And RAP removed so that Tourism might grow.
is it too much to ask?

I have written more than i should. you may email me for any fruitful discussion.

The case of lynching of the Biharis were more political than Hate, please don't compare it with the army's torture and rape with the same. On second thoughts, the army's torture and other stuff migth alo have significance.

And if you happen to know people from the NE, you must have known by now that we are very simple folks, and we don't hate people easily. if you have friends, then you must have realised how friendly we are, and how humane we are.

Somehow you sound like a Manipuri to me, who is very confused like i am.

Don't worry, we will find a way. It i sbeen just too long that we have lived in filth.

2/2/06 11:47 PM  
Anonymous Sanity Starved said...

day, not days.
I have very sweet memories... :)

2/2/06 11:47 PM  
Anonymous anthony said...

So nice of you SS, One day, you will also eat food from the Anthonyskitchen. that is a promise.

2/2/06 11:50 PM  
Anonymous anthony said...

@cool_girl

The case of lynching of the Biharis were more political than Hate, please don't compare it with the army's torture and rape with the same. On second thoughts, the army's torture and other stuff migth also have political significance.

Sorry for the rant, but you see, nothing just seem to be happening right.

And there that lots of things that the govt could do. Govt means both.. education for starters.. though I like it that the railways still haven't reached manipur, sparing us from the onslaught of Population, why is it that even the infrastructure have been Ignored.

There are many more things.....then meets the eye as I say.... Its better if the discussion is carried via email, if you do want to. And do tell me who u are. its only fair since you also know me. mail anthonysmirror gmail

2/2/06 11:59 PM  
Anonymous Sanity Starved said...

hehehe... That was right on the money!

Thanks!!

3/2/06 5:25 AM  

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