Voice away from home
By Lian Samte


Once upon a time, not so long ago, we, the people, are delighted to see the revolutionaries roam the woods,watch our streets. For they embody our aspiration, hope and future. We sympathize with them because they stood, nay, died for our cause to break free from maladministration, injustice, discrimination and the ills meted out tous by the powers of the state. We wept when we saw the hardships they faced. We mourned when they laid their lives down. What more can we ask from a revolutionary? What more do we expect when he sacrificed his own dreams to achieve ours? What more can we demand when he gave up the warmth of his home and the kiss of his loved ones? All for us!

When the army came for them, we secured them to the point of jeopardizing our own safety. When they were captured, we snatched them away before they were torturedby the state machinery called police.For that we are even implicated as backers of the 'outlaws'.But we are not ashamed to bear the tag although that stood out like a scarlet letter on our breasts. Yes, we stood for them as they stood for us. Yes, we are one! Truly one!
But that was once upon a time. And the most important thing with time is that it changes. And it changes everything with it.

Now, the militants seemed to grow more and more conceited. They don't listen to the people's voice anymore. The people are no more a force to reckon with. They began to forget that they were once with the people and the people with them. Now, they seemed to say, "Let us fight our own war." That makes them more and more unpopular. The hands that fed them, the hands that shielded them, the hands that held them like eggs, they began to crush.

Oh, yes, the people were once their refuge; their haven of safety,a wall of their sustenance. But now they have drunk from the cup of wealth and power and the 'people' have become nothing but obtrusivemeddlers on their path to higher glory and sway.Tipsy with the heady wine of power and money, they began to take the people lightly. Their ears have gone deaf to the cries of the common man. Plump voices from above are too much for them to resist. For such a voice always rained with a windfall. How can a dog refuse to bark when the master hangs before his eyes a promise of a bone?

Well, the people may be browbeaten for a while. They may lower their eyes from the barrels of a gun. But they will rise again. For they stood for truth and justice. Kings and queens come and go. But the people are forever. The people are the truth. The people are justice.A day will come when they will knock their sensibility and ask: can we trust a government that cannot even make good roads? Can we believe in a government that cannot provide even the basic modern amenities? Can we put our confidence in a government that banks on unlawful bodies to implement its programmes and policies?

They say there is always a nexus between governments and underground elements.Can Manipur or India be an exception?I doubt it. How did the militants always venture to fulfil the wishes of the government, especially in the current political context of Manipur (which, presently, is, to dispose of the mortal remains of the tribal martyrs)? How did the Union government turn a blind eye to this mutual correlation? Or, perhaps the Union government is also a tacit partner in this obnoxious cartel. If not, how can the Centre keep mum for so long while nine human bodies rot away in their backyard? Mr. Modi, are you listening?

If this unholy nexus is not proven otherwise, then, it is high time for the people to take the law into their hands and let the flag of independence flutter on the top of the Kaihlam Peak. Or, if we dare not take the 'independence plunge', then, it is time to cry out to the international community to intervene and rescue us from sureobliteration of our entire tribe by the hands that wield the sword. Yes, it is time to scream your hearts out for help. You cannot count on the Indian government for deliverance. It has a hand in the dirty nexus. And why not? Mainland politicians are relieved to see their little Chinkies at each other's throats. It gives them space to breathe and relax. That is the very reason why seeds of dissension are shown in the soils of the northeast.

Cry, people, cry!Cry for independence! Cry for freedom from the clutches of the militants! Cry for freedom from the indifference of Manipur! Cry for freedom from the neglect of India!

Cry, people, cry!