Wednesday, May 18, 2005

 

Revival of Meitei script in Manipur

It is a major victory for the Meitei community in Manipur that their script Meitei Mayek will replace Bengali. A decision to this effect was reportedly taken by the government of Okram Ibobi Singh on 14 May 2005 in the wake of three months of agitation. Meitei Mayek will be back into textbooks from the next academic session, after nearly 300 years.

18th century king Pamheiba (1709-48) banished Meitei and introduced Bengali under the influence of Santidas Gossain, a Bengali missionary. The King burnt all scriptures and other books written in the Meitei script. Those who protested were either killed or driven away.

There has been violent movement under the leadership of Metei Erol Eyek Loinasillon Apunba Lup (MEELAL) to revive the Meitei script. On 13 April 2005, protestors torched Manipur’s central library in the state capital.

In 1980 the Manipur Assembly passed a resolution to replace Bengali but the resolution was never implemented. Now that the present state government of Manipur has taken a step towards restoration of the language of the majority community of the state, the Meiteis, who constitute over 50 per cent of Manipur’s population, have reasons to cheer.

But many tribal communities are not happy. The All Naga Students Association, Manipur (ANSAM ), for example, views this step of the government as “deliberate intention to impose the will of the brute majority community” on the tribals. ANSAM has threatened to launch a series of agitations if the Manipur Government does not review its decision to introduce the Meiteimayek script in Class 1 and 2 from the next academic session beginning 2006.

The situation is very complex. Language movement has always been an emotional one for all communities. What is victorious for a community is a defeat for many others. The decision of the Manipur government is welcome. If language is seen as cultural invasion, Bengali also is alien to the communities and tribals of the Manipur state.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

 

Why India should say No to UNSC seat sans Veto

"The Security Council is not like an aircraft, with first-class, business and economy seats."- Ryozo Kato, Japan's Ambassodor to the USA.

Exactly so. Not giving veto power to the proposed new permanent member nations would be great discrimnation. Why different power levels amongst the permanent members? There cannot be double standards.

India must boldly refuse permanent member seat san veto, and inspire the other G-4 ountries - Japan, Brazil and Germany to do the same. Non-veto seat would be simply meaningless, as India cannot influence any decision in the UN. The USA has been imposing its decisions on the UN, and violated the sanctity of the most powerful world body. Iraq case was an example. India must play effective role to help UN build a peaceful, secure and prosperous world. Decisions in the UN must be taken by all member nations concerned and not arbitrarily by America.

Veto will make India a confident and judicious leader by allowing it to boycott any decision in the UN which it thinks is not in the common interest. Without veto power, India cannot perform its duty as a leader, but will end up being another puppet of the US.
 

I WANT NO LAURELS

I want no laurels
For, they are temporary.
Give me sadness,
What's dearer to the heart;
Laurels may rob anyone of
Innocence and humanity.

Oh, give me something
That teach me to be
Humble and humane.
 

Why should anybody be so proud?

“Self-love” and “Pride” are noble things to have. Anybody should love himself or herself. Self-love leads to being sweetly proud of oneself: about one’s ability, intellect, beauty or anything worthy. Again, pride can be both positive and negative. “Negative pride” is harmful for self and others; hence dangerous.

Generally, by pride we mean negative pride. Why should anybody be so proud? If you think you have plenty of money or properties or beauty or brains, so have others more than you in this world. If you think you are powerful because you are a police officer or the Collector of the area, so are there people in higher administrative positions than you. If you think you are the prime minister of the country or the president, so are numerous prime ministers or presidents in this Political World. If George W Bush thinks he is the boss of the world, he better remember that this is a United World. If the human race of this world is so proud of their cultures and scientific and technological achievements, better they look up at the night sky and try to solve its mystery.

When the self within us becomes too much, it is always wise to stare at the night sky, and try to calculate its vastness and emptiness. “It is so vast yet it looks so empty”.

Saint Ramakrishna always advised people not to be proud of their possessions or power, for these are mundane, and relative. During the darkness of the night, the firefly thinks it has much light. When the candle is burnt near it, the firefly becomes insignificant. Similarly, candlepower is insignificant in front of an electric bulb. Even the stars feel humble at the brightness of the moon in the sky.

The human race has the tendency to feel proud of being citizens of such a vast world. But our beloved world is a microscopic planet in the universe. We really do not know how huge is the universe. Or whether it has any end.

Therefore, power is only relative. There is nothing to be proud of.

Monday, May 16, 2005

 

WHY I LIKE VILLAGE LIFE

Home is there
So, the heart is there;
Clean air, fresh water
Mother’s food, people’s love
Unsurpassed anywhere.

Tender hearts, simple minds,
Happy are smiles;
Birds’ songs
In the morn
My heart beguiles.

Childhood friends
Make life sweet and warm
Snail-paced time
Low profile
Drive fears off a storm.
 

MY BEST FRIEND

You accept me as I am
(Not how I ought to be).
You can feel my heartbeats
And my Imagination
From the land far you are,
You can capture my despairs
To inspire new hopes
If there is none.

A smile from you
Can lead me miles more,
A loving hug from you
Can make me float
Even if I am wrecked
In the middle of a stormy sea.
 

THE CHANGED WORLD

In my childhood
When I visited my grandparents’ house
25 miles away
Down the river,
I found the pebbles
Across the river beds
so beautiful,
The songs of the birds
so soothing,
The foams that danced on the tiny waves
So impressive.
My soul travelled in wonderlands
On the wings of the wind,
And, the splash of the oar so thrilling
As every splash it made
Took me nearer to the dearest hearts:
My grandparents, great grandma, uncles, aunts.

Great grandma, grandparents, uncles, aunts, and their children –
Their affection for me is evergreen;
But only the world has changed
For, now no longer I hear carefree songs of birds,
No longer do the foams dance on the waves
For me
Nor the wind, nor the pebbles attract me
any more
During my journey to my grandparents’ house
25 miles away
Down the river.

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