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Assaulting The Queen’s Language

If Delhi expects us to jump in joy or sing paeans in their praise or kneel to acknowledge their ‘˜benign move’ for removing the Protected Permit Area for one year, then they must either be living in a fool’s paradise or deluding themselves with something grand along the line of Don Quixote, the loveable character created by Cervantes. Unfortunately for Delhi, we are not living in a world of fantasy created by Cervantes or living in a dreamland, but are very much alive and kicking and most importantly are aware of the changes that have been taking place across the world and hence cannot be taken for a ride by anyone, especially the nitwits at Delhi, who think they know everything about the North East and Manipur.

So after more than sixty years of making her tryst with destiny, Delhi today seems to have somewhat come around to the idea of opening up the North East region to the outside world. Why this sudden change of mind came about is not for us to answer, but we can definitely question why Delhi deemed it correct or right to impose an Act like PAP in some States of the North East region all these years. ‘˜Protected’ seems to be the key word, which was inserted in this Act to give it a somewhat palatable image, and it becomes all that more comical when we come to the question of ‘Who is Delhi protecting and from what?’

Before the Republic of India saw the light of day, the North East region existed as any other political and social entity and there was no need to ‘protect’ its people from any foreign elements. By inserting this very word in the said Act, Delhi has committed an unpardonable act in twisting the Queen’s language to serve their narrow, political interest. Using the term ‘˜Protected’ in an Act, which seeks to keep a region entirely cut off from the rest of the world, is not only an assault on the English language, which is the lingua franca of the international community, but also sounds highly condescending, as if some ‘superior beings’ need to protect an ‘inferior group of people.’  PAP did not protect anyone in the North East but only succeeded in adding to the velocity of the wind of alienation that has been sweeping across the region for ages.

So for one year, that is from January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2011, PAP has been relaxed in three North East States, Manipur, Nagaland and Mizoram. We really do not know how this piece of information has been received in the other two States, but here in Manipur, the people by and large, have been indifferent. The reason could be many for the seeming indifference shown by the ordinary Tomba and Chaoba, but what rings out loud and clear from the discerning class, is, ‘Delhi has been fooling with us for too long and who the heck are they protecting us from ?’ Can Mr. Chidambaram say off the cuff, why the people of Manipur need to be protected and from whom? The answer, my friend is not blowing in the wind, to twist a legendary song from Bob Dylan, but can be understood or justified only through myopia, the myopic eyes of Delhi and the dhoti and Nehru jacket clad political netas, who have somehow managed to find a footing in the corridors of power.

Providing protection sounds noble, but it can have different connotations and should be understood within a given situation. The deer in the zoo may be free from being stalked and killed by the tiger, but does this amount to improving the quality of life of the deer? In fact, there is nothing safer than being kept within the confines of a cell but this is against the law of nature and instinct of all living beings, but with Delhi refusing or unable to see the reality, the people of Manipur and some other North East States, have been kept in a state of perpetual ‘˜protection’ all these years. The best part of the whole story surrounding PAP is that no one seems to know who Delhi is protecting who from whom. This is enough for us to conclude that those occupying the seats of power at Delhi have no business to run the affairs of the country, for PAP by itself shows the incompetency of the Government to protect its border States, without creating a ‘˜zoo like situation or mentality.’

Moreover it is also a standing testimony that even after more than 60 years of independence, the idea of an India as a Union of States having a common destiny and future, is yet to take firm roots.  This is a tragedy and surely the Father of the Nation must be rolling in his grave or he may be shedding copious tears on watching the farce that is being enacted in the land he led to freedom from slavery. No wonder we find so many Marathis, Tamils, Kannadigas, Biharis or the North Easterners but very few Indians even today. This says something about Nation building and India seems to have fallen into the death trap of a Nation which exists geographically and only represent a political unit but without any sense of attachment at the emotional and social level.

The Jews as a Nation existed for ages, much before Israel was created. This is the idea of what constitutes Nationhood. India is a political and to a certain extent an economic entity, but it is yet to qualify as a Nation, if we go by the manner in which the country is being run and managed. PAP was a nuisance and it only succeeded in pampering the egos and prides of the babudom and did not contribute anything positive. The ‘one year experimental basis’, as the Union Home Ministry put it, is in extremely poor taste. Mr. Chidambaram, for all your intellectual capabilities and reputation of a tough task master, we would like to remind you that we, the people of Manipur, are not Guinea Pigs to undergo a ‘one year experimental basis.’ In other words, it sounds more like subjecting the people of Manipur to a series of experiments as is done in laboratories in the world of science and research.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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