This article is a reflection on the devastating impact of violence and ethnic cleansing in Manipur. It raises questions about the senselessness of such actions and the difficulties of rebuilding and restoring a sense of security for the displaced and war-ravaged population.
And suddenly the place you call home is gone… razed to the ground..as if it never existed. Things that you took for granted, never spared a second thought for, all gone, just like that, in the twinkling of an eye! That’s Manipur, in a nutshell.
All sacrificed at the altar of mindless violence, the so-called ‘ethnic cleansing’ that has gripped the state…the senses and sensibilities of creatures of flesh and blood and throbbing emotions clouded over by ridiculously insensible notions. The smallness, the pettiness of the thoughts behind the actions takes one’s breath away. How can mowing down innumerable innocent lives help any cause ?! How, pray?
And where does it stop ,Manipur? Where does it end , Manipur? How do you rehabilitate hundreds of thousands of displaced and civil war-ravaged people, meaningfully? Yes, maybe the government can arrange for emergency shelters, food supply services, and even medical aid, but how can anyone, even the most powerful government, give them their sense of security and confidence in their freedom to just be, back, ever? Can they?
I don’t know whether it is a colossal tragedy or a rank comedy that we, human beings, credited with being the ‘highest form of intelligence ‘, with faculties like cognition and perception, often descend into animal-like depths of depravity and utter thoughtlessness! If man was really ‘ intelligent ‘ and emotionally so, wouldn’t we have resorted to means other than violence to settle differences and disputes? Shouldn’t we be ashamed of our uninhibited ability in taking the lives of other human beings, for any reason at all? Shouldn’t we strive to be humane so that we can really be human, Manipur? I wonder…
I feel that most of us who believe in civil liberties, tolerance, and the ‘moderate’ way of life has begun to experience an emotion akin to what the Japanese call ‘Kuebiko‘….a sense of extreme fatigue and exhaustion generated by acts of mindless violence. The screams from our battle-weary souls have been all but muted by constant blows to the voices of reason. Why is it that borders and boundaries, language and ethnicities, instead of nurturing our identities, have ended up distancing and dividing us like this?
Who or what is going to provide the world with respite from this cesspool of snowballing hatred? Will we continue to look outside for solutions, or, within, with some much-needed ruthless and brazen honesty? The Manipur horrors have been very close home for me, uncomfortably so….the total lack of respect for human life regardless of gender, age, or ethnicity has been an eye opener of sorts…and unsettling …hoping and praying that saner senses prevail and all humanity takes a step towards humaneness, no matter which side.
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Puja is a child specialist by profession and a humanist by passion, her soul is stirred by humane acts of selflessness and love. Her other interests are reading,writing ( prose and poetry ), singing, listening to music. She is a tigress mom and a fiercely loyal friend to have! And last but not the least she is a softie with a sharp tongue and a hopeless romantic who believes in all ' happily-ever-afters'!!