Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Hospitals and Clinics Paralyze for 3 hours as doctors protest

Imphal, October 28, Wednesday
Hospitals and Clinics paralyzed for three hours on Wednesday as doctors and staffs went protest against the killing of their fellow colleague Dr. Huidrom Binodkumar Singh.
Doctors and staffs of JN Hospitals, RIMS, Shija Hospital staged sit-in-protest in from of their respective hospital premises. The protest which was organized under the aegis of the Indian Medical Association began from 11 am and ended at 1 pm. During the protest patients faced extreme hardship as doctors refused to treat them. However, emergency cases were allowed for treatment.
The dead body of Dr. Huidrom was found at Ishikhapat near Yumnam Patlou about eight kilometer north east from Heingang police station on October 22 morning. The dead body bore several stabbed mark probably murdered in cold blood.
The 60-year old former medical superintend of Bishnupur district, Doctor Huidrom Binodkumar was a resident of Yaiskul Chingakham Leikai, Imphal. He was found murdered after he withdrawn Rs. 2 lakhs from his bank account on the previous day.
Earlier a Joint action committee was formed and called a 24 hour total road blockade on the stretch of NH-39 from Yaiskul to Singjamei from the midnight of October 22 demanding punishment of the culprits involved in the killing of the doctor.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

State Scribes Surrender Identity Cards; Prepare For More Agitations

Imphal, October 27.
As a part of the ongoing protest by the All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union, state scribes on Tuesday surrender their identity card issued by the Directorate of Information and Public Relation.
At around 11 am members of the All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union gathered at DIPR complex in Imphal and surrender their card to the Director of DIPR T Shitlhou at his office room. Director Shitlhou tried to stop the journalists from surrendering the card and requested them not to take up such action. He further said it did not matter if the Journalists surrender their I-Card but he would not receive it. The Journalists justifying their stands without listening the director’s request kept their identity card one by one on the table of the director. The director however went out as soon as the scribes started surrendering their cards.
The All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union, AMWJU has been protesting assault of two reporters by Police Commandos on the night of October 10 while they were returning home. Demanding appropriate action to those police commando personnel, media house based in Imphal has been boycotting all news related with the ruling Secular Progressive Front government. In the regard seven members of the All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union had submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister of India through the governor of the state Gurbachand Jagat Singh. Spokesperson of AMWJU A Mobi while speaking to media said the Journalists’ Union would even surrender the Press Club Office to the government if they remain silence to the demands of the scribes. On November 1, the day the Directorate of Information and Public Relation is celebrating the Information day the Journalists’ body will organize a rally and hold a protest demonstration in Imphal.

Below is the memorandum submitted to the Prime Minister of India.

The Hon'ble Prime Minister of India
New Delhi

Subject: In the matter of harassment of journalists by Manipur police and the State

Hon'ble Sir,

We would like to bring to your kind notice the continued harassment of journalists by Manipur police and the state government against the backdrop of the sorry state of affairs in Manipur and state's apathy towards such incidents of harassment.

As you understand, Manipur is a conflict zone. And journalists are facing tremendous pressure from both state and non-state actors with little maneuvering space. However, the journalists' community has been responsibly discharging its duty delicately balancing the spirit of the freedom of press with its commitment to the laws of the land and responsibility to the people. We honestly believe, a sane and informed person like your esteemed self would understand the plight of journalists in a conflict zone like Manipur.

In the recent past, the state government had been trying to browbeat journalists in Manipur into submission with threats of de-registration and state action compounded by an arrogant state police force, already infamous with widespread allegations of staging numerous fake encounters, the most recent being the July 23, 2009 incident of Imphal Khwairamband Keithel, wherein a young housewife and a former militant were mercilessly killed in an alleged fake encounter.

The most recent cases of intimidation of the press are storming of some media houses in Imphal by goons of chief minister Shree Okram Ibobi Singh's home constituency of Thoubal with active support from the state police force on 25 September, 2009; and threatening of two journalists returning home from duty at gun-point on the night of 10 October 2009.

On the night of 25 September 2009, ten busloads of supporters of the chief minister escorted by the state police force stormed some prominent media houses and threatened them with dire consequences if they did not publish their version of the statewide protests against fake encounters.

On the night of October 10 2009, two journalists returning home from duty were singled out and waylaid at Bir Tikendrajit Road point of Imphal city by the infamous police commandos. Upon demands for identification, the two journalists produced their identity cards identifying themselves as members of the press. However, they were separated and questioned. One of them was kicked in the butt and threatened to be shot with a cocked gun. The police commandos threatened the journalist that he could always be shot and explained later on that he was killed in an encounter and nobody would care about it.

The All Manipur Working Journalists Union Manipur (AMWJU) condemned the incident and demanded prompt action against the errant police commandos. However, the senior superintendent of police of Imphal West district issued a statement against the journalist community with wild allegations of drunken behavior and nexus with the insurgents.

Upon which, the All Manipur Working Journalists Union (AMWJU) convened a special General Body meeting which condemned the police statement and demanded transferring of all the officers in the chain of command of Imphal West District. The meeting also decided to boycott the state Chief Minister and his colleagues including government handouts relating to development, and also not to sit for negotiations with the state government, till some visible action is seen.

The boycott began on 13 October 2009. However, the two victim journalists gave their verbal statements to the Chief Minister himself on 16 October 2009, upon his request and assurance of some visible action. Yet, the state government have not taken up any action in this regard, till date.

It is worthwhile recalling that, the chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh has himself accused the state police of misinforming him about the July 23 incident in Imphal city, in which a passerby Rabina Devi, seven month pregnant and former militant Ch. Sanjit were killed by police commandos in an alleged fake encounter.

Yet, the state government is once more playing into the hands of the state police force and putting up a confrontationist attitude towards the journalist community of Manipur. We humbly pray to your esteemed self to prevail upon the state government to punish the errant police commandos and to set into motion corrective measures towards reforming the state police force into a disciplined force.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely

(S. Hemant)
President, AMWJU

Copy to:
1. His Excellency the Governor of Manipur

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


What should be our tommorow’s women?
What were our women?
How is our women at present?
Do we need a stand?
Ch. Sharat, director of the Forum For Laboratory Theatre, Manipur, commented his critical views under the combined effort of L.Dhananjoy, Chana Lukhoi, Rajmani Ayekpam, Lokendra Arambam by utilizing the lone energetic actorMiss Akoijam Sobita Devi:
Forum for Laboratory Theatre of Manipur’s dynamic efforts to waking up the slumbering oppress women of the present day Manipuri society through its latest production ‘Tomorrow’s Women’ is a matter of subject to everyone concern. The play has not only portray the obscure and oblivious problems of the contemporary women of this society but also implant a plausible hopes of ray for struggling the dark side that, they have been experiencing since the nostalgic past to the present days. Moreover, the director’s wisdom, in using a single energetic actor to portray the present day societal structure had given a new taste to the theatre fans of this state. Single actor performance is not new for the western performers but for Manipur he is the first to experiment.The fifty minutes play, at which a tireless actor pictured the intense pain and suffering of the contemporary women; by keeping the audience intact alerting their minds to ‘what next’ have indeed proved the skill and integration of the production team. The comparison of the traditional Manipuri women and the present day women, who are immensely influence by the so-called modernization or in the other word who are influenced by borrowed culture, is indeed fantastic. Even two performers at a single platform might confuse the audience. However, the lone performer easily made understood what is wanted to depict, without much difficulty. Since, time immemorial women are most of the time put as commodities by their male counterpart; they are considered sometime as their cook, or sometime as their slaves. However, the traditional Manipuri women had no complaint; they tolerated and spared all their energy for a better and prosperous future society. But as the instrument of legitimate violence to some of the authority has been provided the tolerance shifted towards another direction.The coming of armed soldiers with license to torture any people of this land seems unbearable to them. They came out with torch in their hand to struggle the changing face of inhuman tortured to them. But many times they fail and fall as a victim of indecencies. ‘Tomorrow’s Women’ (Hayengee Nupi) of Ch. Sharat had reminded us about many women who were raped and torture by the Indian Security Forces in the name of wiping out insurgencies. The case of Ahanjaobi, Pramo and Monorama etc. is once again brought to the forum for discussion. The play has also reminded us about the many unfortunate women who have to struggle for survival disregarding their values of dignity. The emergence of flesh trade and many other are logically notice from this play.The bizarre part of the actor’s performance appears when she came down from the proscenium floor, putting a riddle to each and every spectator about what they are up to make a move after witnessing the extreme form of exploitation to women. This was preceded after she shows with all her potentials on committing episodic exploitation on women of this society step by step until the tolerance reach beyond limits. The later portion of the play is even more thrilled to bringing realization of the present Manipuri society. And putting a catastrophe end by propagating courage to every spectator and to fight against all odds and evil at every woman, the actor had successfully reflected the message that the Ch. Sharat, director of the “Forum for Laboratory Manipur” wanted to deliver. There are other things noticed, as to the vision of this writer it was not only the director or the team of playwrights like L. Dhananjoy, Rajamani Ayekpam , Lokendro Arambam and the director himself, for the successful production but rather an anguish of an actor. There is something else that is supposedly important to learn from this production. Many plays have been highlighted portraying the societal conflict and problems that are based on true events. At most of such plays the audiences watch all what they performed; which were/are not merely a joke; they read newspaper where the extreme atrocities on women are committed and many others facts and reality, however, they remained as a silent spectators with just an applauses or with a good comment after witnessing them. They remain at home without wanting to utilize what they have been provided to ponder upon. However, in this production “Hayengee Nupi” the actor shows that this was not merely a performance; it is now high time for everyone to understand the pains and sorrows that the women of this society are facing. This is indeed the neo Contempory theatre of Manipur.‘Tomorrow’s Women of the Forum for Laboratory Theatre, Manipur is no doubt a successful production, however, a deep look into the authenticity of the play has revealed certain pessimistic views of the director or perhaps the production team. The story line itself is somewhat one sided. The team seems to have forgotten that there are also many male counterparts in this trouble prone state of Manipur who have commited their life fighting against all forms of atrocities against women. It would have been much appreciating if the production team took a final look within them and remember that, most of the production teammate is male. Imagine if an outsider who in case happen encounter the play, he would certainly underestimated each and every male folk of our society, he would never believed that certain brave men like – Hijam Irabot, Arambam Somorendro, and of course the director of the play and those playwrights who took deep concern on the status of women and various other social activist are born in this state .It is a fact that, the ailment and the predicaments in family through the spread of HIV/AIDS, the physical and mental torture from marital discords, and the pain and the sheer violation of dignity of women through rape and torture, the loss of sons and daughters through ethnic and violence which was shown in the play has indeed shattered away the prestigious status of the present day Manipuri women. However, by excluding the roles of the male folk, who were involved in struggling for the rights of the women in this present society the play has certainly mislead the audience. This is just a personal opinion.What is more provoking is the input of visual footage of the contempories day using modern video equipments. Indeed, theatre audiences are sensitive class; and understanding this, the director has rightly and timely input video supplements. The last part at which the lone actor pulls down many colour cloths is very significant. This was during the falling action of the play. It is some kind of lesson taught to the audience. From sociological perspectives the importance of ‘endogenous’ development at which modernization does not necessarily required to borrow culture from other society and this is well made understood. While the actor pull out all the cloths hanging which represent the borrowed cultured is easily made understood. It also tried to gives their ideological concept of development which
are purely base on the culturing of the own traditions of the society.As a whole the production is a real success except some minor expectation. Though, the fifty minutes long performance of the actor had captured the audience without a blink in their eyes, the stage sets and properties are simple. With such an energetic actor, the director would surely try to extract more energy which was still seen hidden to this actor.At this juncture, when a Manipuri Women had been going on a fast-unto-death agitation for removal of Armed Forces special power act 1958, after 11 civilian including women and children were gun down by security personnels (malom massacre), and where an arrested women in charge of having connection with underground organization was tortured and gun down in their custody after being raped time and again (monorama tragedy) it is now high time to ponder upon Ch. Sharat’s Tomorrow’s women. It would certainly be wrong to considered the play as a piece of show to exposed the artistic talent at which a person can take rest with an appreciative applauses but rather the truth of this present day. This playhad its premeir show at MDU Hall, and had been shown at many places including the National School of Drama , New-Delhi and the team had had successfully rendered their objects to the audiences present their. “ It was shocking to learnt the present day situation of women in Manipur” commented a social activist based at Mumbai who happen to watch the play. Indeed, Sharat and his team’s production Hayengi Nupi (Tommorow’s Women) is timely and would be worth discussing time and again at other forum too, other than just enjoying as a piece of show.