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Even the coffins of Manipur tribals go unnoticed

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Source- The quint.com
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New Delhi: Nine civilians allegedly killed in police firing in Churachandpur district of Manipur are yet to be buried and for the past one month people of tribal communities of the North Eastern state have been protesting at Jantar Mantar with nine coffins of the slain people.

The protest by the Manipuri community has been taking place in the national capital since November 4 in a bid to highlight the plight of tribal people in Meitei dominated North Eastern state, however, even that has failed to draw the government’s attention.

The Manipur Tribals’ Forum Delhi (MTFD) along with other people from the state has been vociferous against the killing of nine civilians in the police firing in Churachandpur district on September 1.

The protest is against the alleged killing of nine civilians, including an 11-year-old boy in police firing, while they were protesting against the passing of the three controversial bills in assembly.

Nine coffins are kept at Jantar Mantar as part of the protest. Bodies are yet to be buried.

The protesters said that this was a way to tell Indian people and Indian government about the plight of tribal people in Meitei dominated Manipur state.

Tribals believe that the bills mentioned above give more power to majority Meitei community. They are also demanding political separation from the Manipur state.

The protest is almost one-month-old (and the incident is three-month-old) but the Government is yet to react to the issue. It appears as if they either don’t care or fail to realise that the Northeast is also a part of India.

As a result of the market-oriented media, some areas of India do not get the attention they deserve. Their issues and people live under the shadow; people from other parts of India indulge in pathetic stereotyping, using derogatory terms like ‘Chinki’.

Chennai flood is now all over the media after people slammed the so-called ‘national news channels’ for allegedly ignoring the natural disaster in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. Similar apathy was shown to Assam which was hit by floods earlier this year; it failed to attract get the one-tenth of the coverage of what the reportage of a disaster in a North Indian state would receive.

The north-eastern part of the country has often been treated as the step-son of the mother India. They seem to have no information about their culture and history of the NE. They call them Chinese or Nepalese in utter ignorance. It is media’s job to inform people, however, media is apparently selective in its approach.

Media seem to have a different idea of India. Anything that happens in Delhi concerns India, according to them. The role of media is very important, it forces the government to take actions and if the media do not highlight some issues, the government usually ignores them. The only problem is that on the receiving end of this apathy mostly are Northeastern states or the Naxal-infested villages in Chattisgarh.

In Delhi, if police lathi-charge at a crowd, it becomes a national news and here nine people were killed and their bodies are yet to be buried. It has been one month of the protest and yet nobody from the government has reached out to them.

Kejriwal got massive coverage for his hunger strikes, became a national leader, but more than half of this nation might not be aware of Irom Sharmila’s existence.

This kind of protest does not take long to turn into a violent struggle. Not everyone has patience like Irom Sharmila. This is why an issue should be solved in the early stage.

India has seen a lot of struggle in the northeast, leading to the loss of precious lives. However, the situation in recent times has changed for the better. But if the Government fails to satisfy and listen to their grievances, it could lead to the return of old violent ways.

Delhi sees a number of students coming over from the northeast every year. Tragically several of them face racial attack, some of them have even lost their lives and still the issues concerning our NE brothers fail to secure well-deserved media attention. People, on the other hand, sympathize for a day and then move on.

India is very vocal about its unity in diversity. But such treatment from the media and the government does not augur well for the country’s unity and forces people to think that they are different or ‘others’, giving ammunition to the anti-national forces.

The worst case scenario for a democracy is when any section of the population starts having the feeling that its government does not care about them. It creates rebels and conflicts which impact the internal peace of the nation.

Saying that India is as much of a northeastern’s as it is of a Delhite’s wouldn’t suffice. Media need to be more sensitive and the government has to take more actions, instead of lip service, to counter the issues in the northeast and all other such neglected parts of the country.

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  • tirudesi

    This report is a bit muddled. There is a general sense of unhappiness about the northeast but the writer has led with the nine hill tribal martyrs. In their case it is not true that the Union Governmnent has ignored them. The three new bills passed by the Manipur Legislative Assembly have not been made into law instead the Union Government sent junior ministers to Churuchandpur in Manipur where these citizens were killed mainly by police officers. They reassured the people that they would not allow divisive laws to be passed by the Manipur Assembly and they warned the Manipur Assembly that if they could not maintain law and order without farther killings of Indian Citzens the Centre would not be found wanting. I take this to mean that they are prepared to declare direct presidential rule of Manipur and Mr Modi will take direct control over governance in that state. The other many problems of the northeast though I agree are being ignored. Even Mr Rahul Gandhi’s pledge to begin talks with Irom Sharmila appear just to be another one of his gaffes not approved of by his mother.

  • tirudesi

    This report is a bit muddled. There is a general sense of unhappiness about the northeast but the writer has led with the nine hill tribal martyrs. In their case it is not true that the Union Governmnent has ignored them. The three new bills passed by the Manipur Legislative Assembly have not been made into law instead the Union Government sent junior ministers to Churuchandpur in Manipur where these citizens were killed mainly by police officers. They reassured the people that they would not allow divisive laws to be passed by the Manipur Assembly and they warned the Manipur Assembly that if they could not maintain law and order without farther killings of Indian Citzens the Centre would not be found wanting. I take this to mean that they are prepared to declare direct presidential rule of Manipur and Mr Modi will take direct control over governance in that state. The other many problems of the northeast though I agree are being ignored. Even Mr Rahul Gandhi’s pledge to begin talks with Irom Sharmila appear just to be another one of his gaffes not approved of by his mother.

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15 Amazing facts about Indian National Song: Vande Mataram

The National song of India, Vande Mataram is considered as the foundation of encouragement to the people in their struggle for freedom.

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Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay wrote the lyrics of Vande Mataram. Wikimedia Commons
Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay wrote the lyrics of Vande Mataram. Wikimedia Commons
  • Vande Mataram was originally written in 1876 and appeared in Anandamath in 1881
  • Well before the Congress’ Varanasi session on September 7, 1905, Vande Mataram was adopted as the `National Song’ and won India’s heart as its war cry of freedom
  • Poet Sarala Devi Chaudurani sang the national song in the Benares Congress Session in 1905

‘Vande Mataram’, is no less than an epic for our country and holds a special place in the heart of every Indian. The first two words of the title itself are sufficient to induce a great feeling of patriotism.

It would be a surprise for many to know that September 7, 2006, was not the centenary of Vande Mataram. On the contrary, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay wrote the lyrics of Vande Mataram well before he penned Anandamath, his novel, which described unified Bengal’s sanyasi uprising against tyrannical Muslim rule in the 1770s.

For better clarification, Vande Mataram was originally written in 1876 and appeared in Anandamath in 1881.

The National song was a part of Bankim Chandra Chatterji’s most famous novel Anand Math. Wikimedia Commons
Vande Mataram was a part of Bankim Chandra Chatterji’s most famous novel Anand Math. Wikimedia Commons

Thus, 2006 was not the 100th year of Vande Mataram, but the 129th anniversary of the `National Song”, which was first recited at the Indian National Congress session of 1896.

Also Read: 10 Must Knowing Facts about Indian Flag

Well before the Congress’ Varanasi session on September 7, 1905, Vande Mataram was adopted as the `National Song’ and won India’s heart as its war cry of freedom.

On January 24, 1950, it was brought at par with the National Anthem officially by the Constituent Assembly.

The protest against Vande Mataram because of its ‘idolatrous’ content began in the 1890s. The Congress party surrendered before Islamic opposition at its Kakinada session in 1923 not only on the Vande Mataram issue but also to all symbols and values held national.

The recent HRD ministerial diktat to compulsorily sing the song throughout the country occupied much media space and ignited a debate on India’s national song’s journey over the last 130 years.

Also Read: 15 Amazing Facts About The Revolutionary Bhagat Singh

The song served as a source of immense strength and inspiration for freedom fighters before India gained freedom.

The Sangh Parivar, better known as the Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh (RSS) celebrated the 125th anniversary of the song in 2002. Wikimedia Commons
The Sangh Parivar, better known as the Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh (RSS) celebrated the 125th anniversary of the song in 2002. Wikimedia Commons

Take a look at some of the glorious facts related to our National song, ‘Vande Mataram’.

  1. The National song, ‘Vande Mataram’ was written by the great Bengali poet and writer, Bankim Chandra Chatterjee.
  2. On January 24, 1950, it was adopted as the National Song of India.
  3. The National song of India, Vande Mataram is considered as the foundation of encouragement to the people in their struggle for freedom. The National song of India is versed in the Sanskrit and Bengali languages, in the novel ‘Anandmath’ by Bankim Chandra Chatterji.
  4. The former President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, on January 24, 1950, came up with a declaration in the Constituent Assembly that the song Vande Mataram, which had played a significant part in the historic freedom struggle held in India, should be honoured equally with Jana Gana Mana and must give equal status to it.
  5. The National song was a part of Bankim Chandra Chatterji’s most famous novel Anand Math (1882) which is set in the events of Sannyasi rebellion.
  6. The first translation of Bankim Chandra Chatterji’s novel Anand Math, into English was done by Nares Chandra Sen-Gupta, in 1906.
  7. In the 1896 session of the Indian National Congress, it was the first political event when the National song was sung. On the same occasion, the national song of India was first sung by the Rabindranath Tagore.
  8. Poet Sarala Devi Chaudurani sang the national song in the Benares Congress Session in 1905.
  9. The Iron Man of India, Lala Lajpat Rai, published a journal called Vande Mataram from Lahore.

    Dr. Rajendra Prasad, on January 24, 1950, came up with a declaration that Vande Mataram should be honoured equally with Jana Gana Mana and must give equal status to it. Wikimedia Commons
    Dr. Rajendra Prasad, on January 24, 1950, came up with a declaration that Vande Mataram should be honoured equally with Jana Gana Mana and must give equal status to it. Wikimedia Commons
  10. Vande Mataram was recited in the first political film made by Hiralal Sen in 1905.
  11. The Sangh Parivar, better known as the Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh (RSS) celebrated the 125th anniversary of the song in 2002.
  12. Two stanzas of the original song have been officially declared as the National Song of India in 1950 after the independence of India.
  13. The song was originally written in two languages, Sanskrit and Bengali, in the novel ‘Anandmath’.
  14. It was also sung by the Dakhina Charan Sen in 1901 after five years during another Congress meeting at Calcutta.
  15. India’s first political film Hiralal Senmade, made in 1905 ends with the chant Vande Mataram.