After more than seventy days of silence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been forced to respond to the state sponsored horrible ethnic violence in Manipur. After shocking footage of Kuki tribal women being stripped naked by rioters went viral on social media.
Over 150 people have been killed ,thousands of victims are displaced and have sought shelter in refugee camps in the rebel land.
Modi finally spoke on the issue on Thursday morning in front of the media. ‘ My heart is filled with pain and anger. The incident that has come to light in Manipur is a shameful incident for any civilised society. What has happened to the daughters can never be forgiven.’ Modi said. A headline published by The Telegraph on last day, alleging that Modi performed his crocodile tears after only 79 days, grabbed international attention.
The harrowing video disclosed the brutal scenes of two Kuki women parading fully naked on May 4 a day after clashes erupted between Meitei and Kuki communities in Kangpopi, only 35 Km away from the capital city Imphal. A group of men with deadly weapons drag them into a paddy field close to the road. The Kuki organizers revealed that one of the women was gang raped. The police said an FIR with charges of rape and murder was registered on May 18.
The video was published only 78 days after the incident. The Manipur government has imposed an internet shutdown for the last 2.5 months under the excuse of preventing the spreading of fake news. It was Actually to cover up the inactivity of the government on internal disturbances. They wish to keep people unaware of the scale of violence in Manipur through internet shutdowns and media censorship. ‘ The central government is likely to take action against Twitter for trying to disrupt law and order by spreading violent videos.’ Tweeted senior reporter Vasudha Venugopal. The central IT ministry is energizing the preventive policies to mask up the video footage from social media, she added.
Despite the government’s non-cooperation with the media, heartbreaking news and pictures are pouring out of Manipur. It is estimated that there have been around a thousand incidents of violence such as murder, rape, and unlawful assembly. Footage of beheading of a kuki youth surfaced in the media pointing to the dire insecurity prevailing in Manipur. Journalists from Manipur say that similar and unprecedented crimes are yet to come to light. The government is flouting the rights of the citizens, like during the war.
One of them, who survived being paraded naked, told the nation about her incredible ordeal. When the riots broke out, they migrated to the forest with their families. A police team rescued them on their way to the forest. Later, A group of armed Meiti tribesmen forcibly abducted the kukis, including women from the police and took them to their place. The assailants instantly killed the 52-year-old man who was in the group.
They began to assault all three tied women, asking them to take off their clothes.
‘When we resisted,they shouted at me, If you don’t take off your clothes,we will kill you here. We had to remove all of our clothing just for self-protection. There were no other ways before us. She said.
The furious mob stripped them naked and dragged them into the field. A 21-year-old her neighbor was brutally gangrapped some away from the survivor. They beat and killed her 19-year-old brother who dared to stop this and rescue his sister.’Four policemen were watching everything in a car near the scene. But nothing was done against the atrocities faced us.They remained silent to the injustice’ She alleged.
Manipur Chief Minister and BJP leader Biren Singh is making hollow claims to cover up the inaction of the state police department after the Supreme Court filed a case on sue moto. If the horror scenes from Manipur had not been made public, the Modi government would still be continuing its silence. The truth is that the Prime Minister had to open his mouth as the nation stared at Manipur. Because it is the need of the ruling class to win hatred in Manipur. They try to create a sense in society that minorities should live only according to the will of the majority. The same Sangh Parivar agenda that we saw in Delhi and Gujarat is setting Manipur on fire. The agenda of the Sangh Parivar is born out of caste consciousness. They gather the courage to commit crimes from the dirty caste consciousness that can be unleashed at any time. One of the victims of the Gujarat riots, Bilkis Banu once said ‘ My own neighbors were among those who took pleasure in sexually abusing me. This is a reminder to the sanghparivar lurking in our midst.
Democracy refers to the good will of the people, but the majority’s interests definitely drive it. A democracy always has a minority society that has to bow to the interests of the majority. Meithis are the dominant majority community in Manipur. Kukis and Nagas are few and weak. Dramatic events started in Manipur after a demand was made to include the Meiti tribes in the Scheduled Tribes. Among these dramatic scenes are news stories related to the resignation of Meithi Chief Minister Birensingh. The authorities cannot avoid appeasing the vote banks because the Meiti people predominate in the majority of the state’s constituencies.
However, the people of Manipur believe in the Constitution. They strive to restore peace and bring criminals to justice. Manipuris are those who fought against the evils of the ruling class. We have not forgotten the demonstration in Imphal for the justice of Manorama Thanjam, a girl who was sexually tortured and killed by soldiers in 2004. Around a dozen young women gathered in the street to protest in full nude,They are badged with slogans like ‘Indian Army Rape Us’. ‘We are the mothers of Manorama,come , rape us’ the protesters shouted on the ruling class. Following that, the central government issued an order reducing the authority of army authorities.
Indeed, this war is between hindutwa and humans. India cannot be subjugated beyond a certain limit to the vindictive policies of the Sangh Parivar. Of course,one day we will cutoff the roots.!
(Photos: Ajmal Favaz)