Rally to remember the contributions of Dr Kishan towards society to commemorate his write ups in Alternative Perspectives
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, March 22 2009: Congruous to his intellectual acumen, a fitting tribute was paid to late Dr Thingnam Kishan with an academic session based on the ideas and vision reflected in his writings, particularly in the journal Alternative Perspectives.

The commemorative function cum memorial lecture organised under the name "Tribute to Oja Kishan" was held at JN Manipur Dance Academy under the aegis of the editorial team of the Alternative Perspectives.

In addition to offering floral tributes to the late academician and civil officer, a one minute silence was also observed as mark of respect to the departed souls of Dr Th Kishan, Yumnam Token and Aribam Rajen.

Significantly, a book titled Look East Policy and India’s North East: Polemics and Perspectives, edited by late Dr Thingnam Kishan was released by Thingnam ongbi Romita, wife of late Dr Kishan at the occasion.

Family of late Dr Kishan also donated a laptop to the Alternative Perspectives.

Conveying gratitude to the family of Dr Thingnam Kishan for their generous donation, the editorial team of Alternative Perspectives proposed a memorial award in memory of Dr Kishan to be named "Dr Kishan’s Memorial Award for Building Alternative Society".

Earlier giving key note address of the function, current Editor of the Alternative Perspectives, Konthoujam Indrakumar recalled the heavy responsibility shouldered by Dr Kishan as the founder Editor of the quarterly journal.

Dr Kishan constantly harped on the need to engage the complex issues of the North East region by articulating the issues with a theoretical premise rather than simply descriptive narrativization of the happenings, Indrakumar conveyed.

According to Dr Kishan, uncritical acceptance of events or happenings are a condition of intellectual redundancy and manifestation of a sick society, Indrakumar noted.

Dr Kishan’s essays published in the Alternative Perspectives focus on the general framework of political economy of under-development by critically examining the underdevelopment conditions of the North East region as a result of peripheral economic formation.

He stated that the commemorative function was being organised not only to remember Dr Kishan but also to study his ideas and views on myriad complex issues besetting Manipur and the North East.

Speaking about his experience of personal association with Dr Kishan at DM College of Arts, Sinam Shanti, a lecturer in the College, described Dr Kishan as a dynamic, spirited and devoted professional.

Dr Kishan was always in hurry and ever busy as if he knew his life would be short, too short than normal whereas he had assumed to be his responsibility to undertake several innumerable tasks, all for the betterment of the mankind and the decaying Manipuri society in particular.

Saying that Dr Kishan was a teacher to the core, Shanti observed that Dr Kishan paid with his life for trying to teach "those who could not be taught".

But Dr Kishan was not a man who would compromise his principles under any circumstances.

He preferred to die young than live like a coward for a long hundred year, Shanti observed.

Arambam Noni, Lecturer at Moirang College, remarked that Dr Kishan was a renowned student activist under Manipuri Students'Association Delhi (MSAD).

Analysing the writings of Dr Kishan, Noni observed that the writings reflect attempts to unfold the current development politics from the persisting legacy of European colonial period.

Kishan’s writings are critical of decolonisation period (post World War II) as it did not bring about any significant change in the nature of economic relationship between the development and the underdeveloped economies.

He also examined the debilitating condition of 'dependency'shaped by a state of global economic apparatus of being parasitic on the developed, Noni noted.

The arguments and understandings of Dr Kishan are located in specific contexts and are thorough as he could grasp and comment quite convincingly on multiple issued concerning the North East region, Noni said.

While he advocated for a strong productive economic base for Manipur, Dr Kishan was apprehensive of the LEP whether exposure of the small indigenous productive base would lead to development or to a disastrous direction.

In his writings, Dr Kishan effectively linked devolution of political power with economic degradation as was observed in the case of Manipur.

On the whole, Dr Kishan’s writings are critical of development politics being pursued in the modern period as he had a conviction that there can an alternative politics, just and far better for all, Arambam Noni concluded.

Commenting on the writings of Dr Kishan, Langpoklakpam Suraj of DM College of Arts, asserted that the Government of India’s Look East Policy was designed to integrate the North East region with South East Asia in the interest of the capitalist class.

One question raised by Dr Kishan in his writings was whether the LEP could serve any purpose for the common mass.

Dr Kishan was also apprehensive about the uncontrolled market forces that would come into play in the region as and when LEP is fully operationalised, Suraj noted.

It was an earnest appeal and suggestion to the State Government to take up prompt measures to turn Manipur into a asset rather than a liability vis-a-vis LEP.

In his reflections on the writings of Dr Kishan, Thangjam Homen, Lecturer MB College, asserted that when capitalism enters a hitherto non-capitalist State, there can be no real progress in the State as exploitation is inherent in capitalism.

Observing that a process of neo-colonialism has been operating in Manipur, Dr Kishan pointed out that the North East region remained neglected because of the alleged colonial mind-set inherited by New Delhi from British imperialists, Homen said.

Even after Manipur became a part of India following the departure of British imperialists, there has been continuity of colonial policies largely shaped by peripheral vision.

After more than 50 years of independence, mode of production remains primitive in Manipur and as such any form of development still remains a mirage in the State, Homen concluded from the articles of Dr Kishan.

The solemn commemorative function culminated with vote of thanks given by Laishram Nandalal, Sub-Editor, the Pioneer, Delhi.

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