TODAY -

E-Pao! Essays - A Narrative on the Origin of the Meira Paibis

A Narrative on the Origin of the Meira Paibis

By: Binalakshmi Nepram / (Courtesy : Dr. Bishwajeet Elangbam) *



Armed with Meiras as the only weapon, women Meira Paibis of Manipur are struggling and fighting a third Nupi Lan
- Statement Issued by the Nupi Samaj, December 29, 2004


On 29 December every year Manipuri Nupi Samaj celebrates the anniversary of the founding of the Meira Paibi, a unique, powerful mode of women's movement by the women of Manipur. As a researcher, I was not aware of this important day in the history of Manipur till I met Ima Ramani, Secretary of the All Manipur Social Reformation and Development Samaj, also popularly known as Nupi Samaj.

It was one cold monday morning on 27 December, 2004 when I met Ima Ramani in the compound of Bhagyachandra Open Air Theatre. Ima Ramani was hesitant when I approached her as she mentioned that she was tired of the numerous interviews that she had given.

However after convincing her that I have come to her not to ask questions but to listen, learn and work with her and numerous other Meira Paibis, Ima Ramani barred her mind and soul to narrate to me the origin of the Meira Paibis. I sat numb, as she mixed courage, tears and dismay in her narrative.

It was a simple yet powerful narrative which will remain in the memory of every a Manipuri. Allow me , dear readers , to share the narrative through these printed words, a narrative that explains the origin of the Meira Paibis, through the words of the one who was one of its founding members.

On a cold December 29 morning in 1980, a youth named Lourembam Ibomcha and another were blind folded and taken by the Indian army to the Langthabal Army base camp ( located near Manipur University) . The charge leveled against was that he was the one to plant a bomb at a place in Heirangoithong Maibam Leikai.

Lorembam Ibomcha was arrested on mere charges that his shoes were wet at the time of his arrest that morning and hence must be the one to plant the bomb. Subsequently a combing operation was called upon and all men of the area were taken at 6 am to Kakwa ground for interrogation.

On hearing Ibomcha'a arrest, about a 100 women convinced of his innocence rallied by Ima Ramani, Ima Chaobi and Ima Momon went to the Langthabal Army Camp. The army shouted "Halt" to the women and the women shouted back saying "Give us back our innocent".

The army shouted back telling the women that two of them could come in. At this Ima Ramani and Ima Momon ( who knew Hindi ) went inside and the two were told to come back at 2 pm. When the appointed time came, the army gave back Lourembam Ibomcha to the women. The women were shocked at the torture meted out to him.

Lourembam Ibomcha was half-conscious and could not walk and hence the women put him on cycle and got him home. When the women asked what happened, Ibomcha replied that the army poured water through his nose and crushed him with clubs damaging his leg muscles completely. It was then that the women of the area led by Ima Chaobi, Ima Momon and Ima Ramani got together and started patrolling the streets at with "Meiras".

Earlier, the women used 'podons', 'laltain' etc when they were "Nishabandis" but from that day onwards, they used the bright, flaming "Meiras" to have their identity. During Manipur's dark days, the Meiras must have inspired many women to come out of their homes to save the youth of Manipur from many a death, disappearance, illegal torture and extra-judicial killings.

The strength of the women came from the fact that Lourembam Ibomcha was innocent and they rallied hard to save him. In the words of Ima Ramani, "We struggled because the boy was innocent. We came up as Meira Paibis to save Manipur [ from being a land of blood and tears] ".

The words of these valiant Imas came true once again in the most powerful way 24 years after the Meira Paibis first emerged on July 15, 2004 when Ima Ramani and 12 other women stripped in front of the Kangla to register their protest against the arrest, torture, rape and extra-judicial killing of Th. Manorama Devi, an act of defiance and courage that shook not only the Indian sub-continent but the entire world. On this day 29 December 2004, we salute the courage and conviction of these legendary Meira Paibis.




Bina Nepram is the author of the book "Meckhley" and currently work as a research scholar with Saferworld, based in UK.
She is one of the esteemed member of European Manipuri association.

This article was sent courtesy of Dr. Bishwajeet Elangbam. He can be reached at biswaelangbam@yahoo.com
This article was webcasted on Jan 09th 2005.

* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Yaoshang Sports @ Khongman : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Day 3: Rock Concert : Gallery
  • Ayangphabi, Chaphaba :: eMing
  • Nation needs Anti-Mob Lynching Law
  • The Apps that shape up our E-World
  • The Holi(y) invasion
  • RPL trainees of Arunachal Pradesh
  • Congress fields two new faces in Manipur
  • Cong accuses BJP..insurgent-backed..
  • Doctors in Manipur protest assault
  • Yaoshang Pichakari #1: Gallery
  • Abdur Rahaman : Gopal Sharma Award
  • Yaoshang :: Photos related with Yaoshang
  • Journey into Nature of Human Culture #2
  • ..must to eliminate racial discrimination
  • Maharaj & election candidates
  • Poor representation of women from NE
  • Ravi-NSCN/GPRN talks in Dimapur
  • BJP kick-starts campaign for Outer LS
  • BJP national leader arrives in Manipur
  • Yaoshang Mei Loukhatpa #1: Gallery
  • Miles Of Promises To Keep
  • Time to bend curve sharply to #endTB
  • Postdoctoral position at APU / IISc
  • Closing of NSS Camp at ADBU
  • Female polo players riding up a storm
  • NPP, NPF not to contest in 1 of 2 LS seats
  • Rahul's attack at BJP over jailed Journalist
  • Mizo People(Manipur) visits Jampui Hill
  • Yaoshang Mei Thaba : Gallery
  • Thokchom Sanatombi : Sangeetratna
  • Journey of 'Right To Information (RTI)'
  • Career options in Commerce stream #3
  • Holi skin and hair care tips
  • BJP's first list has 16 candidates from NE
  • 5 ex-MLAs quit Cong in Manipur, join NEIDP
  • KITCO bags contract for Imphal airport
  • What's next for the Rohingya? : Discussion
  • Manipur dancer explore human cost of war
  • Jailed journalist having severe health issue
  • Torch Rally Journalists Sports: Gallery
  • AEgi puNsi :: Seireng
  • UN letter to Govt on Kishorechand case
  • Babloo Loitongbam at UNHR Geneva
  • Yaoshang (Holi) : Festival of colours
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Prevention of kidney disease
  • NPF on PDA electoral campaign
  • Sports Meet at Delhi University
  • Festival of colour is upon all
  • Changing Trend of politics
  • View of Ukhrul Town #2 : Gallery
  • Renu Takhel: UN Human Rights, Geneva
  • Hunting in the Himalayas :: Book Review
  • Justification: against Meeteis ST demand
  • The Killing Fields 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • Executive Committee 2019 of BMSA
  • Google Workshop on Journalism
  • High level of air pollution
  • Way to go as but hopes stir
  • CCpur Dance @Keibul Lamjao : Gallery
  • The East Wind from Yunnan
  • Journey into Nature of Human Culture #1
  • Yaoshang Thabal :: Poem
  • North East NSS Festival begins
  • Talking... ending social media introversion
  • Opposing stand on ST demand
  • Kounu Lairembi Haraoba #1 : Gallery
  • Nipalsuba Mapok : Shumang Leela
  • Women's Bill : A passage to nowhere?
  • Challenges in elderly for medical tests
  • All's fair in love in war: Nitza :: Review
  • Why I write ?
  • Looking back to 2012, 2014 elections
  • Mukna Kangjei #2 : Gallery
  • Mova Cave of Hungpung in Ukhrul
  • Catapults, Molotov Cocktails & Music!
  • Appeal for Meitei's demand for ST
  • Google News Training for Journalists
  • Of Crimes Against Humanity :: Poem
  • Bedtime beauty hacks to look young
  • Mary Kom to skip Asian championship
  • Thabal chongbagi SenKhaiba : Gallery
  • Zeliangrong women: Role in society #2
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Cry of a Dying River - 69 :: Poem
  • Nationality & Gorkha statehood movement
  • Free Children Heart Surgery Camp
  • Workshop on Python Programing at MU
  • Lining up for BJP, Cong
  • Indian Politics after Pulwama Terror Attack
  • Sory Wahengbam : eRang Actress Profile
  • International River Day @ Nungbrung Village
  • Nongthombam Biren: People's CM
  • Can Jamir Do A Lazarus ?
  • Dr. Shantibala's The Sacred Witch :: Review
  • Rural development process
  • Eyeing 22 out of 25 in North East
  • Interfering the media
  • Myanmar army cracks down on NSCN (K)
  • Phayeng Koubru Haraoba #2: Gallery
  • Komorebi - The Longing :: Poem
  • Little love in twilight of life
  • Election code of conduct anytime
  • Surveying India's unemployment numbers
  • DAMMS' statement on Meitei ST Demand
  • Choosing the right candidate
  • Demand for ILP :: Articles/Photos...
  • The Innampei festival of Chothe #2
  • CC Meet: SU vs NACO : Gallery
  • AEbu tuMduna lEKi gad_ra :: Seireng
  • That Hurts :: Poem
  • Workshop on Statistical Data at MU
  • The International Women's Day
  • Politics : A way of life !
  • Celebrate festival of democracy responsibly
  • The truth unfolded
  • Nipalsuba Mapok #1 : Gallery
  • Maisnam Renuka's Painting : Gallery
  • Parental Alienation: Poem 2 : Poem
  • The cost of a vote
  • Motivation & rewards for development
  • Career options in Commerce stream #2
  • Forest rights more than nine-tenths
  • Setting back final deal by 60 days
  • Traffic woes
  • slams Nagaland CM's statement on ILP
  • Symbolism in the Tribal Art #4
  • Laiphrakpam Ashok Kumar: Akademi Award
  • ST Demand Rally [Mar 3] #2: Gallery
  • Mee Manukhang will not be televised
  • Govt should grant prosecution sanction
  • Zeliangrong women: Role in society #1
  • General Strike mapung fana chathari
  • Rolling out Lok Sabha schedule
  • Saroi Khangba @Imphal : Gallery
  • 'Women Health' Workshop : Gallery
  • Manipuri Muslims Conference : Report
  • Meetei ST demand bu lanna uhanbiganu
  • Caveman & Children of (19)70s : Poem
  • Workshop on "Women Health" at Pune
  • Natural facial at home for glowing skin
  • Inauguration of NSS Camp at ADBU
  • Changing Manipur - which direction ?
  • Nongkhrang Ehanba @Lilong #2 : Gallery
  • Cessation of hostilities to POW
  • Magical power of music
  • Intl Women's Day requires regrouping
  • General Strike Mapung Fahanbiyu
  • Pravish's Case disposed by CJM
  • NSS Camp at Assam Don Bosco
  • Former Cong leader welcomed at Dimapur
  • Never asked India for land quip
  • Issues of women's rights
  • Barak Fest @ Senapati #2 : Gallery
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2019 #1: Gallery
  • Reading Megh-dut in Manipuri #2
  • To be a woman and to be in India
  • Cry of a Dying River - 68 :: Poem
  • Can Meitei/Meetei be a tribe ?
  • Raging debate over ST demand
  • Climate change matters
  • Class X Exam @Johnstone : Gallery
  • ciH Amadi tMgi KeYnaba :: Seireng
  • Yaoshang be observed as 'Sports Week'
  • Shopping for Shivaratri #1: Gallery
  • 3rd World Bamboo Workshop #3 : Gallery
  • Reinvigorating the Awl-len festival
  • I am a poet :: Poem
  • Roles of Members of Parliament
  • SRF/JRF for Mizoram University [Upd]
  • ST Demand Rally [Mar 3] #1: Gallery
  • Sanaroishingee Nunit : Gallery
  • Rejoinder to TNL's Diatribe on the Kukis
  • Schemes of Panchayati Raj #2
  • Phayeng Koubru Haraoba #1: Gallery
  • Nagaland Dance @Sangai Fest : Gallery
  • Bad Boy Eats the Yellow Snow
  • Name :: Poem
  • Alcohol prohibition
  • Treading murky waters
  • PM Kisan: Reducing risk..increasing return
  • Rallying around ST demand for Meiteis
  • Myanmar Army takes control of NSCN (K)
  • Henjunaha #3 :: Funga Wari
  • Reading Megh-dut in Manipuri #1
  • Purnima Ngangom's Painting : Gallery
  • Impact of Anglo Manipur War 1891 #2
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Traditional Raas Dance #2: Gallery
  • Cultural @Republic Day #2 : Gallery
  • RS adjourned without CAB: What now? #3
  • Retrospection on Sport person's Day
  • Marriage ceremony : Zeliangrong & Tai #3
  • Maharaj Kumar Priyabarta Singh : Profile
  • March Calendar for Year 2019 :: Tools
  • Lui-ngai-ni @Senapati #3: Gallery
  • Yubi Lakpi #1 : Gallery
  • Holi Pala @Sangai Festival : Gallery
  • Indie films: Loktak Lairembee & Soni #2
  • Singcha Wuya Won @Kamjong #2 : Gallery
  • Konthoujam Maikel's Painting : Gallery
  • Pui Jianna Thangamliu :: eRang
  • March Past: Republic Day: Gallery
  • Lui-ngai-ni @Senapati #2: Gallery
  • Police check @Jirimukh, Jiri : Gallery
  • Dzukou Valley, Senapati : Gallery
  • Thamoise Foidattuna :: e-pao Radio
  • Onetwo Okram : Singer- Profile :: eRang
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #3 : Gallery
  • Manipuri Calendar for 2019 : Download
  • List of Restricted Holidays for 2019
  • List of Public Holidays for 2019
  • List of General Holidays for 2019
  • SPONSORED ADS