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E-Pao! Incident - A Journey Through Ignorance and Deprivations

A Journey Through Ignorance and Deprivations

An inhabitant. *



While we were kids, our grandmas used to narrate to us many thrilling folk tales. Among them, they repeatedly told us about the wat-ta pa-da-ba(self-subsisting) Sanaleipak- about the brave and wise forefathers- about cleanliness, hardworking; well-discipline/well-mannered forefathers how they toiled in the loubook/farmland, how they were recognized for their arts- of how the people used to rely on themselves for goods needed for happy subsistence across the full-spectrum.

They were sometimes quarrelling with our working mother and aunts over this issue. We still have some hazy memories of how the old and young women in my village used to prepare cotton threads. They used to gather cotton cocoons which were ground locally. They made clothes from cotton threads and dyed it with some herb, which I have forgotten the local name, to give desirable color/pattern of colors according to their like and the demand. This is just my experience and many of you who are older and much older than me must have vivid memories of the many such self-subsisting way of life across the territories of this land which made the people of this land survived independently.

Interestingly, my grandma was also narrating to us about what they called 'wor'- about the strange looking reddish Sahibs, fearsome Black soldiers and Mayangs and Gurkhas, about the Japanese fighter Jets and they imagined its size as same as they saw in the sky and about the bombs, diseases, untold deaths and sufferings, about the Sahibs mistaking our grandpa as Japanese in his visit to some foothill village.

The community which I belong has a very sacred and prime importance place about education. And our grandmas having such a mental set-up always encouraged and insisted us to work hard to achieve excellence in education even though they had no idea what this is. They didn't know that we were entering a world which would make us and take us far away from them in terms of their beliefs and thinking.

It is worth remembering of how we were always in conflict with them when we told them about the facts of science which sometimes invalidated most of their superstitions. But they could not accept our assertions when we challenged their deeply ingrained beliefs. When T.V. reached our homes, they were astonished and amazed, as they could not imagine about it.

And that was a sweet scoring point for us to argue about our newly learned knowledge- about the vastness of the Universe, about the planet earth. This is the good things about our formal education, about what we learn about science in a more sophisticated and articulated form though we cannot deny that our various traditional knowledge has also seeds of science.

Today, what we have in our hand. We are almost devastated. No doubt, change is inevitable. Is this change we should sustain and support? We have modern gadgets, TVs, Indian Rupees and so on. Money push in and goods push in. With all these, where are we now? Haven't we become just a standing-still human statues- or people which has ceased breathing since then? We have been reduced to a lifeless middleman.

Instead of modernizing what we had and developing new avenues according to the needs of the changing time, we have been transformed into a beggar-people. Everything for us is in shambles. We have totally handover/surrender our life unknowingly and unaware. Now our survival depends to their whims. We have completely trade-off the grip over our own life and survival. For saying this, please do not assume we are blind. We don't want to be prejudiced with anybody.

Our grandmas don't know what is India and nothing to do with the idea of India. It will be a futile attempt trying to communicate with them in this term. Of course, our grandpas did know about India. And they did know by the name Hindustan. Unfortunately, they also didn't have any concept to relate Sanaleipak with India. But they had very vivid memories of the altruism of Irabot- of how he fought for the poor peasants and injustices and for the people- of how they gave shelter to him when he was outlawed.

Truly, we, the younger generation know and are well-versed about what is India and the mainstream. Our education is much more about inculcating this. We used to sing "Jana Gana Mana" during our school days. We know Ancient India, Medieval India, Freedom Struggle, your Democracy, and Election, Mauryan-Gupta periods, Mughals, Rajputs, Marathas, Arjun's adventures, Caste system and so many things.

And we need to learn all these to earn our livelihood and a respectable social status. But we know very little about the place where we are born. Though we come to encounter many fabricated things about the place, for instance, as in the most revered Legend Jawaharlal Nehru's projection in his 'Discovery of India' about Arjuna in Manipur- Isn't it mind boggling lies.

It is really awful to think about of how we have been fooled and manipulated in our thinking to distort our self-image as Aryans from central Asia. We are surprised and this is unimaginable to know when armed with some basics of Anthropology that the people who tried to do this are predominantly of the Dravidian group. Some 400-500years ago, they were made to believe that they were Aryans by their masters to suit and consolidate their rule.

Or may be some thousands years ago, a sprinkle of central Asian races might be mixed with a sea of Dravidian people inhabiting the Northern region. They are still believing till this day and internalizing their masters' superior mentality and look upon others through this prism and emulating their masters way of imposing the Aryan Self-image on others which are not like themselves.

Some among them which are mixed bred with their masters race think themselves to be the purest and the most intelligent and beautiful race. They even treat their Southern cousins as inferior to them. We have been having anguish with such a spell of stupid/dangerous mentality. They couldn't accept that beautiful and intelligent people exist in every race. They are under severely wrong impression engendered with the colonial concept to project the high and superior status. Equipped with such self-defeating mentality, they are stubbornly ruling and doing overlordship upon us.


'An inhabitant' - a pesudonym used by Nongnallakpa Horam writes regularly for e-pao.net .
He can be reached at [email protected]
This article was webcasted on Feb 14th, 2005


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