TODAY -

E-Pao! EI - Just where is Thangso anyway?

Just where is Thangso anyway?

By: Haumuanlun Samte *



As the whirling wind of the legislative Assembly election starts blowing, stories of ministers promising hefty developmental funds and distributing the popular 'red shawls' among the deserved lots begin to do the rounds this time over again.

I fail to grasp the reason why this hullabaloo has to wait all these four years only to be revived now. And at the end of every five years, the same old story continues.

When I was a small school kid, I dreamt of becoming a politician one day. I could see just how mighty politicians were, with myriad of 'yes' men hovering around, and a substantial amount of money at their disposal. They were being venerated as idols and everywhere they went, they carried the airs of a celebrity.

Oh, how I wished I could become one someday! However, this perception began to drift away as time went on. Be it politics or politicians themselves. We were told that 'politics' is the art and science of governance, and that government must be people-oriented, transparent and efficient.

But from our own experiences we come to learn that politics is a dirty game, an arena of the struggle for power and more powers. And the essential qualities for any political system like people-orientation, transparency and efficiency don't seem to find their place in the present state of affairs. Politics tend to be considered as a mere means of securing income.

Or let me put it quite this way: it is a means of occupation. Now, this is the politics of Manipur I am talking about. This is how politics has been played in Churachandpur. You grab it, you have it, and you want to have more.

Singngat happens to be one of the most devastated arenas where political gladiators using ethnicity as a political tool to mobilize support and gain power are engaged in a real mortal combat. Their games are pretty high, played by maverick players.

With eyes wide shut, the people followed the path laid by the leaders at any cost, to any extent, and in the process they went too far without knowing the fact that an iron curtain had descended across them marking a wide communal divide. The rule is clear here.

You are a Paite, go for him. You are a Zou, go for him. You are a Thadou, go for him. Perhaps, that day isn't too far when the 'go' gets changed to 'kill'. (Hey, that thing happened once or twice in the past, right?)

From Gouzadou to Thangkhanlal down to N. Zatawn, et seq., I had watched them grace social functions, misleading the public with ornate promises which were never really realized. They emanated supreme control over the hypnotized crowd who were swaying and applauding with the promise of a better tomorrow, and of building Singngat into a kind of "New Jerusalem."

Their motives were to garner vote banks. Just that. When the results were out and all things said, the newly elected MLA zoomed down the Imphal valley reneging on the promises he had made to the people. But long after the excitement died down, the innocence still lingered in the minds of the people.

And they still continued to hope that their representative would, somehow, make a noble appearance once again to shower upon them the light of the new age he had articulated sometime before with fervid eloquence.

Their wait seemed to last an eternity.

Nothing has changed. Singngat still lays a moldering ruin. In fact, the 1997 ethnic clash has left a clear mark on these once beautiful, serene Singngat highlands - dark and deep. Through this day the people of Singngat, who are now scattered across the globe, still recall with fond memories the good old days when peace and tranquillity prevailed.

Life was so good and the town was prospering exceedingly well, with different ethnic people living together harmoniously. Oh, but those were days never to be seen again.

A decade has passed. Yet the breaking of the dawn is still a far cry for the poor Singngatians. Apparently, they are lying low awaiting the return of better times. Here I am, lost in reverie, looking out over a now-turned-into-a-small-hamlet so quite and still and dark it could well have been a sort of post-apocalyptic. And the words on the street are clear.

Empty. Desolate. Neglected. Abandoned. The Government machinery has completely collapsed and there is little, or no, sign that this place is part of the Indian state.

Gone are the days when well-equipped doctors and nurses attended to patients under the sprawling expanse of the hospital building in downtown Singngat. The building is now a little more than a colossal wreck, standing in a forgotten corner, slowly wasting away as time goes by.

The Singngat SDO office complex had given out long ago and the office guys had been working somewhere in New Bazar, the heart of the district headquarters for quite sometime. The situation now begins to improve a bit. But the SDC, who is in-charge of the office, still continues his oh-so-religious trait. He seems quite reluctant to miss the Sunday worship services at home.

I am wondering what future has in store for those poor students whose school the Singngat Govt. High School had been occupied by the Army though it may seem a fringe benefit for the teachers working there. And the people would call it their lucky day when doctors made an occasional fleeting visit, that too once every two months or so.

Obviously something is wrong somewhere. But in the end who gives a damn anyway? Water scarcity and dilapidated Singngat-Lamka road condition had been grappling the people of Singngat since time begun. I am aware of the hardships people have to undergo in fetching water to as far away a tiny stream as over one to two kilometers, everyday, which is flowing in barely more than a trickle.

I am aware of the overwhelming fear and uncertainty that is running through their minds when people take a bus ride down Tiddim Road, especially during the rainy season. Through this day, the infamous 'Zezaw tou', the most terrible part of the Tedim Road stretch, continues to haunt travellers using the roadway. Just imagine how the bus fares between CCPur-Imphal (60 kms.) and CcPur-Singngat (30 kms.) could be the same. But their deafening voices are unheard, their dying cries are disregarded.

Meanwhile, Thangso Baite, the constituency's MLA, resurfaced on the limelight recently after having been hibernating for years, with a far different reason. While the people are wailing with a soulful anguish over their condition, the MLA seems just as interested in conferring meritorious awards to the successful first class candidates of this year's HSLC examination from within the constituency.

And that too within the comforts of his posh home in Lamka. His passionate interest in education may be attributed to his having an MA degree and his serving as the principal of Christian English H/School in Sugnu in the early eighties. In the meantime, 22 villagers of the sub-division are being incarcerated somewhere deep within the Myanmar's military regime.

The safe return of these men to their loved ones depends entirely on the diplomatic policy of the MLA, only if he is still the same 'master strategist' as he had been in the 2002 election. In some way, his assumption of power quite reminds me of the way Benito Mussolini rose to power way back in 1922.

After having been elected as the MLA, Baite has made just two visits to his constituency till date. That's a whole four-year period. The fact is that he just made occasional noises to demonstrate that he is still there, somewhere, chilling out. The first visit was in early 2004 and the last one was in April 23, 2005 as part of the CM team, where the CM laid the foundation for a 33 KV sub-station in Singngat.

And everybody knows that the project wouldn't be completed till the foundation stone withers away. Yet, the Singngatians still have a reason to smile amidst the hype.

During the recent Assembly session, Devendra Singh, the then Works Minister, in an answer to a question posed by the MLA, announced that a whopping - Rs. 112.04 lacs has been spent in Churachandpur to Singngat road construction for the last three years. Plus, the CM, on the occasion of the Congress Workers' Meet held in Lamka on June 10, 2006 said that a sum of Rs. 2.5 crores has been sanctioned on Singngat-Lamka and Lamka-Sugnu roads combined.

And now all I can ask is just what the hell are the CM and the Works Minister talking about?

The above-mentioned amounts could nowhere be seen in the entire 30-km stretch of road from Lamka to Singngat. Where has Thangso Baite been all these years?

Perhaps, if he made just one last appearance to the people of Singngat and see their conditions with his own eyes, that would sure bring a sigh of relief to the people, even if it's for a fleeting moment.

The people, bogged down by neglect, deprivation and hopelessness over the years surely know not to ask for more. Just one more visit and they would gladly clap their hands.

And he would, perhaps, win his second term hands down.


Haumuanlun Samte wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on August 30th, 2006


* 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
  • 2nd Annual Art Exhibition #1 : Gallery
  • Violence in Manipur 2023-2024 : Timeline
  • Chilli Chicken: Film Spotlighting NE in B'lore
  • Committee of Narcotics Anonymous - Imphal
  • The Power of Meditation
  • Oceans as a career choice
  • Getting more and more audacious
  • A test of leadership
  • Education Fair @Imphal #2 : Gallery
  • Gifting two seats to Cong
  • Voters empowered democracy
  • Postcards from Meghalaya premieres
  • Milk : Essential nutrient for a healthy body
  • Failing in competitive exam not end of world
  • Delhi : A mere spectator
  • Abandoning Jiribam
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #5
  • Ima Keithel flood- May 30 #2 : Gallery
  • Mainstream in Shoes of Alternative
  • Protect the medicines that protect us
  • Lets take action for our land & our future
  • Democracy and independent media
  • Agenda at work to shut Western Gate
  • Keeping Manipur on the boil
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #34: Download
  • The Enigmatic Journey of 'Laikhutshangbi'
  • Individual and the Social
  • An Ardent Appeal to All Concerns
  • Condemnation of Attack & Govt Inaction
  • The Power of Poppy - 34 :: Poem
  • Scientist of Manipur: Laishram Shanta
  • Alien fishes spotted in Manipur's rivers
  • Training on mushroom at Langthabal
  • Digital avatars or deepfakes ?
  • 7th June is the World Food Safety Day
  • How to prepare for UPSC after 10th ?
  • The Jiri violence
  • Beginning of a new vote culture ?
  • Bimol Akoijam (Cong) wins Inner PC : Gallery
  • BJP, NPF & other NDA pay heavy price
  • Nature is one of greatest blessings of God
  • Plantation drive in Tripura, Assam & Manipur
  • Summer beauty
  • Environment conservation & over-exploitation
  • Is Modi cut out for leading a coalition ?
  • 'Ishanou' Selection @ Cannes #2: Gallery
  • Scholarship for Johnstone Hr Sec students
  • 1st foundation day of Interfaith Forum
  • World Environment Day: Our land, our future
  • Indonesia stronger anti-tobacco measures
  • Navigating a fragile Myanmar: India's policy
  • New breed entering electoral politics
  • The road to formation of new govt
  • International Dance Day #1 : Gallery
  • Matchbox marketing mantra
  • Stop harming nature :: Poem
  • Saving for oneself & the Nation
  • Model United Nations (MUN) conducted
  • Tobacco: Threat to health & environment
  • Candidate from ruling party biting the dust
  • The verdict
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #4
  • Imphal valley districts flooded #3 : Gallery
  • Navigating Remal amidst Manipur conflict
  • We are #GenerationRestoration
  • Intl Day of Innocent Children Victims
  • Apparel Industry Skills & Innovation CoE
  • What's in a cyclone's name ?
  • Ongoing clash, the floods, the losses
  • Exit poll predictions
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #33: Download
  • Evading flood & rethinking urbanization
  • Manipur Flood: Health Advisory
  • Onus on civil bodies to ensure NNPG unity
  • Rats also cause flood
  • Benefits of JEE Main mock tests
  • People have spoken, now the results
  • The fury of Remal
  • Ima Keithel flood- May 30 #1 : Gallery
  • The flood in our Stars
  • The Power of Poppy - 33 :: Poem
  • 'Group of people misrepresented themselves'
  • EV industry and career options
  • Scientist of Manipur: Chandrakant Aribam
  • Candy flavoured traps to hook next Gen
  • Commemorate Naga Plesbicite Day 1951 #2
  • Tobacco affects health & environment too
  • Jio extend validity for Customer in Manipur
  • Students must learn about AI irrespective
  • As vote count day approaches : Floods
  • Imphal valley districts flooded #2 : Gallery
  • Flooded : Sacrifice of Yairipok's Maiden
  • World No Tobacco Day 2024
  • Chandam Rishikanta wins NPC Nat'l C'ship
  • Flood: Helpline numbers for emergency
  • Battling body odour ?
  • Floods : Not entirely natural phenomena
  • PM Modi's purpose
  • Imphal valley districts flooded #1 : Gallery
  • June Calendar for Year 2024 : Tools
  • Flood: Control Rooms & Helpline numbers
  • Economic impact of ongoing conflict
  • Army Recruitment Rally for Manipur
  • Cut deficit, boom likely
  • Are Gods angry ? Wake up call for Manipur
  • Beating of the Retreat #2 : Gallery
  • We did Overcome: Mayhem of Month of May
  • Training on mushroom at Potshagbam
  • Famous female Mathematicians in India
  • Disinformation campaign thengnare
  • Human trafficking puts humanity to shame
  • Sky opens up in all its fury
  • Licypriya meets Italy PM & Pope Francis
  • HSLC (Class X) 2024 : Full Result
  • HSLC 2024 : Important Info & Grading System
  • HSLC 2024 : Pass % : Private Schools
  • HSLC 2024 : Pass % : Aided Schools
  • HSLC 2024 : Pass % : Govt Schools
  • HSLC 2024 : Statistical Abstract
  • HSLC 2024 : Comparative Statement
  • Combined Defence Services Exam 2024
  • Good show in Class X exams
  • Downplaying the crisis
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #3
  • Reviving Lamphelpat : Conservation : Gallery
  • Commemorate Naga Plesbicite Day 1951 #1
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Hojai
  • The Power of Poppy - 32 :: Poem
  • Insights from CUET-UG Counselling
  • International Day for Biological Diversity
  • Unseen force at work: Time to unravel it
  • Sheikh Hasina's revelation
  • The Vanishing Meitei Tribe
  • Building career in defence & strategic study
  • Why example of model code of conduct ?
  • Ownership of responsibility
  • Will pressure mount on key players in NE
  • How to save your foot after an accident
  • Children Camp @JNMDA Imphal #3 : Gallery
  • Education Fair @Imphal #1 : Gallery
  • Project Associate @ CSE, Assam Univ
  • Understanding schizophrenia
  • Advancement in Multi Objective Optimization
  • When will women in voter list increase ?
  • Making 2 plus 2 is equal to 5
  • Changing face of drug menace
  • Scientist of Manipur: Jayanta Manoharmayum
  • 25 yrs since Atal Vajpayee visit to RIMS
  • 4 Lakhs donated to support (L) Maipak Family
  • Clarification: Guwahati Meet on Humanitarian
  • Start UPSC prep after 12th for success
  • Tips to avoid melting makeup in summer
  • Giving a big solid push to ST demand
  • Time to come clean
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba: 1 occasion, 2 narratives #3
  • Khongjom Day @Khebaching #2 : Gallery
  • A year of hostilities
  • Licypriya Kangujam to travel to Italy
  • Declining moral standards in public life
  • Healthy democracy with independent media
  • Why endangered species matter to us
  • Significant Guwahati meeting : 1st visible step
  • The Pallel story
  • Aftermath of ferocious hailstorm #2 : Gallery
  • Ukhrul: Climate change grip on water supply
  • Commemoration of World Eld's Deer Day
  • Indo-Naga Talks (From 2012) :: Timeline
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Hiyanglam
  • Dance of democracy, a miracle in making !
  • Learn to look 10/20/30 years hence
  • The zero FIR, zero lesson
  • 'Ishanou' Selection @ Cannes #1: Gallery
  • MOU signed: MTI-HUB & KIIT-TBI & SAbF
  • Lament of the Mourning Choir :: Poem
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Wabagai
  • RSS-BJP fracas
  • Trials for Canoe Slalom World Cup
  • Poser from a villager says it all Kamjong
  • The cover-up effort
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #2
  • Manipuri women in the arena of politics
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Assam
  • Aimee Baruah at red carpet of Cannes
  • National Defence Academy Exam 2024
  • How digital media changed communications
  • Manipur stands scandalised
  • All eyes on UP battle
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #32: Download
  • Riots to a shrine- Ram Mandir of Ayodhya
  • Handle with care. F.R.I.E.N.D.S inside!
  • The Power of Poppy - 31 :: Poem
  • Celebrate the journey !
  • Career counselling : A life guidance tool
  • Scientist of Manipur: Amom Ruhikanta
  • Conspiracy, thy name is Kuki !
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Thounaojam
  • Ket Meth New Album "Ghost Stories"
  • World Hypertension Day
  • International Day of Families
  • Let the rule of law prevail
  • When donation becomes obligatory demand
  • Tourism of Manipur through Gastronomy
  • Beyond Eternity :: Poem
  • Patriarch subjugation on women
  • Celebrate Manipuri Cinema shine at Cannes
  • Training on cultivation of various mushroom
  • Transformative impact of Ayurveda & Yoga
  • War for over a year : Delhi is answerable
  • The logic behind illogical chargesheet
  • Preserving Thang-Ta :: Rare Photos
  • Regarding Human Rights Situation in Manipur
  • World Hypertension Day 2024
  • Article 355 of Constitution of India #3
  • Disinformation campaign touba thengnarey
  • Deeply mourn the demise of Oja Biren Lamba
  • Water Mimosa for sustainable development
  • Publicity drives of educational institutions
  • ED's revolutionary move!!!
  • Malemnganbi Laishram : Science Topper
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2024 #2: Gallery
  • Thokchom Sheityajit : Arts Topper
  • Aiena Naorem : Commerce Topper
  • AISSE 2024 Exam Result- RKM Imphal
  • Gold, new world currency !
  • Milk for hair and skin
  • Of illegal immigrants & the larger picture
  • The missive from Kamjong
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024 : Science Topper
  • HSE 2024 : Subject Pass Percentage
  • HSE 2024 : District Pass Percentage
  • HSE 2024 : Candidates with Highest Marks
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024: Science Full Result
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024: Arts Full Result
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024: Commerce Result
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024 : Arts Topper
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024 : Commerce Topper
  • World Bamboo Congress @Taiwan : Gallery
  • Aftermath of ferocious hailstorm #1 : Gallery
  • Radio E-pao: Manipuri Film OST (130+ song)
  • Cheirao-chingkaba @ Chinga : Gallery
  • Nupi Landa Thaunaphabishing : Full Book
  • A ferocious hailstorm @Imphal : Gallery
  • '365 Days of Chin-Kuki Aggression' : Gallery
  • Athoubasingi Numit #2 : Gallery
  • National Science Teacher workshop
  • Scientists of Manipur : Laishram Ladu Singh
  • Id-ul-Fitr @Hatta #2 : Gallery
  • Children Camp @JNMDA Imphal #2 : Gallery
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba Chak Katpa #2 : Gallery
  • Scientists of Manipur : Laitonjam Warjeet
  • Community seed bank @Umathel : Gallery
  • Scientists of Manipur : Ngangkham Nimai
  • Kenedy Khuman (Singer) : Gallery
  • GHOST of PEACE :: Download Booklet
  • List of Kings of Manipur: 33 - 1984 AD