TODAY -

Acts of Violence
- Violence begets violence, peace begets peace -
- Hueiyen Lanpao Editorial :: November 05, 2008 -



THE PRESENT day human civilisation was built on the graveyards of millions of human beings. Wars of different magnitudes had been fought amongst the human-beings throughout the ages.

Millions and millions of human beings had been slaughtered. Not a single square mile of land of human habitation on the vast surface of earth had been left untouched, unaffected by violence or war of different kinds between men and men – all in the course of history of mankind and making of the civilisation as we see today.

Thus human society, right from the period of evolution, has been built upon violence as its foundation. Human beings have always been violent, belligerant and blood-thirsty, nothing less than the carnivorous wild predators.

The only difference is that the wild predators eat flesh of herbivorous animals but men do not eat flesh of men. Yet men are more cruel and ferocious than the wild predators.

When men demonstrate how cruel and ferocious they can be, thousands or millions of lives can be felled at one stroke. Thus, violence has always been an inseparable part of human character.

Manipuri society is not the exception. Violence is very much a part of the Manipuri society. Looking at the past and the present, all historical events of the land have been and are filled with violence, and there is no gainsaying the belief that the future will be different.

Now, if the question "who commits violent acts" is put before all concerned who have the power, by way of the weapons they wield or the uniform they wear or the authority they exercise, to call the shots, it's doubtful we'll get a true answer.

Of course, one will surely put the blame on the other, each claiming "we are peace-loving lot and what we are doing is to maintain the ultimate peace and tranquillity." Saying is one thing and doing is another.

Here we may recall the political leadership of the state shouting hoarse for the umpteenth time that the government keeps its doors open for the outlawed armed groups to come in and talk peace, there is no room for violence in democracy and so on.

It's true, violence and democracy are two opposing acts and principles. But in reality, violence thrives equally in democracy as it thrives in other forms of governance.

Dictatorial rulers or military rulers are not any worse than the democratic rulers when it comes to using brute force to quell a mass movement which demands a colossal change in the functioning or polocy of the respective democratic governments.

Examples are not few, but numerous.

Let's take the Great June Uprising of 2001 and the movement against the Armed Forces (Special Powers)Act, 1958 after the brutal rape and murder of Miss Thangjam Manorama in 2004, the way not only the state forces but also the huge central forces used excessive force mercilessly on the unarmed protesters clearly showed who used violent means to put down mass movements. Incidents like that abound in the history of Manipur.

The endless killings of youths–suspected UGs, real UGs or plain innocent youths, in the name of counter insurgency operations launched by the state forces and the central forces are all irrefutable acts of violence.

Leaving aside the distant past, just look at the incidents that happened three days ago. The way the state police tried to disperse the anti-Mapithel Dam protesters– mostly women by firing tear gas shells directly to the protesters and baton-charged them did not show the slightest sign of peace-loving act.

Then again on the next day, hardly 20 hours after, the police again used force to disperse a crowd of protesting women on the NH 39 at Lilong area.

These are just a few examples of how much violent means the government forces use to tackle agitationists, despite the claims made by the rulers that violence has no room in a democratic setup.

Therefore scepticism must naturally emerge from different sections of the society on the political rulers' sermons of peace while, in fact, the protectors of laws resort to brutal violence on unarmed civilian protesters.

Therefore, the leadership first need to show the people that any and all differences of opinions and grievances can be settled through peaceful negotiations instead of resorting to violent force to subdue the people's dissenting voices forcibly.

Violence by the anti-government forces also stand condemned as always.





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