Friday, July 06, 2007

ZSF Issues Progress Report Card of Road Constructions

After inspecting the progress of the Churachandpur-Singn-gat road (Tedim road) and Singnat-Sinzawl-Tuivai road funded by the NEC under the Ministry of DONER on June 28 and Jun 29, the Zomi Students' Federation has adopted a three point resolution for the early completion of the said roads.

In a statement, the student body said that after a two day inspection of the work progress on the said stretches of road, it adopted three resolutions.

The resolutions include pressurising the State Government and the NEC for handing over the remaining construction works of Guite Road to Border Roads Organisation, as per the previous MoUs signed between it and the State Government as well as per the Cabinet decisions taken in this regard on September 2, 2006; to urge the NEC for immediate withdrawal of its Tender Notice (No. 141) issued for Guite Road project if no concrete steps are taken to hand over the same to the BRO and to oppose any attempt by the authority concerned to nullify the rightful demand.

The inspection tour was taken by 7 members of the ZSF led by its president S Kapkhanmuan.

On the construction works being taken up on Tedim road, the student body said that the length is approximately 32 kms for which a sum of Rs 2732 lakhs has been sanctioned. Out of this Rs 82.327 lakhs has been earmarked for each and every kilometre.

Without mincing words, the student body said that has been no remarkable progress of the work. No official work order has been issued till date, said the statement and added that the same may be issued soon.

ZSF appealed to the PWD and the contractors to take up the work with sincerity and added that it is also the gateway for the proposed Behiang Trade Centre as well as connect it to Mizoram.

The student body further said that Tedim Road is covered with pot holes and stagnant water and the width of the road is too small in view of the growing volume of traffic. It needs upgradation said the ZSF and added that quality of the road should be maintained by the NEC. Giving the length of Guite Road as 128.17 kms with the amount sanctioned by the NEC pegged at Rs 8251.79 lakhs, ZSF said that the specification laid down is that the minimum width of the road should be 24 feet. Tender notice has also been served for the road with an estimated cost of Rs 3696.87 lakhs and the State PWD will be the implementing agency.

On the progress of the work, ZSF said that the construction work has been done on and off or partially along the stretch. Several contractors had started their work way back in November last year, said the student body and added that only a few of them have executed the work in conformity with the NEC specifications. The executed work portion are flooded with stag- nant water, pot holes mud and landslides.

Contrary to the specifications, the formation and cutting works executed till date are too narrow with some limited to only 14 to 18 feet against the specified 24 feet, alleged ZSF. Proper maintenance of the completed road portion is absent, said the student body and added that widening work can be seen only in and around 6 portions amongst which only one portion is found satisfactorily.

The total road length where the work is in progress is approximately 25 kms. Asserting that the villagers along Guite road, are satisfied with the ongoing work, ZSF said that the contractors are not adhering to the specifications laid down by the NEC. The work force is too small and no proper maintenance could be seen, asserted ZSF.
Source: The Sangai Express

Plaintive Echoes

By David Buhril

The unwanted tense in Moreh is not only a return to the state of nature. It is also a gullible celebration of the state of nature that we have been nursing fervently. The nurse needs a bad nursing. That is when the bruise got bigger with an insatiable vacuum that thirsts for all that we barely have. Be it the brief visible life. Be it the unseen breathe. Be it the fluctuating pulse. Or the thin and brittle surface of the lurking peace that hide as we continue to seek. Much before we could ask if it would be worth quenching them, it tolls on us. We bled with tears and blood. Bled the little corners and incites them further in the name of blood. And in the name of narrow and dirty bloodlines. The more we bled, the more we become blinded. We plant olive between thick walls. Too thick that we cannot see them grow. Too thick that we never knew it was planted. Too thick for the plant to grow big. Just too thick. Never knowing that when it grows big the shade would be for everyone’s bliss. If the bliss were not what we are seeking for, it would still deliver us salvation. Salvation, not only of some sort, but all sorts. If even salvation were not the quest, then it would be at least for peace.

Communal killings. Shoot -at-sight orders. Curfew. Protest. Charged expression follows. They seem to have been necessary staple in our everyday lives. Unfortunately. Evidence that our peace lies in shallow drying puddles. Looking murkier than ever as blood-hawk multiplies. When will the multiplying small arms be silent for peace? The celebration of the unfortunate discovery drives peace away. The vain celebration. But the dove fly so high that it is hardly visible. Never visible anywhere. In desperation, mortals confessed to be leaders laid tables. Round, square, oval and blunt tables were laid to broker peace. They negotiated and doctored to fit the fragile quest. Communally fuelled and clogged air pollutes the dove’s flight. Peace rains no more. It drained with a toll on precious irreparable lives. Innocents were sacrificed willy-nilly. They die in their blooming youth. Warm tears shed when peace dries up. When will we see the last drop of tears and blood in our stricken vales and hills? The looming sophisticated negative accessories that are exported dwarfed us all in the absence of peace. We become elf-like. Unnecessary make up clothed us with insecurity. Reducing the men and women we are. Reducing the human in us. How shall we rescue our traumatised psyche from the spiral that numbed us? We need peace, not merely to relief the evident vacuum, but to cease our communally ignited mindset. We need peace to revive our society, education, economy, culture, and history. We need peace to revive our progress, hope and aspirations as a people. Peace, which is absent, is suppose to be our biggest resource. Otherwise, if this persists, we will be wavering in bleaker pursuit of more bloody battles. The winner will not occupy the land. Misery will. Poverty will. Unemployment will. War hawks will. Incompensable battles resulting in losers multiply. The winner seems to be an eluding myth. Who will win when there is bloodshed? Who will win when tears overflow? Who would dare say, “I am the winner”, after killing his own brother? Our moral climate is deteriorating. Is this an effect of global-warming, taxing not only on our climate but other resources too? If not, then this is man made too. Our made. Have we patented it to squeeze ourselves dry?

The Leviathan has mastered to distance itself. Today it is concerned with making its shoe size bigger than before. No matter even if its head and feet did not fit into. The thirst fits everywhere. Their game is limited to the belief that size does matter. That is our government? Our problems have blown out to become untouchable for them. Law is never in order. The order never reaches anywhere. We are compelled to choose with nothing much, but to adjust ourselves to the blown-out cases, which has become ours. Meanwhile, like small-uncelebrated gods, politicians continue to scuffle for power. The thirst for portfolios is bigger than that of peace. Power has become a means and an end in itself for the holders. When will it reflect in work, responsibilities, obligations, truth, justice, fairness, welfare, progress, development and all that is miserably missing? A begging government dependent on people’s vote but independent in all it’s functioning. What about its role and responsibility? What about its obligation? Does it have any credibility and integrity as a government? Does it ever realise that it is directly as well as indirectly responsible for the present tense in Chandel’s Moreh as well as all the other stale mess that we are compelled to live with.

We have been accommodating failures and blunders. We have mastered the art and craft of it too. Accommodating them to the extent of surrendering our suffrage for no good at all. Accommodating them with our silence. Accommodating them with our bruised reason. Accommodating with our ignorance. Worse, never questioning the corrigible. It would be good to be reminded that the power to change lie within us. Otherwise, does this democracy, if there is, have any space left for us to make decisions. Old bottles with the spirit of new wine have left us with a clogged space. Degeneration speeds up under the nose of grey corrupted hair. Their supposed power is a mite. Their supposed might is a myth. And their promise limps with all the bruises that would, if we still allow, gnaw into our own generations to ruin. Shall we continue to allow?

The State has resembled a labour room that fails to deliver. It rang with frantic expressions. Of pain and desperation. Of anger and restlessness. Of shock. Of the misery of sin. They have become a normal routine though. The vices are masked in a hood. They hold the sinful power and the gory glory. What we beget is in the hole. The barrel. Justice in the barrel. Peace in the barrel. Power in the barrel. Freedom in the barrel. Democracy in the barrel. Expressions and suffrage in the barrel. The past and present numbed in the barrel. The only question is, will the future remain in the barrel? Our might bowled and bowed in the barrel. Our strength freezes in the barrel. Generations infested in the barrel. Generations invested in the barrel. All actors resorted to the barrel. State actors as well as non-state actors too. The barrel State. When empowerment is through the barrel, it draws bloody lines. It draws communal lines. Ethnic lines. What not? It draws all unwanted lines by erasing peace and the desire for it. The residue is a plaintive note that echoes over the hills and vale.

KHAWLMUN (The Station)

Written by L.T.Ngaihte

Khualzin mi adia a ngaklah huai mahmah tuh Khawlmun ahi.Tap-phou nisa nuai a khaw-ul luang paup puap zen in singtang lamhaksa tak ihon zui a, lamtou bei ding kuan, lamkhang Khiangsing lian leh bawk phatak liim a I hong khawl zaw,tawldam huai tak ahi.Zo huihkhi siang a hong nung hiau-hiau a,huai in I khaw-ul te a hon mut keu dindin hi.Ahi a, ani leh hun in hon ngaklou ahih takchian, sawt khawl ngam louin, ‘hei-ha !’ chi’n I kipan nawn a, Khawlmun dang I phak nawn masiah I pai nawn hi.

Zingsang tung in na kipan a, nitak a na giah na ding delh in na paizel hi. Kintak a na delh hang in,nitum ding kuan in na tupna na hong tung khong a, ngaih e ngaihlouh e hiam, ut e utlou e hiam gen omlou in,a hon hehpih a a hon zintun khat inn ah nong giak a,aihhang na maban tuh a zingchiang a mundang manoh a pai zel ding ahi lel hi. Zing nisuah ma in na hong kipan a, akin a kin in na tupna mun zuan in na hong kalsuan a, zunthak hun sung nangawn sawt na sa hial a, atawpin,zan mial kuan in na tupna na hong tung a,ahi a, na khualzinna a kim khat zoupan na hi lai hi.

Singtang dawn a piang leh khanglian ka hihhang in, ka nu leh pa te tanau hauh ziakin,ka khawkim ua khawdang tuam tuam, Pherjol,Tinsuong, Khuangjang, Hanship,Palkhuang,Bukpi chihte ka momnou lai apan ka phazel uhi.Naupang ka hih lai in ka pa te’n pai mengmeng dia a hon deih man un, ‘naupang a makaih leh inn nai ahi’ achi sek ua,a nunung a ipai ding a deih louh man un ‘naupang a nunung leh Thankik in a khetul chilphih nuam’ chi uhi.Thankik chilphih khak a om te ‘khang theilou uh’ chin hon hilh uhi.Gammang lak a ‘sialki’ I tum leh sikha in hon zui nuamchi uh a, I ‘kikou’ le zong sikha in honna dawng nuam ahi,dai zikzik a paiding ahi’ chi uhi.Khawl ding a lauh manun, ikhawl mun leh khe na deuhdeuh ahi chi uhi.

1970 kum naupang kha ka hih lai apan keikia a khualzin kana pan a, ut pumpi ziak hilou in, alou theilou ahih ziak ahi zaw. Ka khua uh Lawibual apan ka school kaina, Rostad Memorial High School tun na ding in nithum leh zan nih a lut hi. Nithum sung khe a pai,zan nih mi in a giak hial a ka pai chiang in ,ka hostel na hong tung a, huai ah ni bang zahhiam om in skul ka hong kai a,a nung sawtlou in,inlam manoh nawn a ngai. A kim khat lel tung pan kana hi gige.

Lawibual a ME School a kakai lai,pawl 4(1966 vel hi mai ding !) ka hih lai in,ka heutupa uh Pastor(L) Thangsavung in ‘bang ahia na tup’ chih a hon dawt lai in, ka gei a pa’n ‘Dakpu(Postman) a chi a, ken ‘Pawl 10 passik’ ka chi tei ringot hi.Pawl 10 zoh chia bang hiam khat tawldam huai tak om ding hileh kilawm hi.I hong tleirol a College bang kai in, BA bang I hon zou hial a lah… ‘sepna khat ki nei phot phot leh..’ I chi a,huai nungin, ‘zi hoihtak leh taima tak nei phot le’ I chi nawn a, ‘inn khat bek nei le zaw.., ichichi, huan ‘ta-te hong lian deuh le u zaw’ ichi nawn a, ‘ta-te College hiam University hiam hong lut thei phot le u zaw..’ ichi touzel. A tawpin ‘dam a pension theih le zaw..’ ichi tou nalai hi. Khawlmun lametna in,damsung I zang bei zel uhi. Khawlmun hia Tawldamna Mun taktak om ngei lou, khat khit khat.Hmar te laphuah siam khat in leng huchibang ana ngaihtuah tuah zaw ahiding a, ‘….cholhna um am tin ka zong a….’ achi a, a tawp in ‘cholhna ram an naw ie…’ ana chi tuai tuai hi.

Lou nasepna ah ,pupa gen minthang Phavang sung zong,tawldam hun akichih hang in,inn nasep hun, inn lam hun, inn tung bawl thak hun, numei te a din puanpi gat hun, siamgat hun, singkhol hun te leh dawl-kai(bazaar) hun te a hi.Louvat hun a hong tung a,huih hat luatma a zoh sawm in I hong pang a, huai khit in Tap-phou, Lou-hal, Mangtom, Buhtuh in a hon zui a,Lou khoh chi tuam tuam te: Amasa Lou-Ham, Avual nihna Lou-thual, ahatzou ten thum vei tan bang a khou suak man ua,atawpna in Lou Phuai kichi in, buh te vui ding hita,Buhgai lai ahih man in dawmtak a buh kal a loupa liante mai puk hun ahi.Buh vui ta lak hun nailou pen akuamahpeuh khiak lah Phavang Hun ahi.Buh buk leh Buktau bawl hun ahi a,buh a hong min chiang in gamsa leh vasa te toh kituh in, ki giaklut a,nisuah ma apan kipang in,nitum nung tan bang kipang zel hi.Buh tungthak,mui nam ving ving te nek hun ahi a,lounasep gah muh hun ahih dungzui in,anoplai pen houh atam chih theih hi.Buh lak khit chian gam apan inn a puak tung ahi a, tua hun lai pen Pawltak kichihi.Huchiin, kum zong hong bei ta a, ama kum a hihdan mah sutzop ding maban hi zel hi.Singtang pa’n zong, lou munhoihdeuh kinei leh, buh kihau deuh leh, sing-at inn bek kibawl zou leh,puanpi thak bek kinei zou leh chi den sam uhi. Khat I neih chian adang kinei nuam zel, tawldam hun leh tut hih-hiah hun om thei ngei lou.

Kum bangzah I phak apan hong kipan hiam chih itheih louh hangin,I lungsim guk tak ah,hiai ‘Khawlmun’ lunggulh na om mawk hi. Bangchik chiang hiam a huai ‘mun’ tungding a ki ngaihna a gultakin ki nei chiat hi. Ahihhangin,damsung kum te leh kha te ah tuachibang ‘Khawlmun’ omloupi hizaw hi. Thugentu in ‘huih nung delh’ a chih bang lel ahi. Khawlmun delh phak ngei ding a bang kei.Deih leh ngaih in tawpni a nei sin ngal kei a.Deih ding leh ngaih ding lah nisim in a pung deuh deuh mai a.Atawpin, I deih teng nei ding himah le hang leng, ‘hiai lei zaw tangtawn Gam a ching lou’ ana chi nawn ua,Thugentu ngial in ‘bang teng bangmah lou ahi’, ‘bang mah loute bang mah lou’ ana chi toi toi hi. Naupang lai a Meivu lak a ‘gou’ phumguk om chi a iki zonsak bang lel ahi. I khuat khuat a, I zong thak thak a, I khup leh-leh hial a, ahih ziakin,a omloupi zong ina hi gige. I la te khat un ‘Dawn ding a ka kunsuk aleh khemin ka om maimah’ ana chi nawn zawmah.Bang mah a om kei chih itheih khiak ngak lel ki hi maimah bang hi. I deih I Ngaih te I zon kal in, I gei a I nu leh pa, unau sanggam, I zi leh taten hanmual a hon liam san tou zel uhi. I la hoihsak khat in ‘It leh ngaih kimlou, lungzuan lah bang lou, kah la bang thei lou’ ana chi giap sam hi. Nuih na ding I zon nalam in I kap a, mittui naptui toh I zong tei tei uh. ‘Lamtou aom leh lamphei nai ahi’peuh I chi a, ahihhangin,lamphei leng a hong bei pah zel.Khosakna lah Tonzangte gen a gen sawn bang un, a hoih a kilawm thei leng zong ‘asum mah in daih lou zel’!. Meh limtak i mai kha a, ‘tagah noi muh’ chihbang in aam takin I hon ne ek a,I sung a buai ngal zel.I duh tak ngen ne kha ding hi lengle, I taksa in ana zoulou zel.Leitung nopna om mahmah lou, tawldam hit-hiat om thei mahmah lou bang hi.Kipahna ding sang in lah lungkhamna ding tam imu zaw gige. Dam siang vilvel hun lah omlou,damlouh hitan lah kipha mat, nupi kamhat khat chihdan leh ‘sing-geu a zepzep mah kibang tang hial’thei hi.

Ahihleh, leitung ‘nopna leh kipahna’ koia om hi ding hiam ? Bang chi bang a, a vang mahmah Khawlmun muh theih leh tun theih ding hiam ? Leitung a nopna leh kipahna om him him hia ? chih te ngaihtuah khak theih ahi.Ahi a, khovel nopna zaw bang mah dang hilou in, khawlmun zong a I buai na a nopna himai mah hi. Lametna I neih sung hiai nopna leh khawlmun muh theih zel hi. Khawlmun hiam lungkimna hiam ‘om’ ahi chih lametna I nei a,tung nailou,paizel ngai chihna I hon nei a,tung dekta, pha dekta hidia kigintakna I hon nei thei a,hahpan zaw deuh lai leng tusang a tung baih zaw ding chihna leh midang te tun ma deuh a tun sawm utna te I hon nei a,huai tum leh ngim a nei in,zing bel takin I thou a, sung te toh leng ann nekhawm khatheilou hial in I pang a,taksa gim in tawl mah leh I tung zou kei kha ding, midang ten a hon ma khelh khak ding uh chih lauhna in I pang tei tei a,ni tumding ahi zong in,maban I sawn teitei uhi.I hih theih patawp I suah khit chiang in hiai Khawlmun ki tung thei zel hi.Nupi kam siam khat in ‘tulai zaw ka buai thei lua a, mit-tang kelele tawm manlou ding ka hi’ a chi hi. Huchibang mite a dam thei leh a khosa thei hi zel uhi.Huchibang mite akipak leh a tawldam te hi zel uhi. Lou nasem nungak khat in mundang a laisim a va kuan khiak khiak sang in lounasem zaw mai in hon chihbawl lai a athugen ka thei gige: ‘lou nasep kipahna ding tam ahi,buh bul hoih khat lel ituah khak le le kipah luat pah ahi a, tangmai gah nou khat maimai imuh leleng kipahna lian mahmah,Donkhoh(Mazel) pak bang I tuak kha a, ikipak tun tuna hi’ achi hi. Ka gingta.Sepna gah muh zaw a nuam,lounasem hin sawlkal nasem hileh. Khualzin mi in nisa nuai a kibukna ding tulsing limnuamtak a tuah khak bang thou ahi. Dangtak pa’n dawnding tui amuh bang thou ahi.

Lungsim ngaihtuahna(emotional) a Khawlmun I lamet ahih dunzui in, Lungsim ngaihtuahna mah zang in hiai khawlmun a ngah theih hi.Tua pen a tawmzong in ‘hih a lungkimna’ zong ichi thei. Tua dingin mitam zaw ten Pathian hatna a zong zel uhi. ‘Pathian in kei hunpih dia hon piak hi’ chi a kihasuan thei pawl tamtak om.Hiai pen ahoihna om bang mahleh miphaklouhna khat hinuam mahmah hi. Huaite sang a masawn zaw ten ‘Zong in piak in na om ding’ chi in a neih lel ua lungkim louin, adang a zon beh zel uhi.Huchibang zel in, michidam tak a tan ah a om maimai thei kei a,a lang alang a su hi.Mi tamtak a kul zah sang ua tamzaw tham nei om uhi.Tuate ziakin, a neilou ten nek leh tak muh loh ua, silh leh ten neih loh uhi.Huchibang a a neihzah val uh midang te adia pekhethei te pen leitung a Khawlmun ngah khat uh hi din gintak theih hi. Hiai leuleu pen thilhaksa hilou in,mi kuapeuh in I hih theih uh ahi gige.

Paite Laisiangthou pek 1280 teng teng a thukigelh te ‘satak’ dan a ngai lah a nek didan leh a valh dingdan theilou a, akhen chia kawlzal peuh a kuah, a khenchia khintung peuh a koih, a hun tamzaw ah dohkan tung khat a koih, I tawi sun chia le akhup-a-thal a ilum lehleh sang un thuvual 4/5 lel hou chik a I ngaih takte uh ‘Midang te a dia hinna’ I chih bang, ‘Nang tung ah min hih ding na deih bang,nang midang tung hih phot in’ chih bang, ‘Nang na ki-it bang in na invengte it in’chih bang, ‘Midang te na panpih theih kei leh leng va subuai teitei dah in’ chih te khawng teng chauh hih thei bek le,laphuak tun ‘lei vangam a tang sak’ achih hi ding a,Khawlmun tung kihi ding hi.Taksa sihnung chiang a Khawlmun ngah dingchih maimah pen ‘paulam’ maimai, damsung a bangmah hihpeih loute kinepna ahi zaw. ‘God will not look you over for medals, degrees or diplomas but for scars’
-Elbert Hubbard.


Written by L.T Ngaihte

Jerusalem khopi (Old Jerusalem) laizang a om Dome of the Rock,Solomon temple leng kichi tumlam a om baang pen Western Wall kichi hi.Tuapen mah ahi the Wailing wall(Kahna bang) ki chi. A kipat dan tamlou:

Olive taang a Kumpi David khopi mallam ah khua khat Moriah kichi om hi.Hiai khua pen suang a dim mual(rocky mountain) ahi a,tua suang tung te ah Abraham in a tapa Isaac kithoihna din ana lan dek ngei hi.Pathian in a thumanna a theih khiak chiang in a tapa sik din belam nou khat pia hi.Huainung sawtlouin,tua khogei ah khota lianlou khat Salem kichi hong kibawl a,tua khothak Kumpi David in a hon lakkik chiang in Pathian Bawm koihnang chi in Pa Abraham kithoihna suang omna ah Biakin(Temple) lam khiak hon sawm hi.A hi a,Pathian in huaina sem din David khut niin salua in atapa Solomon in hon lam kheta hi.Huaiziakin,tulai a Dome of the Rock kichi huai suang ahi chin ging ta uhi.

A gammi khenkhat in bel Jesu van a laktouh ahih lai in, a hansuang khat in zui tou a tua pen bangtan hiam nung in lei ah hong ke kik a,huai suang pen tua Dome of the Rock kichi pen ahi chi leuleu uhi. A koi a bang hita leh ngaihdan ki-ka om gige ahih man in,tuate va kigen man lou ding hi.Tua temple lam thu lunglut huaitak ahi a,Pathian deihna bangin a ging omlou a lam khiak ahi.Hiai thu a detail in Kings I & II leh Chronicles te ah ki record hi.Hiai suahlam pang ah Kidron Lui luang a,Kidron lui suahlam pang ah Olive taang,a tum lam ah Moriah taang om hi.Hiai tuh ahi Biakin taang(Temple Mount) kichi.Kumpi Solomon lam Biakin lutna kongpi 12 om hi.Tua I gen kahna baang pen tua Kumpi Solomon biakin taktak a telkha a ngaih ahihman in,kuapeuh in ngaina chiat hi.Roman te a hong hattouh zel chiang un Kumpi Herod in tua Biakin mun mah ah Biakin dang khat hon lam khia a,hiai pen mah hiding hi Jesu sihni a jinliing ziak a se pen.Tua muh theih dia a ding lel pen a lem maimai a ki lamna sawt pi nailou hi ding hi.Tuni tan in Muslim te control nanuai ah om hi.Huchi a,Juda te khut apan hiai Biakin leh Pathian Bawm paihkhiak a a om tak in,tua a tumlam bang(Western Wall) ah Juda ten a khopi uleh a biakin uh ngai in kapkap uhi.Tutan in zong Israel sepaih training ten a zohna mun ding un zang den uhi-hiai mah ahi ka ngim chihna in. Kum 1967 a sixth day war a Israel ten a hon lak kik chiang un bel Kahna Baang chih kizang tom hiai hiai a,tumlam bang hong kichi deuhdeuh ta hi.Hiai temple pen Thukhunthak hun ah zong poimohna hau mahmah den hi.Baptistu Johan pianna a genkhiak na uh ahi a,Jesu zeksum dia anu Mary leh apa Joseph in a hon pina mun uh ahi a,Simeon leh Siampu Anna in Jesu a muh na mun uh zong hi a,Jesu neulai a vahohsekna leh a Ministry a patna mun kia leng hilou in Sawltak Paul mat ahih na mun zong ahihi.

Kou zong nitaklam khat hiai Temple Mount apan khe a paisuk in Kidron Lui ka kan ua,apang ah Absolom Han leh Zachariah Han te ka paipel ua, Olive tang a kah touin Jesu’n A hun nanung a zatna Gethsemani Huan ah kava hoh ua, a gei zek mah ah Mary Han zong om hi.Tua Olive tang a Gethsemani Huan apan Temple Mount I gal et leh Suahlam Kong(Eastern Gate) ki gal muh a,tua kongpi pen Jesu Kris hong painawn chia a hon ding kichi hi.A khe a Olive taang hon sik sukin,a taang hong kikham in Kidron luiguam ahon vukdim dia,huchi’n phaizang lianpi a hong suak ding. Huai khitin hiai kong kuamah hon ngeilouh hon hong ding a,tua a hong lut in A hihna thupi taktoh kum 1000 sung khovel pumpi ah vai hon hawm ding a,Setan pen kokhuk mong neilou a khiak mang hita ding hi,chih ahi.

Hiai Kahna baang tun theihna ding in Jerusalem kulh a lut masak ngai a,Jerusalem kulhpi in kongpi sagih nei hi.Bawng-ek Kong(Dung Gate) kichi apan ka lut ua,sausim tak step a kaltouh ahih nungin,check point ana om a,tua ah I- card leh sakhau a van te check uhi.Tuapan meter 50 vel mun ong ah kipai a,visitor te dawnding tui vot te koihna zong kipai pelh a,tua zohin a baang a thumna neinuam te din numei lutna leh pasal lutna a tuam in om hi.A lut ding ten lukhu neu lujaang khuh zou ding lel khuk ngai hi(Juda leh Muslim ten a khuk te uh).Tuachibang lukhu lai a kibawl a kong gei ah box khat ah a dimin om hi.Lukhu khulou a lut pen phallouh ahi.Lukhu I khuk chiang in I tung ah thunei khat Pathian om ahi I chihna,kingaihniamna leh kipiakzohna a ngaih ahi.Tung nungpen ah Pathian a om a,a deih deih a liansak a,a utut a neusak chih genna ahi.

Kei leng lukhu khat khuin kava lut a,a pindan lam leng a kihon manin ka va lut koi tou zel a,bang om mongmong hiam chihna in.Siampu(Rabbi) lukhu vom leh khabe mul sau taktak te(amau Black hats achi uh) omna a hi a,Bible a Deuteronomy ah ‘ka thu na lungtang ah na gelh ding a…’chih chang te a takin a puan khip te utoh ana ching ua…’na ngong ah na vial ding a…’chih na ah puan a ngong ah a vial vatvat zel hi.Sawtsimtak ka et khit in ka pawtkhia a,inpua a mi dang te thumna ah ka pai phei a,ka tapa upa kiang ka camera te ka pia a,bang ka khu nih a sawntou komin, ka lu toh bang sutuah in ka thum panta hi.Huchubang a hih ngeilouhpi,mi tampi lak a kava hih na in ka ngaihtuahna a sulam dang hin ka thei a,ka hi dedu a,ka khasiat tha bang a hong suak thei hi.Ka neulai a Plain Truth magazine cover khat a 1967 war lai toh kisai a,Western Wall lim a tuansak bang uh ka mitkha in ka mukik a,Aw Topa,kei singtang dawn a khangkhia,ka neulai a leng kuamahin,ka nu leh pa te na tawmin,mi bang in kakhang khedia hia chih a muan ngamlouh hial uh,gam hichitan Na hon pi a a,gam maimai hilou,Na gamsiangthou ah bang non pi lut tel a….ka chih chian ka biang ah khitui a hong luang suk a,Israel nipi lai,sunnung lam dak 3 vel,a lum sim mai zen toh,sawttak ka thum a,ka nu leh pa ziakin kipahthu ka gen a,ka inkuan te leh ka u leh nau te leh ka gam hi a ka ngaih Zogam ziakin leng kipahthu ka gen a,Zomi te kuhkal leh hangsan zawsem din ka ngen hi.Pathian in zaw A mite chih ziakin,khovel ah nuamsa takin a khosa sak ngei kei a,hun haksa pen te a pia a,ahihziakin,huaite palsuah zoudin hansanna leh kipiakzohna a lungsim uah a pe zaw daih hi.Tunin kua nam peuh in Israel a zahtak uh.Zahtak tak mah leng ahi uh, hichizahta a gotna leh muhdahna a tuahnung ua leng dam lailai hi ve un. Telsuina na(research) lam leh technology lam ah USA dem zou phial ta uhi. Siik hoihtak bawl khiak ahih theihna dia tamveipi haal-ap leh seksek ahih bang uh ahi.Huaibang din Zomi te le hon sek dek houh ahi ding chih muanmohna thupi tak kava nei a,kipahna leh hih henghongna toh ka nung kik khia hi.Juda ten..’Jerusalem aw,ka hon mangngilh ngeingei leh ke lei ka dangtung ah belh bikbek hen…’chi a kichiamna mun uh mah ahihziakin,tua bang a thumna a neih zoh chiang un,a lutna gate a lukhu a koih khiak matan uh,a baang lam enkawm in nungkik ua,a gate a kan khit chiang un,nung heisan phet uhi.Ka tapa neupen zong ka hih dan enin a baang a kun in va thum a, agen banghiding hiam chih ka suantuah theih louh hangin,ka kipahpih mahmah hi.A u in bel mitamtak te hih dan in a wish lai a gelh in a bang kaal ah va zep hi. Ka loinu in zong numeite omna lam a,kipahthu leh thungetna va nei ngei din ka ging ta hi.Mite ngaih in thil thupi lua hikei mah leh,ka inkuan kim ua,hiai mun siangthou a Pathian kiang kipahthu gen thei leh thu ngetna ka neih khak theih uh hampha ka kisa a,ka nu leh pa,u leh nau leh lawm leh vual tamtak ten van-gam hial di bang a na ngaihtuah ua,ana lam pihpih uleh ana kah pih pih uh,lah mulou a simlei tuangnung ana siah san nung ua,a tak a va mu a va khoih kha thei a ka om uh ka ngaih ah a hoih in a thupi hi. Hiai a nuai a la, Rev.K.Lienrum(1898-1980) in Suangsang khua a pat holkhiak ahih ni, thawmhau tak a aomlai a phuah sim mah dih:

‘Nitum ngei lou Zion khopi,
Ngai in ka mau kakap sun nichin in;
Tatsa te leng uh silhpuan piandang toh,
Kei din zong mun om hiam tua gan nuam ah?’

Ngaina veng e,Ngaina veng e,
A mun thupi nibang lun lai sang in,
Anbang hon it I Topa mellawm nou,
Mu nuam veng albang dah kaban na din.

Lung deih Hondampa lenna mun,
Tuang tunlouh ding lung lau veng Mang Jesu;
Sisan in hon silin laukha in hon huai in,
Mang nunneem gam pen mah ngaina veng e.

Agam etlawm dan gen seng louh,
Sisan in a hongta zalenna gam;
Ka laukha tua gamnuam gal don jel in,

Simlei pallun loubang hong tul ding hi.

Clutching the Sliver

By David Buhril

The growing tense complexities underlined by movements and assertions in the wake of new consciousness of rights and identity have been attached to the North East region with a negative connotation. The focus on Manipur further brought to light the forces of fuelled antagonism sprayed on unaddressed plights acting as the strength for the multiplying armed actors, who resorted to the extent of expressing with violence in pursuit of their interest. The once colonized region wakes to the puzzle of identifying its own interest with varied assertions in the quest for new accommodation and adjustment. This quest is seen by the growing voices as the unfinished agenda of the history that was not negotiated, consented, or consulted.

The inheritance of that, by situating in new geographical context of nation state, under a new constitution has resulted in endless chaos followed by the ceaseless game of adjustment and pacification. The celebrated unity in diversity becomes a mess, which has been eventually whetted by politicians for their power bank. Democracy’s sanctity is dwarfed in the sink of caste, class, language, identity, ethnicity, and various other forces that are growing at an alarming rate. While the success of all these active forces was hidden in the guise of democracy, the function and existence of the same has been stabbed to bleed profusely. In the process it reveals the confusion and failure of the top tower where the crux of all decision making process is initiated. The problems seem to be persisting at its undisturbed pace with crucial decisions getting nipped from the distant power corridors of New Delhi, when the fringe corners shivered with disturbing and fluctuating temperatures. That is when the present continuous tense in the region has to be understood not merely through its historical defect, but also through its humane aspirations.

One inevitable question is, is it necessary to blind the challenges and demands of the diverse interest of the region in the pursuit of that ambiguous national interest? That ought to be raised, as the region’s future is sacrificed in the dim of a militarized prospect that would continue to take an immense toll on the peace, welfare, development, education, culture, human resources and generations, if the carved policy and approach continues. The history of violence, unrest, insecurity, and bloodshed, then, would be long ingrained if that occurs. Miniaturization, armaments, and the employment of the most sophisticated weapons in the North East are evidence of the pursuit for �a technological solution to a political problem.

That is when, instead of putting the national interest first, the need to convert the region’s hope, desire, aspirations and demands and challenges to grow along the larger interest of the nation would be the inevitable quest. This becomes more necessary in the context of the plural realities of the region. If history had failed to act as the filter towards understanding the marginalized people, culture should be the inevitable filter today. That does not mean that the historical defect could be ignored altogether. However still, that would not be an all out solution to the blown out situation, but it would very much act as the panacea than the mere inactivity with the excuse of the existence of a larger diversity outside the region.

The decades of instability accompanied by miniaturization and ceaseless counter-insurgency military operations, which has already been stabilized and constitutionalised, has severely stirred the democratic establishment. Not only that, democracy is faced with the danger of losing its charm over relatively unexamined anti-democratic forces in the hands of the State. Despite America’s failure in Iraq, the principle enunciated in the US Army’s Counterinsurgency Manual should also guide the country’s hawkish policymakers who are supposedly acting as North East think tank, when it said: The primary objective of any counterinsurgent is to foster the development of effective governance by a legitimate government. The installation of elected representatives in the power structure has already become the problem in itself. Moreover, they are not evidence of the existence of a healthy democracy. Their ability to dominate the political process with amazing survival skill has, otherwise, snared the democratic space where they failed to represent the peoples interest nor understand the national interest or deliver governance. We still haven’t seen our politicians extending their dogged struggle beyond their quest to wrest power for themselves. As the wheels of democracy remain rusted in their power basking game, we are confronted with too many questions. Were Manipur or other states of the North East militarised because of a massive failure by the intelligence agencies, or a leviathan failure by the so-called politicians? In either case it is appalling and it would be the last possible resort to make an excuse and blame the people, which otherwise is the practice. Tomorrow we would blame Myanmar or Bangladesh, if not the ISI or Taliban, though Pakistan is too far not to be ignored too. KPS Gill, in 1984, said, �Terrorism is encouraged most by weakness in political leadership and confusion in the security forces.� While the statement holds enough water to let us look within, the question today is, what are democracy’s chances in the region?

On June 26, 2007, Defense Minister AK Anthony reiterated that the Armed Forces Special Powers Act would stay. His tone sounded firm with no immediate intention to repeal the �draconian law.� The Defense Minister’s concern about the human rights condition and the need for a more humane touch to the existing Act, AFSPA, in the North East only reflects the absence of those democratic substance, which otherwise should function as the foundation of any democratic set-up. Many a time we have been accorded with burnt out strategies, call it policy, to negotiate the defected history, culture and aspirations. These policies are residues of suspicion despite the supposed Centre-state relations. The region has sacrificed abundantly with its dwelling in that suspicion.

Today there are compelling reasons to talk about the need for more Centre-state cooperation than merely hinging on the old relations. The perception from outside the region that comes in the language of policies, laws and acts, as well as the failed elected democratic limbs has no relation to the demands and challenges of the new people of the region. There is a need to see the region as new by shedding the old powerful spectacles of the old Leviathan that is used to scan the old geography. There is also a need to revive the sick state of education, economy, sports, infrastructure and what not, instead of oiling the politicians with never delivered promises. Otherwise, the images of insecurity, unrest, dissidents, and militants would continue to grow out of suspicion to blur the needful aspirations and visions of the region. If that were allowed, the region would certainly move towards bigger and heavier militarisation that would only lead to the decadent dance of democracy. The people would be left with nothing more than deprivation and the remains of democracy, but also to helplessly clutch the sliver.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Notes on Zoukam and Zoulai

Due to renewed interest in literary issues in recent years, I feel tempted to briefly address the subject to have a bird’s eye view of the field. To begin with, I want to clarify the relationship between “literature” and “language”. There appears to be some confusion on the relationship between literature and minor linguistic issues like spellings, grammar, punctuations, etc. I became aware of this problem when I went home ( I mean Lamka) some time back. There I observed semi-educated Zou elders discussing and debating in hotels on spelling guidelines enthusiastically. As expected, individual opinions differ widely on such matters. Even the Paites and Tedim Chins find it very difficult to reach a consensus on various “grammatical rules”. So many people who indulge in such “semantic squabbles” mistook their efforts to be a discourse on literature. In reality, however, such unproductive rigidities can only hinder the growth of literature. We cannot help wondering sometimes, what do these well-meaning friends have in mind when they talk about “literature” – such an abused term among the Zou speakers nowadays? All talks on the development of literature have been naively reduced to mere semantic squabbles and spelling “rules”. I am afraid we have been often sidetracked even before any literary work is actually performed. It is a worthy goal to strive for uniform spellings and standard grammar, and adapt them constantly according to current usages and writing conventions. But this is not the first condition to develop a “respectable literature” because literature and language are not the same entities despite their close relationship. Language is just a useful tool, only a means to build up literature of an “interpretive community”; it is not an end in itself. This is enough to direct our attention to core issues of literary development.

1. Functional Literature:

By definition, functional literature includes anything that is not covered by the “creative genre” of writing. Prose essays, critical essays, biography, travel writings, book review, and research articles constitute important parts of the functional category. Zou students at the post-graduate level should be encouraged and trained to write book-reviews and academic papers to enhance their careers both within and outside the academia. Moreover, such analytical and literary skills developed in the intellectual exercises can also be applied at some point of time to study our own Zou society. T.S. Eliot’s “Tradition and Individual Talent” is one of the best critical essays in American literature that I have ever come across. This is of interest not only from the literary point of view, but also from the philosophical point of view. British literature is very rich in critical essays and popular essays like that of Sir Francis Bacon, Joseph Addison, Charles Lamb, etc.

Here is a short extract from the great American poet and critic, T,S.Eliot’s essay, “Tradition and the Individual Talent”:

“… Yet if the only form of tradition, of handing down, consisted in following the ways of the immediate generation before us in a blind or timid adherence to its successes, "tradition" should positively be discouraged. We have seen many such simple currents soon lost in the sand; and novelty is better than repetition. Tradition is a matter of much wider significance. It cannot be inherited, and if you want it you must obtain it by great labour. It involves, in the first place, the historical sense, which we may call nearly indispensable to anyone who would continue to be a poet beyond his twenty-fifth year; and the historical sense involves a perception, not only of the pastness of the past, but of its presence; the historical sense compels a man to write not merely with his own generation in his bones, but with a feeling that the whole of the literature of Europe from Homer and within it the whole of the literature of his own country has a simultaneous existence and composes a simultaneous order. This historical sense, which is a sense of the timeless as well as of the temporal and of the timeless and of the temporal together, is what makes a writer traditional. And it is at the same time what makes a writer most acutely conscious of his place in time, of his contemporaneity”.

2. Creative Literature:

Zoukam is poorly developed in this crucial area of creative literature. I have been struck by the extreme relevance of African English novelists, sometimes refereed to as “Postcolonial African literature”. Chinua Achebe is naturally the first choice, and his most interesting work are : (a) Things Fall Apart, (b) Arrow of God, and (c) No Longer at Ease. The next choice would be Wole Soyinka’s Ake: The Years of Childhood, and Tsitsi Dangarembga’s Nervous Conditions. There are also good African writers in French, but they cannot be considered due to language inaccessibility. There are already a handful of novel (fiction) translations in Paite from English, which interestingly belong to the sentimental genre of writing. Sentimental works are actually regarded by literary critics as suitable for low taste due to the overplay of certain emotions. The African writers we have listed are highly respectable, noble in theme, and culturally relevant for the Zou context. Fortunately, though my Three-Year Degree in English literature was rather basic, it still proves very helpful in professionally assessing such a topic as delicate as literary tastes and their relative merits.

Chinua Achebe is the foremost African writer in English today, and he is best known for his classic novel, Things Fall Apart. This is a groundbreaking representation of African society and colonial encounter from the native’s pint of view. It describes in a simple but noble language the transformation of modern Africa due to the impact of Western and Christian influence. It successfully brings out the beauty of traditional tribal societies and the cultural complexity of native life in pre-colonial Africa. It also enables the readers to see Christianity from the eyes of the first converts and their contemporary pagans. Things Fall Apart ends with the triumph of colonial rule and Christian missions. The pagan protagonist Okonkwo perishes because he cannot adapt himself with the changes that took place in colonial Africa.

Arrow of God is a sequel, and it traces how the pagan village priest, Ezeulu, gets caught between the need to maintain native tradition on the one hand, and the wish to learn the “magic” of Christian alphabets. So Ezeulu decides to send his son to learn this secret magical art of writing, but the village priest is doomed in his defence of native tradition since he is too defensive with his priestly position. Change continues to take place, and tradition can be kept alive only by making critical and creative changes.

Wole Soyinka uses a novel technique of story-telling which is related to the psychological principle of “stream of consciousness” by using flash backs and journey back in time to childhood. Ake: The Years of Childhood also deals with the relationship between Christianity and native culture, which is a highly relevant theme for the Zou context. It also describes the process of change within the life time of the author, trying to make sense of social change in modern Africa within one’s life time. Tsitsi Dangarembga’s Nervous Conditions is narrated within the context of Zimbabwean culture. This is considered to be a pro-Christian novel by some critics. Tambu, the main character, makes a difference between the White colonisers in general and the White missionary specifically. The cultural perspective of Tsitsi Dangarembga’s Nervous Conditions is rather different from Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart.

3. The Middle Path:

One of the most important marks of intellectual maturity has been the ability to reconcile a number of seemingly contradictory ideas in a new and creative order. Something like this is echoed by Sir Francis Bacon in his easy, “Of Unity in Religion”, where he said: “A man that is of judgment and understanding, shall sometimes hear ignorant men differ, and know well within himself, that those which so differ, mean one thing, and yet they themselves would never agree. And if it come so to pass, in that distance of judgment, which is between man and man, shall we not think that God above, that knows the heart, doth not discern that frail men, in some of their contradictions, intend the same thing; and accepteth of both?” Karl Marx has rightly asserted that there is an anti-thesis for every thesis, which can be later combined into the unity of truth, or synthesis – “thesis, anti-thesis, synthesis” formulation. The Greek philosopher, Plato, employed the same principle in his celebrated dialogues in classical 5th century Athens.

I am not happy with the effort in some corners to isolate the Zou community from the new currents of cultural and political life both within Zo nationalism and broader “Ecumenical Movement”. I should encourage the Zou students to participate in both these progressive movements in their own style and in a meaningful manner. I do not believe in shutting our door to the world and environment around us, we have to open up and rise to the occasion to face new challenges.

However, I do not at all mean that we should forget the Zou self and its cultural identity. On the contrary, I have publicly articulated in Gospel Tangkou (August 2000) my resentment with the “Zomi mania” of the earlier (specifically, Pu T.Gougin’s) generation to the extent of neglecting the immediate Zou community. I am afraid if my own statements are misinterpreted to support the other extreme of “Zou narrowism” and exclusivity best represented by the new Meitei-sponsored armed wing. Though such agenda may seemingly look patriotic at first sight, it can not take us very far in realising our long-term vision of moulding and shaping the Zous as one of the most informed and dynamic tribal community of Northeast India. The battle is to fight against particularism and exclusivist ideology both at the religious and secular spheres on the one hand, and also never get side-tracked and completely swept off our feet by Zo or Zomi nationalism to the extent of neglecting our own Zou household on the other hand. We should not shut down all our windows to the outside world, but engage in constructive dialogue with all our Zo brothers whenever the opportunity comes. In this way, we can serve the best interest of our Zou community, and earn the respect of others.

4. Informed Language Policy:

Though I find it rather boring, I have been compelled to make some general remarks about the current “spelling squabbles” and grammar mania. Having said that language is not literature itself, I am very much aware of the need for an informed language policy for Zoukam. I am not talking about “spelling rules” which are easily broken as easy as they are created. There are certain questions we have to answer, and our approach to them will have long-term impact on future possibilities of strengthening Zoukam. Zoukam grammar has traditionally balanced itself between two larger language groups, viz., the Paite-Tedim Chin block, and the Thadou speaking community. Moreover, Zoukam has so much in common with both these two language groups. (In fact, this is more true for the tiny Simte dialect, but, unfortunately, we are on the path of “differentiating” these two closely connected speech communities). As a pioneer, Thangkhanlal had sensibly advocated a middle path that uses both the Paite-Tedim and the Thado spelling system. He first articulated this idea in his popular booklet, Naupangte Zolai Patna (published in 1967). Note that he used “Zolai” instead of “Zoulai” which would appear more familiar today. In principle, this is compatible with Paite-Tedim Chin spelling conventions. Then he also advocated a compromise between the two language blocks when he differentiated the words “siam” (bawl; to create) from “siem” (pil; skillful, intelligent). In this vein, he differentiated “sie” (hoilou; bad) from Sea (Teacher) on the basis of tonal variation. This system was further developed by Nehkhojang, chief translator of Zou Bible. Most of our Bible translators incidentally hailed from Thadou speaking area, including Semkhopau and Nehkhojang. Bro. Nehkhojang had to learn literally Zoukam before he embarked upon his task of translation that, of course, he performed amazingly well.

An article entitled “I Zoukam leh I Zoulai” in ZSP Annual Magazine (1995-96) had discussed the usage of “-IE” and “-IA” besides “-UA” and “-UO” in writing Zoukam. While the first Zou New Testament (BSI 1967) used both IA and UA, the later editions drastically shifted to IE and UO with much resentment from the reading audience. The new spelling usage developed by Bro Nehkhojang attempted to reconcile the two usages by prescribing a middle path. The author of the said ZSP article by Lamkhothong (a person with keen and consistent interest in Zoukam) argues convincingly:

“UA leh UO a gindan kibang pian veve a nanleh UA pen in eima aw sua piangsah zaw hi. UO i man chiang n Thadou/Kuki … aw-sua piang hi … Himi laimal unau Burma a um Zomite leh Tedim Chin chi teng in mang ua, Manipur ah Paite, Lushei, Vaiphei, Simte leh a dangdang in man pen in nei uhi. Tuaban ah i Zou Labu leh Bible masa ah zong kimang a i nam pumpi sung ah chi hoitah a kituta ziah in hen thei ahi nawn sih hi. Nanleh tulai i Bible tegel leh i labu tegel ah IE leh UO kiman in laimal zah dan leh kammal gawm dan nasatah a a hen ziah un i gam pumpi in kibuai lawta hi” (pp. 71-72).

In page number 72, the ZSP article demonstrates: “zieha” as wrong, and “ziah a” as correct. Likewise, “zie hi” is labeled wrong, and “ziah hi” as right. The whole point is to remind ourselves about the intimate relation our first Zou translators had with the Thadou speech community, which was also interestingly the most influential language then. Even Lianchinkhup adopted various spelling systems which is closer to the Thadou usage like the extensive use of “y”, for instance, kihylna. While both the Thadou and Paite-Tedim Chin systems are rather exclusive in their choice of spelling, the Zou translators happily move into either of the two systems by making a compromise. While the Thadous use J exclusively, the Paite-Tedim Chins extensively use Z; the Zous use both with only tonal variations or the pitch of the sound meant to be the guiding principle. But tonal variations are not easy to measure, and not much bothered by writer in the actual act of composition. Moreover, there is the important question of building bridge between our Zou speakers in Myanmer (highly influenced by Tedim Chin conventions) and the Zou speech community in Manipur. In this connection, I was recently informed by Lianchinkhup, translator of Zou Bible (BSI edition) that understandably the Zou speakers of Myanmar resented the Thadou influence on Zou spelling system in the Bible translations. So an informed language policy should consider the sensibilities of our Zou speakers in Myanmar and also look at the book market in Manipur. It ia a fact that few Thodou speakers understand Zoukam, but all Paite-Tedim speech communities understand spoken Zoukam, if not the written version. This is a broad policy matter that should inform any language convention we want to follow in future. At present, the influence of the Thadou system is immense due to certain historical circumstances of the translation of the Zou Bibles. I personally feel more or less persuaded by the case solidly put forward by the ZSP article of Lamkhothong, almost ten years back. Since both –UA and -IA represent the Zou sound more naturally and also link us up with our Zou brethren in Myanmar, I hope this is sensible.

Surging North East India

By Geoffery

Your thoughts are the architects of your Destiny’
“David o Mekay”

Power & Communications are the basic inputs for development for any region. International example of South Korea, when its premier decided to concentrate on power and highways is well documented and rest is history. According to Union Power Secretary, presently power capacity of the country is 1,28,000 MW with overall shortage of 10 percent and projected requirement by 2032 is 8,00,000 MW. What a wide gap! That a developing nation like ours needs to bridge bet-ween existing capacity and the requirement two and half decades later? To meet this gigantic challen-ge there is need to harness every ounce of available power.
North East India can contribute enormously to meet this power gap. Estimated hydro electric po-wer potential of this region is 50,000 MW approx. Till now only 4029 MW i.e. 7 percent of estimated capacity has been harnessed in this part of the country. Availability of other resources of power like natu-ral gas and deposits of coal will be talked about later.

It is ironical that vested interests resist exploration of these natural resources. This attitude is neither in the interest of the concerned State nor in the interest of this Region/Nation as a whole. All those who resist need to understand related aspects; development of roads, development of surrounding areas, creation of job opportunities and above all self reliance that will follow these explorations. 1500 MW Tipaimukh Dam is one such mega project, which is objected to vehemently giving unfounded arguments while ignoring the resultant benefits. This dam will make up the existing shortfall of power (1150MW) for North East region with a surplus of 350MW. Yes! Notwithstanding the development all affected humans of the area need to be suitably rehabilitated, simultaneously.

Are we forgetting the loss of study hours faced by students? Not that they don’t want to study but in-adequacy of lighting may be the cause. The whole world is moving ahead, then why we do not want to ensure congenial study environment for our students. Our youth does not lack in any sphere e.g. Ms Mary Kom in field of sports and five youth qua-lifying in final list of UPSC candidates etc. are live examples of capability of our youth. The moment youth starts getting suitable environment then sky is the limit for Manipur.

Financially, better off people end up buying inverters, rechargeable battery, emergency lighting etc. (which are cheap made in China or Thailand), brought in through border town Moreh, to make up for non availability of electricity. But recharging remains a distant dream due to non availability of po-wer, because light is available for 8 hours only spread over two days in Manipur. As per statistics available percentage of households with safe drin-king water, electricity and toilet in Manipur is approx 15 percent, which is dismal compared to other places e.g. Chandigarh-70 PC, Delhi-60 PC, Punjab-30 PC etc. Power will: lead to development, lead to better educated youth, lead to more youth adopting positive ways of society and not fall prey to gun culture plaguing the state.

As per 2001 census almost 40 percent or more household are meeting their lighting needs on Kerosene (Rs 36/ litre) or other sources of lighting. Not that, fortunate ones have uninterrupted supply of electricity. Wish they could.

Power Grid Corporation of India has already planned to transmit power from this region through eight 1800 km long power transmission lines to Agra for further distribution. It has been decided to accumulate power at Biswanath Chariali in Assam (mostly from Arunachal Pradesh) and then transmit. It will pass through Chicken Neck corridor that will assume importance due to its size. It is planned to have 800 KV direct current transmission lines carrying 6000 MW of power (first of its kind in the world, Brazil has 600 KV transmission current lines carrying 3500 MW). Chicken Neck will have 5 to 6 lines of 800 KV within half a Km. It already has other lines like oil pipelines, railway lines etc.

Not only hydro electric power, North Eastern region possesses 151.68 billion cubic meters of natural gas, capable of generating 7500 MW power for 10 years. Huge coal deposits estimated at 864.74 million tonnes can generate 240 MW power a day for 100 years. Meghalaya has 9.2 million tonne deposits of Uranium that can also be utilized for generating energy for peaceful purposes. However, there is resistance by the people, fearing harmful effects of Uranium’s open cast mining by UCIL. May be this is due to ignorance at various levels that must be allayed before the mining is undertaken. But vested interests need to stay away for overall interest.

At present India is hea-ding for double digit growth rate. For sustaining this growth rate there is a need to harness every conceivable source of energy. In 1915 Late Ramnath could generate electricity by installing a small generator near Mawlai Bridge in Shillong when development was not reckonable. Now we have so many innovations why can’t we do in mega way now. In the renewable sources of energy India has made a reckonable effort. India is presently contributing 3 percent to total energy consumption and constitute 6 percent of installed power generation capacity in India compared to 13 percent in the world today. Global position of India in renewable sources of energy is: wind installation-4th, SPV cell production-7th, biogas plants-2nd, solar thermal-9th.

Not only generation, there is need to learn saving of power also. Power saved is Power generated (one unit saved is equal to one and half unit generated). A solar water heater of 100 litre capacity can save electricity up to 1500 KWh a year and pay back its cost in 3-4 years.

Once the available power potential is explored and transmission to other states commences, this region of the country will transform from perceived insurgent North East India to Surging North East India. This region will be richer by earning additio-nal revenue and hold the key for development of not only this region but balance of the nation as well. It will change the economic situation from few Takers of industry (e.g there are few takers of food processing industry despite 25 percent grants in aid by the Govt to a maximum of 75 lakhs) to many Takers in this region. The region will become an investor’s paradise. To avail the economic opportunity there will be queuing up of investors from within the state, other states of this region/other regions of the nation and also foreign nations. We need to introspect and decide, do we want to hold the key to development or lose the opportunity?

“The quality of a decision is like the well timed swoop of a falcon which enables it to strike & destroy its victims”
— Sun Tzu