Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Wish you a Happy Good Yaoshang!

There are people who look at negative side of everything and they love criticizing things. There are also people who see the positive side and love appreciating things. Those who see positive sides are found to be more optimistic, confident and social. I want to be that guy who looks positive side of the things. People say there is no career and future in Manipur, there is no growth of industries, there is no job, government officials, departments and ngos are corrupt and law and order is not good etc,. However, I see positive side and have been working here for almost one year. I am seeing the positive changes happening around and meeting wonderful people who are smart, sincere, industrious and willing to accept the challenge and bring development to our home state. There are so many good things happening around but we ignore or just don’t give proper attention to those. When I started appreciating those good things, I started seeing a good future which many people don’t see.

But it doesn’t mean I don’t see, feel and experience negative things happening in our society which are acting as bottle neck to our development. There can be two reasons for not functioning a computer, one is problem in hardware and another is problem with software. The problem with our society is with the software part. When I say software part, I mean the way we think, the value we give to things and things that we appreciate and how we define happiness. In this short article I don’t want to bring everything at one time. When I try to be realistic rather than being a blind optimist, I find few disturbing things which I think we should change it. 

It is a festival season, so let me focus only to our greatest festival Yaoshang. Here I am not saying anything on religion. And views are personal, you may have different view, and you don’t have to accept what I am saying here.

Yaosang is resemble to Holi festival of India, festival of colours. In Manipur, it is quite different therefore saying Yaoshang is similar to Holi is wrong. Yaosang is indeed bigger and more beautiful than Holi. Yaoshang is celebrated for five days. It is not only playing with colours, it is a mixture of sports, colours, get together, dinner parties and lot many things. When you see small cute kids coming to your house with beautiful dresses and abundant of happiness in their pure and innocent faces, and when they give you blessing for the little money you give to them, you will feel as if God itself is giving you his blessings. There are other many things which adds beauty to this festival.

But, there are few things that we should avoid. Two days back I went to home, it is 50 Km away from the place where I am staying. It is a national highway which also connects two major city of Manipur. Yaosang is not yet started, but I found young girls, age between 12 – 18, coming on the road and blocking the commuters and asking for money. Isn’t dangerous? How come their parents allow such things to do by their daughters? If it is not in the name of Yaoshang festival, will their parents allow them to do such things? In Yaoshang, it is a part of the festival to ask money from commuters. I have heard passenger vehicle drivers cursing those kids and their parents, if any accident happens their parents will blame only to the driver. 

Why our happiness is causing lots of disturbance to others? Why can’t we teach our children not to disturb others for getting the happiness we want? There are many friendly and lovely method for raising fund, why don’t we teach those to our kids? Our Elders teach their Youngers to take the easy route, to snatch if they don’t give, to cause disturbance for getting our benefit. That might be the reason we are so good at forming JAC and blocking the road, without having an empathy that their action is causing lots of disturbance to the many innocent commuters.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Is it really a small thing?

Today I went to a stationary store and saw a very common practice happening around. I saw a guy manipulating the bill of purchase with the sales person. He looks gentle with nice attire and age must be around 40. He seems matured and working in an organization, may be government or an NGO or a private organization – I don’t know. He was taking print out of some documents and also taking some stationary items for his office work. The total bill came around Rs. 400/-. I was waiting for my turn, I had to take out few photo copies. And while waiting I became a witness of a crime, which is considered as small or most often not considered as crime at all.  The store owner asked, whether he requires a cash memo or bill of purchase, the gentleman replied, yes he requires but he stops him to write the exact amount. In front of me, he was instructing the store owner to write the bill with fictitious data, he was taking only one rim of A4 paper, but he was letting the store owner to write 4 rims, like that he increased the Rs.400/- bill to Rs.1200/- bill. He didn’t have any shame on his face and the store owner’s facial expression was very normal, as this incident is already understood incident and they have some common understanding on this. Most of us never thought on this, considering it is a small practice, and it becomes so common that people started thinking it as kind of socially and morally acceptable behaviour.

You must be thinking what am I talking and why I am putting my head on this small matter? The amount is small, therefore often we are ignorant of such matter. But it is not a small matter, how come compromising our personal value because of few bugs can be a small matter? He compromised his integrity (personal) for only Rs. 800/-, how cheap he becomes and I am sure there are thousands of us doing this thinking the amount is small. I happened to heard people giving excuses mentioning their hard labour for doing such cheap things, but that is just excuse, he was hired and given salary for his work.
There are stories, one example - my late Grand Mother once told me, before the govt. employees’ salary was given through bank, they had to collect the cash by standing in the front of cash counter with their pension book. The authority didn’t tell them to stand in Queue, the reason is they give first priority to the pension book which consist of few bugs inside. Therefore they used to insert few amount to the pension book while giving it for processing, it becomes so understanding that they don’t have to speak a single word in such transaction.

There are so many such small cases happening around, and we are always ignorant of it. The biggest problem with the majority people living in our society is their self-worth is very cheap, they sold their personal value in few notes. Wining an election in such society is not difficult because you can buy most of them with money, and their price is very cheap. The only matter is money, whether you have it or not. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Medium of Education - in English or Mother language?

People think Students who studied in English Medium has many advantages over those students who studied in their own mother language, because English is a global language and it enhances the rate of employability of a person. I don’t know how far the statement is correct.
I agree the part that learning English enhances our employability rate in this globalized world. But I don’t want people to forget few benefits or advantages of studying or providing education in our own mother language, especially to the growing up children. Education is not learning language, it is not learning speaking English or any other foreign language. The actual purpose of the education, as Swami Vivekananda said, is the manifestation of the perfection already in man. This statement seems very simple, but its meaning is deep and explains the actual purpose of the education. The purpose of education is to provide knowledge and developing wisdom to the individuals. Like water and mineral is to the plants, education is to the human being. A well educated person knows his responsibility towards the society, nature and his surroundings. In different civilization era the mode or system of education might be different but the purpose of education remains the same. It all started with understanding, understanding is like absorbing – plants absorbs water and mineral for growth. like wise young mind must absorb the best things to become a good man. And how well we absorb defines how well we are educated. Language is a medium through which the knowledge is pass to our mind, if it is in some foreign language which we do not understand properly, how much I will able to absorb and understand?
There are more than 100s of English medium schools in Manipur.  Among these only few are considered as good institution, which means teachers are good and explain properly to the students. What about those students who are studying in English medium and teachers do not take regular classes? May be that is the reason of mushrooming tuition culture in Manipur, in-fact taking tuition becomes a necessity in Manipur. Manipuri medium schools are dying and most of the Manipuri medium institutes were already converted to English medium. People think it is a good change, but I doubt on this.
Studying in foreign language also reduces our habit of reading. How students will be motivated to read when they cannot understand what they are reading? This must be the reason why many of us do not read.
In this blog I am not saying English is not important and we should not learn English. In-fact it is very important, we all must know it and encourage others to learn it. But this should not covers the importance of mother language in education, especially to those young minds.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A perspective on Freedom!

Freedom fighters are respected by our society. The stories of freedom fighters we have studied and heard are interesting and inspiring. In every freedom fighter stories the fight or movement was always against the ruler or the suppressor or the government. These stories are interesting and easy to understand because it is easy to identify the villain. In India’s freedom struggle movement, the villain was Britain, in South Africa’s freedom movement, the villain was the white government.
But today I want to narrate a freedom struggle story which is not easy to understand. It is not easy to understand because understanding the villain in this story is complex. And also I am trying to see it from a different perspective. 

When we see a homeless man in the footpath of some cities, what do we feel? We feel sympathy on him and a desire arise in our heart to help him/her. But how many of us follow our heart? We just pass the road ignoring the truth. 

We see injustice happening around us. We see corrupt police personal, corrupt government employees, corrupt politicians and corrupt public. When we see wrong things doing in front of our eyes, we all want to stand against those, we want to stop those and we want innocent people to get justice. But how many of us do that? We just avoid the troubles and move on. 

Sometime we heard and read in news, in a crowded place a guy/girl was beaten by a gang of goons and hundreds of spectators were watching that helplessly. Recently in Delhi, a guy from Arunachal Pradesh was beaten to death in a crowded place, in front of hundreds of spectators. Nobody came to stop that. A girl was mollested in the most crowded area of Guwahati. What happened to those hundreds of innocent spectators, why didn’t they come to stop such crimes? They are also the people who feel good when the villain in a movie is finally defeated by the hero. 

We see in Manipur thousands of youths are not getting proper education because they cannot move outside the state for pursuing their career. We know, if there are good institutions in Manipur these youths will be able to build a better career. But how many of us could establish such institution in our state? 

We know hundreds of families are suffering because of poor healthcare facility. We know good hospitals is needed for providing good healthcare service. But how many of us actually can establish such facility for people?

We know there are many bad politicians. They are only after money and they don’t think of improving the life of people. But how many of us know how to fight and defeat them in politics?
We know unemployment is a big issue in Manipur. Lakhs of youth are jobless. We also want these youths, our relatives and friends to have a good job. But how many of us are really working on solving this issue? 

We are living in an independent country, which gives us fundamental rights, which implies we are free people. But the question is are we seriously free? When we want to help a homeless man, are we free enough to do what we want to do? When we want to fight against the injustice, are we free to fight? When we see our relatives and dear ones are starving for good education, can we provide that even when we want those things so desperately? Getting freedom and living free life is not easy. But who is supressing us? Who stops us from doing the things we want to do? 

Freedom comes with courage. The biggest villain in this story is Fear. In order to defeat it we must have courage. When courage forms team with knowledge, wisdom and right intention, a strong freedom fighter arise as hero in this story. Hero always struggle. Struggle comes because of our inability to do the things, which are required to do, to get the freedom. Our freedom is supressed by fear, lack of awareness & knowledge, lack of innovation and lack of appropriate skill. When we understand our suppressor, we can fight those suppressor and moves towards a free life. Only few people could achieve freedom because they fight those suppressors courageously and smartly. The fighting is not holding guns in hand and shooting other people. It is the hard work we do to achieve the goal by armouring the self with patience and persistence. We know that there are people who lives free life. For example, Amstrong Pame constructed a road which many just dreamt and wanted. He made it possible. Aribam Shyam Sharma made the first Manipuri film, it was just a dream for many at that time, he made it and other people followed him. When I listen the speech of Dr. Shantikumar, world champion in body building, I find he is a freedom fighter too. He didn’t allow his poverty to stop achieving his dream and living the life he wanted to live. There are many such people in our society who are freedom fighter and living a free life (I am not mentioning all). A freedom fighter automatically becomes a leader. Being a freedom fighter is not easy, people admire them and people follow them and that is how they become a leader. 

Living free and getting freedom is different. You may not get freedom, but you have the choice to live a free life. The result is not in our hand, but how do we live is in our hand. Do you want to compromise your free life because of your laziness, fear and feeling of insecurity or do you want to live a free life? The choice is yours.