S03E20 FindingTheVoices with RK Ranendrajit: How are you going to define peace in Manipur?(Part 4)
Guest Speaker :RK Ranendrajit, Social Activist, a former fighter pilot of the IAF and former editor of Freedom in Manipur. Language: Interview in Meteilon
Location: Bir Tikendrajit Memorial complex, Manipur, India
Presenting the 4th part of RK Ranendrajit ’s interview.
In this episode, former fighter pilot and social activist, RK Ranendrajit talks about the conflict situations in Manipur, the notorious Armed Forces Special Powers Act prevalent in the state that has left the people getting alienated from the rest of the country. He says that even though there have been a few positive changes in the last few decades, the Right to Life for the people of Manipur has always been debatable.
Although there have been numerous protests by the citizens, the Government still remains to ignore the plea and cry of the people. As a result of these situations, the resistance from the people started as they began to worry about what kind of future their children are destined for in the state. He says that the Government of India has plans to exploit the resources and talents of the state as part of Indianzation and assimilation but they have failed in getting the people’s support and serving their needs.
When we asked RK Ranendrajit about our show and requested him for a little feedback and some advice, he responded by saying that the show has been doing a very good thing by bringing out the thoughts, ideas and views of the people and the ground reality. He says that the show brings out the notable personalities of Manipur and spread their knowledge. He also stressed the importance of documentation and archiving.
Lastly, he expressed his views on the peaceful forms of protests in Manipur against AFSPA and other conflicts citing Irom Sharmila Chanu as an example. He also mentioned about the fake encounters in Manipur that the armed forces carry out whenever they feel that the people are gaining momentum in the struggle against AFSPA. This is somehow similar to what senior journalist Kishalay Bhattacharjee mentioned during his interview with us while speaking about his book on confessions of army officers.
Born and raised in the violence-torn landscape of Manipur, I have a vision to promote and spread inspiring, empowering, educative & entertaining stories. I believe that we can create contents bringing the positive side of Manipur. I believe we can do this together by finding the voices, voices which needs to be heard and shared, voices of our own people, people of Manipur and well-wishers of Manipur. I believe that these voices will bring a change and connect all of us.
Many have asked me about AFSPA and I am sharing a documentary movie which covers about AFSPA, protests and situation in Manipur, voices from the common people, family and victims of AFSPA in Manipur.
When I grew up, before learning any games to play like any other child would, my father taught what we need to do when we hear gun shots, how we need to prostrate, crawl and where we need to go where we will be safe. I grew up in fear and stayed mostly at home, went out only out of necessity like attending school, and close family gatherings/functions. Everyone is home before darkness, gates are closed before darkness. I never saw any night life in Manipur. I thought it was normal while I was there, but coming out of Manipur and seeing the different ways of living, I realized how different it is growing up in a place of conflict, growing up in Manipur. And I hope someday, soon, there will be peace and the common people of Manipur can walk in the street without any fear, and live freely.
This is a strong documentary showing the reality and life of common people in Manipur. Watch it to understand and see a glimpse to a few cases where the victims, family of victims who are common people of Manipur.
Jano Devi, widow shares her story of her husband ending up death after he was picked up from home. She shares her story while she carries her infant baby at her back. She ask the question with tears , what should she answer when her child grows up and ask “Where is my father ?”
Binasakhi Lakshmi Devi, mother of victim shares her story of her son, who was picked up from home. Her son was found dead.
Thoudang Nanwa Singh shares about how he was beaten up, tied up and 5 to 6 personals forcing their genital in his mouth. He was tortured beating him again and again, playing with his genital.
Sharmila Irom started her fast after ten civilians were shot and killed while waiting at a bus stop on 2 November 2000
Kshetrimayum Netalini Devi, sister of victim who lost her sister while army personals started shooting in their residence
Photo: Google search (Manipur AFSPA)
Video: Youtube (Manipur in the Shadow of AFSPA , A Documentary produced by Harsh Dobhal, Human Rights Law Network & ANHAD uploaded in 2010)