I want to share about some of the incidents in Manipur to your questions on why I am very passionate and driven about my initiatives and projects of FindingTheVoices to spread positivity and love. I feel that we are all so lost with anger in the midst of conflict and identity, and have forgotten the humanity within us. These are some of the incidents which have touched me deeply…
I started this painting on 14th Sept 2018 filled with such heaviness and pain after watching the videos of mob culture in Manipur questioning myself with How many Farooque has to die? Where is humanity? What are we teaching the kids?
It’s really sad and shocking to watch the videos. He pleaded for water while the mob jeered and mocked. There were laughter around. One of the man straightened Faroogue’s hand as he laid on the ground, seemed unconscious from the previous multiple blows by many people. The man picked up the thick stick aiming right on the palm/hand he straightened with all his might. So much hatred and inhumanity. There were children in the crowd.
I condemn such inhuman act, mob culture we have seen time and again in Manipur. There are many conflicts Manipur is dealing with but this is something the people have to step up to take responsibility. A mother has lost her son. A Father has lost his son. And the lost is on your hands.
Reference from India Today: On 14th September 2018, a mob brutally lynched 26-year-old MBA student Mohammad Farooq Khan in the Tharoijam village in Imphal West district. Khan, who was studying MBA in Bangalore and had come home on vacation, was mercilessly beaten to death on suspicion of bike theft. Khan hailed from Lilong Haoreibi village in Thoubal district, around two hours from the spot where he was killed in the presence of some policemen who were later suspended.
Monica Ingudam, 28th April 2019
Impact of the conflict to students of Manipur.
12 mothers protest in nude: Reference TheQuint
On 15 July 2004, an image from Manipur shocked the entire world. 12 middle aged mothers stood naked in front of the Kangla Fort in Imphal with a banner that read ‘Indian Army Rape Us’.
Sharmila Banned: Reference FindingTheVoices It was supposed to be a day of celebration, a day of freedom for Irom Sharmila Chanu when she broke her 16 years of fast. I watched the news coverage with her smiling coyly as she expressed that she would prefer to break her fast with honey rather than the water people suggested. Media from all over the world flew to Manipur to cover this important moment, a date which will be marked in the history. With her newfound freedom, she must have expected a very different experience moving around freely after 16 years. I cannot imagine her level of excitement at that moment. Growing up in Manipur my freedom was very limited within the walls of my parents house, my school and books. So I can only imagine how excited she must have felt to move freely after being confined for such a long time. But the reaction and harsh unwelcoming words from some small section of people that evening broke her heart leaving a very very bad taste. It’s hard to watch her break down. This video (Courtesy:newslaundry) stuck with me and it’s in my head. She doesn’t deserve to cry like this specially on her day, a day which should have been filled with celebrations. And yes, I stand in shame for such treatment and humiliation she had to go through on the day she set herself free, a day she could walk around freely after 16 very long years.
Bodies not buried for 18 months: Reference TheQuint
For the last 18 months, eight bodies have been waiting for burial in Manipur’s Churachandpur district. Their relatives have refused to bury the bodies till their demands are fulfilled.