A short 5 years away from home, and I have lived to witness an avertable bloodshed committed twice by my state government. Different places, different people, yet the same slaughterers!
The first was committed while I was in college. Two young college kid had been shot dead by the puppets of the Chief Minister at Mao Gate, Senapati District, Manipur State. They left home like the rest to attend the peace rally, patriotism seeping through their skin! They never made it back home alive but in a Coffin!
I cringed in horror! Such young lives snatched at the cost of peace? I imagined the life they would have lived; the dreams they must have dreamt, and the person they would have grown up to be. Sought out like criminals, shot at like life could be replaced, oh what a terrible tragedy I lived to see!
But the first was not to be the last. Just 4 years and 3 months later, on 30th of August 2014, Manipur was to witness yet again another annihilation by the state’s armed forces.
Yes, the second bloodshed befell just when I had started earning a living. Unfortunate two innocent souls were claimed by the tyranny of merciless bullets at Ukhrul District, Manipur State. Their body lifeless and empty, these two young expectant fathers left behind two young mothers and two unborn orphans!
I cried, yes I cried. I imagined the happily-ever-after being crushed and trampled upon. I imagined the sleepless nights these women would now have to live through, a life devoid of even a warm caress from their beloved husbands.
I am trembling in pain, in anguish, as I write this now. My eyes brimming with tears, I can only hear the sound of my keyboard and the weeping of my soul. With goosebumps all over me, I cried out in words incessantly hoping my emotions would live through these words and reach out to you.
Yes, I remember that Black Saturday
. It was the 30th Of August, 2014. I had just come back from my lunch break when I got a text message that said “3 protesters killed. Many injured in Ukhrul”. I fumbled for the keyboard mouse, I thought there could be a mistake! I replied “No. Have to call home.”
“Deep Down you already know the truth”
And as I said No, I knew deep down that this was true! Hurriedly I went through the updates, but my feeble heart did not have the strength to go through the daunting updates made. My emotions overtook my sensibility. And that is an evening I shall always remember, not because it was a good time but because two martyrs were born that very evening.
But just as Martyrs were born, so were the destiny of four solitary souls suddenly sealed. Two young mothers widowed at the cost of a cry for peace, two unborn children orphaned for the sake of freedom.
I also think of the tired body still battling for life. Will he ever wake up? Will he live to tell the story of how he came for a peace rally, walked streams and mountains in the quest for peace, all to be met with the stinging bullet? Worse still, I wonder if that blood-curdling moment of getting shot at still haunts him as he wrangles in unconsciousness!
No, I do not wish to dwell on the political beastliness of the situation. From what I have learned, in this part of the country you do not raise a finger against your state. If a pacifist could be shot at, what safety guarantee is there for a rebel like me?
Thousands came to pay homage to the young martyrs. My town flooded in with the ‘Naga’ flag raised, weeping in anguish, shouting in distress! Yes, thousands came to attend the peace rally on 30th August, and three hundred thousands more poured in on 1st September to mourn the two lifeless martyrs raised at the podium.
I still wonder how the young widows find the heart to forgive the deaths of their husbands? Oh what great heart they possess! I recount reading the agonizing speech made by the young widow of Lt. Mr. Mayopam, Ms. Rose:
“. . . there is nothing more tragic to me than the sudden demise of my beloved from this world. But still, I will console myself and take refuge in the fact that he died sacrificing his life for the nation”
I know not what to make of it. Nor how to react except pray against my wish that peace will come to town once again. And in peace will it do justice to the extreme sacrifice made by these young souls.
“... We will hold no grudges
… We will yearn for peace…“
Patriotism has run my town dry of good spirits. The sun has refused to come up and dry the sorrow, the wind refuses to blow away the scent of injustice.
Oh no, my home is in ruins! Look, look at what you have done!