Thursday, February 13, 2014

House Arrest

Page one of the Hindustan Times daily today carries a heading, “Non-locals put under ‘house arrest’ in Manipur”. I had to put down my coffee cup. Without going into details I made up a mental picture of a riot breaking out and the people with authority imposing curfew to secure the safety of the mayangs (outsiders) by imposition of curfew.  

It may be recalled that northeasterners living in Delhi have a renewed sense of insecurity in the wake of the death of Arunachal Pradesh student Nido Tania following an assault on January 29, the rape of a minor girl from Manipur, a brutal attack against on brothers while they went to buy vegetables and the stabbing of a youth belonging to Manipur, all within a span of two weeks. Even the Manipur CM Okram Ibobi Singh met home minister Sushil Kumar Sindhe and other central leaders in connection with the ‘recist’ attacks in Delhi.

I have seen and experienced the ability to the Meiteis (non-tribals) to handle complex situations. They have undergrounds and overgrounds which seemed to work in tandem. In a situation of atrocities carried out against people from the northeast, I knew that the finesse of the Meiteis will come to the rescue some time or another. Perhaps there was mob frenzy in Imphal and perhaps the authorities reacted by imposition of curfew. That’s what I thought. And I read on-    

“Reacting to the frequent ‘racial attacks’ on northeastern people in New Delhi, students’  organisations in Manipur enforced a ‘curfew’ to keep non-locals indoors from 5am on Wednesday”.
Reacting to the racial attacks? Was it a mob that reacted? Am I reading about mob violence? Are we on the verge of a civil war? And the HT report goes on-
“The 19-hour ‘curfew’ virtually put under house arrest roughly 5000,000 non-Manipuris in Imphal and adjoining areas. Most of the non-locals are traders in central government or private sector jobs. Shops and businesses establishments run by non-Manipuris remained closed while non-local students skipped schools and colleges. This followed the ‘curfew’ call by the Joint Students’ Coordination Committee (JSCC) restricting all outdoor activities including movement of non-Manipuris”
Surely there is something wrong! And the report quoted a certain Laishram Reagan, who happens to be a student leader (not a mobster) as saying, “We took the step to protest the racial attacks and discrimation against people from the Northeast in mainland India, especially the metros” And here’s is another line uttered by the spokesperson of JSCC, “We will intensify our agitation if our demand for enactment of law to fight racial crimes is not met”
Even though the report is silent on what exactly is the proposed law, still am in a positive state of mind because the JSCC spokesperson spoke about a law.
Then another question came to my mind. If JSCC has drafted legislation, will the Republic of India make it into a law because some Biharis and Marwaris are held hostage by the popular student body in Imphal? Personally, I don’t think so. But may be the JSCC leaders hold the view that something is better than nothing. Is there no other way to impress the Government about the need for legislation? This I don’t know. I never knew any solution to the problem. Even so I never lose hope.
As I have said earlier, the finesse of the Meiteis is what I have been looking forward to all these years. In fact the Meiteis are able to withhold the benefits of the provisions of the 6th Schedule of the Constitution of India for 40 years. For a race of their standard the act of holding mayangs hostage to demand enacting of a law seems a bit too clumsy.
Even the rhetoric against the mayangs is ingriguing. The target of racial discrimination in the mainland is unmistakable- the chinkies. But when it comes to the perpetrators, at least as far as the recent cases are concerned, it does not seem proper to point fingers at the mainstream Indians as a whole. In a diverse country like India, not only the northeasterners, but most residents feel insecure in Delhi and other metros, which is why people have adapted to certain norms which look odd to the free minds of the northeasterners.  

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Sunday Worship Service, February 2, 2014

Time 11.00 AM 
EBCC Delhi, Dwarka
Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion,
which cannot be shaken but endures forever.

As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
so the Lord surrounds his people
both now and forevermore.The scepter of the wicked will not remain
over the land allotted to the righteous,
for then the righteous might use
their hands to do evil.Lord, do good to those who are good,
to those who are upright in heart.
But those who turn to crooked ways
the Lord will banish with the evildoers.Peace be on Israel.

The Pastor opened the worship service in prayer. Worship in hymns followed. Sunday offering collected in the meantime was dedicated by Upa Khamgoupau.
Normally no one wants to miss the first worship service of the month. As instructed in 1 Timothy 2, the pastor prayed for each member of the Church as they rose to receive divine blessing.
Upa Thiankhanmuan, Assistant Secretary to TBSUC handed over Baptismal Certificates to the following:-
(i) Ms H. Nemthianmawi d/o H. Thangsiam 
(ii)Ms Doihthianching d/o Vanlallian Valte
(iii) Mr Thangsonmung Tosing s/o T. Chinkhokam.
Reading out 1 Samuel 1:24-25 pastor performed dedication of infant Mr Joshua Lianmuanlal Valte s/o Singkhanlun Valte of Mohamedpur.
Sermon: Growing in faith is the precondition for ‘His will being done on earth’. Doing God’s will hinges on faith in Him without which work in the service of God merely defines a person as a moralist. As stated in the scripture, faith as a grain of mustard seed has the potential to shift the location of a mulberry tree (St. Luke 17:5-6) or of a hill (Mark 4:31).
Two questions follow from such discourse - (i) why is there a need for the faith to grow; and (ii) how to enable the faith to grow? faithlessness is something that may happen. But the one who loses faith deserves to bear a heavy burden. It would be in his interest to be sunk down in the depths of the sea with a heavy lead fastened in his neck. The reasons necessitating growth in faith: (i) to have the power to forgive and have the right kind of bonding with others; and (ii) to be able to perform miracles. This is evident from the episode in the life of Jesus as found in St. Matthew 23 wherein Jesus was encountered with a painful truth;  on his return from the Mount of Transfiguration He came to know from a man with his ailing child by his side that his disciples are not able to perform miracles. Hence the reproach- O Thou whose faith are retarded. Mere belief is not enough. Belief+ Faith is the ingredient for a saving faith. The need to grow in faith for a greater service to God cannot be over emphasized.
In a nut shell, we as Christians need the right kind of environment (the scientific equivalent of soil); obedience (the scientific equivalent of water); and the Love for God (the scientific equivalent of Sun) for growing in faith.
Thereafter the pastor briefly reminded the concerned members about the inter-departmental joint fellowship scheduled to be held on Saturday, the 8th February, 2014; and the briefing session for members and Media Team and BYF Fellowship right after the worship service ends.
The worship service concluded with blessing from Upa Thiankhanmuan through benediction. Audio version of the sermon is accessible through this link- a khangtou ginna-sermon

By- L/Upa Lianpu Tonsing
In-charge, Media Team
Hymns sung during the service:
(i) Jesu Mi'n Manpha Kisuan In;
(ii) Tou Jesu Neih Kei Adi'n Ahun;
(iii) Ka Aw Bildoh in Toupa Aw; and
(iv) Ka Damlai Na Ka Zoh Chiang.