Saturday, March 18, 2017

Narrative of fake encounter from my mother

Those socialites who are cheering up the election victory of fake encounter specialist, their kid's arrogance to save their NGO business are more dangerous than the culprit himself. You should rethink how many lives they have vanished overnight and destroyed the hopes of many families like ours. You are praying to your lord for his tall buildings and fat bank balance but we also have dreams, hope and life which can not be just negotiated and sold off to add on your lord's bank statement. That's why we raise our voice and we strongly condemn at least in our social media pages against your lord.

We have lived seeing ugly sides of both the state and non state forces; we only know how much their self benefiting propaganda affected our normal life.  Though such political situation must have enhanced the business of many NGOs and socialites in the Imphal. Those tall buildings are constructed from blood money they earned from selling and buying​ dead bodies and coffins. There is nothing to proud about it and defend them. But cheering up for such people just because you shared​ their kitchen sometime make me wonder the kind of people they are.

There are other side of stories which your bosses could not hide in the far flung villages and hills, quite far from your socialite's Imphal. Some of such stories are from my own place and the story is about dogs of your bosses hunting human in empty roads of villages, paddy fields and in the Loktak lake.

The people in my locality are survived by fishing and collecting vegetables in Loktak lake from decades. We do not know Imphal politics, the Manipur we see today in Facebook and the lifestyles of socialites in my Facebook list. We are busy with routine work every season, we don't have other business like lobbying and NGO to feed our family. We go for fishing in the rainy season, collects vegetables in summers, works in the paddy fields in school holidays with our parents. We never wore the green skirts which sent you straight to elite colleges but we have so many dreams of our own, not created and imposed by parents, society or other's expectation. We simply used to dream about reading an English novel and be confident like the other rich kids. We grown up with many shattered dreams unlike the elite kids who are fed with one teacher per subject. For the elite kids, education is their parent's social status but for us it was a necessity to survive  and come out of shithole of poverty. Unfortunately, only few of us among​ the hundreds of students who attended the government school fulfilled their dream. Only few of us knew that this is the only way you can save your family by earning a stable income.

We always heard about stories of success, overcoming impossibles and miracles but we are never taught about competition, bitching and selfishness like in elite school in Imphal that's why we never fit in your society and we do not want to fit your narrow minded culture. Our illiterate mothers narrated us fairy tales so that we never get tired in the journey and have courage to face the cruel world. We are never taught with socialite's culture of diplomacy and polish behavior. Either you can be wrong or you can be right. We never make relationship for benefits or profits. Similarly, we do not praise or criticise anyone considering benefits or enmities. We only know they are wrong in killing people for any reason. I have seen the bloody dead bodies lying in our road, fields and we know how much it frightened our existence.

Our lives from mid 90s was the example of horrible experiences we had gone through for survival in the war like situation in the Loktak and the surrounding areas. We could sleep peacefully without fearing of losing life in the field after I join corporate to help my family against my willingness. Yes, I never wanted to join and work in corporate. I know corporate culture would never accept me as I'm not trained in art of hypocrisy which are taught in elite schools and how to survive in their politics of identity and bonus. Anyway somehow I survive and my families are living a comfortable life without depending much on the income from farms. That's the only outcome at the cost of burning myself 9 hours everyday within four walls like a guinea pig without any learning and having no option of escaping from corporate as well as responsibility. But I'm proud of dignified way of living and earning on my own without asking money like the rich kids at the age of 3. We don't criticize people who choose to live on their rich parents income and still flaunt their patriotic status for living in Manipur.

In mid 90s our fish farm was one of the major source of income for our family apart from my father's magre salary of 15000 INR. I started dreaming for a big chnage in my life for good reason when I joined a private school in 1998 and try to cope up everything with a English-Manipuri dictionary. Our life has different routine, education was important for us but meeting the other ends were compulsory for us. Me and my cousin has the responsibility to deliver food in fish farm near Loktak for my father and uncle before going to school. We always reached school with half filled stomach unlike the elite kids who came with packed tiffins from home. Seriously our mothers were less interested with grown up 10-12 years old kid because they have other things to do apart from showing their love. Life was sailing smoothly till the time militants started occupying the Loktak space for their end purpose. We used to have a small hut where every night my parents used to stay to guard the farm from thieves mostly based in opposite ends of Loktak lake. But year after year the demand from many ends force us to leave farming. The militants would ask the keys of our hut or ask to leave the door open. Next day army would come and interrupt our lives saying we provide accommodation.  But we never had any interest in helping the  patriots from India and Manipur. They have their purpose and we have our own. Our livelihood was slowly cut year after year by such activities.

The frequent incidents of using the secluded places as killing field and finding unknown dead bodies in the morning was a routine talk among the farmers. After every incident the farmers would be threatened by both the militants and the army. We had no one to complaint and look up for our security at that time. We lived our lives with mercy from both forces. Sometimes they would come to our house, asked to cook for them when we do not even have food to cook for ourselves. Next day army would interrogate the farmers and everyone would accuse each other in their policy of blame game and killing someone for ex-gratia business. We never heard about the rate of a dead body and never question why there was so much killing, till the time we are exposed to the lives of socialites.

We change our course of living from fish farming to growing vegetables and planting seasonal crops because no one would steal the vegetables and crops. So we could escape the harassment from both the forces. My parents used to work from early morning till late evening and everyone rush home before sunset, before the war begins in the darkness. But that did not work either. The trend of their war advanced and they are no longer afraid of people, society and humanity. The hunting of humans, firing indiscriminately in the broad day light was a routine phenomenon. Secluded places of villages were safe heaven for corrupted politicians and their dogs.

It was in 2005 if I remember correctly, our family had no phone that time so my father would write one letter per month and he enclosed the letter along with a cheque of Rs. 2300. He could not send even 50 Rs more because of the situation at home. Sometime I had to travel by cycle rickshaw with my friends by paying Rs. 5 from university to Vijay Nager but it used to pinch me and made me feel guilty because eraning even 5 Rs in our place was like playing with lives. In one of the letter my father wrote that this time we could not complete the work in the farm and the fish farm is completely abandoned now because of the the constant nagging by police and militants. He said it's better we sell off this place and do something. But there were no buyers except they wanted to buy for free of cost. I used to crush both state and non-state forces and wished that they all die in hell, killed by malaria in Burma. That's where I heard they go for training and many people die of malaria too. I was always a sad and gloomy person among the friends because there were so many puzzles which I do not know how would I overcome that time. I always had bad dream of my brothers being picked up by police or militants. To add to our fear, there was another rumour of child recruitment by some militant groups and randomly picking them up. I don't know the true story, whether the children of age 13-14 years had gone with the militants willingly or sold by parents or manipulated but one of my relative's child was returned​ to home by some good Samaritans from hills with disfigured body. His whole body was marked with burns from cigarette butts. He said he was bitten up for cooking a bad meal by the group.

After some years we could afford to buy a mobile phone and we could communicate at least once in a week. There was one particular incident which left my parents and people working in nearby field begging for their life. They were working in the field after the evening rest and suddenly they saw some vehicles  coming there. It was not a motorable road so only one of local uncle's old jeep used to carry passenger to Loktak but so many vehicles of uniform men in board day light was scaring for them. They saw some of the kids in the gypsy and they are also from Mayang Imphal so they can recognise. Their names are now probably listed in fake encounter case after years. But the incident was witnessed by all farmers working in the field that time. My mother said they just started working after resting for sometime and suddenly they heard of some people shouting to run fast otherwise they would shoot. They saw some boys dragging from a police gypsy and their hands were tied from behind. The boys were running fast towards the paddy as the uniform people order them. Till the time the farmers including my parents could not figure out, the police personnel fired to the boys indiscriminately. Everyone started shouting, crying and started running in every direction. The police personnel fired blank shots and asked the farmers to bend down in their position so that they could not witness more of the heinous crime. My parents and rest of the farmers followed their instruction and bend down in their position for another half and hour. By the time they got the permission from their bosses in Imphal, they drag the bodies from muddy fields and thrown them in the back of the gypsy. They left laughing and giggling as if they just hunted down some wild birds for midnight parties with the beautiful socialites in the luxury Imphal hotels.

This is the life my parents and people in my village who has lived through a decade of fake encounter and harassment by both the state and non state forces. Years after year we could hold back our breathe and go to our farm without any fear but there are lots of changes for me. Now I'm afraid of everyone, my own neighbors, the next farmer to our fish farm. I suspect everyone has a conspiracy to kill each other. This is the remnants and gifts to the lives of many villagers and farmers by the fake encounter profiteers and politicians.

We grow up seeing dead body in the road, in our fish farms and paddy fields so that they can build tall buildings in the Imphal, send their English speaking sons and daughters in American University from that blood money they earned with each dead body. Life is so easy for these socialite, you just put up some make up and dine in a luxury hotel and talk about human rights. But your human rights business left us with fear, conspiracy, poverty and lack in faith in humans like you all.

Next time before cheering up for a fake encounter specialist cop please sip some water from Loktak Lake and taste it how many blood drops it has been contaminated and absorbed. You will realize how many lives are destroyed by your bosses. They did not destroy only the lives of dead people, they destroy lives of many, like my family, broke the dreams of many, like mine, my brothers, my cousins, my sisters to live a life of their choice. You have choice to be good or bad but we only had choice to survive so  for please do look for morality when you are cheering murderers. Just pray it didn't happen to your family and be thankful you are not a chosen one for an expensive dead body. 

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