imphal declaration by Pan Meetei convention (WMC)

Date : January 27th, 2019

Ahaanba Meepham, January 27, 2019

Imphal Declaration

We, the members of Pan Meetei Convention, in short PMC, who live in Assam, Manipur, Tripura, Delhi and various cities of India and Bangladesh have assembled here today since its inception on 1st October, 2018. We have come together with our earnest desire to rejuvenate and revitalize this ancient beautiful land by doing our bit. We know we need to channelize our resources and move in coordination and work unitedly.

This was the reason for our forming this platform on which we can work with understanding and cooperation in Manipur, Assam, Tripura, Nagaland and in all the places including Bangladesh and Myanmar where it is necessary.

The fact is, today we have landed ourselves at a critical crossroads and this has called for cooperation and coordination among us. But unfortunately at this critical juncture our people give not much attention, maybe we do not realize the gravity of the situation. Instead of working with understanding and cooperation Mawaa Lounadaba – cynicism have seeped into our psyche and absorbed in our character. Naturally we have developed an attitude of having minimum respect for each other.

Tousinnaba, which is much more than pretentions and Yaana Yaanaba Chatpa – compromising one’s principle to gain one’s personal benefit at any given equation has been our norms and sadly is accepted in the society.

Naturally, blatant unfair means and unabashed corruption in both public and private spheres are the rule of the day. This has poisoned our social atmosphere and ruined the characters of our youths and children. More than anything cynicism and Yaana Yaanaba Chatpa which are the end result of unfair means and corruption which is in vogue since the last many generations have been destroying us.

Perhaps somewhere we have lost our self-respect. This is dangerous and could destroy us beyond redemption. PMC is deeply concerned of this development.

Accordingly, we have taken up the task to examine as to what has gone wrong with our social norms, values, traditions and custom. And how possibly could we retrieve our self-respect ? This is a difficult job.

The last two days PMC had devoted its time to analyze, examine and understand our social norms, values, traditions and practices with the associated cultural contents that are responsible for what we are today, without emotional, sentimental or religious baggage.

We have also taken into account the opinion that historically we have been wronged by Ningthou Pamheiba aka Garib Niwaz and his religious associates and their descendants who had ruled us. We have considered this aspect because it has a direct impact on what we are today.

We also understand how the egalitarian values of Salai – equality of all clan and people which was the pivot of the Meetei community had degenerated into a stratified society dominated by Sanakha-Eigya meaning My Lord, damaging the self-esteem of the people.

Interestingly today the paragon of a cultured Meetei – Leibak-macha taaba, is the one who conforms to this vertical division of society though very subtly, as opposed to the Salai’s egalitarian values that nurture self-respect. Such division among people only promotes favoritism, nepotism and discrimination which are the root cause of corruption and nurture scynicism in a society. This is exactly what is happening in the Meetei Society.

PMC had thoroughly examined the issues and have understood the causal effect of the dynamics of the socio-religious contents onto the Meetei community. Hence we are now in a position to propose some decisive alternatives to the issues that we are entangled with.

Therefore PMC would earnestly appeal to all the people to join us in whatever way possible in our effort to discharge our duty to the people particularly to our youths and children so that they could grow in a healthy atmosphere filled with confidence and values of equality which are essential to nurture responsible human beings and produce leaders.

Now, to build self-confidence in ourselves and regain self-respect PMC earnestly appeal to all our people –
1. to believe in ourselves that we are all equal and no one is above you save God;
2. to do away with anything inequitable, prejudicial and discriminatory in the name of custom, tradition or religion such as addressing someone as Sanakha or Eigya etc. because you are admitting that you are below someone, which is not true ;
3. to stand your own ground in all events or situations — social, customary, religious functions, gatherings etc;
4. to stop wasting our precious time, money and energy indulging in wasteful cultural and religious extravaganzas that we are so used to;
5. to create such social platform on which we can come together and understand one another, and work in cooperation and coordination in all Leikai and locality in Assam, Tripura, Manipur and wherever is necessary, and also in Bangladesh and Myammar when situation arises.

We aim to instil and infuse scientific temper in our youths so that they should be able to join the global competition. We believe they should be in a better position to compete if we can help them by creating a fair and healthy social atmosphere. PMC would extend all possible help without any reservation.

Finally, we earnestly appeal to all our brothers to understand that the apparel, “Dhoti-Kurta” that we take as sacrosanct carries with it the spirit and psyche of discrimination. We feel that without wearing a Dhoti-Kurta God will not accept our offerings, rituals etc. This is not true because God doesn’t make any distinction of one’s dress.

Therefore to take a clear cut break from a demeaning culture that only promotes inequality among the people in very subtle ways, we appeal to all our brothers for the sake of our youths and children to do away with Dhoti-Kurta, the status symbol of casteism. This may look dramatic and insubstantial but if we do this we can say for certain, it will do us wonders.

In all our efforts PMC keep in mind the consideration of our children so that a scientific temper be instilled in their minds to enable them to be better human beings free from having a subservient mindset which is the case of the present generations, and be in a better position to join the global competition.

PMC is committed to social justice and progress for the future of our children.
(Heigrujam Nabashyam)

General Secretary
(Hijam Rajen)