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Did leaked Manipur video shake India, where indifference is said to rule the roost?

By Liaquath Mirza 

The horrific incident of Manipur has once again left Indians hanging their heads in shame. It shook the insides of even the so-called apolitical denizens with revulsion. Tears trickled down looking at the gut wrenching visuals of death of humanity in Kangpokpi. The distressing video melted even the most corroded hearts so much so that even trolls of establishment raised their hands in helplessness initially at least.
It became increasingly difficult for the event management government to manage this distressing event which happened some eighty days ago. The Manipur government hopelessly failed in its efforts to hide the video of this dastardly act. When someone finally summoned the courage and decided to leak the video it shook a nation which has of late gained the notoriety of indifference.
It is alleged that Manipur police was an active accomplice and actually handed over the helpless women to the monsters of Manipur who not only raped, paraded naked and pillaged but also brutally killed their kin in the process. Hundreds participated and thousands cheered merrily. The inhuman incident happens on 4th May but FIR gets filed after two weeks of the dastardly incident.
They say that it’s a zero FIR which then has to get converted into an FIR with FIR number allotted at the police station which has the jurisdiction. Formality of FIR aside no action was taken, no investigation made and no arrests effected when the crime happened until after nationwide uproar.
The dastardly act was the result of a fake video of dead woman wrapped in plastic passed off as rape victim of Kuki marauders whereas the video itself was that of a Delhi incident which happened years ago.
Such heinous acts are supposed to have been brought to the notice of the Central Home Ministry and NCRB (National Crime Records Bureau) which then updates its records. In fact there should be no doubt that all those who need to know would have known right from state government political and bureaucratic bosses to HMO and PMO bosses in Delhi.
The national commission for women turned a blind eye and feigned ignorance despite getting a written complaint. All the myriad sleuthing agencies would also have been tipped off. And yet… everyone remained tight lipped trying their best to hide the ghastly act from public eye. Rather than owning up and acting on the tip off to nab the culprits each one of them would have passed the buck by taking shelter in a bureaucratic rule book and letting the political bosses go scot-free.
Internet in Manipur is shut down so that gore and ghastliness does not get leaked to the outside world. Manipur of the North east which barely catches the conscience of main land Indians gets further isolated barring a few snatches on burning Manipur once in a while. For the political bosses it was business as usual what with the Karnataka state elections underway. Political bickering from the election podiums reached a crescendo drowning out the cries of help of helpless Manipuris.

Pretence of collective amnesia

Amidst cacophonic speeches of mudslinging and flower petal rallies the nation forgets about a tiny state which is up in flames. Meanwhile our Home Minster remembers that he has to fulfil the formality of paying a visit to Manipur. Off he goes on a 3 day visit. Not much is known about what transpired between him and his party colleague at the helm but a series of platitudes are belted out and peace committees are formed. Appeals are made to the mobsters who looted and scooted with arms from state armouries to surrender their weapons.
It is worth noting that the Home Minister visited Manipur on May 29th, a good 25 days after the ghastly incident and ten days of the FIR of his police. It is hard to believe that his DGP might not have apprised him of the heinous crime. And yet the whole State and Central government machinery decided to remain tight lipped, taking every bit care to keep it under wraps. The victims were neither heard nor provided the much needed succour. Every one adopted the proverbial three monkeys’ pose and went about their work as if nothing happened.
After his return from Manipur it is safe to assume that the Number Two would have apprised his boss the Numero Uno of the incident probably in hushed tones. Hush hush… Amit Bhai hush it up. His advice to his deputy in Gujarati would probably have been: don’t let this out. That’s when realisation might have dawned on the Supremo that his visit to Manipur would possibly lead to bad press.
Even though he knows that the godi media is in his pocket and would do his bidding, he was unsure of the pesky digital media who might play spoil sport by spilling the beans. And that is precisely what happened when the ‘Print’ first published about the heinous crime.
So the Supreme leader decided to avoid Manipur at all costs to possibly save his carefully crafted image and left Manipur to its own devices and to his partisan chief minister. No amount of protests by Manipuris in the nation’s capital moved the supreme leader who resolved to not even utter the letter M of Manipur.
Post blues of Karnataka debacle it was time for the Nation’s Pradhan to cheer himself up a bit with frenetic foreign jaunts…. attending a White House dinner here and collecting a French Bastille sash there and so on and so forth. Signing for a drone here and buying some fighter jets there was also part of the itinerary. It was business as usual for the Pradhan sevak. Manipur? What Manipur?

Lone wolf who cries foul

Rahul Gandhi, the simpleton according to BJP, lands in Manipur on June 29th to visit the various relief camps. This act of sensitivity annoys the state and Central government machinery no end. They erect a makeshift hurdle course along his path only to be vociferously dismantled by the brave women of Manipur. Rahul’s visit briefly brought Manipur to centre stage again only to be relegated back to the background after a few feeble voices and noises.
Purpose is to rake up so much noise that it drowns cries of hapless victims. Focus is on who released video, not on giving justice to victims
Seventy eight day ban on internet in Manipur proved to be futile when some dejected soul decide to pull the pin and blow the lid off. The horrific record of human depravity shook the whole nation and erupted into a volcano of anger and despair. The nation’s conscience was jolted awake. World countries sat up and took notice. World media rooms were flabbergasted. Godi Media paid lip service. Chief justice of India took Suo-Moto cognizance and warned the Government to either take action or face reaction.
Seeing the situation slipping out of hand what with the Chief Justice of India butting in and the chattering classes trending the topic on twitter Vishwa Guru hurriedly summons a clutch of reporters on the Parliament door steps and launches into an eight minute monologue (sorry no questions please… listen to what I have to say) dwelling at length on Paavan Saavan session of the Parliament (monsoon session) and, oh, as a side note a 36 second remorseful contriteness on Manipur incident while taking care to also add Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh (Congress ruled states) to the list thereby not only trivializing the ghastly incident but also obliquely hinting at his troll armies to attack opposition with a bout of whataboutery.
He also sermons all the State governments to act tough against atrocities on women while steadfastly saving his tainted colleagues such as the BB Singhs etc.

Wheels of whataboutery

Taking cue from the supreme leader, IT cell hordes, the godi media hobbledygook, waning and wannabe stars of the BJP -- all swing into action and do the tango in tandem. Just a few of the scores of gems are given for the reader to sample the sheer insensitivity:
Ravi Shankar Prasad: A retired minister wanting to crawl back into the cabinet tries to impress his boss after shedding customary tears by questioning the timing of the video leak. Hint… a certain grand old party’s karyakartas may have been responsible.
  • Tejinder Singh Bagga: Goes a step further and brings an Abdul khan angle into the crime thereby bringing in the tried and tested ‘M’ formula.
  • Dharmendra Pradhan: Manipur incident unfortunate but what happened in West Bengal was even more unfortunate (See so many opposition ruled states are also culpable. Don’t just blame poor Biren Singh Government).
  • Amit Malviya: Chief honcho of IT cell describes opposition hypocrisy with a pictorial tweet of TV remotes with full volume on Manipur and Mute on Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal.
  • Hemanta Biswa Sarma: The North-East poster boy of Hindutva politics also sees congress conspiracy in the timing of the video leak. He has sane advice for all ‘sad incident but don’t blame entire Manipur’.
The list is endless and their stupidity limitless. The whole purpose of the Supreme leader’s dog whistle is to rake up so much noise that it ultimately drowns the cries of the hapless victims. Focus is on who released the damning video and not on giving justice to the victims. The whole modus operandi appears to be to play the victim shoving aside the unfortunate victims and cry wolf.

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