Ukhrul: ‘MISSION UKHRUL’, Know Your Candidate book of Ram (Ramnganing) Muivah, IAS, former NEC Secretary, was released on November 23 by Fr. Gabriel, Parish Priest, Sacred Heart Church, Hungpung at 25° North Hotel in Ukhrul, Manipur. The book was released to make people aware of Ram in the state as he is one of the intending NPF MLA candidates for 44-Ukhrul (ST) A/C.
The function was led by Shanthing Shaiza as the moderator. The program began with invocation by David Pamshang Shimrah, Catechist, Sacred Heart Church, Hungpung.
Yaruihor Hungyo, Manager, The Aja Daily, said in his welcome address, “Mission Ukhrul book has been published to know the candidate better. I hope people will come to know how qualified, efficient and competent Sir Ram Muivah is. Let’s understand clearly who is contesting and take decisions before giving vote. My best wishes to him.”
Gabriel, Parish Priest, Sacred Heart Church, Hunpung was pleased to released the book entitled ‘MISSION UKHRUL, Know Your Candidate and conveyed his best wishes to Ram. He conveyed, “A dream written down with the date becomes a goal, broken down into steps become a plan, backed by action becomes a reality. Sir your future is created by what you do today.”
Ram, “Why ‘KNOW YOUR CANDIDATE’ was published? I left Ukhrul in April 1993. It’s almost 30 years now. Though we are all Tangkhulnao, many of you may not know me. In my 35 years of working in Ukhrul, I seldom visited Hungpung and Hunphun in connection with my official duty. Much younger generation may not know me. Since I have decided to be our people’s representative as a Member of Legislative Assembly, I seriously thought that it will be important to publish this book as its main purpose is to know each other and build up relations. It’s mainly for those who are living in villages as they may hear my name but the majority won’t be knowing me physically”.
The book briefly mentions about Ram’s early life, education, social services, training, career and significant achievements, positions held, conferences, seminars, talks, skills and competence, and awards.
Ram addressing the gathering said, “You may be wondering why Ramnganing wants to contest for the upcoming Manipur MLA election? At the outset, I want to tell you. It is not for my benefit. I receive a pension, a Private Company (Pvt. Ltd.) offered me a good position (Job) in Mumbai, Government of India also offered me a post-retirement job but I decline all of them. Why? Because God has blessed me in many ways. That’s why as a way of gratitude and thanksgiving to God, I want to serve society. God has given me more than I can imagine.”
Ram praised God for the quality education and the career he has gained, the luxurious travel and living he enjoyed, the opportunity to meet many bright minds and highly educated people from different fields across the world, the love that he received from many people, the rich experience that he posse by exploring various countries and the sense of mission that is igniting within to contribute for the motherland.
Ram firmly asserted, “I have stayed outside for 35 years. Ukhrul is my motherland. Instead of staying outside, now I want to serve the nation with the little strength that I still have for the rest of my life. I want to offer myself, dedicate in the service of my people to implement the experiences and knowledge that I have gained, and put to use the various network that I have established. You are all my family, partners. My home is your home.”
Education: Let’s mould people through education as it is the instrument, antidote to illiteracy, ignorance, discrimination, and poverty. Why someone from a poor family, a cultivator’s son is standing here today in front of you all? It’s because of education. Let there be quality education in every village. There are only 4 to 5 good schools in Ukhrul: Sacred Heart my alma mater, Savio school, Little Angel, Patkai Christian Academy. Out of 250 Tangkhul villages or so, how will the five schools educate all? Moulding people through education is one of my main visions, Ram asserted.
Youth Empowerment: 60- 70% of our population is youth. We need to empower them but how? I want them to have skills and competence. I want them to be entrepreneurs. Everyone wants money but where it will come from? It will come through entrepreneurship, business, but basic infrastructure from the government is needed. It is the moral responsibility of the government to provide basic roads, connectivity, healthcare and education. If not how we will compete in the valley or developing mainland region? We should all be employers and never be employees. Government service is mediocre. The smartest people don’t want to work for others but want to be the boss (own company). We should encourage entrepreneurs. The youths of Tangkhul are educated, talented but there is no opportunity here. I want to provide that. Give me the chance. I won’t promise but it will be my endeavour. Together, let’s build, train the youth, if someone becomes a successful entrepreneur, he or she can employ 20, 30, 100s of people. If there are 100 entrepreneurs, and if one entrepreneur can employ 20 people in a year than, 2000 people can be employed. Our land can be transformed. For a successful entrepreneur, the sky is the limit. The story of Dhiru Bhai Ambani is an inspiration to be an entrepreneur.
Women Empowerment: 50% of our population is women. Shouldn’t we empower them? Let’s harness their talents, their skillsets and build Ukhrul. If we don’t give power to women, we can never be a distinct nation. Because we will be losing that 50% of the service. Since Tangkhul custom is a patriarchal system and undermines women to some extend but time has come. We have to reform even our customs and judiciary. According to history, before Christianity, headhunting was practised but not anymore. If we can change that for good, then why not, shouldn’t we give some power to women? The time has come for that.
I want to make Ukhrul a tourist destination. The fresh air of our land, beautiful scenic landscape, breathtaking lush green mountains is beyond comprehension. If tourism is promoted, we will earn income, revenue. Shall we welcome tourists? But how the tourist will come when there are no proper roads and hotels? If there is physical infrastructure, I believe tourists will come. Eg: Shirui Lily. If we are skilful, every month we can host an event.”
Ram cited some of the Tangkhul Naga traditional festivals like Chumpha, Mangkhap, Yarra & Thisham. He narrated its unique story and significance which human intelligence cannot explain. He showed interest in preserving the rich culture and tradition followed by our ancestors. He said, “I don’t want the beauty of Tangkhul custom & tradition to loss. Tangkhul culture is ‘deliver more than you promise.’ Youngsters are forgetting the rich tradition. I want to make Ukhrul a smart city. Indian government sanction 500 crores to make a smart city. Then why not here? I have a short and medium-term vision. My vision document will also be delivered.
Regarding the ADC Bill, from the beginning, I was the champion. Why? Article 371C has been included in the constitution since 1970. This is our constitutional right. As it’s in the constitution, it is a law and not a guideline. Why have we not implemented it till date? For fifty year’s it is partially ended. I really appreciate my dear friend MLA Leishiyo, 43-Phungyar (ST) A/C for preparing this bill right after he became the HAC chairman but we are running short of time now, the election is approaching. Candidates who win should give effort and pursue this matter as it hasn’t ended with him. That is our legitimate right the Constitution of India has provided. How and who can stop us? he asked. There is no reason to stop. Regarding the district council, I have been telling to the Chairman, MLA that we must strengthen the District Council. District Council is our local self-government, a grassroots democracy. Development cannot bring like the parachute from above without local self-government. District Council must be given a separate sufficient budget. Whether the budget is big or small, what is our due budget? It should arrive in our town not from via Imphal. See our neighbouring states Nagaland, Mizoram, Khasi’s, Meghalaya, Arunachal, Sikkim, Gorkha, even the Nepalese got the Autonomous Council Darjeeling, even the Tripura tribal got the Sixth Schedule but we are in the 21st Century and we are still asking for Six Schedule. It’s a disgrace. Aren’t we Manipur tribals a shame when people are asking for a state? Others already attained statehood but we are still in Six Schedule. We deserve much better. When Nagas in Nagaland have attained, then why not us? Are we inferior to them? Are we second class citizens? The state is provided by the constitution. We should claim our rights. Having said that, these are not enemy words for the Meiteis. We have been mingling with them for many long years. It is everybody’s knowledge that they take the lion share. They are giving us what is overflowing on the table. If it goes on like this, other NE states will become like South Korea and ours will remain like North Korea. Therefore, they should give us meaningful autonomy because it is our birthright. We are not asking from anybody. We need to ask what is due to us. Let’s fight for this. Why are they so impartial (step-motherly treatment) towards the Manipur Tribal? To tell you the truth, truth be told. Our position is bigger. We are like an orphan. What happen to us that we could not claim for our rights?
Before India got independence, on 29 June 1947, Assam Governor Akbar Hydari made the Nine-Point Agreement with the Naga National Council (NNC) and gave Semi-Independent for the Nagas, except currency transport and foreign affairs. Integration was already given before India’s independent. After independence, given to take Sixth Schedule was an insult to him. Mayank Lngchar, Constituent Assembly, Sub-Committee member, Naga’s third person to graduate, resigned on this ground. In place of him, Aliba Imti was appointed but even he resigned since they didn’t accept his words. So in Nagaland, the first election was boycotted in 1952 and 1957. The election was boycotted twice in the 1950s as the district council was considered to be too small at that time, Ram narrated.
Then what are we asking for in this 21st century isn’t too small? All our neighbouring Northeast states have attained statehood except Tribals in Manipur. What happens with them? It’s mainly because the Kukis and Nagas are not united. If Nagas and Kukis are united then we will attain our meaningful autonomy. Else, Meitei will play the divide and rule policy. In the ADC Bill, the speaker has mentioned that Hill Area Committee should be from the Hill Area. But he put eight Meteis. Kuki Inpi and ATSUM condemned since they are together, they withdrew the bill immediately. This is one small example. Kuki and Nagas, when it comes to our common interest, let us be allies, friends for a common objective. That is meaningful hill autonomy. Let us, partner. Let’s build our land. If I am given a chance I want to build, Ukhrul, the Jerusalem of Manipur. I need your “support,” said Ram.
“I have been knowing Oja Ning (Ramnganing) since he was a deputy commissioner) in Ukhrul. In everything he does, he does everything sincerely without a corruption mindset which I appreciate. Society needs to know the intending candidate properly. It’s good to know the experience of the candidate as those who are well experienced and packed with knowledge can do the work better. Moreover, since it’s to run the government, those who already have hands-on knowledge will know better the functioning of the government for better governance. It will be more worthy for the voters to support the candidate and cast their vote who are highly efficient, well qualified with vast experience and have clean records. Though he is recently retired, a man of his stature is fit and competent to serve the society,” concluded Valleyrose Hungyo, Editior, The Aja Daily.
The function was closed with a closing prayer by Chihanpam Sareo. A special Tangkhul Lungchan Laa (Tangkhul oldies songs) was presented by Naga horn and end the programme.