IMPHAL: The Kangleipak Kanba Lup (KKL), Manipur on Thursday demanded that Lin Laishram tender apology to the people of Manipur and the rest of the north eastern region within a week following her remarks ostensibly on racist characteristics of people in the region.
If she fails, the KKL warned in a press statement, with regret she would not be allowed to return to Manipur again till further notice and she should also be prepared for a possible police case to be filed against her for demeaning the Meiteis and the people of the entire north eastern region as a whole.
The press release which was issued on Thursday further said that it is with a heavy sense of disappointment that KKL was compelled to issue this statement, while explaining that its call for apology pertains to a recent statement issued by Linthoingambi Laishram aka Lin Laishram, who is the daughter of Laishram Chandrasen Singh of Palace Compound, Wangkhei.
“Recently in a film event hosted at Pune, she had stated that the Manipuri Meitei’s are also ‘racists’ by their own right. With this statement she has justified the over 70 years of cultural subjugation and racial attitude of the Indian mainland towards not only to the Manipuris but to the people of the entire north eastern region of India. It is said that her assertion was that the Meiteis are racist because they use the term “mayang” to describe “mainland Indians,” the statement continued.
It is very unfortunate that she not only failed to understand the term mayang but went further to commit a misinterpretation of the term and thereby inviting insults upon the entire race into which she was born into, KKL charged.
KKL in the statement explained to Lin Laishram that Mayang is a collective term used by the Meiteis of Manipur to describe any Indian mainlander whether be a Tamil from South Indian or a Sikh from the North or a Maharashtrian from the West or a Bengali from the East. The term applied by the Mizos of Mizoram is “Vhai” to connote the same meaning. The individual reference to a “Mayang” or a “vhai” in person is bhaiya or brother.
“What connotes racism is the fact that the “Mayang” ranging from Bangalore to Delhi has been constantly using the term ” Chinky”,”Momos” and more recently “Corona ” to describe the north-eastern people. Perhaps, if she had read the newspapers she would have realized that a Manipuri lady studying in Delhi University was spat upon with Pan (Kwadang) by a Mayang calling her Corona virus. Will she justify this insult on the collective body of north eastern because she believes that we are “racists”?” stated KKL in the release.
The racism as understood by the sociologists is a specific cultural ideology invented to justify slavery and other forms of systematic institutionalized inequality. It’s a very powerful instrument to frame a particular cultural group of race as superior to others. e.g. framing of Aryan race as superiority to others such as Hitler’s Nazis upon the Jews in Germany, the Dravidians or Mongoloids in India. The racism manifested in a variety of way differences in culture perceived as superiority and inferiority, imperialism and political subjugation of a community in the name of law and order. e.g. AFSPA Act in north east India.
The organization informed to Lin Laishram that the Manipuri society although conservative in nature is indeed very tolerant and that is the reason that no one murmured a word of protest when she exhibited her body almost full naked on the ramps during her modeling shows and silently we were proud of the fact that she got two supporting roles in the Bollywood productions of “Mary Kom” and “Rangoon”.
But that does not mean that she can cross the line. It is akin to the black of South Africa being termed as “racists” or that of the Jews, six million of which were killed by the Hitler and his Nazis trying to established Aryan Supremacy over them, as also being racists, argued KKL.