Not right time for MU to celebrate Thingyan

By FrontierManipur | Published On 16th Apr, 2021, 11:29 GMT+0530

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Somingam Chamroy, Department of Psychology, Manipur University

Imagine that we are all left homeless; we are being shot to death and we are left hopeless and nowhere to go. Therefore, I would like to show my solidarity to the victims of the tragedy which is unfolding in Myanmar in the midst of the celebration that is going on in Manipur University. By Somingam Chamroy

I am from Halang village, Ukhrul. I have lost my parents and lived all by myself. And now seeing the people of Myanmar struggling for life and death, I am deeply saddened by it. I think about those people trembling in fear, with no proper clothing, no food, no proper shelter and nowhere to go. I feel like crying whenever I think of the suffering of the people of Myanmar as I also have been through a lot of tragedy in life.

Let us suppose that there is a similar outburst like this in Manipur just like the incidents that are happening in Myanmar. Imagine that we are all left homeless; we are being shot to death and we are left hopeless and nowhere to go. Therefore, I would like to show my solidarity to the victims of the tragedy which is unfolding in Myanmar in the midst of the celebration that is going on in Manipur University.

Given that it is a university, people will perceive differently even if the organisers have good intention behind organising the festival. The result could affect the image of the university as a whole. Even though it is hosted by the Centre for Myanmar Studies, the impression will be created that it is Manipur University which is organising it because the said department is under Manipur University. The whole state will assume that it is in this manner the people in the university reacted to the political crisis in Myanmar. The world will say that Manipur University has underrated Myanmar crises by observing the festival. People will think that Manipur University celebrated Thingyan, the water festival of Myanmar, while the Myanmarese are suffocated to death.

I understand that the department organising this event is not mocking, insulting or being inconsiderate but the behaviour it is exhibiting is not favourable on humanitarian ground. This is the reason why I stand against the event but not necessarily the academic program they are hosting about Myanmar.

I do not have any bad intentions. I am only trying to discuss it. I feel that it is not the right time to host such an event. This is the reason why from the bottom of my heart I am showing my concern over the organising of this event. It is actually a high time to show solidarity together to the people of Myanmar by organising a general function and over there we can discuss the tragedy that is unfolding in Myanmar together as a university instead of observing a festival. We can raise money for donation, raise awareness and many other things.

I, as a psychology student, have enormous concern about the mental health of the people of Myanmar. Just imagine, if such tragedy happens at our doorstep. How we would feel if we have nowhere to run, and no place to escape. We have to relate ourselves with this. After all we are all human beings.

My concern is for the people of Myanmar. This is not the right time to observe such an event. Our university’s name should not be used for this event. I do not mean to create problems. It is my personal plea that we should be more empathetic and I have to peacefully protest all alone on this given matter. I am doing this on humanitarian grounds.

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