Sincerity without political will . . . is meaningless

Interview with Charenamei: Sincerity without political will . . . is meaningless

NTIMES 12 Oct: He is a Leader, Friend, and Uncle to many of us, a well-known political figure and yet who remains a humble man. Ladies and Gentlemen, we bring you Mr. Mani Charenamei, former Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha) representing the Outer Manipur Constituency. Here are his insights shared with NagalimTimes (NT) members.


NT: Good Evening! Sir


Charenamei: Good evening everyone


NT: How often do you visit NT group and how do you like it?


Charenamei: I do visit NT regularly and I like it.


NT: What do you think of all those issues and topics we discuss in social networking sites or groups like ours? Do they have any impact outside the virtual world?


Charenamei: The topics and Issues discussed in Nagalim Times are highly educative and enlightening. Topics pertaining to Naga Political issue are quite relevant to our present society and the divergent opinions expressed by various learned members has been very helpful in making many visitors to understand the Naga issue in perspective.


NT: You were a high ranking Forest Officer before coming into active politic, what prompted you to join politics?


Charenamei: I truly love my forester job, it has been my passion to work in the Forest department and I like to take up the challenges of protecting the rich biodiversity of our forest and I still consider myself as a forester till today.


In my life’s journey as a student activist and as a forester I came across different kinds of untold hardships and sufferings the Naga people in particular and tribal people in general were facing while trying to cope with the meagre needs of their daily lives. On top of innumerable sufferings and abject poverty the Naga people have been suffering from untold hardships and humiliation in the hands of the insensitive administrators and the unruly Security forces.  I also had a strong desire to help the government to solve insurgency in the North Eastern Region by highlighting the genuine grievances of various ethnic groups of the state in the Parliament and in other appropriate places to draw the attention of the concerned authorities for speedy redressal of their problems. I also strongly felt that Naga political leaders should not alienate the Naga Underground Workers just because they rebel against the Nation but should have a heart to understand them otherwise our leadership can be questioned by the people. My passion to help the poor and the weak had actually prompted me to join politics


NT: Do you think the Naga Youths need to involve more into politics?


Charenamei: I think sincere and committed youths should join politics however they should be aware that there will be temptations, hardships, insult and humiliations galore as they take up political struggles. However there is no greater sacrifice than working for the people who are in need of justice and protection.


NT: We have discussed and deliberated much about the Naga political issues in this group (NT) yet we are still without any substantial clue or information. Can you update us about the ongoing Indo-Naga talks?


Charenamei: Nagas are living in a sophisticated age and the number of intellectuals has increased many folds. Therefore, when we discuss, analyse and debate on issues pertaining to social, political or economic issues concerning Naga people vis-à-vis ever changing surrounding scenario, it is always better to substantiate and contextualise our issues with facts and figures.

As I am not a party to any of the Negotiating teams, I am not in a position to throw much light on the status and progress of the ongoing Indo- Naga Peace Talks. However, as per statements issued by both the Indian Leadership and the NSCN (IM) from time to time, I can safely say that Peace Talk is heading towards an honourable solution.


NT: What kind of solution do you foresee and when?


Charenamei: It is difficult to predict anything on the outcome of the Peace Talk and likely date of Signing Peace Accord now. But, I am hopeful that if settlement is brought to the decades old political problems, Nagas will be able live with dignity and honour as an individual and as a people.


NT: Do you think the GOI is sincerely working on bringing about a solution to the decades old Naga Political issue?


Charenamei: I believe that Govt. of India has been sincere and is sincere till today. But sincerity without political will to solve the Naga issue is meaningless.


NT: Don’t you think the frequent shuffle in the Ministry of Home Affairs for GOI is affecting the flow of talks?


Charenamei: Frequent change of Home Minister should not hamper the Peace Talk but what matter is, we need a Minister who can take political decision and who can take responsibility.


NT: We still vividly remember you spearheading and taking part in the rallies for Naga Integration. How much have we achieved on that?


Charenamei: The desire to live as a people by integrating our lands which is the common aspiration of the Naga people upheld by the Naga Hoho, UNC, Nagaland State Assembly and all the national and regional political parties functioning in the state.  I, on my part as a Naga, always felt that it is my bounden duty to support the Naga cause. My main mission as a member of parliament was to sensitise the Indian Parliament about the legitimate aspiration of our people to live under one administration and to highlight pertinent issues concerning the political, economic and social rights of the Naga people.


The demand for Naga Integration is not negotiable and the right to live together is the highest goal of the Naga people. The essence of our political struggle lies in the integration of our land and people. The fight for integration of our land and people has to continue with much vigour and must be pursued by the Naga public themselves till it is achieved. If our Land and People are integrated we will gain many political dividends.


The issue has been brought to the knowledge of the parliament in the form of parliamentary question and by raising the issue during discussions under various rules, by way of submitting memorandums to all the Ministers, MPs of both the houses both in English and Hindi version to sensitise the Naga Integration issue. The leader of the house of the ruling Congress party was forced to withdraw the infamous clause of the Common Minimum Program which said that the territorial boundary of the North Eastern state will not be changed. I think our issue is very genuine and legitimate in the context of the Indian Constitution and in the context of the criteria taken into account while creating several states under Indian union since Independence.


NT: Please tell us, what is Alternative Arrangement (AA) as demanded by United Naga Council (UNC)?


Charenamei: The demand for Alternative Arrangement by the UNC, apex Naga body in Manipur, as I understand is a demand to the Central Government to make alternative arrangement for the Nagas of Manipur outside the control of Manipur govt. even as final solution is being hammered out, because the Chief Minister and his council of ministers has failed to recognise the existence and the sufferings of the Naga people. The Chief Minister of Manipur has acted in contravention to the Constitution of India by deliberately dishonouring the provision of the article no.3 and 4 of the Indian Constitution. The Govt. of Manipur deliberately undermined the Peace Settlement initiated by Govt. of India for bringing about lasting peace in the insurgency affected Naga areas of North East Region of India. In 1964 the then Chief Minister of Manipur, Mr. M. Koireng Singh welcomed the extension of Cease fire operation to 4 Naga dominated districts of Manipur though it was opposed by the then State Congress President. But Govt. of Manipur, under the influence of the Valley people blocked the peaceful visit of Mr Th. Muivah, Gen. Secretary, NSCN (IM) to his native village by using the state security forces resulting in the death of two innocent students. Having seen and experienced the undemocratic, immature, arrogant and high handed attitude of Manipur Government and the lack of political will on the part of Govt. of India to right the wrong, Nagas have been compelled to say ‘Enough is Enough’ and started the movement for Alternative Arrangement for the Nagas of Manipur till final solution to the Naga political problem is found.


NT: What do you say about the demand for Frontier Nagaland by the Eastern Naga People Organization (ENPO)?


Charenamei: Underdevelopment of any region or area due to deliberate negligence of the state is wrong. All out effort should be given to bring the neglected region at par with the developed areas by providing additional funds. We Nagas should remember that the Nagas of Naga Hills district and Mon -Tuensang  area of erstwhile NEFA were integrated to form the present Nagaland state with the sole aim to empower the Naga people with political power so that they can take decision on their own for their betterment and development. As we are one people, our State Executives should be sensitive to the needs and aspirations of all the tribal communities of the state and they (Authorities) should not withhold or delay justice to the most genuine need of the people. And I think, our developmental issues should not be the main basis for demanding a separate state because it will weaken the process to form a stronger and consolidated federal political unit. Therefore my humble appeal to the leaders of ENPO is to have a second thought on their demand for a separate state because the Naga people under the aegis of Naga Hoho have decided to work for an integrated Naga homeland. The aspiration of the Naga people has been upheld by four successive historic resolutions of Nagaland State Assembly to bring the contiguous Naga Area under one administrative umbrella. And we should be also reminded that creation of Nagaland state in the sixties was a classic case of partial Naga Integration.


NT: Sir, your loss in the last election was unfortunate and it’s considered a major drawback in solving the Naga political issues by many. Any comment?


Charenamei: If every Naga is thinking on that line it is good. Here, I wanted to add that my main role as Member of Parliament was to sensitise the parliament about the seriousness of the Naga problems and to pressurise the Govt of India through the Parliament to find amicable solution to the vexed Naga issue so that hostilities against one another will be brought to an end and so that the Naga people may be able to live in peace, with dignity and honour like other people in rest of the country. I also considered myself as an ambassador of Peace to the Parliament of India. In fact, sending a Naga MP to the Indian parliament with people’s mandate itself is a clear message that the Nagas want to live in peace.


If we seriously think that we should have an MP to highlight our various problems in the Parliament we should not repeat the same mistake again because we cannot afford to put our people’s future at stake.


NT: Your advice or suggestion to the bloggers and also to the group.


Charenamei: My humble advice to the NT group and bloggers is not to use the social networking sites for venting personal feelings against friends and to criticise your opponents by using un-parliamentary words. But use the site for disseminating important information and for spreading awareness among the bloggers and other visitors. Always post only authentic information and avoid spreading unconfirmed news.


NT: Thank you very much for your time, Sir.  We look forward to hear more from you.


Charenamei: My sincere thanks to the Admins of NT and all the readers.

“If you have a Dream, Live it”

NTIMES 8NOV: “If you have a Dream, Live it”

Interview with Kario Issac

He came, he saw, and he conquered…….. our hearts. Most people in India did not know what mixed martial arts (MMA) meant. But that was before SFL Challenger India stormed into our living rooms. And with it came Isaac Kario, the soft spoken, shy and mild-mannered fighter from the North East. He let his fists and kicks do the talking. And boy did they talk! A strong favorite from the get go he did not disappoint and he went on to become the champion of the 1st SFL Challenger India. He hails from Senapati District, Manipur and is from the Mao tribe.

Here’s the Champion in person sharing his experience with you all today.

Nagalim Times (NT): Congratulations! Isaac. We are indeed very proud of your achievements and we would be very glad if you can share your success with our Nagalim Times members.


Issac: Thank you, and also for giving me an opportunity to share my experience here.


NT: Being crowned the First ever Champion of Super Fight League Challengers (SFL) India must have been exciting to say the least. How has life been treating you ever since?


Issaac: It’s truly been an overwhelming experience, more so because I had no idea a lot of our people had been following the show.


NT: Can you tell us briefly your overall experiences during the entire SFL Challenger season?


Issac: The entire season was for almost two months. We were locked in the camp, which was the training area and living quarters under one roof. Outings were once a week. Completely cut off from the rest of the world… no phones, newspapers, internet, tv… not even sunlight! All I had was a prayer book they allowed me to keep. Cameras followed us 24/7. All we did was train, eat and sleep. I think I almost lost my sanity! It’s a tough sport and requires fighters to be multidimensional and we had different coaches for that. Striking, grappling, strength and conditioning. Two gruelling training sessions every day. Was a weird feeling too, because you’re fighting people you train and are friends with. Yeah, it was tough but fun at the same time.


NT: We followed each episode of SFL Challengers with bated breath and you were always our favourite contender from the beginning. But when did you start to realize that you were in with a fair chance to win the competition?


Issac: Right from the start, all I thought was I’m just going to give it all I got and I guess it worked for me. Winning is one thing but at the same time, to truly know I tried, I think that gave me more satisfaction.


NT: Coming from the North East and participating in such a high profile, nationally televised show did you, at any point of time, face any kind of discrimination?


Issac: I don’t think so, I’ve heard a few of our people saying that I wasn’t getting much coverage in the show, which was true but I think it’s because I used to get real conscious whenever I was being filmed and kept hiding from the cameras. I never got used to that till the end!


NT: Who did you imagine would be your toughest competitor and why?


Issac: Once the fight cards were set up, I just thought about taking each fight one at a time because some competitors were good on ground and some standing up. But yeah, I knew Rajinder and Sandeep were experienced and were cutting down to 70 kilos from higher up and on the other hand I walk around at 67 kilos and was trying to get to 70 kilos. Mentally, it was a hard thing to fight Andrew in the final because we are real good buddies.


NT: People compliment your strength and athleticism but also advise that you need to work more on protecting your upper body, especially the head. What do you have to say to that?


Issac: Ouch! Very true…! The boxing coach said the same thing. I think I had the worst boxing skills in the camp and that’s what’s needed for a good head defence.


NT: Coming from a karate background do you plan to simply stick to that or do you have plans to increase your repertoire say by improving your ground game through Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or maybe widen your striking skills through Muay Thai, for example?


Issac: I can’t really say I had a martial arts background because the karate classes I attended was as a kid when I was six or seven years old. MMA in itself has evolved as a fighting style and I think I should try and adopt it. But yeah, I need to majorly improve my striking game so, have to work on my boxing.


NT: What’s next for you and when are we going to see you in the ring again and where?


Issac: Right after the show was over, I underwent a LASIK surgery and have been recovering from that. I’ll be leaving for Mumbai in the next few days to get back into shape. I have asked SFL to let me compete at 65 kilos as I am more comfortable there and hopefully fight a couple of SFL Friday fight nights this month which happen in Mumbai.


NT: Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years in terms of your newfound career? Can we hope to see you in the UFC one day?


Issac: Winning the show meant getting a 3 years contract to fight for SFL and that limits me from competing in any other MMA events. I just hope I stay hungry for more after that.


NT: In your opinion who is the best mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter today irrespective of the weight category? Why?


Issac: First fighter on my mind is Fedor Emelianenko, “the last emperor”. He really deserves his nickname though he retired this year. There are a lot of good names today but pound for pound, I think GSP (George St Pierre) is awesome. He is well rounded both in standup and ground game. He’s a pure athlete.


NT: At what level would you place MMA in India today?


Issac: A lot of big names have competed at the SFL events and that is creating a lot of curiosity from abroad. MMA is relatively new in India but I believe it’s here to stay. SFL has a lot of bollywood glamour, which could work in different ways but that sure makes a statement.


NT: Please tell us a little more about your martial arts background. How did it all start for you?


Issac: I’m more of a fitness buff and played a lot of sports growing up. I love basketball, “wasted” my college days playing it! Personally, I hate violence; it’s purely a passion for sports. It’s just my opinion but for me MMA is the ultimate sport and so decided to explore it. I knew I didn’t want to look back in life and wished I had given myself a chance.


NT: You had a nice cushy job at Jet Airways which you gave up to enter new unchartered territories. There must have been many naysayers at the start. How do you feel about it now?


Issac: My previous job gave me a chance to experience different things but I wanted more out of life. Initially, friends and family weren’t sure if it was a wise decision. My mom especially… she keeps telling me to give up even now. Heard that from her even yesterday! It wasn’t an easy decision for me as well…Lack of combat sports experience, job security and just before the show, I had dislocated my shoulder and was just recovering from it. But as I see it now, I’m happy with where I am.


NT: What would be your advice for young aspiring fighters who want to follow in your footsteps and participate in future competitions?


Issac: Keep it simple…With a little faith in God, I think anyone aspiring to follow the sport or anything should ask themselves why they really want it and then believe in their own reason. The mental outlook is really important. Be disciplined enough to accept “Die in training, live in the cage” kind of life. I say, if one has a dream, live it!


NT: Thank you so much for your time, Isaac. We wish you all the best and hope that you will bring even greater glory to your people.

Manipur Civil Services Exam is very fair

Interview with Rocky Pou: Manipur Civil Services Exam is very fair

NTIMES 9Oct: Manipur Civil Services Exam is very fair

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s indeed a proud moment for us to present to you Mr. Rocky Pou, who is one of the successful candidates in the recent Manipur Public Service Commission (MPSC) exam. He hails from Kodom village and belongs to the Poumai tribe. He’s also already an assuming yet hardworking Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) Inspector.


Nagalim Times (NT): Congratulations! Sir Rocky. We are indeed very proud of your achievements and we would like you to share your success with your Nagalim Times co-members.


Rocky Pou: Thank for your hearty congratulation and welcome Sir.


NT: So, what’s next? Are you giving up the Inspector’s Post in CISF?


Rocky Pou: Yea, now m waiting for appointment letter.


NT: What inspired you to join the Manipur Civil Services (MCS)?


Rocky Pou: The plight of our society, problems we are facing and the need to bring changes- are challenges to every of our educated youngsters. I, on my part feel that clearing this exam can bring me to the best option to work face to face with my own people.


NT: How long did it take you to seriously prepare for the MPSC exam?


Rocky Pou: One year.


NT: Have you also attempted the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) exam? If yes, what differences do you find between the two, UPSC and MPSC?


Rocky Pou: Yes, I had attempted UPSC exam twice. There is no difference between UPSC and MPSC in term of syllabus and pattern of exam. But the only difference is – the level of exam standard and competition is also tougher in UPSC.


NT: People usually say that for candidates who have prepared and faced the UPSC exam, MPSC exam is a cake walk. What do you say to that?


Rocky Pou: To some extent but not exactly. As syllabus and exam pattern being same, one can prepare both exams simultaneously.


NT: Being a service man yourself, how did you manage your time while preparing for the exams?


Rocky Pou: Working in active service and preparing for competitive exam is not that easy. However, whenever I get time, I devote myself to studies and that finally pay off. One of my colleague got IAS, by preparing during his active service inspired me a lot.


NT: As a State Civil Servant, what is the area you would most like to concentrate in as you serve the people?


Rocky Pou: Probably I will be getting MPS. Based on what post I get, I have to think and work out.


NT: Manipur has unfortunately become known as one of the most corrupt state in the country, compounded by many vexing issues both within and without the State boundary. What is your plan and strategy, if any, to tackle this problem?


Rocky Pou: Corruption is the greatest stumbling block and has eaten into every nerves of our state. This is a collective responsibility. I, on my part will actively participate to stop those evil practices wherever i can and will support civil societies who are working against these menaces. I feel that the issue of communities will gradually recedes as education enhances.


NT: What do you see yourself as ten years from now?


Rocky Pou: Older…..hahaha


NT: It has been alleged that bribes were taken as usual during the recent MPSC recruitment. Any comments?


Rocky Pou: From my own experience, I can assure to everyone that Manipur Civil Services Exam is very much fair. This doubt existed in my mind till the final result. But its all been false rumours.


NT: Do you have a role model?


Rocky Pou: No, but reading successful candidates biographies through competition magazines inspired me. For example, one of the IAS officer who got selected in 2010, was just a newspaper hawker and he did graduation in correspondence course only. Such exemplary works and dedications inspired me a lot.


NT: Your advice to students and aspiring candidates of various competitive examsRocky Pou: My advice is: If you have strong determination and will power, nothing can stop you from achieving your goal. Best of luck to all aspiring candidates.


NT: Thank you, Mr Rocky Pou, for your valuable time and we, the Admins, on behalf of all our members, wish you all the very best as you step up to shoulder your new responsibilities. We hope that you will continue to blog and share your thoughts with us. He is one of the active member of Nagalim Times and he you can directly interact with him in this group also.