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Book Review: 'Voice of the Voiceless'
The book 'Voice of the Voiceless' is an anthology of articles depicting contemporary society in Manipur state in northeast India. Besides focusing on the influence of media in the state, the book discusses electoral politics, political, cultural uniqueness, sports management, and women and children issues prevalent in the society. People who want to get a glimpse of contemporary Manipur will find the book very useful.

Electoral politics has tarnished the democratic values in Manipur. Instead of selecting the fittest representatives, the electorate always votes for the wealthy and powerful people who can purchase their democratic rights.

Not only in general elections, but also in local body elections, the ill-practice of buying votes with cash and kind has become an unavoidable trend. The nation surely feels shame of having inserted the picture of Gandhiji on currency notes, which are involved in all kinds of vices happening in the contemporary society.

Drug trafficking, fake encounters, murders, kidnappings, sexual abuses and what not – all antisocial activities are carried out for money and with money. The “Voice of the Voiceless” asks: “Are we humiliating the father of the nation by putting his picture on currency notes?” The book clearly depicts the way the elections are conducted in Manipur and the ill-practices involved in it. The book wonderfully finds out that election has become contradictory to democratic values.

The book is a collection of articles written by this Imphal-based citizen journalist , who has also been writing for local English newspapers for last two decades. All the 35 articles contained in the book are short, easy-to-understand and resourceful.

A few chapters of the book dwell on the three regimes of Okram Ibobi government in Manipur. The Third Ibobi, The Highway Ghost, Hero worship, Vote for my wife etc. are some of the topics focusing on present political scenario of Manipur. The terrorism perpetrated on the lifeline highways connecting Manipur and rest of India, and the expected role of Nagaland state are also depicted in the book.

The writer expects Manipur politicians will gain a say at the level of national politics. Women empowerment in the form of seat reservations in elections is also discussed as being a practice of male-hegemony. Child rights violations, women issues, media invasion on the children’s minds, Meira Paibee’s role in elections, restaurant drives, issues of aged people, good morning Manipur radio programme, bicycles use etc. are some of the chapters analyzed in the book.

The book “Voice of the Voiceless” includes chapters on the dying cultural/musical art forms such as Pena, Khongjom Parva, Khullang Esei etc. Lai Haraoba and Shumang Lila are also discussed in depth in the later chapters of the book.

A chapter is devoted to Rajarshi Bhaeigyachandra, the famous king of and his religious intellectualism. The pressure on Manipur media organizations and individuals is covered in the article “Guns versus Pen”.

Knocking electric poles for any eventuality in Manipur society is also mentioned as an effective traditional medium in Manipur today. In sports arena; cricket glamour, Olympians of Manipur and disabled children are also covered.
Introduced and forwarded by Prof. MC Arun of Manipur University, the book is both entertaining and informative. It is rightly the contemporary history of Manipur. Besides the colourful cover and inside pages of the book, the unique character of the book is the inclusion of meaningful cartoons/caricatures drawn by Aribam Sanadkumar Sharma of AVRC, Manipur University.

The handy 103-page book is priced reasonably at Rs. 120. Anyone who wishes to comprehend contemporary Manipur will surely find resources from this book. Have a glimpse and comprehend Manipur today.

For orders,

Call: 9436029021

Email: vvoiceless@yahoo.in

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