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regular-article-logo Saturday, 13 July 2024

Manipur residents boycott Mann Ki Baat, stomp on transistor sets to protest against PM’s silence

The radio protests were staged at the Singjamei market in Imphal West district and Kackching market in Kackching district

Umanand Jaiswal Guwahati Published 19.06.23, 06:10 AM
Narendra Modi

Narendra Modi File Photo

Some residents of Manipur on Sunday boycotted Mann Ki Baat, the Prime Minister’s monthly radio programme, and stomped on transistor sets in marketplaces to protest against Narendra Modi’s silence on the carnage in the state.

The violence in the state has been continuing since May 3, claiming at least 110 lives so far and displacing 60,000.

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The radio protests were staged at the Singjamei market in Imphal West district and Kackching market in Kackching district, around 48km apart, during the broadcast of the 102nd episode of the programme. Modi referred to the Emergency and said India is the mother of democracy but did not make any reference to the Manipur crisis that entered the 49th day on Sunday.

At Singjamei, women lined both sides of the NH2 and raised slogans against Modi and the ruling BJP. They displayed posters that said “I oppose Mann Ki Baat”; “Shame Mr Modi. Not a single word of Manipur at Mann Ki Baat”; “No to Mann Ki Baat, Yes To Manipur Ki Baat” and “Mr PM Modi, No More Drama at Mann Ki Baat”.

A man smashed a transistor set in the middle of the road. A lady followed suit. Then two men and a woman protester stomped the two broken transistor sets to smithereens, conveying their “anger” against Modi and the ruling BJP, a resident said.

The mood was similar at Kakching market where a group of women protesters set on fire four to five transistor sets in the middle of the road, and raised slogans against the Modi government and the BJP.

Binalakshmi Nepram, convenor of the Northeast India Women Initiative for Peace and founder of the Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network, said in a text message: “Mann ki Baat has become Maun ki Baat as far as Manipur is concerned”.

Hailing from Manipur, Binalakshmi, who was not part of the radio-smashing protests, told The Telegraph: “ With over a hundred killed in the past five weeks and thousands whose homes have been burnt, the silence of the Prime Minister has deeply hurt the people of Manipur and Northeast India.”

She added: “The question is ‘why is the PM, known for his proactive Northeast India policy, suddenly quiet? ...’Who is silencing the PM’ is what the whole country, not just Manipuris, must ask.”

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