Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh, on Thursday, declared history being created through his official Twitter handle as “all communities and tribes” of Manipur came “together as one in the fight against drugs and poppy plantations in the State at a public convention held in Imphal today.”
He tweeted a video of the pledge for ‘War on Drugs’ and pictures from the public convention, attended by “leaders of more than 32 tribes who took a collective pledge to support #WaronDrugs campaign and stand against all illegal poppy plantations in the State.”
Well, this could be news. But, what went viral instead was a picture shared by an unverified Facebook account, in the chief minister’s name, showing Singh walks into a facility with hands folded, as schoolchildren lined up on both sides, kneeling and bowing, their heads touching the ground, as if in deep reverence.
While EastMojo cannot verify the authenticity of this picture, people, especially Manipuri’s, have a lot to say in reaction to what they see as the CM’s ‘slave mentality’.
The post, which has already been shared about 400 times, has already invited comments from 1.3K people.
“Mr. CM if u want this type of custom and respect go to Thailand and become a king there not here, everything has its limit,u walked on the red carpet and the kids are on the dirty side, shame,” said one user.
Another user wrote: “Do you really feel happy seeing those kids of the same Human beings like you, bowing down before you.? You may love and like this culture but God hates it. Let this culture stops immediately, it’s a stupid culture., Those innocent kids might have bow down before you because they couldn’t refuse what their teachers told/ordered them to do so but in their mind who knows you might have been cursed with the worst. Everyone must bow down before only the living God, not before his/her same human fellow.I do respect you and your culture except for this one Sir, disgusting culture, stupid culture. No offense.”
While users expressed outrage, others even felt proud and tried explaining the Manipur traditions and customs to others.
“Proud of a Manipuri shows people particularly youth respect HCM Biren. May God bless you tamo,” one user said.
Another user explained: “We were receiving our guest. There is a saying among certain tribes in Senapati that “if you did something wrong to a meitei, visit him as a guest, you will be respected and unharmed” Meiteis consider our guests as Gods, we receive them with a bow. Or, to the certain period we consider our leaders are worshipful – we bow to father/mother figures. The costumes signifies we are the hosts. There are different ways of wearing a KHUDEI when praying, in sad ceremony like death, or happy ceremony like marriage when we go to war when we are on the farm or on the horse. There are hundreds of ways. Those who don’t know the culture or ignorant of our costumes either be a meitei or not are making fun of it. In fact, that tendency is what we must change not the tradition.”
Another user wrote: “What a show! Reminds me of an ancient civilization in which servants and slaves bow down whenever and wherever the king passes by.”
Chief Minister Biren Singh had earlier tweeted from the event. “Most grateful to the leaders of more than 32 tribes who took a collective pledge to support #WaronDrugs campaign and stand against all illegal poppy plantations in the State, at a public convention held at BOAT, Imphal, today. “No to Poppy Cultivation ! Save Future Generations”
In another tweet, Singh wrote: “History is created today! One Manipur against illegal drugs! All communities and tribes in the State come together as one in the fight against drugs and poppy plantations in the State at a public convention held in Imphal today.”