Friday, January 27, 2023

Manipur women oppose lifting of prohibition


42nd Meira Paibi Day observed

Women bodies slammed the Manipur government led by N Biren Singh for its adamant attitude towards revoking its decision to legalize liquor at the 42nd Meira Paibi Day observed on Thursday.
All Manipur Women’s Social Reformation and Development Samaj (Nupi Samaj), an apex body of women based organizations hosted a function at Mayang Langjing in Imphal West district to observe the day.
Nupi Samaj is spearheading the movement against the state government’s decision to partially lift prohibition on liquor.
“The government remains deaf to our repeated requests to revoke the decision. We strongly condemn the adamant attitude of the government,” Nupi Samaj president Thokchom Ramani lamented.
Speaking at the observance function, the veteran woman leader reiterated that womenfolk will not retreat and continue to fight against the government decision.
Chief minister N Biren Singh led BJP government in Manipur had on September 20 resolved to regulate selling and brewing of liquor in Manipur by partially lifting the Manipur Liquor Prohibition Act, 1991.
Various CSOs, particularly women based bodies, strongly objected to the state government decision and have been campaigning against the decision to demand a rollback of the decision.
“We have staged a series of demonstrations. We are still continuing the demonstration. We have pleaded with the government repeatedly, but the government is not listening,” Ramani cried.
“We will not allow retreat until our demand is fulfilled,” she declared.
“The society is engulfed by drugs and alcohol. “Drugs and alcohol abuse have adversely affected the social fabric of the state. Future of Manipur is in the dark,” she lamented.
In such a situation, womenfolk could not agree with the government decision. The state government should not take a one sided decision, she said, alleging that the decision to legalize liquor was taken only on the basis of revenue that will be collected by the government from brewing and selling of liquor.
All Manipur Women’s Social Reformation and Development Samaj along with other women based bodies have been observing December 29 every year as “Meira Paibi Day” by offering tributes to the founders of Meira Paibi movement.
Meira Paibi (Women torch bearers) is a women’s social movement in Manipur. It derives its name from the flaming torches women carry while marching through city streets, often at night.
They do so both as a patrol, and in protest, seeking redress of human rights violations committed by paramilitary and armed forces units against the innocent.
On the occasion, veteran women leaders recalled that the Meira Paibi movement started when the draconian Armed Special Powers Act, 1958 started threatening the lives of innocent men, women and children.
Veteran women leaders who attended the event called on people to stand against drug and alcohol abuse and raise their voice against the government’s decision to lift prohibition on liquor
Drugs and alcohol abuse lead to crimes against women and children. People and the government should strengthen war against drugs, they added.

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