A need of Paradigm Shift: paradigms of past history can block the possible changes of Manipur.

By: Mohendro Oinam


A new phenomenon – a powerful tool utilized in every walk of the world today in Post-modern era is the paradigm of PROACTIVE. It has contributed in shaping new world today; it has shaped the leaders of the world, institutions, business establishment, world government machineries and organizations of the world today. Will this new approach of paradigm shift through proactive, will Manipur be able to change its people, its condition, its institutions, government machineries and its leadership?

Two words I am referring here connectively are Reactive and Proactive. There are huge differences in these two phenomena. Most of the dealing, writings, and debates on the chronic problem of Manipur have been based on the memories of the past, which I call it as reactive approach. New approach we should try is complete opposite of reactive, which I will call it as proactive approach. The paradigm shift from reactive to proactive will be milestone achievement of the individuals, leadership of the state politicians, public, UGOs and even insurgents and nationalists. Inability to come out of the past memories of the circumstances and events is the inability to change the gear of paradigm shift. Ability to shift ones paradigm thinking is the ability of the person, nation, state, and its leaders. Will we ever able to shift our paradigm from past history to making the history of future or from reactive to proactive?

What is this New Phenomena Called Proactive

To define the term proactive according to Stephen R. Covey, he describes, It means that as human beings, we are responsible for our own lives. Our behavior is a function of our decisions, not our conditions. We can subordinate feelings to values. We have the initiative and the responsibility to things happens. (Covey 1989, 71). The word proactive goes similar to word responsibility response ability the ability to choose our response. Proactive people can carry their own weather with them not weather carries them.

Reactive people are different from proactive people. Reactive people are affected by their social environment and their social weather. They feel happy when people treat them well and they feel sad when people dont. They are driven by feelings, circumstances, conditions, and their environments. Proactive people are also influenced by external stimuli, their own weathers, and circumstances, physically, socially and psychologically. But they have inner ability to choose and respond to the different situations, conditions and environments.

What is today is the result of yesterdays choice of decision and what will be tomorrow will be the result of todays choice of decision. To reactive people, what has become today is the victim of the past decisions and their future is determined by victimized condition of present. To the proactive person, what has become today is the result of the past, not the victim, but consider themselves are creator of the future. They are led by future and guided by the past. Proactive people live in the future and listen to the present.

What this New Phenomena of Proactive Got to Do with Situation of Manipur?

The lamentation of insurgency and public in general have been beating at the past experiences and memories, which nothing can be redone. We have not been able to come out of comfort zone of the past history, memories, condition, weather, circumstances of forced annexation of Manipur into Indian Union Territory, Domination of culture, economic power, negligent of central government to bring about development in the state, which resulted the raise of insurgency in the state to fight to gain the past mischievous done to the public of Manipur and state.

Reactive people will always enjoy or lament when the past memories of social, political weather, circumstances, environments and experiences are brought to their senses. Proactive people will also enjoy when the past memories of any events are brought to their senses but they will not lament over them rather will determine to be different at the end result. This is the reason, why most pro-insurgents and nationalism people in Manipur enjoy the most when good writers tries to write the history of Manipur with detail background of force merger agreement, ill-treatment of Indian government so on. People who lament and enjoy reacting to the events of the past and history are characterized as reactive personality. As long as general public, pro-insurgent people enjoy in the comfort zone of the past history, they can not think creatively. Their paradigm of thinking has been powerfully blocked and embedded with the past memories that allows nothing of future enter in their minds. They fail to shift their perception and not able to change their angles of view.

As long as we remain in the comfort zone of the past memories, we will be like reactive people and reactive state, which are conditioned by the situations, political and social weather. And as long as we remain in the reactive comfort zone, we will not be able to create the future of ours and generations to come.

Therefore a need of paradigm shift is very important at this very crucial time of ours. A shift of our mentality, a shift of perception, and a shift of our thinking, not looking at the past but at the future with the powerful imagination, an imagination of Manipur that can be, that will be and that should be, is the need of hour. Let the past of the Manipur should guide the present of Manipur and let the future of Manipur should instruct of present.

To change the state, change the leaders is the need of today! What do I mean by this? Unless leaders change, the nation, the state, the community, the institutions etc. will not change. The leader should change himself otherwise change him to change the state. Public leaders should change, insurgent leaders need to change, otherwise change them to change the state. What change I am talking about here? It is a change from comfort zone of past history and it is the change from reactive paradigm to proactive paradigm.

Dealing with the root cause of the problem, not with symptom is considered right means of any therapy. But it is not true in Existential Therapy where people chronically suffer with personal mentality and personality which has been powerfully influenced by the past experiences and circumstances and block one to see anything beyond their surrounding circumstances. It will be the same problem for Manipur when we are powerfully influenced by the paradigms of the past that blocks us to see anything beyond hitting the past again and again.

When any individual person is not able to come out of the clutches of the past which has blocked ones inner ability and inborn insights to see the life of possibilities is the paralysis of his or her inner ability. This inner ability can be empowered through the lens of proactive to see beyond the impossibility. Similarly the inability of Manipur state, its people, its government machinery and politic have been affected by the paradigm of the past circumstances, social and political weather. The proactive paradigm shift is needed.

Can the Insurgents Look Through the Lens of Proactive Paradigm in Their Freedom Struggle?

The raise of insurgency in Manipur has been birthed on the accounts of the past, of which endless writings, articles, debates have been written and they are appraised in condemnation and appreciation.

The activities of insurgents and nationalist of Manipur, particularly of valley in past 20 years and more have been on reactive approach. Isnt it true the allegations of insurgents in Manipur that what Manipur has become is the result of forced annexation, dominion of culture, economic power and negligent of central government? Yes it is true. But it will do nothing as long as staying there lamenting over what has happened. Can the insurgents see through the lens of proactive, not looking at back but at the possibilities and potentialities of the state creatively and constructively? Please try to come out of comfort zone living in the past, try to live in future. Let your past history guide our present today and let our future, an imagination of future Manipur, that should be, that can be and that had to be, instruct our present.

Through the lens of proactive paradigm, insurgents need to look at the present struggle of freedom. Will the independent of Manipur be possible? Insurgency of Mizoram, 20 years ago realized the impossibility to obtain independent from India. Nagaland struggling for five decades has realized the impossibility of independent and negotiation is under way for alternative solution. Looking at what has happened in these two states, the insurgents of Manipur need to come to their senses and should not live in their dream land any longer and should look toward negotiation with acceptable conditions. The dream of independent Manipur will not also be possible without the consent of public in Manipur. What is the consent of Public in Manipur about independent? Failure to identify where public of Manipur stand in freedom movement will be the failure of insurgency.

Insurgents activities in the form of terrors, killing, extortion, indoctrinating younger generation with the doctrines of insurgency will kept condemned in the world today, particularly after September 11. Indias attempt to build stronger relationship with neighboring counties like Bangladesh, Myanmar and China will tighten to joint fight of terrors.

With these scenarios to change the state, it is very important to have paradigm shift of insurgents and nationalists. Insurgents and nationalists should change themselves from reactive perspective to proactive perspective, otherwise public, state and central military machineries will have to change the insurgents. If insurgents and nationalists can not change themselves, then lumpectomy or mastectomy therapy (cut and throw the part of flesh) will require applying.

Proactive Perspective Point of View on Military Forces in Manipur!

Will Manipur be ever become military free zone? I see three reasons, why Indian army will continue to exist in the state.

First, Manipur falls in International boundary of India, where military force is required for external defense. Therefore, even after insurgency is eliminated from the state, the military force will continue for national security to defend external forces.

Second, whether we like it or not, some sorts of military power, may not be necessarily AFSPA, for internal security has to be in Manipur as being a territorial state of Indian nation. State like Manipur is very much problematic prone zone where communal riots take place very often. Therefore, military force will require for internal security.

Third, I do not need elaborate again here on third reason why military forces will remain in Manipur. Mushrooming of insurgency in the state, particularly very nature of insurgency in the name of freedom struggle, where the public of Manipur has become victims of tortures, killings, threatens, extortions etc. will invite more arm forces until alternative solution is found out with mutual understanding and negotiation.

Proactively looking at Indian military forces encountering insurgents, there might have to come a chance for Indian to seek military assistance from United Nations to encounter insurgency, when Indian forces can not handle alone.

With this three reasons, to fight for independent Manipur will be kicking at huge Rock. Who will not want to have own independent country of Manipur? Every body will want to have it. But how will it be possible? Proactive view and paradigm shift is needed to look at the possibility of Manipurs independent.

A Need of State and Central Governments Proactive Approach

To change the state, change its leader! To change nation, change its leader! A paradigm shift is a must for state leadership of Manipur. The insurgency, the situation of the state, prevailing corrupt practices of the government machineries and raise of public agitation have to be looked with proactive perception. This is what state really needs a visionary leadership, who can see the future of state beyond what it is presently. A visionary leader, who can see what others do not see, a visionary who is able to articulate into reality, a visionary who will enable others to see what he himself can see. Do we have this kind of leaders in the state? If we do not have, what can we do?

Every one including CM, ministers, politicians, public leaders, student bodies, UGOs, and insurgents have natural inner ability to see the things with our mental power and power of imaginaries, which can look the state beyond what has become. Failure to see the ray of hope for state is the inability of everyone, particularly the leadership. We need to develop our power of inner eyes, ability of paradigm shift.

The change is generated by the leaders. State politicians, public leaders, communities leaders, UGO leaders need to cast the vision of new Manipur which can be perceived through the power of paradigm shift and the shift from reactive perspective to proactive perspective, to the public of Manipur to cultivate the changes in the state.

If leaders of the state can not see anything beyond the present circumstances and fail to generate and cultivate the ray of hope and dawning in the state, leaders will need to be changed. If possible they should try changing themselves through exercise of paradigm shift and change from reactive perception to proactive perception. Otherwise, every public of the state will have the democratic power once in every five years to change them in state assembly election.


The chronic problem of Manipur problem of insurgency, problem of negligent to generate development in the state and freedom struggle, communal feeling and riots will required a paradigm shift and new approach of proactive perspective rather than living and hitting the paradigm of past history.

Visionary leadership, in politics, general public, public leaders, UGOs and insurgents is the need of hour in the state, to look at the dawning by living in the perception of future, led by future and guided by past, constructively, creatively, and articulating what is seen by the eyes of inner ability with firm determination of could be, should be and had to be. And let the state and public empowered to see what the visionary leader have already seen with his inner eyes. Can public, who ever have eyes and ears to see and hear with inner eyes and inner ear, shall let them cast, generate and cultivate changes in the state of Manipur.


1. Covey, Stephen R., The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1989.

Mohendro Oinam


About Zou Sangnaupang Pawlpi Delhi

Zou Students' Association Delhi Branch
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