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Community meet on ADB financed Road project in Tamenglong

The Centre for Research and Advocacy, Manipur and the Phalong Village Authority organized a community meeting on "ADB Financed Road project m Tamenglong" on 23rd August 2019 at Phalong Village, Tamenglong District, Manipur. The community meeting was organized to assess the implications of ADB financed road projects, especially the Kangchup to Tamenglong road project in Manipur The villagers of Phalong (Bhalok) part I, II and III attended the meeting and deliberated on the social, environment and other implications of the road project in their respective villages.

I lutenkum Panmei of Phalong Village expressed that the villagers are elated and much hopeful with the road project to connect with !what and Tamenglong Town at ease, but he said the project rather destroyed villagers' agriculture land, water stream, forest in massive dumping of the earth, rock and other debris from hill cutting for the road. With this, many villagers can no longer cultivate their agriculture land due to rocks and debris piling up on their fields. Water sources are destroyed by the debris and streams are also deprived of fishes and crabs. Mr. Khiamthiuwang of Bhalok Village said Jhum field areas are destroyed and green landscape are turn into reddish slopes with vulnerabilities for landslides. Villagers offered land for dumping of earth & rock which project authorities ignored and directly dumped in villagers land and water sources.

Mr. Disinglung Panmei, Secretary, Phalong Village Authority expressed concern that the settlement area of Bhalok of more than 40 households of Phalong Part III will be displaced by the road project. Villagers are worried of the non-provision of information by the Government on the rehabilitation and resettlement of villagers to be displaced by the project.

Mr. Keiritong Panmei complaint that the meagre amount sanctioned for some of the affected villagers for loss of their crop is far too minimal and simply disproportionate to the damage inflicted by the company to their agriculture land. Guikindin Parunei, Development Chairman, Part Ill, said that Seventy percent of their land has been damaged in Bhalok village. The development Committee submitted letter to the project manager of the road project and district administration to address villager's grievances, but there have been no positive responses. Villagers are uncertain if the company will ever compensate the villagers for the loss of their land.

Ms Kadidinliu, women representative of Phalong Village shared that the company and the government need to fulfil their promises to stop destroying water sources and to repair the water sources destroyed before the coming winter. The village women folks will be compelled to act against the company, especially in Part ill

Mr. Jiten Yumnam, Secretary, Centre for Research and Advocacy shared that the Government of Manipur and the corporate bodies involved in the ADB financed Kangchup to Tamenglong Road project should minimize all forms of social, environmental and other impacts on communities and emphasized the need for full compliance to the ADI3's Safeguard policies, especially to improve the lives of indigenous communities affected by projects financed by them as outlined in Indigenous Peoples Action Plan, prepared for the project.

The Villagers attending the meeting resolved to apprise the Government of Manipur and the Asian Development Bank to desist from direct disposal of earth, rocks and other debris from road cutting in their agriculture land, forest and water sources and to address their grievances. The villagers also resolved to urge the Government to compensate for the loss of their land and other survival sources before acquiring their land and work commencement & to consult and take consent of villagers in the project implementation and in addressing the impacts and grievances of affected communities.


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Temple bells

10 Jul 2014 - 10:54pm | Ma Prem Naina

In every temple in the East different kinds of bells have been used since time immemorial. Over the years we have forgotten the significance behind the bells. More so they are used without any understanding and has become a part of the rituals. Often we hear people saying bells in the entrance of a temple are ringed to awaken the deity, God who dwells in the temple. On the contrary, says Osho, it is to awaken our sleeping mind.

“When you ring the bell of a temple - not half asleep but with alertness - that creates a discontinuity in your thoughts, a sort of break in the chain of your thoughts, and you become aware of a changed atmosphere. There is a similarity between the sound of the bell and the sound of "Aum"; in fact there is some inner relationship. The sound of the bell continues charging the temple all the day long and the sound of "Aum" also charges the temple with its vibrations.”

Temples are designed constructed in such a way that sound can reverberate inside whereas the temple is always absolutely empty. This signifies the ultimate state of a seeker; it is a symbol. Once the bell is ringed, a sound is created from nowhere and it echoes in the empty temple, then re-echoes before becoming silent and silent and finally disappearing in the vast existential ocean of silence. Osho says, No one should enter the temple through that door of doors without ringing the bell, for only through the sound itself can you enter. The uniqueness of a bell is that it keeps resounding long after you ring it, so the resonance keeps sounding as you enter the main entrance. In that sound alone is the key to your entry into the temple.

Through the sound, as it were, you enter into God's abode. The temple is a symbol of God's dwelling. When it is sounding constantly you need not ring the bell, but we have formulated a method with the symbol. When you return from the temple ring the bell again. You have to journey back amidst the reverberating sound. All worship, all prayers start with the ringing of the bell.”

Sounds are not heard in the ears, they only do a transmission work. The ears choose and select the sounds that enter. The ears are not the center, one hears from somewhere deep down. The ears are simply transmitting selected sounds to the center. The center is not in the head though it appears to be in the head because we hear only words. With words the head is the center, with sounds it is not the center. The Japanese who have been experimenting with sound for a long time say that man thinks not through the head, but through the belly.

When the bell is ringed, it also helps the seeker who is meditating in the temple. It may seem like a constant disturbance because every visitor rings the bell and a sound is created. But the meditator actually waits for this sound because it helps him enter himself again and follow and look where this sound is moving deep, towards his center.  Osho says that the sound always hits at the belly, at the navel, never in the head. If it hits in the head, it is not sound, it is word and once one starts to think about the sound then the purity is lost.

Osho says “The bell in every temple in India or Tibet or China or Burma, is meaningful in the sense that it reminds you that if you can become as silent as the bell slowly becomes, after you have hit it  -  first it is all sound, then slowly the sound dies-then the soundlessness enters in. People hear only the sound; then they have not heard the bell. You should hear the other part too. When the sound is dying, disappearing, the soundless sound is appearing, coming in. When the sound has completely disappeared, there is utter soundlessness, and that is what meditation is.”

Religion is not a question of habit, routine, formality or practice. If it just remains a formality, a ritual practice to be followed, then it is useless. If a person can go to the temple alert, then the temple bells will have a totally different meaning and significance for him. Those temple bells will ring something within the heart and the silence of the church or temple will surround the person in a totally new way. Then one can read the message of God on every leaf, every flower.  His signatures are everywhere. The Koran, the Bhagavad Geeta and the Bible are written all over existence. One only need penetrating eyes.

Rail blockade hits train services

8 Jun 2012 - 11:35pm | editor

Train services on Friday remained heavily affected with several trains, including the New Delhi-bound Rajdhani Express, detained following the indefinite rail blockade called from by the All-Assam Bodo Joint Action Committee for Bodoland movement.
Thousands of picketers squatted on rail tracks at Bhatkuchi near Rangiya station, Kokrajhar and Gossaigaon since 5 in the morning demanding Bodoland.
The Rajdhani Express was detained at Rangiya. The other affected trains include Brahmaputra Mail, North East Express, Kamrup Express, Saraighat Express and Manas-Rhino Passenger.

4 dead, many hurt in Nagaon road mishap

23 Nov 2017 - 11:52am | AT News

NAGAON: Four persons died and at least 25 others sustained injury when the passenger bus in which they were travelling collided it's head on a truck in Nagaon on Thursday.

The accident took place early in the morning on the National Highway No 37 at Mensing area near Kaliabor where three passengers died on the spot.

Another died as he along with injured others were rushed to a local hospital in Jakhalabandha.

Local residents here have blamed the dense fogs that disrupted the visibility when the loaded truck and the mini bus were coming from opposite directions.