Artificial intelligence & endangered languages

The widespread proliferation of virtual digital assistants, which use voice recognition, could increase language endangerment, especially for people from the North-east By Thongkholal Haokip The Statesman, 19 April 2021 Artificial intelligence is changing the world rapidly and has impacted our life and imagination. Big tech companies are increasing their funding on research for the advancement of AI and the integration […]

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Nipping opium in the bud

A carrot and stick policy should be adopted to end illicit poppy cultivation in the hills of Manipur and ensure equitable rural development By Thongkholal Haokip The Statesman, 15 March 2021 In the last couple of months, the Narcotics and Affairs of Border wing of Manipur Police, assisted by the Manipur Rifles, was strenuously engaged in destroying illicit poppy cultivation […]

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Everyday Racism

By Thongkholal Haokip The Statesman, 4 January 2021, p. 11. Intentionally presumptuous racism permeates the lives of North-easterners in metropolitan cities of India, which the new anti-racism bill also fails to take note of. Incidents of racism against Indians from the North-east are not new, especially during the last two decades in mainland metropolitan cities of India. The opening of […]

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Anachronistic ‘war on drugs’

The cultivation of poppy in the hills of Manipur should be taken as a crisis of agriculture THONGKHOLAL HAOKIP The Statesman, 30 November 2020. In 2018, a year after he came to power, the N Biren Singh government launched a “war on drugs” to curb trafficking, illicit crop cultivation and consumption. The Narcotics and Affairs of Border department of Manipur […]

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Living with Covid-19

By Thongkholal Haokip The Statesman, October 12, 2020 On 7 October, 249 people tested positive for Covid-19 in Manipur, among whom 234 were local residents without travel histories and six were personnel from the Central Armed Police Force. Only nine were visitors or returnees to the state, which is just 3.6 per cent of the total number to have tested positive […]

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Impossibility of social distancing

By Thongkholal Haokip The Statesman, 14 September 2020 Community based organisations in the hills of the North-east are imposing time tested traditional systems of local governance during the pandemic In these times, social distancing is an important public health measure to combat the extremely contagious coronavirus disease. There is a doubt about the practicability of social distancing in India given our […]

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Shrinking democratic space

The mass stifling of college teachers in Manipur through imposition of the Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules is an impairment of their profession Thongkholal Haokip The Statesman, September 1, 2020 On 10 August 2020, the Nongthombam Biren Singh government in Manipur, through the Directorate of University and Higher Education, issued an office memorandum enforcing the Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules, […]

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Whose gamcha is it anyway?

Items of clothing in the leirum or luirim motif have sparked off traditional ownership claims in Manipur Thongkholal Haokip The Statesman, 27 July 2020 On 14 April 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his tele- vised address to the nation regarding the second phase of the lockdown wore a traditional scarf as a facemask. The political circle in Imphal was […]

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Trusting indigenous experience

In the hills of the North-east, lockdown and quarantine measures primarily stem from the time-honoured cultural understanding of communicable diseases and epidemics By Thongkholal Haokip The Statesman, 1 June 2020. In these times of the Covid-19 pandemic, hill areas of the North-eastern region were the first to voluntarily enforce a lockdown and people had taken steps quite early on to […]

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