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Understanding The Strange Affair of Robin S. Nagongom

The Strange Affair of Robin S. Nagongom is really one of the best poems taking the Northeast of India under its cover and discussion and laying it bare the pros and cons of it. To read the poem is to know many a thing about history, politics and culture, borders, hilly trains and the indigenous tracts. How did insurgence take it over? How did it burn? How did the unemployed and jobless youths take to weapons and gunfire? Who fueled it for what?

This is also a rumination over how have we changed? How have our times? Sometimes we must turn to counsel and wisdom. What shall we get if we sow suspicion into the fields? In an overt voice he tells it all the history of Manipur and its people, the lands and the populace.

We do not know what affair it is. What does Nagongom want to discuss here? What sort of affair is this? Perhaps it is his Manipuri affair which he wants to put it before. What his myth of the bronze bell? Where was it? Where did he misplace it? But rushing back to he found it. Nagongom must know it that everything changes with time and so did his experiences. The bell is the same, but the sounds are different and the bellringer too changes with time and everything depends on the stroke. Sometimes bells are also replaced by. Can the influx of modernity, modern life and culture be checked? A poet of Manipur he will definitely talk of Manipur and he can as it is his state. Side by side we also think it if he is pro-India or not. Is he sympathetic to the insurgents or not? We know that sometimes the military to err it as they speak the language of drills and guns. Guns brought back life to normalcy, is a fact. But it is also a fact that they kept the state engaged for so long in warfare. Let us see how does he carry on the talk in poetry? How is the history of Manipur? How his perception of Manipuri culture, history and tradition? What does he take into his stride and corpus? Does he also not do the politics for poetry?

To read the poem is to be reminded of the hilly border States and their problems, to read is to discuss their integration and incorporation into the Indian structure. Definitely, the hills have a history and legacy of their own which we did not care to know them. Regional history we know it not. Even our historians have not tried to explore it local and folk resources.

To read the poem is to discuss Nagaland, Gorkhaland, Khalistan, Jharkhand, Indian and foreign hands as well. The center’s negligence is definitely a point. The mainstream parties too used them for their purpose. How is the politics of Kashmir? How was it? Who created and who failed to control and contain in the problems when the fissures appeared in? The carving of the chunks out of India as Pakistan and Bangladesh disturbed us. It too was a matter as for who used to lead and fund the insurgency. Who were the master minds behind? Local politicians or foreign money or mainstream parties as for to divert our attention and keep us engaged?

The Strange Affair of Robin S. Nagangom is a political poem. It is about the politics of place. It forms a part of regional history. It is a debate and discussion over the situation. It is a current affair topic. Should it be under India or not? How the history of it? Why is it under? Before learning to paraphrase and annotate, we must know the things in detail. As Kamala Das tries to introduce her in her poem Introduction so is the case here with Nagongom. To read him is to know the cartography and topography of the land and the tract. How were the hilly terrains? How are they still now? How could we administer them? Could we understand them in time? What were their demands and how did we cope up with? Were their grievances dressed?

The poet ruminates over how has the insurgency affected the state. How were the people treated under the anti-terrorist laws even for the smallest mistakes? How did the encounter take a toll upon? How many lives were lost? Many military men lost their lives.

He does not know who the captain is, who is executing what, who gives the command from there in an authorized or unauthorized way but he can muster it well.

Abuzz with the insurgency, gun fire and counter gun fire, he saw the times passing by, hanging heavy upon with. He saw it silently how they did take to the guns, spoke the language of revolt, rebellion, extremist activity and insurgency. He marked the lull thereafter and the search operations done. How did the law take to recourse? How stricter laws came into force? How were the areas combed?

Again, he could not sidetrack the humming of the butterfly. The kingdom of Bohemia called him, and he felt drawn to with the whispering of love. The lovely neighborhoods with lovely dream girls flashed upon the mind’s plane.

The poet discusses it so many affairs here in this poem. He discusses insurgency-hit Manipur and the impact of it upon the common people. How did peace get it disturbed and development process stopped? The center-state relations also form the crux of the matter. How did our main parties rule it over? How did the British? How did we when it came under Delhi? Could we understand them or not? What measures and steps did we in redressing their problems and grievances? The presence of the troops and the military, how could it rescue them and to what extent?

When sad and somber, he turns to his love seeking comfort in her, his love of the land which has given him flower to smell and beauty to see and derive from. When rife with strife and rebellion, feud and rivalry, he turns, turns to her and where can he go leaving it? This is the land where he was born. This is the land where he grew up into a man.

What is patriotism and who a patriot? Who is fighting for whom? We do not know it. How to define it a patriot and his patriotism? The youth who was killed, was he a terrorist, an extremist? Who to say it? What was his fault? Was it that he took to guns under the provocation of? When we read the poem, Lady Gregory’s The Rising of The Moon and Nissim Ezekiel’s The Patriot dance before the eyes.


More by :  Bijay Kant Dubey

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