66 Days of Misery: Life Under Economic Blockade
On 5th of July, the opposition parties of India called for a nationwide shutdown, to protest against the federal government’s failure to check price rise, especially that of fuel.
Now, imagine this: A state shut down for, hold your breath, 66 days!!!
Sounds unbelievable? Well, it IS the truth.
On 12th of April this year, two Naga political groups (though, incredibly they call themselves ‘students groups’) called for the blockade on National Highway 39 (Imphal-Dimapur) and National Highway 53 (Imphal-Jiribam). The groups were protesting elections to the Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) in Manipur hills and Manipur government's decision to ban entry of Thuingaleng Muivah, the general secretary of National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isaac-Muivah group) – the outfit fighting for separation from India for decades – into Manipur.
The blockade created a huge fuel shortage which, in turn, crippled the transport service. Petrol prices, shot up to Rs 160 a litre and auto and bus fares multiplied. Due to this, shooting of the video itself became an uphill task for Achungmei as she couldn’t travel. Because of power cuts, she couldn’t charge the batteries of her camera for days. Many a times, there was no food at home as the market was closed and sometimes there was no food because there was no cooking gas. While shooting, she was also treated with suspicion and disrespect by many as she was a Naga tribal. Even after the end of the blockade, her family, like thousands others, do not have cooking gas as cylinders are not available.
Tags: Economic Crisis , Misery , IndiaUnheard , Video Volunteers , Community Media , Achungmei Kamei , Manipur , NSCN , NSCN(IM) ANSAM , Naga Sudents Federation
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