Spotlight's Betrayal: Manipur's Plight

The faded photographs of forgotten faces,  
Eyes that have seen unspeakable disgraces,
Voices muted by brutality's embraces,
Bodies broken, minds lost in dark places.
Oh, children of the veiled Northeast,    
Your muffled cries in the wind release,
As the world turns its eyes from your plight,
Masking your pain in the dark of night.
The media spins its glamorous stories,  
Of conflicts fought on distant soils,  
While shadows stalk your land each day,    
And suffering goes unspoken, decays.

What of your nights filled with dread and fright,
As soldiers force entry in the faint moonlight?
They rifle through cupboards, upturn your beds,
Ransack your homes, terrorize your heads.   
The womenfolk flee, their heartbeat frantic,
Their virtue and honor deemed insignificant.
Babies are snatched from their mothers' grasp,
Young boys seized while parents helplessly clasp.
And you're left there, struggling to pick up the pieces,    
Bury your dead, tend to your nieces and nieces.
Your livelihoods crushed under marching boots,
Scraping for food among abandoned fruits.

Oh, but look there- a juicy headline,  
About temple mount tensions in Palestine!
Quickly, lap up the drama, feast your eyes,
On politics halfway across the skies.  
Who has time for boring local news?
Just flip the channel for international views.
Keep the spotlight fixed on this new crisis,
No need to worry about Manipur's plight.  

Because if India peeked into its own backyard,   
It might not like what could be unearthed.
Best to keep up pretenses, play charades,
Rather than address wounds that fester and chafe.  
The media dances to the politician's fife,
Swaying the masses with cunning and strife.
They point a finger at problems abroad,
Ignoring the skeletons on native shores.   

So hush now, you bruised and beaten souls,  
Don't interrupt the sensationalism that controls.
Your women were raped? Your men were killed?
Well, tough luck - the headlines are already filled.
Just bury your dead in unmarked pits,  
And pray the minister's visit doesn't get nixed.
Endure the darkness and try to survive,   
While the spotlight shines on those worldwide.

Because your pain is not primetime, my dears,
Your despair earns no television tears.
You ask why your misery is concealed?    
Well, your truth is simply not mass-appealed.
Your wounds cannot vie for eyeballs and clicks,
Not when there's breaking news politics.  
So hush your sobs and mute your moans,
The media teleprompter has far more urgent tones.

The stories that sell, the plots that are slick,  
Hinge upon players in the global sphere.  
Your hands might ache from wringing and picking,
But talking heads natter about air strikes in Kiev.
The gossip and chatter focuses outside,  
So local transgressions get swept aside.   

The media panders to the public thirst,   
For sensations spun with special effects.
Who clicks on articles about village raids?
Not when celebrity gossip promises escapades.  
Your Facebook feeds serve up distraction,
A steady diet of disconnect from action.

Better to argue with strangers online,    
Than confront troubles brewing in your own time.
The media churns the pop culture churn,  
Spoon-feeding without nourishment in return.
The masses slip into escapism's chains,  
Ignoring the issues that truly cause pain.  

And that's why Northeasterners pay the price,  
For India's obsession with artifice.  
Their traumas and stories relegated to the fringe,  
Pushed aside by "more important" binge.
But pain ignored is not pain negated.   
Agony suppressed will only fester, inflated.

The media's skewed lens breeds ignorance,   
Apathy metastizes in the audience.  
But darkness cannot thrive beneath the glare  
Of truth's bright torch, when righteousness dares.

Let journalism regain its sacred vows,
To comfort the suffering, voice the voiceless.   
The media must refocus its moral sight,
Shine redemption's beacons against the night.  

Shed light on the shadowy sins within,   
Investigate the wrongs, provoke the awakening.  
For too long truth has languished, obstructed,  
Her vision blurred, her tongue gagged and abducted.  

But freedom rings when righteous outrage,   
Defies man's inclination to downplay.
Yes, it's less convenient to confront oppression,  
But confronting truth is the noble profession.  

So speak the stories of the trampled and torn,  
Theplight of daughters, the grief of mothers forlorn.
Give voice to the voiceless, a pen to the mangled,  
Channel their pain, ensure they are not strangled.

Journalism must touch the soul once again,  
Rise beyond profit-margins and click-baiting trends.  
Society progresses in the light of introspection,  
Not by chasing sensationalism to exhaustion.  

It's time for change, for mindsets to spin,   
To face our shadow, address the darkness within.  
The media must hold the necessary mirror,   
Reflecting India's crimes, dissolved in its cheer.  

Moral courage comes not from dual blindness,  
But seeing humanity in all of its kindness.  
There's glory ahead if we walk the right mile,
Put down our filters, address truths denial.

For too long the Northeast's grief was deferred,  
Their agony ignored, stories interred.   
But no longer can India dismiss their pain,  
Their trauma suppressed for superficial gain.  

The spotlight must turn within our own gates,   
Expose hypocrisy, disinfect hate.
Rot festers in darkness, corruption grows bold,  
When light cowers before stories untold.

But truthprevails when righteous fire,  
Burns falsehoods in purifying pyre.  
Northeast, your day of redemption nears,  
When India's conscience finally hears.

Your voices will rise, yourstories unfurled,  
No longer imprisoned in the cage of this world.  
Truth marches on, her footsteps sure and fast,  
The dawn approaches - your long night is past.

So take heart, keep faith, stoke courage's flame,   
The pendulum swings - justice will reign.  
Evil Rules a brief and passing span,  
But truth and light endure in the heart of man.

Have hope, sons and daughters of the Northeast,  
Your tears will water redemption's harvest.  
Though darkness may yet whisper its spells,
The light still prevails, and the darkness flees.

   The poem is part of a full version found in the book “Homo Sapiens” Part Part I - XVIII, written by Mawphniang Napoleon. This book is part of the popular “Homo Sapiens” book series, which can be purchased online at various online bookstores, such as Amazon. The book is available for purchase for those who are interested in reading the complete version of the poem. Remember to get all the books from the “Homo Sapiens” series, as well as other books by the same author.   So, don’t hesitate and get a copy today from one of the many online bookstores.   Khublei Shihajar Nguh,  (Dhanewad  )(Thank you )

About this poem

This poignant poem illuminates the shadows cast upon the Northeast, where the suffering of its people is drowned out by the noise of sensational global narratives. It calls for a revival of true journalism, urging the media to reflect the unspoken stories, confront local injustices, and illuminate the darkness within. The verses convey a plea for moral courage, hoping for a day when the Northeast's grief is acknowledged, and justice prevails over silence.

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Written on August 01, 2023

Submitted by Mawphniang.Napoleon on November 12, 2023

6:21 min read

Quick analysis:

Scheme Text too long
Closest metre Iambic hexameter
Characters 6,864
Words 1,246
Stanzas 25
Stanza Lengths 12, 12, 8, 8, 8, 8, 6, 6, 6, 6, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 1

Mawphniang Napoleon

Mawphniang is a person who is always striving to live life to the fullest. He is someone who is always open to new ideas and ways of living and is unafraid to take risks in order to explore the unknown. He is passionate about life and is always looking for ways to make use of his time and energy. He has an inquisitive nature, and is always looking for answers to life's mysteries and questions. Though Mawphniang does not pretend to have all the answers, he is determined to taste life and live a simple life, without overcomplicating things. He's a person who appreciates the small moments and cherishes the little things in life. He enjoys spending time in nature, exploring the world, and connecting with people. He is a person who is always up for a new adventure and never stops learning. He is on a daily journey of self-discovery, trying to make sense of the world and his place in it. more…

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