KUT in Manipur: It was a good one

Published on November 2, 2007

By Donn Morgan Kipgen

November 2, 2007: The Kut-2007, held at the 1st MR Ground, did turn out to be a good Kut. Thanks to all the Kutters, organisers and beautiful young ladies, both the day and night programmes were watched and enjoyed by the distinguished guests, the media boys and other special invitees.

It was really worth participating in since it took off smoothly, cruised along with colourful manoeuvres and successfully landed on time as scheduled by the hardcharging State Level Kut Committee.

With the unceremonious last minute cancellation of the night’s programme last year and the ever confusing ‘Yes-No’ by various UG militant outfits, the fate, future and credibility of the most auspicious CHIKIMS’ Kut festival were at stake; but, fortunately like the famous British 8th Army, the Kut Committee admirably had the last word against all odds.

When one prepares to stay committed, one should stay committed honourably and stand steadfastly – there is no such thing as half measure. The success of Kut-2007 has to be credited with the performers, Kutters and the distinguished guests too since they are the ones who came to make it successful! The vibrant Kut festival is actually a symbol of unity, integrity and understanding, it’s for all and sundries.

The fact that Kut-2007 was staged successfully is an indication that it had come to stay. Since lots of tips, suggestions, advices, etc for much better future Kut celebrations had been made by both distinguished guests and senior media persons, it would be much better if all those suggestions be made in written form to the State Level Kut Committee directly. Success is all about unity and understanding.

When it comes to Kut committee, there is neither designation nor official status and hence one can approach them directly should there be any favourable suggestions since the Kut is there for all and to be observed by all. It is an open forum. It is most unfortunate and highly undesirable that some Kuki Mothers’ organisations tried to ‘ban’ the Kut celebration in high security Imphal area.

As of this ground situation, if the State Level Kut festival is held at some hill-areas, there would be a coup d’etat and counter-coup procession at the stage, or even a real fireworks between rival UG militant outfits to ‘dominate’ the Kut celebration.  It would really be hard for the Miss Kut contestants to walk around with bullet-proof vests!

Even though the Kuki Artistes Assn (KAAM) boycotted the Kut-2007 for a very much debatable reason, the musical entertainments were quite lively and watchable. The most unexpectedly entertaining musical performance was presented by a school boy named Hitangshu Sarmah, the son of Brig BC Sarmah, DIGAR, 27th Sector, Churachandpur area.  

Three of those ‘father-son’ composed English songs were far much better than those pirated songs howled and groaned by long-haired local street rockers. Real talents and originality always pay. Master Hitangshu Sarmah could go a long way up if he keeps up his good performance. It was a pleasure to witness all round colourful display of songs and dances by almost all cultural troupes of the CHIKIMS society.

The spirit of socio-cultural unity shown to the whole world at the Kut festival is always a matter of pride and honour.  Apart from the chief guests and guests of honour, it was heartening to see the eager presence of Mr & Mrs (Brig) Kayastha, DIGAR 9th Sector; Mrs S Gupta, wife of Colonel-General Staff Officer, HQ IGAR(S); Mr & Mrs (Brig) BC Sarmah, DIGAR, 27th Sector; Mr Gill, DIG (Ops) CRPF, LGC, among others who graced Kut-2007 to make it a grand success.

It would be highly desirable if both the IGAR(S) and the GOC, 57th Mtn Div, be invited as special guests of honour the next time around. And it would certainly not do any harm if the Kut Committee specially invites all the most prominent members of all sections of society as a sign of social bond.

The absence of anti-social elements in Kut-2007 was an achievement by itself since the call for ‘no intoxicant’ was honoured in good spirit. The dryness of it was compensated by brief heavy raining. It’s everybody guest who the hardest hit party was in this ‘no intoxicant’ dry Kut! They had to take the abundant spirit of the Kut festival itself as an abstract alternative. They have to lead by example to show that it can be done high and dry.

This year’s beauty contestants were lookable and some did look pretty. One Mr Karthik (Indian Express) was right in saying that Miss Congeniality, i.e Miss Kimboi Vaiphei, was quite beautiful and charming. It is unfortunate that such beautiful lady like Miss Kimboi Vaiphei did not get what was expected of her, hard luck, shall we say? Well, there’s always next time and new opportunity.

But then, all the judges are human beings and as such everybody has his own taste, perception, judgment, style and ideas. At present, the most important thing is the preservation of the CHIKIMS socio-cultural heritages for generations to come through this precious Kut festival for all the years to come. Any person or NGO who tries to discredit the Kut festival is an anti-CHIKIMS.