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Chess a cerebral game

Editor,
Our children should be advised to play chess instead of cruel, silly, bang-bang virtual games. Chess will increase their IQ, power of imagination and concentration. It will also rescue them from sadistic games that can turn innocent, impressionable minds into trigger-maniacs and insensitive brutes. A study shows how four months of chess instructions has, significantly, raised the IQ scores of both boys and girls of 4000 Venezuelan students. Indeed, studies have revealed that the game of chess helps both young and old to have a sound cerebral health. According to a study, people of over 75 years of age who engage in brain-games like chess are less likely to develop dementia than their non-board-game-playing contemporaries. A German study says that when chess players are asked to identify chess positions and geometric shapes, both the left and right hemispheres of the brain become highly active.
Chess gives us the taste of infinity. The 64 square game unfolds never ending possibilities. When we play chess, we find ourselves composed. It is a game that magnets all our being to a particular point of finding which of the moves will be a better one. Indeed, chess players say, “This is a good move” or “This is a better move”. But they never say, “This is the best move,” because that cannot be said in this game of infinite possibilities which is still unfolding. This was the reason why Siegbert Tarrasch said, “Many have become Chess Masters, no one has become the Master of Chess”. We can play this game rain or shine, day or night with a friend near or far, or with a chess programme; staying put at home or outdoor or even while travelling. The players can, also, be as heterogeneous as it gets. A game of chess can be played between two persons or two machines or one person versus a machine or one person versus many persons or machines in as many different games at one go. There is also infinite possibilities of the space and time of the game. Now, you can try to unravel the beauty of a Fischer’s game that was played at Reykjavik in 1972 and you even can try to play the game in a different way after a few say 10 moves. David Bronstein said, “Chess is imagination”. Indeed, chess is not just a game. It is meditation.

Yours etc.,
Sujit De,
Kolkata

Blockade in Manipur unreasonable!

Editor,

The decision to impose a 48-hour bandh and indefinite economic blockade in Manipur in  Naga territories by United Naga Council (UNC) is unfortunate and unwise. The total shut down followed by indefinite economic blockade on National Highways and ban on National Projects again in the Naga territories in Manipur from midnight of October 30 against the decision to upgrade Sadar Hills and Jiribam to full-fledged district is a nasty decision affecting the common people of all the communities irrespective of different ethnics groups in the State. All the commodities have been stopped from entering Manipur. With the Prime Minister Modi’s decision to demonetise Rs 500 and 1000 notes has only made things worse. Other alternatives means of pressuring Government needs to be adopted instead of this frequent bandhs /strikes / indefinite economic blockade etc., and thereby harassing the common people every time. Destroying and torching of vehicles, threats,  Insults to the poor drivers and conductors in view of this blockade is condemnable and punishable by law. No organization(s) has the right to take the law in its hand and disrupt public life. I am amused and surprised with the statement of the UNC, “We are the owners of our land and we will never allow anyone to decide for the Nagas, not even an inch of Naga ancestral land and its original area should be touched while creating any districts in the context of the Manipur state.”

No one has prevented Nagas from protecting and defending the Naga areas, assertion of Naga identity, history, tradition, culture and customs. Is it justifiable to term all the hilly areas of Manipur as belonging to Naga or hill tribes? I have not heard or seen such arguments anywhere. When it comes to the land of Naga(s), it very clearly existed under the full-fledged State called Nagaland. Further, it must be noted that Manipur is not a state with just one indigenous group but comprises different indigenous, ethnic groups historically. I would like to mention that the State of Manipur has a diverse population which includes the Meeteis, Aimol, Anal, Angami, Chiru, Chothe, Gangte, Hmar, Kabui: (i) Puimei (ii) Rongmei, Zemei , Liangmei, Koirao, Koireng, Kom, Lamkang, Mao, Maram, Maring, Mizo (Lushai), Monsang, Moyon, Paite, Purum, Ralte, Sema, Simte, Sukte, Tangkhul, Thadou, Vaiphei, Zou etc., living both in the hills and valley. I want to ask to the Government of India and State Government of Manipur where is the law and order which ensures the protection of the people of this State? Why is the Government spineless unable to protect its own people? Why these long days of suffering without any intervention from the Government? Where are all the Human Rights Organisations which stand to protect the rights of citizens? Is India a dictatorship or a democracy?

Such irresponsible acts of the United Naga Council and failure of the Government to handle law and order may lead to hatred and unnecessary communal tension between different communities. We believe in the co-existence of all mankind irrespective of caste or religion or colour. So before the situation worsens, it is high time to take a hard look at the situation.  I appeal to the United Naga Council to kindly review and withdraw its stand against such retrograde decisions. I also demand that the Government of Manipur take measures for a permanent solution to this persistent problem without affecting the sentiments of any community, instead of just being a mute spectator.

Yours etc.,

Chongtham Thangamba Meetei,

 Shillong-1

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