A Search for Human Rights: Critical Reading of the “Manipur” Crisis through Thangjam Ibopishak Singh’s dystopic lens
Amity University, Kolkata
A Search for Human Rights:
Critical Reading of the “Manipur” Crisis through Thangjam Ibopishak Singh’s dystopic lens
Hina Jilani, an advocate (Supreme Court) and a human-rights activist from Lahore, Pakistan had once said, “The administration of justice can be severely hampered if laws emerge from different understandings or perceptions… and their application becomes uneven because of the moral and social beliefs of those administering the laws.” This has quite been the case that has now come to persist in most of the north eastern states in India for over five decades now.
This paper aims to study the violence, political unrest and social upheaval that have engulfed the everyday life in most of the states in the North East of India and Manipur in particular for more than half a century now; and also the scenario that has emerged as an aftermath of these happenings precisely in the context of human rights and civil rights in the zone. Born out of a deep sense of deprivation, immediately post-Independence, communities in the region have endured armed conflicts following demands for extended autonomy, political recognition and finally a complete succession from the Republic of India for as many as fifty long years and the situation is still in continuum. Within this very contemporary, very relevant and very nearby context I as a post-colonial, post-modernist literature enthusiast will try to look at certain selected poems by Manipuri poet Thangjam Ibopishak Singh and try to understand how he deals with the realities and experiences of a distorted home and world within the paradigm of violence….often State-sponsored violence! How is he dealing with this outsized reality creating a raw and (re)defined social ontology which morphs into a means for voicing the voiceless and questioning notions of human rights!
Human rights as a discourse in essence and practice aim at anything and everything from generalising the scene of torture to preventing human suffering both chronic and acute in nature. While they play an instrumental role in ensuring the end to suffering, striving for justice and human dignity contemporary politics on a global scale has pointed out the imperialistic origins of the entire notion of human rights and how they comply with corruption and global power. Study of the theoretical implications of inter-disciplinarity between human rights and literature essentially emerges in this cross-border of critique, contestation and a profound desire for social justice.
There is an obvious etymological connection between human rights and the humanities as a discipline but particular attention to interdisciplinary work relating these two fields has been a recent development. Activists and academics in the field of human rights have been looking at the significance of cultural texts in the resistance against violation of human rights for some time; on the other hand scholars in literary studies have perennially concentrated on interpretation of representations of suffering. But the bridging between the two areas is a rather recent phenomenon. This move has evidently emerged from the questions developing over decades in holocaust and genocide studies, post-colonial studies and feminist studies and also initiated by the “personal stories” in response to social suffering of various kinds. Human rights and literature, in conjunction, as an academic field of study was recognised in the US post 9/11. The transformation in the social, cultural, political and intellectual premises both precluded and at the same time made it indispensable to look at the connection between these two paradigms, given the changing practices of war and imprisonment, torture and immigration.
As human rights continue to be the principal discourse for attending to issues of social justice in general, academics and researchers working at the crossroads of literature and human rights, each incited conceivably by his/her own geo-political location, are developing new advanced tools for suitable cognition of the literary, political and ethical implications of their collective intellectual premises.
Understandably, there are two mutually symbiotic intellectual ventures that operate the interdisciplinary scholarship in human rights and literature. Firstly, reading literary texts to understand how they represent and deliver the various philosophies, laws and human rights practices from several shifting cultural perspectives intelligible. Secondly, investigating the ways in which cultural texts like stories, poetry and testimonies add to the fruition of such laws, philosophies and practices. Notably, both these intellectual projects are strongly implicated in and at the same time have intense implications for the political sphere which is located within the waves of global cultural imperialism and capitalism. From this intellectual standpoint some of the premises on which this investigation will develop are,
Recognition of the issues of human rights in the poetry taken for study,
Graveness of the problems discussed by the poetic voice,
Study of circumstances from literal perspectives as well as perspectives from the context of human rights,
Examination of the mechanisation of exploitative system in which the poet and his world is trapped,
Effect of the situation in question on their lives and consciousness,
Decoding the poetics and politics of representation by the poet and their imminence to reality, and
Finally, justifying the possibility of poetry to stand out as a human rights document.
The situation in North East India and Manipur in particular characterises violence, bloodshed, conflict and corruption that have spilled over in to the common man’s life forcing the poets from the region to voice their concern by speaking about them in their short stories, poems, fictive writings, etc.
The secessionist movements in Manipur started right after Independence in 1948 when a Maoist Communist revolutionary named Hyam Irabot rose to liberate Manipur from the throes of semi-colonialist kingdoms existing in the State on one hand and feudalism as the primary economic mode on the other. Soon various other secessionist groups started their operation including names like the People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK), the Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP) and most importantly the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). The major insecurities that have engulfed Manipur and Assam for long are the strong ethnic rivalries which led to serious violence and disturbance.
In Nagaland and Naga-dominated areas of Manipur, the conflict rose from their denial to concede to the authority of the Indian Republic. In Mizoram the cause was the neglect and indifference shown by the Central Government throughout the devastating famine of 1959. The Mizos kept pleading for help and resources as starvation plagued the land. The food supplies administered to the affected areas were meagre and late and as a result the frustrated and hungry population refuted with violence. Since then it has been almost two decades of continuous armed struggle demanding sovereignty of their land. In Tripura the problem has had a different character. The uprising has primarily been the result of conflict between the Tribals and the Bengalis. The former has been outnumbered by the Bengali population infiltrating from both West Bengal and Bangladesh.
For more than sixty years North East India has lived in violence perennially persisting in the region. Waging counter-insurgency the Central Government introduced some seriously regressive measures like the National Security Act, 1980 (NSA), the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Prevention Act, 1958 (TADA), Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967 (UAP). The region has been highly volatile and sensitive in continuum. To quote Sanchet Barua, “the region is threatening to destabilise the country perhaps more fundamentally than Kashmir.”
In consequence North East India has continued to experience corruption and conflict, social upheaval, violence and bloodshed as a part of the common man’s daily life. Hence poets from the region have showed their concern by voicing these realities in their poetry, poetry that has often been termed as Poetry in a Time of Terror or Poetry in the Troubled Zone. Well the name itself is self-explanatory of the role that poetry as a medium of expression has played in North East India.
Poets from North East India are often seen writing poetry “of survival with guns pressed to both the temples: the gun of revolution and the gun of the state”. A deep sense of loss runs through these poems provoking the poets to speak in a language that is marked with images of corruption and politics, frustration and anger, bullets and gunshot, bloodshed, and destruction. Thangjam Ibopishak Singh has been one of those poets who have consistently dealt with these issues. He has been one of the most impacting poetic voices from the North East. Originally from Imphal, he writes in Manipuri, the language of the indigenous Meitei community. Having published six volumes of poetry, three of which earned him prestigious awards like the Manipur State Kala Akademi Award in 1986, the Jamini Sunder Guha Gold Medal in 1989, the First Jananeta Irabot Award in 1997 and the Ashangbam Minaketan Memorial Award in 2005, he has created a niche for his poetry. Ibopishak has also won the Sahitya Akademi Award for poetry in 1997.
A teacher by profession Ibopishak writes in a tone that reveals a satiric voice which is dark and savage reflecting the condemnation of a region absorbed by terrorism, insurgency, ethnic conflict and corrosive state brutality. In his Preface to Hell, Underground, Earth (1985) Ibopishak mentioned that ‘the social reality surrounding me and the things like frustration, restlessness and anxiety that stemmed from my involvement with social reality; if poems shaped out of angry discontent moods protest against the present system, they can be an instrument of challenge.’ Once again in his Preface to Ghost and Mask (1994), he described how his poetry developed out of ‘the reactions from the relationship between man and society; condition of modern man troubling my heart; self-observation and search for life’s purpose; God and destiny; disbelief in the result of Karma; life’s painful suffering and inability not to think about death; thought and feelings resulted from the encounters between my changing views, the world and natural things.’ Such remarks clearly point out how deeply connected the poet is with the socio-political realities of Manipur.
Thus, Ibopishak says:
Which is more fragrant
The report of guns or the scent of flowers?
The sound of guns lies on the nose,
The odour of flowers on the tips of flowers.
Dipped in the realisation that their land is flooded with chaos and anarchy poets like Ibopishak try to shake people from out of their slumber with their poetry. He purposely speaks of the appalling incidents that plague the region and hence the poetry reflects the fears and the pain of the people at large.
Ethnic clashes have been a common phenomenon in Manipur since the early 1990s. From May 1993 riots between the Muslim and Hindu Meiteis in the valley to bloody ethnic cleansing campaigns between the Nagas and the Kukis; and even the clashes between the kindred tribes of the Paites and the Kukis, the list continues to grow. There has literally been no peace in the area for decades and the local population has grown tired and weary of living in such conditions. But that doesn’t seem to have changed or even started to change the political scenario. Given the present situations in the North East anyone with the slightest conviction or mindset to speak up is located as a threat; there are guns pointing at any such individual who refuses to abide by the prescribed code of conduct and behaviour.
Interestingly, even the rebel-patriots lay down a series of dos and don’ts that the people need to follow. And such rules and regulations are obviously backed using violence. Ibopishak portrays this vividly in his poem when he says, “Now in these land, One cannot speak aloud, One cannot think openly.”
As a witness to such horrific incidents the poet in Ibopishak is unable to sleep. He uses “nightmare” as a recurrent metaphor in his poetry repeatedly. He looks at the troubled state of Manipur where every individual has learnt to live in a perpetual state of fear. They suffer from insecurities which seem unending. In a land that is characterised by violence and chaos the only thought that presupposes all other worries is to shield oneself and his/her family from harm. Thus, the poet and every other common man represented through his voice remains sleepless and helpless. The only way he can articulate and express his fear is through his poetry. It is important to note how sensitively Ibopishak chooses his words and frames his lines capturing the raw crudity true to the characteristic fabric of violence at the same time retaining the simplicity of his poetic expressions.
In the poem The Land of Half-Humans (from Ghost and Mask, 1994) Thangjam Ibopishak draws a desolate portrait of a hopelessly broken society that is plagued by the inability of reconciling the mind with the body. To quote, “And the earnings of the body’s sweat of six months, the six-month-old head eats up with a vengeance.”
In this poem Ibopishak speaks of his homeland as a land infested by half-humans. They are, “… nameless citizens the nameless representatives govern the land of the half-humans. Because whether to give human names to the head or to the body – no one can decide…”
The cognisance of de-humanisation and loss of collective social consciousness marks an absolute mental state of dejection, desolation and hopelessness. The poet sees individuals around him who have lost the capability to think or have an opinion. In fact, the slightest thinking agency they are left with seems to be ebbing very fast and this leads to a sense of futility in everything. Human existence itself along with the societal construct seems to be a farce, a façade. The image of the ‘half-humans’ that Ibopishak creates conveys a picture of absolute degradation that has made its way into a society which is now referred to as the land of perpetual internal strife making it to headlines in the newspapers almost every day. Each and every haunting image in the poem evokes a stark picture of plight of the people and destruction of the land. The poet conceives this situation as one where people have ceased to being humans, they live dissolute, useless, non-impacting, passive lives which are neither of any use to them nor of any value to the society at large, a state of virtual non-existence. The desolate satiric images he creates in this poem essentially reflect a ‘bad place’.
In a particular interview given to Khynpham Sing Nongkynrih when asked about the sources of his inspiration Ibopishak had replied in a rather bleak tone. Selected excerpts from the interview are being quoted below,
Nongkynrih: What are the sources of your inspiration? What are the themes that recur most in your poetry?
Ibopishak: The socio-political problems of Manipur form the major source of my inspiration. I’m always caught up in this issue. Naturally the misery and hardship of the common people, caused by the rotten system, corruption in all sections of the society and the government; the evil nature of man and the resulting moral bankruptcy; insurgency and its repercussions; ethnic crises and the consequent killings; fanaticism and terrorism are some of the major themes of my poetry.
I also write on nature and death. But you won’t find any religious elements or influence in these poems. You see, I don’t believe in God or in any form of religion.
In the poem I Want To Be Killed By An Indian Bullet (from Meegee Manam, Anthology of Contemporary Poetry from the Northeast, 2003) which was translated into English by Robin S Ngangom, Thangjam Ibopishak investigates the all-pervasive nature of the destructive forces lurking behind State machinery on one hand and the rampaging insurgency that only adds to the environment of emergency in the land. He says, “One morning they entered my drawing room, the five of them. Fire, water, air, earth, sky- are the names of these five. They can create men; also destroy men at whim…. The very avatar of might.”
In these evocative lines the poet is equating the adverse, overbearing and violent forces suffocating him with the inescapable qualities of the forces of nature. A realisation of that kind only doubles the darkness and hopelessness in the situation simultaneously contributing to the constantly growing sense of disillusionment. A feeling of being stuck and helpless in the face of a labyrinthine state the figure of which is neither wholly visible nor imaginable. He also highlights the phenomena of censoring, precisely state-sponsored censoring in this poem. The poet asks – “Why will you kill me? What is my crime? Are you a poet who pens gobbledygook and drivel? Or do you consider yourself a seer with oracular powers?”
The creative voice and liberal thinking of a free poet is often a matter of surveillance for an autocratic state rule – the authoritative political apex that exerts forceful allegiance with coercion. In fact, the acuteness of the crisis in such cases is in a perpetual state of continuum, either it is the State or the repressive forces that constantly keep exerting violence, arbitrarily deciding whether the poetic voice in question is at all valid or not. For example, Ibopishak writes, “…are you a madman? How can I myself tell whether I’m unhinged or not?”
And then comes the determining moment in the form of a decisive reply from the State-approved/empowered voices, from the oligarchic few who decide whether the common man gets a chance to survival or not, whether he at all has a right to voice his plight or not. Ibopishak writes, “The leader said: “You can be whatever you like to be. We are not concerned about this or that. We will kill you now. Our mission is to kill men.”
Outright rejection, often expulsion that the regressive state machinery exhibits toward the voice of dissent is accurately portrayed by Ibopishak. He is constantly raising questions about issues that plague the civil society which very easily get brushed under the rag. In fact, the very title of the poem I Want To Be Killed By An Indian Bullet points at the exploitative state within which the poet and his world is trapped. Inspite being born as an Indian citizen he feels so detached/segregated ( and even threatened by) from the state apparatus that the only validation he can think of is to die hit by an Indian bullet which then will be his only chance to be recognised by his State.
Another very powerful poem by Ibopishak (also translated by Robin Ngangom) is Bird of Peace (from Raiot, 2003). In this poem one can find Ibopishak expressing the undying desire for peace and the speedily fading ray of hope that he and the people around him are still staring at fast receding into the horizon. The entire poem voices the haunting plea of a feeble individual constantly hankering over a telephone receiver waiting eagerly for a reply from the other side, a reply that would bring the message of peace. The poetics of representation in this poem is essentially marked by a deep sense of hopelessness, the pang that you feel when no one answers back, what happens if such a crisis becomes integral to one’s existence? That is the kind of subjectivity he tries to capture here. Having lost all hope for the fundamental pre-requisites of a modern urban existence all that people are impatiently awaiting is the arrival of peace. He writes,
“Don’t want firewood, don’t want oil
No need for electricity.
We want the bird of peace
A bird which carries peace in its beak.”
And amidst this prolonged wait for peace, for change, one can also sense an element of confusion emerging, the state of confusion which makes one perplexed between peace and unrest. Here again Ibopishak is successful in portraying the mechanisation of an exploitative system within which his world is trapped. He adds a few extremely powerful lines in the poem saying,
O did you say the shanti-bird
Or the ashanti-bird?
Not Ashanti, it’s om shanti;
The ekta-bird, the shanti bird”
The reiteration of the element of peace enmeshed within the word shanti (literally meaning “peace” in various Indian regional languages) and the shanti bird (inspired by the notion of the bird of peace) create a distorted reality when they sit next to phrases with counter-meaning like ashanti bird which means the bird of misrule and disturbance. Ibopishak carefully weaves the fabric of such confused/contradictory world-views to highlight the crises in the situation.
In the poem This Protest isn’t against the Ruling Government, (from Hell, Underground, Earth, 1985) the poetic voice identifies with the suffering of the people, it recognises the traumatic life they live which is nothing but ‘a thread/divide between life and death’. He is amazed how the common man is not even entitled to a ‘small share’ – a claim to life, a claim to live! There is nothing that guarantees one will be rewarded if they are truthful or will be punished if they falsify. His satire surfaces poignantly in the lines:
My protest isn’t against the ruling government or the man-made laws.
Man-made laws are totally true with no errors.
Spreading everywhere Self-sufficient government ruler can even judge god. ……..
My protest is only against the small weak god
Who likes to differentiate between light and darkness, between right and wrong?
Who builds the path of virtue and sin?
Those who make the laws and those who rule using those laws have emerged to be more powerful than God. The life of your loved ones whom you just met or whom you treasure with your entire being – wife and children, lovers, mother and child can be gone in a fraction of a second tearing them apart forever. And what worsens the situation is the fact that while they endure all of this there is no hope or a chance to seek either justice or any compensation.
In the poem Gandhi, (from Ghost and Mask) Ibopishak focuses on the dissatisfaction growing among the masses. The poem laments how people have been forced to march out on the streets. They express their dissent and unrest by pasting banners and posters on the statue of Mahatma Gandhi on the Gandhi Avenue. He writes,
This land has seen flood and drought.
They protest about rice and goods scarcity,
They strike against unemployment and job removal,
About bribery and refusing repayment.
They come in line:
Farmers, employees, women, students;
About not giving loans, about not paying workers,
About not getting salary.
Women from bazaar and woman-torchbearers come protesting
About killing women and exploiting woman’s honour.
New posters are pasted
Over old posters.
But it seems it is after all a futile pursuit. No matter how much the people agitate and protest nothing seems to change in the vicious loop of things they have been suffering. Political unrest has been an on-going process in Manipur. Every other night an unknown mob approaches with a chisel and hammer, removes the posters, removes the statue and takes it away to some secret location. The statue of Gandhi (the Father of the Nation, the one who ended the British Rule in India ushering in independence) here symbolically stands for non-violent protest. The recurrent stream of futile protests further negate the very purpose of the revolution. Protest demonstrations and peace processions have for long been a part of the socio-political scenario in Manipur. But the removal of Gandhi’s statue from the middle of an avenue, as the poem symbolically states, puts under scrutiny the very claim of non-violent protests. The question that automatically arises in such a scenario is whether it is high time to gear toward violent modes of protest ? And if so, then where does the question of human rights stand?
Don’t Kill me, I Was Born in This Land (from Illusionary Country, 1999) reiterates the ethnic genocide that took place in Manipur in the 1990s. The poem speaks of how violence has surfaced as the only human expression. Anger has replaced patience, and everyone considers violence to be the one solution for all the problems. Common people suffer under throes of political power struggle and ethnic politics. As the common man lives amidst the beauty of the hills and the distant call of the bird of peace, he is constantly reminded of how being hopeful is all in vain. Though all these men are born of the same land still they rise in bloody ethnic strife killing each other for territory. The poet writes,
Don’t kill me, I’m an ordinary man, I’m not an enemy of man,
I don’t think evil of man, I’m not a bad man.
He was also born in this land, I was also born in this land, You and I are one;
Don’t get me wrong.
The poem highlights how during the ethnic killings of 1990 the struggle for power and territory led to the outburst of uncontrollable social upheaval. It was only the ‘voiceless’ common man, ‘dumb like mud’ and ‘tiny like grass/with no identity of his own’ who ended up getting killed. The poet enquires into the pointless destruction of ‘mud’ and ‘grass’. The poem ends with an appeal, ‘I’m just a human. /Don’t kill me/Let me live’.
In the poem Self-Potrait (from Raiot, 2003), the poet in Ibopishak embarks upon a journey of rediscovering himself through another’s lens. He retraces his identity, his belief systems and thinking process, his ideologies and mentality – from a perspective that is placed external to his own psyche. He writes,
“While I was tossing and turning
On my bed of thorns,
I heard a voice in the distance broadcasting on a mike-
Hello…. Thangjam Ibopishak
Hasn’t returned after he left home last evening.”
The question is, for whom is this announcement being made? Whose voice does the poet hear? Who is lost? Which is this other parallel self that Ibopishak hears of? Whose is this voice he hears?
The disbelief and confusion that we feel while reading this poem is almost like the same disbelief that the poet himself is experiencing as an individual caught in a state of limbo, an acute existential crisis. And it is through these lines that the same state of mind keeps dissipating into the readers’ psyche. Ibopishak succeeds in shaking the readers to their core disturbing their logical/taken-for-granted sense of sanity.
In fact, after a point of time we realise Ibopishak’s actual mission here is to create a dystopia/dystopic satire through his poems. Through the expressions of his poetic outburst he responds to the immediate crisis in question, the dehumanisation of a society at the hands of corruption, injustice and oppression. For Northrop Fry, “dystopia appears within the mythos of winter, where the world is characterised by irony and satire, it is an ‘other world’ that is an ironic counterpart to our own, a reverse of all the established social standards. Such a dystopia presents the “human life in terms of largely unrelieved bondage. (…) In our day the chief form of this phase is the nightmare of social tyranny”. (Fry 1996, 238).
Zsolt Cziganyik described dystopia as “a special kind of satire” which characterises “the feeling of inevitability”, “the belief that the present world is going in a direction, whose future consequence are shown in dystopias, and we cannot alter these consequences… the catastrophe is unavoidable.” (Cziganyik 2003, 306)
Ibopishak and his poetry are evidence to variant kinds of protests that are born on the streets of Manipur for reasons both natural and man-made. Dystopia seems to be the immediate state of being amidst this uncanny chaos, there is no escape from these outsized realities. One realises in such conditions hopelessness rules far and wide yet the social criticism in these poems reveal a cry for justice, a cry that upholds the question of human rights. Ibopishak’s poetry unswervingly stares at the ugly realities plaguing the Manipuri society. His purpose is not to express the sublime moments of life but to make the readers alert of the ‘bad place’, the deprecated, unwanted world of the present time that he and his people are trapped in. Ibopishak satirises the Manipuri society as a social hell manufacturing a social criticism that is truly a cry for protest, a cry to foreground their claim to human rights. Ibopishak in his poetry does not portray any optimism for a brighter future. The catastrophe in his world is a throbbing, thriving reality and not a distant one. Hence there is no escape from it. If dystopia is an extreme form of satire, then the way Ibopishak satirises the Manipuri society is a superlative expression of that extremity. He constantly refers to Manipur as an illusionary land or a heap of darkness and even a land of the half humans. For example, in the poem Turning My Back Now (from Hell, Undergound, Earth, 1985) the poetic voice declares how the injustice in his world has risen beyond the capacities of intolerance. Hence, the dystopian satire in his poems surface as a protest and a poetic attempt to jerk one out of dreary complacency.
For Ibopishak, his desolate satire is a way of engaging with the dehumanising influence of a society doubled with corruption, injustice and oppression. In the balance between art as an aesthetic deliberation and art as propaganda (recognising issues of Human rights in poetry) his art by and large leans towards the latter. That might be the central reason why he prefers to write a prose poem characterising a conversational mode of writing. The dystopic tropes give expression to the oppositional/critical spirit and tonality. According to M. Booker, the oppositional/critical energy or spirit reveals the dystopian impulse. (Dystopian Literature, 3) ‘Dystopian satire has a primarily social message, a didactic intent to address the Ideal Reader’s moral sense and reason as it applies to our place in society.’’(Dystopian Fiction, 32) Dystopia then is a single word that stands for organised injustice. Ibopishak’s poetry with the use of dystopian satire criticises the existing social and political systems thereby raising the question of human rights and justice.
In conclusion, one has to say that Ibopishak writes negotiating within a paradigm that constantly faces friction, challenge and censoring and yet manages to express peripheral subjectivity. The hunger and urgency in his creative persona effectively establishes a connection between what he experiences and what he wants to say through his poetry. As a poet it is existentially indispensable for him to express the political, social and cultural crisis of Manipur, its subjectivity along with all the threats and neglects it experiences.
The urgency to truth and veracity emerging from within a collective consciousness like the one Ibopishak deals with helps deepen our understanding of how literature could become a significant tool of political and social activism. The voice that emerges from such poetry inscribes a complex identity constructed with strands of political responses to suffering. That is exactly the purpose Ibopishak’s poetry serves. His poetry accounts for the variance of narrative temporalities necessary to communicate both individual stories and the complex social histories within the context of harrowing events marked as human rights violations.
B.P. Sahgal, Human Rights in India: Problems and Perspectives, New Delhi, Deep & Deep Publications, 2006, p. 35-57, 121-142
Elizabeth & Alexandra Schultheis Moore Swanson Goldberg, Theoretical Perspectives on Human Rights and Literature, New York, Routledge, 2012, p. 23-29, 83-94
- Keith Booker, Dystopian Literature, London, Greenwood Press.
Northrop Fry, The Anatomy of Criticism, New York, Atheneum, 1996.
Erika Gottlied, Dystopian Fiction East and West: Universe of Terror and Trial, Canada, Mcgill-Queen’s Up, 2001
Thangjam Ibopishak Singh, Norok Pataal Prithibi (Hell, Underground, Earth), Imphal, D.I. Publication, 1985
……… Bhoot Amasung Maikhum (Ghost and Mask). Imphal, Writers Forum, 1994.
……… Maya Desh (Illusionary Land). Imphal, Writers Forum, 1999.
……… Migh iManam (Human Smell). Imphal, Writers Forum, 2003.
Czigányik Zsolt, “Satire and Dystopia: Two Genres?”, In Husse Papers (Literature And Culture), 2003.
Manihar Ch. Singh, A History of Manipuri Literature. New Delhi, Sahitya Akademi, 1996
James Sutherland, English Satire. London, Cambridge University Press, 1967
Subramanium, Arundhati. 2006. “Thangjam Ibopishak Singh.” Poetry International Web, https://www.poetryinternationalweb.net/pi/site/poet/item/6290/27/Thangjam-Ibopishak-Singh (accessed on 03/06/2018)