Embracing Harmony: Manipur Artists Advocate for Peace through Music:

todayAugust 16, 2023 11

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Music has no boundaries and can serve as a powerful tool for peace and unity. This sentiment is echoed by musicians from both the Kuki and Meitei communities in Manipur, who are using their talents to heal divides and bring peace to their troubled state. Despite the unrest that has deeply impacted the music fraternity, these artists remain hopeful that music can serve as a “band-aid” to resolve differences and restore the vibrant music scene that once thrived in Manipur.

The economic challenges triggered by the turmoil have severely affected these musicians, with their creative pursuits and income streams greatly curtailed. Donny, a well-known singer from the Kuki community, remarked that before the violence erupted, Manipur’s music scene was on the rise, with gigs happening every weekend. It appeared that music would soon be considered a mainstream career option for aspiring musicians. However, each round of rioting has made such attempts to revive the music scene more difficult.

Momo Laishram, a renowned drummer and song composer from the Meitei community, also believes that music is the only antidote to heal the wounds caused by the current situation. He stated, “As musicians, we only know how to touch the hearts of people through sound. Currently, we are playing in charity concerts in some areas to raise funds to help displaced people, which is the only thing we can do. I hope peace prevails and I can hear the sound of concerts echoing again.”

However, the turmoil has made it extremely difficult for professional musicians to survive. Many people depended on music for their livelihood, but now they have been left with nothing. Anggu Singsit, a singer and songwriter from the Kuki community, highlighted the need for peace to keep music alive in Manipur. He expressed concern about several professional musicians leaving the state for other cities in search of survival.

Biswajit Tongbram, a singer from the Meitei community, added that the music scene in the state is currently on hold. Most Kuki musicians are staying in Mizoram due to the unrest in Manipur. He too believes that music is the only way forward to bring peace to the trouble-torn state.

In a peaceful demonstration held by the state’s music community, musicians gathered at Keishampat in Imphal West to appeal for the swift return of peace. They displayed placards bearing messages of hope and unity, sending a clear message that they aspire to witness lasting peace in Manipur.

Despite the difficulties faced by these musicians, their dedication to using music as a tool for peace is unwavering. They believe that by joining hands and using the power of music, they can bridge divides and restore harmony in their picturesque northeastern state.

The story of Manipur’s musicians calling for peace through music serves as a reminder of the incredible power of art to heal and bring people together. It also highlights the resilience and determination of these artists who refuse to let the unrest silence their voices. As they continue to fight for peace, they hope to see Manipur’s music scene flourish once again, and for music to be recognized as a viable career option for aspiring musicians.

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Written by: Soft FM Radio Staff

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