Lin Laishram, who has acted in films like Mary Kom and Rangoon, recently slammed Bollywood celebrities for condemning violence in Manipur after a video of women being paraded naked surfaced. Lin hails from Manipur and has been very local in voicing her emotions against the atrocities being committed in the North Eastern state. The Free Press Journal caught up with her for an exclusive interaction. Excerpts:
You made a statement against celebs who are seeking ‘justice’ in Manipur. What are your thoughts on it?
I am glad that a few celebrities from Bollywood and influencers have come out in support and are talking about the Manipur issue but a few of them have shared things that are not complete which can further lead to hatred and violence amongst the community. I suggest that before saying anything, they all should do thorough research. They all should understand the situation more than just sharing. Peace is required right now.
What are the current conditions back there?
The sensitive issue has been going on for the past two months now. The violence is happening now, a lot of lives are lost. A lot of homes have been burnt. Things are tough back there for everyone. The situation has not improved at all. Normality hasn’t come back yet. Schools, banks, etc. nothing is operational at the moment. My heart aches especially for the kids.
Are you actively participating in the relief campaign? Can you tell us something in detail?
One of the most basic things is to have food supplies and water. These are the basic necessities that we have been providing but beyond that, if there is any sort of requirement for children and women, we have been actively trying to find camps where they meet different requirements. We have been trying our best to help the people who are back home and homeless and scattered all around in Manipur.
Tell us something about Khalsa Aid.
I came across Khalsa Aid during Covid-19. They helped me with 40 concentrators which helped save many lives in Manipur. It was a lifesaver as our state was running out of concentrators and oxygen. Ever since then I have been passively part of Khalsa Aid. I volunteer and try to give back some service that I can do in whatever manner they can accept. I feel very fortunate that they accept me as their volunteer. They have been helping us this time also in relief camps by providing food and basic necessities and other supplies. I am grateful for them as they work for humanity and don’t have any discrimination towards any community. They have a bigger agenda and that’s humanitarian.
Where does the courage to stand for your people come from?
I would like to say that I am sad that I have to stand up for something like this. I would rather be celebrating my beautiful land and beautiful culture rather than giving an interview about what’s going on there. It breaks my heart to hear all this news regardless of the community and these conflicts in the state. It’s not courage, I have been advocating peace ever since the violence started on May 3. I am still trying to tell people that peace needs to prevail quickly because a lot of people are suffering. Not only these two communities but the rest of the communities are suffering as well in a major way… losing homes, displacement, no school, death… All these are adding up everyday and we need to find peace midway, talk it out and get back to normalcy as quickly as possible.