Prominent Manipuri Film Star Soma Laishram Faces Controversial Ban Amid Ethnic Conflict
In a surprising turn of events, an organization based in Imphal has imposed a three-year ban on the celebrated Manipuri film star, Soma Laishram. This ban effectively prohibits her from participating in film projects and attending social functions. The Kanglaipak Kanba Lup (KKEL), the organization responsible for this ban, alleges that Soma Laishram's recent participation in a beauty pageant in New Delhi violated their call for actors to refrain from such gatherings due to the ongoing ethnic conflicts in Manipur, which have resulted in numerous fatalities.
The Ban and Its Origins
Actress Soma Laishram's speech on 16th September 2023 at North East Festival My home India Talkotara Stadium, New Delhi. She as a "Show stopper" representing Manipur talked about the present crisis in Manipur in that NE festival. pic.twitter.com/ROkHZcoZCh— Narendra Khuman (@NorendroKh15071) September 18, 2023
KKEL is no stranger to advocating for prominent figures to abstain from participating in entertainment events during times of crisis in Manipur. Their previous efforts were met with compliance from various individuals. However, Soma Laishram's decision not to heed their request has led to the imposition of this ban.
The trigger for the ban was Soma Laishram's participation in a beauty pageant in New Delhi on September 16. KKEL asserts that her involvement in such an event, while Manipur grapples with violence and conflict, was an act of defiance against their call for restraint. These ethnic conflicts have claimed the lives of over 170 people since May, highlighting the gravity of the situation.
Film Forum Manipur (FFM) Expresses Disapproval
Actor Soma Laishram speak up on her ban for 3 years from Meitei mysogonist people. pic.twitter.com/FvwxFqOeQD— TeTeii (@elisheba_lily) September 19, 2023
In response to the ban on Soma Laishram, various film organizations within Manipur, including the influential Film Forum Manipur (FFM), have strongly criticized KKEL's decision. FFM and other film entities have collectively declared their intent to challenge the ban and seek a resolution to this contentious issue.
Soma Laishram's Perspective
Soma Laishram, a celebrated figure in Manipuri cinema with a portfolio of over 150 films and numerous accolades, did not remain silent in the face of this controversy. She defended her participation in the North East Students Festival at the Talkatora Stadium in New Delhi, arguing that her intent was to celebrate the rich cultural heritage of the Northeast. In an interview with the Manipur-based agency Wari Singbul, she stated, "As a professional actor and a socially responsible individual, it is my duty to discuss and shed light on the crisis in Manipur, and I selected this platform to do so."
KKEL, on the other hand, claims to have made efforts to dissuade Soma Laishram from participating in the New Delhi event. In an official statement, the organization expressed their disappointment, stating, "However, she declined all appeals, demonstrating a complete lack of respect for our requests and displaying utter disregard for the lives lost in the ethnic conflict."
- PTC PUNJABI