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Kanglasha Mang-nga: The Dragon as Symbol of Symbols

Just as a cell would occupy the most essential part of a biologist’s life, or numbers do in all the waking hours of a mathematician, a symbol is the oxygen for a symbologist. Why are symbols important, —let us not wait for a professional—because it creates the model of a life even before the cell comes into a picture and it counts a lot, as in unifying people and offering them a sense of identity, a feeling of belonging together with the shared symbol.

Then it is no surprise that in places like Manipur where there are great divisions between people, we have a dearth of symbols that we can relate together, to each other. As the pessimist in me creeps in, we do not only lack symbols and even if we have a few of them, it is for all the wrong reasons. Take this month for example. We have the June Uprising Day (the prefix ‘Great’ has been omitted intentionally) on 18th the last, and, while it is considered as a symbol of unity in the valley, it is just the opposite in the hills where a general strike is usually called on this day. The Republic Days and the Independence Days are of the same kind in this context.

To conclude abruptly, we need no rhetoric tonight. We need symbols. The more it is relatable, the more it is inclusive, the best it is for everybody. On this note, here’s a poster series on Kanglasha, depicted as  a symbol of all the symbols that we need urgently.



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PS: The photographs were originally taken on Coolpad Note 3 Lite that has a 13mp camera. Date: 27 June 2017. Purpose: A visit with my nephew Ayush.


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