Phrangsngi Pyrtuh, author, researcher, teacher, a key activist of Thma U Rangli-Juki (TUR) and member of Raiot Collective, passed away yesterday. He was 38. We called him Franky. Franky was one of those intellectuals who did not wear his intellect as a source of social power but used it in solidarity with the struggle of the oppressed and to courageously question the so-called community consensus in Meghalaya. As he said in his essay, Whither ka Jaidbynriew:
“A far greater threat to the jaidbynriew is within and not from outside. The external fear is an alibi so that the internal problems are not exposed. There is self-denial and pretentiousness of the real problems…Loving the motherland is now like an auction. There are endless groups raising their pitch on who loves the jaidbynriew the most and going the whole hog to prove it by donning the superhero costumes.”
You can read some of Phrangsngi Pyrtuh’s essays for RAIOT here.
Donboklang Ryntathiang does a poetic obituary of our Comrade Franky.
Somewhere in a green house
(After Republic Day)
Somewhere in a corner of a green house in Qualapatty, a mother is crying.
Somewhere in Mumbai, a father struggles to be a man and a sister struggles to accept. No one could make it better.
Somewhere in Delhi friends refuse to accept. No memory could console them.
Somewhere in a corner of the green house a writer, an activist, and a pastor struggle to console the crying mother. No prayer could do the job.
Somewhere in a corner of the green house a musician and a writer shake hands. No songs, no poems in that corner.
Somewhere in a corner of the green house a young doctor recalls his childhood memories with the first born of the green house. No health care could have saved him.
The firstborn, Phrangsngi they named him.
They all said how the green house’s first born wrote and fought and cared.
For all that he had written, there will be no posthumous award for Phrangsngi of the green house. You see only the well-connected shine and speak, even from their graves, to those giving awards.
For all that he had written the rich and the powerful will remain greedy.
For all that he had written we as a people refuse to fight like Phrangsngi of the green house. We are comfortably numb.
How many more phrangsngi/ first born sons should write and fight before we truly live.