Manipuri filmmaker Priyakanta Laishram condemns ban on actress Soma Laishram

Imphal: Manipur actress Soma Laishram was banned on September 18, 2023, by an organisation in Manipur called Kangleipak Kanba Lup (KKL) for participating as a showstopper in a fashion show at a recent event in Delhi. According to the announcement, Soma has been barred for three years from movies and other social events for participating in a fashion event during a period of conflict. In response to the restriction, Manipuri actor and director Priyakanta Laishram posted a voice note on his official Instagram account denouncing the ban and cancel cultures that have long predominated in Manipur.

Priyakanta claimed that Manipuri artists have done their best to bring about some changes and normalcy in the state of Manipur by using whatever platforms they have to raise their voices and doing whatever they can in terms of aiding the displaced, raising money, or donating clothes and food. This is even though Manipuri artists have been the ones who have suffered the most from the war since all forms of art and entertainment have been halted and put on hold since the war began.

Priyakanta also brought up the subject of how Manipur’s general populace has seen artists as inferior and treated them as such. “Why are the artists not regarded as professionals? Why don’t they ban other people working in other fields if they have to ban every Manipuri from working?”, he questioned.

He concluded by saying that rather than placing blame on one another during such trying times, it would be preferable if we, as the people of Manipur, supported one another instead and did everything possible to help bring some changes for the betterment of the already disastrous situation.

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Mahesh Thounaojam, Priyakanta Laishram, Soma Laishram, Lin Laishram, Bala Hijam, Kaiku Rajkumar, and Robert Naorem are a relatively small number of stars from Manipur who have been fairly vocal about the situation in Manipur since the violence began on 03 May 2023.

The chairman of the Film Forum Manipur, Surjakanta Laimayum, has also stated that groups like Kangleipak Kanba Lup have no jurisdiction to forbid Manipuri artists from performing.

Also Read | Watch: Why Manipur actor Soma Laishram has been ‘banned’ for 3 years

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