Yearning For Good Governance
Where our political leaders feel ashamed of frequent defections from one party to another,
Where power hungry conmen don’t turn themselves as Social Workers
Where wealthy selfish people don’t buy voting rights of people with their easy-earned bucks
Where Security Forces calmly address common people as SIRS and MADAMS
Where Ministers and Bureaucrats don’t bribe in official works
Where the sweating labourers get their due in dignity
Where people of all professions perform duties with sincerity and dedication
Where varied communities live together in peace with co-ordination
Where non-violent struggle against black laws is given due recognition
Where the threatened indigenous peoples are protected from extinction
Where the families of fake encounter victims get justice as per law
Where the food adulterators are punished despite their political patronage
Where the lifeline highways are not often blocked for petty narrow demands
Where businessmen don’t take undue advantage of bandhs and blockades
Where people don’t feel shy of leading simple lives
Where people ride bicycles for health, clean environment and economic gains
Where garbage are not accommodated improperly at roadsides
Where bombs and grenades are not presented as New Year Gifts
Where armed groups don’t threaten people for money
Where textbooks are made available to students in time
Where teachers are paid their salaries commensurate with their works
Where contractors don’t connive with engineers and UGs for compromising development works
Where poor women vendors are not swept off the market area
Where licensed guns are not misused by powerful people and their sons
Where MLAs and their escorts don’t harass innocent people
Where retaining walls do not collapse within a year of construction
Where power is not off for 20 hours in 24 hours
Where UG groups are not fractioned in tens and tens for leadership
Where adolescents obey the elders
Where married men and women don’t indulge in extra marital sexual relations
Where mobile phones and internet are not misused by young people
Into that place called “SANALEIBAK MANIPUR”
Into that place of a variety of communities, my Father, let my MANIPUR awake.
With these few words, I wish my readers a Happy New Year free of hatred, animosity, infighting, bandhs, blockades and strikes of all hues.
By Seram Neken
The last six months of the three editions of Okram Ibobi-led Congress government have been a hectic period for almost all government departments. It is as if the whole works of the three tenures are performed in the last few months of the Congress regime in a hurried fashion. At the eleventh hour now, the ruling Congress Government in Manipur has attempted to finalize all works which it left untouched during the last 15 years. At the fag end of the year 2016, coinciding with the fading of the tenure of 10th Manipur Legislative Assembly, Okram Ibobi Singh led state government is in hectic schedule for inaugurations, recruitments, regularizations, upgradations and creation of new districts. Apparently it is working extra-time with extra energy to cover up the inherent misdeeds and mis-governance during its last three regimes. Although some sections of the population which are directly benefitted by the hasty changes orchestrated by the incumbent government, may feel complacent due to the overhaul, such eleventh hour service delivery to the people does not merit for good governance. It may be presumed as gimmick ahead of the ensuing General Elections in order to thwart the likely anti-incumbency attitude of the electorate. It its mission to appease the voters by way of delivering pending demands of various sections, it is very likely that the administration may somewhere or the other commit mistakes due to haste and over-burdened workload. It may be noted that the governance is not a hundred-metre run.
In the year 2016, Politics in Manipur turns out to be a different business to many of our leaders. It has rather become power mongering and opportunism. Frequent shift of party affiliations by politicians and burgeoning number of aspiring candidates for legislative assembly seats have indicated dwindling quality of politics in the state. Defection from one political party to another is permissible, if there are valid reasons pertaining to ideological differences and public interest. However, skipping affiliation from one party to another in anticipation of political power is a matter of disgrace and suicidal. In Manipur, a number of one-time political heavyweights joined the BJP in anticipation of a BJP government in Manipur in the ensuing General Election. Former MPP leader Okram Joy Singh, former Congressman Dr. Nimaichand Luwang, CPI Comrade N Mangi and numerous others entered the lotus grove, not for love of BJP’s ideology, but apparently to find a political berth in the so called saffron brigade. Former sitting MLAs of the Congress party Y. Irabot, N Biren and Francis Ngajokpa left the Congress allegedly defying the leadership of Chief Minister O. Ibobi Singh, and have managed positions within the BJP, which is ruling at the Centre. It may be presumed that the new entrants who joined the BJP only for want of power may spoil the party in the long run, if they do not synchronize themselves with the party ideology and principles. However, those politicians who really wish to embrace the ideology of the BJP and hope to bring in positive changes in Manipur society under the reforms of Narendra Modi’s rule, will be appreciated by the people.
The recent high drama depicting MLA Joykishan’s deserting the BJP and joining the Indian National Congress by forgetting all his former notoriety of the Congress party is worthy of analysis in order to assess the quality of politics in Manipur. Notably, the former leader of the state BJP Legislature wing Mr. Kh. Joykishan is a politician who was penalized under provisions of Anti-Defection Law while he was in the All India Trinamool Congress Party. Following his disqualification from Legislative Assembly, Joykishan joined the BJP and fought the by-election to sit in the Assembly again as the leader of state BJP legislature wing. The moment BJP MLAs Kh. Joykishan and Th. Biswajit re-entered the Assembly after their re-election in the bye-elections, the duo was celebrated for opening the BJP’s Account in Manipur Legislature. People in general felt that the NaMo wave reached the border state of Manipur. However, in the post district creation period marked by prolonged UNC sponsored economic blockade in Highways and widespread hatred of NSCN(IM) particularly in the valley coupled with people’s suffering due to sudden demonetization, the BJP’s popularity appears to have diminished gradually. At this critical juncture, the leader of BJP legislature wing Mr. Joykishan took the decision to desert the BJP for a marriage of convenience with the Congress party, which he had vehemently criticized during the last few months from the platforms of both the Trinamool Congress and the BJP. For the Congress Party and the Ibobi Government, Joykishan’s exit is a boon, but his entry may turn out to be another headache for the Congress as there already ensues a tough fight between him and the old time Congressman Jotin Waikhom in Thangmeiband Assembly Constituency. It is questionable whether Joykishan has joined the Congress for his love of the Congress ideology, or he does so for his failure to find a comfortable position in the state BJP under the regime of the trio B’s (Bhavananda, Biswajit & Biren).
Notwithstanding any political party and its ideology, the general people of Manipur now want a regime which can bring about a peaceful and prosperous society where varieties of ethnic groups live together. Can any political party, be it the Congress Party or the BJP or any other, give it to the people of Manipur ? The answer is obviously both YES and NO. It depends on political maturity and integrity of those who are steering the political parties and running the government. All parties, in one sense, are obviously good. No political party encourages hatred and animosity among the people, nor are they against progress and development. The critical view is that good governance depends on the integrity, sincerity and capability of the leaders. It is time the electorate has to judge the quality of our leaders and give the mandate for a future Manipur.