New Government : Renewed Progress
By Thoudam Imomacha Singh
The recent electoral verdict in Manipur was, of course, fragile, but the formation of a BJP led Government was inevitable. So the inevitable has happened. The conviction of the “Manipur Electorate” for a political vicissitude has culminated into this serendipity. With this the regime of the so called power-mongers has been aptly dislodged. In this regard one may conveniently recollect the adage : “You can fool some people for some time, you can fool all the people for sometime, but you cannot fool all the people for all the time”. The erstwhile Congress regime in Manipur has not had the foggiest idea of the connotation of the above premise and thus they lost their political domain. The most immediate and intrinsic reason for the downfall of the earlier Congress rule was that the party had taken it for granted that they could ever carry on their exhibition of governance through might and dough. On top of that political venality was rampant in the state during the hay-day of the Congress. A man of practical sense of mind always believes that “Time is God”. But Congress law-makers while they were at the helm of affairs spent their time and money in self-aggrandizement. The electoral debacle suffered by veteran Congress candidates in the Urban Assembly Constituencies like Keishamthong, Khurai, Naoriya Pakhanglakpa, Singjamei, Uripok and Yaiskul may be a glaring example of their non-performance as legislators and egocentric nature. It was laughable that such Congress legislators had obviously enjoyed their sound sleep during the four-moth long economic blockade, while the entire citizenry had managed to survive with their back to the wall. While the people were braving untold sufferings the ruling Congress diverted their attention towards recruitment and appointment sprees, only months ahead of the assembly polls, for reasons best known to them. If the Congress hopes for a political resurrection, they obviously need to do a soul searching, because, it is the oldest political party in India having been established in the year 1885 by non other than an Englishman called A.O. Hume.
The new BJP led alliance Government is endowed with a progressive outlook and people friendly mindset. As a result of this, the new Government has performed its first step of governance by easing the four-month long economic blockade. This must be the first beacon of performance of the new Government in the state. The new Chief Minister’s prompt initiative to sanction ex-gratia payments to the nearest kin of the deceased and other victims of the road misshape occurred on the National Highways No. 2 and No. 37 on the 27th of March, is laudable as the action of the Government was both responsible and humanitarian. Such acts of humanitarianism were rare during the one and half decade rule of the Congress. The new Chief Minister’s agenda “Go to the Hills” must be given adequate support as the idea is the harbinger of communal harmony. The concept of organizing even State Cabinet meetings at Hill District Headquarters also implies political pluralism. Manipur is, indeed, a state, where a conglomerate of people comprising different communities, tribes, groups and castes inhabit the land from times immemorial. As such, the unity of various sections of people would be stamina to the overall brotherhood and sisterhood of the entire population. The State Government has to adopt an aptitude of impartiality in conducting its affairs of governance. Governance is rather fairness in serving the people. The proficiency in enforcing the rule of law is the essence of statecraft. To safeguard the territorial integrity and liberty of the citizens at the borders of the state, priority must be given to look into this agenda of administration. The state coffers belong to the tax-payers of the land and the State Government is responsible for its immaculate management.
Under a democratic system, the Government must also be a visionary with a deep sense of pragmatism. But it is the duty of the bureaucrats to accomplish the task assigned to them. The present bureaucratic set-up was working in tandem with the erstwhile regime. They were indeed a potent witness to certain irregularities in important affairs of the by gone days. Unless such bureaucrats are changed or replaced the new Government is bound to face a respectable amount of hindrance while taking up specific corrective measures. A good number of procedurally erroneous appointments and recruitments had been executed. Venality, favoritism, nepotism were the criterion for any transaction. Such things have come out as an open secret now. The lost culture of morality and probity in governance must be restored at any cost so that the credibility of the new political dispensation could be enhanced.
The new Government’s determination to probe into the C.C.TV and Traffic signal mechanism scams, the brainchild projects of erstwhile Government is, indeed, mind blowing. No person or establishment, however powerful one might be is entitled to mis-utilize the tax-payers’ money. If they did so, they cannot be set scot-free. Two Enquiry Committees consisting of a Chairman and two members have been formed. Both the committees would be headed by Dr. Pramod Asthana, Additional Director General of Police (ADGP). Dr. Asthana belongs to the 1986 Batch of Indian Police Service (IPS). He is conversant with Manipur affairs as he served earlier in the capacity of Superintendent of Police in different districts of the state. He had a short stint as Inspector General of Police (IGP) in charge of (Intelligence) in the state. He later joined the S.P.G. (Special Protection Group) on deputation and he was entrusted with the responsibility of security of three Prime Ministers of India respectively. He is proficient and tough in discharging his given assignments. He is erudite and also a mandarin. The end-result of the Enquiry Committees’ of investigation may salvage the potential clues that may surely land the guilty behind bars. Another announcement of the new Government is the reinstatement of the public transport system in Manipur. This policy announcement must applauded as it happens to be the most people friendly measures to be reintroduced by the present regime. Road side lavatories are the need of the hour in the state. On the roads from Canchipur to Luwangsangbam, from Kongba to Khumbong and from Khwairamband Bazar to Kwakeithel such public convenience shelters have been abscent for the last so many years and it may be fairer on the part of the State authority to look into this aspect of public welfare and urbanization.
The Manipur Public Service Commission (MPSC) is the foremost and most vital agency of recruitment for government and other elite jobs. Recruitment Boards for lesser category of jobs may also be instituted. Such recruitment agencies must be manned with proficient persons with probity and accountability in public life. The reason is these persons at the helm of the recruitment agencies must be responsible for the selection of the right person for the right job. A revamped State Police Force is the need of the hour. People friendly attitude is almost abscent in the work culture of the state cops. Willful reforms must be organized in the force and lessons on moral and discipline must be inculcated. A well organized Police Force would make the ruling establishment more conversant with matters of public concern.
( The writer is a broadcast journalist. He can be contacted at – email@example.com )