Sunday, 30 April 2017


Liberals on back foot

There is something interesting about the current popular notion of leadership throughout the world. This trend was seen coming almost a decade ago in a worldwide poll conducted by managed by the University of Maryland’s Program on International Attitudes. Analysts of the poll had warned that the result should worry everybody who believed in the Western notion of liberal democracy. A majority of the 19,751 individuals in 20 countries whose opinions were sought on who they considered as world leaders deserving their confidence, voted for tough authoritarian leaders rather than those considered the embodiment of the Western liberal democratic values. Occupying the top three positions at the time were Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Britain’s Gordon Brown and China’s Hu Jintao – two dictators and one democrat. Today, if a similar poll were to be conducted, probably the result would have leaned farther away from the liberal ideology towards those who are known for their tough and ruthless image. America’s Donald Trump, China’s Xi Jinping, Britain’s Teresa May, India’s Narendra Modi and a host of other tough world leaders would come way ahead. The truth is, it is not just in authoritarian one party regimes that this is happening, but also in countries which are considered to be the bastion of liberal ideology. It may still not be a case of autocracy winning over democracy as an ideology but the indications are clear that a majority of the world today have more confidence in leaders who are tough even at the cost of democratic values. In other words, while it may be too early and too preposterous to conclude that the liberal democracy model has lost out the war of values, what is certain is, it is not winning at this moment.

In all likelihood, as the analysts of the polls a decade ago also concluded this “universal vote of no confidence” for liberalism may be a serious bout of global pessimism. People are unhappy with the state of the world and are dissatisfied with the manner in which liberal leadership have been addressing the problem. We bring up this issue precisely because the response of the people in Manipur seems also to be falling in this pattern. Consider the way the people voted in the last election. Isn’t it worrying that all the shows of public concerns about extraordinary laws and fake encounter killings by the state were all virtually rejected in a decision by secret ballot. Does the election result mean the people are accommodative of the often repeated chant of the state that extraordinary times need extraordinary laws. Or is it another way of saying that draconian measures resorted to by the state are also to a great extent on account of a failure of liberals in charting out an alternative, viable, non-draconian measure to address these problems. Draconian leadership as well as draconian laws from this vantage are not to be attributed only to sinister, authoritarian minds behind the government, but the intellectual laziness, if not dishonestly, of liberals who are very adept at raising objections on grounds of principle, but fall far short in meeting the challenge of coming up with strategies to tackle the situation at hand. Indeed, history is evidence that the rise of dictatorships and fascist regimes always coincided with drastic falls in the level of confidence and sense of security amongst the people.

Certain other pictures had emerged out of the poll we referred to, many of which can be lessons for Manipur. One of these is the contrast between attitudes of successful nations and those on the other end of the confidence scale. The least negative responses come from citizens of countries which are able to handle their economies well. People from these countries rated not only their own leaders generously but also those of other countries. Similarly, the crankiest of responses came from countries in economic and political mess such as Jordan and Egypt, countries known for corruption and ineffective governments. These countries also tended to blame others for their problems too. Success and self-confidence go hand in hand with the ability to shoulder failures as much as claim credit for achievements. On the smaller canvas, just by these indirect indexes alone, we can very well gauge where Manipur would fall on a similar scale of self-confidence. We have also seen how every section of the population have been wont to blaming everybody else but themselves for their own failures. It is perhaps this collective insecurity which makes people leave aside concerns for draconian streak in their leadership at every election.

13-Apr-2017 / IFP Editorials / 0 Comments


No comments found for this entry!

Random Items 

MSF cries foul

IMPHAL | Apr 29 Manipur Students’ Federation (MSF) has demanded the state government and Education minister to investigate the unlawful recruitment of 38 posts including one under secretary of the Council of Higher Secondary Education, COSHEM without fol.....

30-Apr-2017 | Our Staff Reporter | 0 Comments

Push for better drainage system

IMPHAL | Apr 29 “Nahakhong Maril Shengba” an initiative to clean Nahakhong Maril of Uripok Wards No. four and five was inaugurated today by Deputy Chief Minister Yumnam Joykumar at the community hall of Uripok Sorbon Thingel in Imphal West. The initiati.....

30-Apr-2017 | Our Staff Reporter | 0 Comments

Statue of Raja Goukhothang unveiled

CHURACHANDPUR | Apr 29 The statue of the only chief among the descendent of Zo or Zo Suan, (L) Raja Goukhothang was unveiled at G Tonjang village which lies at the suburbs of proper Lamka town today. The unveiling function was attended by people of diff.....

30-Apr-2017 | Correspondent | 0 Comments

JAC condemns

IMPHAL | Apr 29 The Joint Action Committee (JAC) for Mapithel Dam Downstream Affected People (MDDAP), Imphal East has strongly condemned for not inviting its representatives in the delegation held to address the grievances of the Mapithel dam-affected vi.....

30-Apr-2017 | Press Release | 0 Comments

Trinamool refutes merger claim

IMPHAL | Apr 29 Remaining office bearers of Manipur Pradesh Trinamool Congress today refuted the claim by the BJP that the state unit of the Trinamool Congress was merged with BJP. The party office bearers clarified that there is no such act of merger by.....

30-Apr-2017 | Our Staff Reporter | 0 Comments

Police start license verification drive

IMPHAL | Apr 29 As per the state government initiative to take precautions for rash driving and preventing accidents, the driving license of motorists and four wheeled vehicles including commercial transport is ordered to be checked. Following the initi.....

30-Apr-2017 | Our Staff Reporter | 0 Comments

Home Guards to strike work over salary

IMPHAL | Apr 29 The Manipur Home Guard Employees Welfare Association (MHGWA) to abstain from their assigned duty from May 3 as a mark of protest against failure of the state government to implement the order of the Supreme Court on increasing their salar.....

30-Apr-2017 | Our Staff Reporter | 0 Comments

State observes world veterinary day

IMPHAL | Apr 29 As observed in India and around the globe, the state also observed `The World Veterinary Day- 2017` on the theme,``Antimicrobial Registance- From Awareness to Action`` at the auditorium of Lamyanba Shanglen, Palace Gate, here today. The o.....

30-Apr-2017 | Our Staff Reporter | 0 Comments

AITUC to observe May Day

IMPHAL | Apr 29 The All India Trade Union Congress, Manipur will be observing the 127th May Day Celebration on May 1, from 1:00 pm at GM Hall Imphal. A release said the observation will be attended by E Tombi Singh, deputy Labour commissioner, governmen.....

30-Apr-2017 | Press Release | 0 Comments

IFC minister inspects Pumlenpat

IMPHAL | Apr 29 IFCD minister Letpao Haokip along with MLA of Hiyanglam AC Dr Radheshyam Yumnam today inspected Pumlenpat and Khoidumpat to assess feasibility of constructing water channel there. According to a release Radheshyam said that vast tract .....

30-Apr-2017 | Press Release | 0 Comments

NSUI alleges mistakes in text book

IMPHAL | Apr 29 National Students Union of India (NSUI) has sought attention of Education Minister Th Radheshyam to the “wrong interpretation” of Manipur history in the CBSE class five text book titled “Mind Xpress” on page 32. In a press meet held at t.....

30-Apr-2017 | Our Staff Reporter | 0 Comments

Man with drugs nabbed

IMPHAL | Apr 29 As a part of drive against drugs, Imphal east district police team comprising of Narcotic cell, Imphal East along with women police led by Inspector N John under the supervision of SDPO, Porompat, Roni Mayengbam conducted raids in three l.....

30-Apr-2017 | Press Release | 0 Comments

Latest Comments