Festival of political stunt artistes
IN the context of established politicians as well as political greenhorns venting angst against their parent organisations for various reasons, particularly on being denied the chance to contest the forthcoming assembly polls under a particular party, but not hesitating to join other political set-up in the pursuit to explore their political future, the run up to one of the most crucial elections in Manipur is gradually transforming into a festival of stunt artistes. Ever since strong contenders such as the Indian National Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party announced their respective candidates for the March 4 and 8 democratic exercises, reports of persons with political ambitions not only alleging corruption and favouritism in the ticket allotment process by the leaders concerned but also going to the extent of cursing the organisation, mostly national parties, which doomed their political careers, continue to occupy substantial space of almost all the state dailies. As there were many ‘social workers’, who had invested a lot with the objective of impressing the political leaders so that they are favoured at the time of allotting ticket, it is comprehendible how these individuals must be feeling and the reason for airing their utter displeasure with heavy dose of choicest expletives. Leaving aside the moronic and wretched feeling that these spurned persons must be experiencing, outbursts from these dejected lots, their chameleon-like reactions and many squalid but election-related events unfolding at the juncture could be simply construed as curtain raisers for a mega festival of political stunt artistes.
Such questionable integrity on the part of the politicians is not confined to Manipur alone for it has been a national phenomenon as people with ambition to become a member of the law making bodies are difficult to catalogue, analyse and predict. Moreover, un-reliable nature of those involved in electoral politics is not limited to the rookies alone for this trait is also visible among the established politicians, if one takes into account of some incumbent and former legislators shifting allegiance at the slightest hint of the organisational leaders not acknowledging or appreciating their roles as well as upon their assumption of having a brighter future in case they severe ties with the parent organisation and embrace ideologies and agenda of a new political organisation. For instance, representatives elected by voters of assembly segments in Sadar Hills were unfazed by the public’s expression that the MLAs should dissociate from the Congress government on account of the demand for upgrading Sadar Hills to a revenue district taking an unusually long time. But in a significant turn of event, one of the MLAs quit the Congress weeks after the people’s demand was honoured when district status was granted to Kangpokpi along with six others. Similar to the trapeze artistes, who have to work hard to refine their skills for few moments of applause from the audience for their dare devilry, politicians too have to be prepared in every aspect for the crucial test, though the politicians and the stunt artistes should be well aware that there is no guarantee to always succeed in both professions. Due to unpredictable nature of these professions, the performers are prone to face embarrassing situations, such as serious injury bringing down the curtains on the stunt artiste’s career and loss in a single election putting the particular politician in an unredeemable position.