Endless challenges for Government
ENDING the record-breaking economic blockade in 2016-17 along the two lifelines of Manipur; enforced to denounce the previous government’s creation of seven new districts and which the blockade enforcers took as counteraction to the aspiration for integration of Naga-inhabited areas, was one of the success stories that marked the advent of the BJP-led coalition government in the state. That this unsolved issue could probably be the Waterloo for the incumbent government could be comprehended from Naga organisations seeking early solution to the protracted Naga political problem and the valley district currently witnessing demonstrations to ring out the message that in trying to bring solution to the Naga issue, interest of Manipur and non-Naga communities should not be compromised. Putting continuous efforts to remove the emotional and developmental gaps amongst various communities of the state, focusing on inclusive and harmonious development and implementing citizen-centric and corruption-free policies, to name a few, have been the hall-mark of the BJP-led government in Manipur. After taking over power last year, the new entity has been fairly successful in reducing the grievances and problems faced by the people and making the commoners to believe that better days are ahead. Regular and structured interactions with the public on the crowd-pulling platforms of Meeyamgi Numit and Hill Leaders’ Day to the recently launched ‘Go to Village’ mission are the other notable features of the government as all these policies are designed to reach out to the state’s masses and showcase to them that this government has firm commitment to maintain transparency and good governance. However, in its second year, the new government is facing all sorts of problems with the possible fallout of the framework agreement and threat posed to the territorial integrity of Manipur being the greatest challenge.
In view of the United Committee Manipur spearheading demonstrations as reminder to the state and central governments that Article 371(A) or similar legislations should not be extended in the state and opposition political leaders mincing no words in lashing out to the state government for shelving the planned special session of the Manipur Legislative Assembly wherein fear and anxiety of the people was supposed to be discussed, it is obvious that the N Biren-led is feeling the heat of what it takes to govern in a restive state like Manipur. In fact, the Manipur University imbroglio over the demand for ousting the incumbent vice chancellor; public rage over incursion by Myanmar in Manipur sector of the Indo-Myanmar border; consensus eluding the issue of creation of new districts; demand for enacting a law to regulate the entry of non-locals; increasing cases of drug peddling, gold smuggling, etc., are also some other issues which have been giving the government sleepless nights. As most of these issues are of sensitive nature and provocative from the context of territorial and emotional integrity of multi-ethnic Manipur, it is natural that the public will blame the state government as and when their voices go unheard or the state authorities give any inkling of ignoring issues that concern the public. The prevailing situations may be both distressful and disheartening to the new regime which started its innings on a promising note. However, there is no reason why the government should relent from shouldering the responsibility to find early solutions to all these niggling issues and take concerted measures for betterment of the state.