Political ruckus amid uncertain future

LIKE everywhere else, people of Manipur too yearn for peace, prosperity, justice, welfare, liberty, safety, etc. etc., though various issues gripping the state at the juncture and radical differences amongst the ethnic groups towards how those goals can best be achieved clearly indicate that most of these desires will remain elusive. Adding to the people’s distasteful existence is the bickering between the ruling and the opposition political parties with the former continuing to blame the earlier regimes for backwardness of the richly bestowed state and many leaders of the latter jabbering at the government with the charge that the incumbent government has been taking the people for a ride. Intention of the Congress party, which was dislodged from power after 15 consecutive years in governance, to dilute whatever advantage the new government has gained could be comprehended from the on-going ‘mortifying’ under the cloak of seeking clarity on the contents of the framework agreement signed between the Union government and the NSCN-IM. Regardless of the fact that the movement was specifically based on the objective to exert pressure upon the Centre to refrain from any act that could destabilise Manipur, it is virtually turning out to be a platform for discrediting the government. Within few months of its rule, the N Biren-led coalition government appears to be successful in providing a semblance of camaraderie between the hill and valley people but the opposition Congress seems to have taken a resolute stand to dilute the goodwill of the hill people that the present regime has been gaining through execution or launching of numerous developmental schemes under its ‘Go to Hills’ slogan.

On account of former chief minister Okram Ibobi commenting on Thursday that the BJP-led coalition government in the state has been misleading the people with its unrealistic packages and projecting works executed by Congress as achievements of the new regime, the ruling party is also expected to justify the pledge for transparent and efficient governance by coming out with a convincing explanation and action that all relevant details could be provided if one approaches through the proper channel. Though it is understandable that politics is centred on criticism, rhetoric and one-upmanship between the ruling and the opposition; political leaders also need to realise that excessive bickering over sensitive matters such as the Naga political issue will only aggravate the situation, reopen old wounds and widen the gap of distrust. Though it would be wishful thinking that the political leaders would abandon their personal and organisational differences and work collectively for bringing solution to outstanding issues, it is obvious that people in development-starved Manipur do not elect governments on the basis of individual brilliance, commitment and sincerity to bring prosperity to the state. Rather, they favour those political organisation(s) which is/are most likely to have the patronage of those holding the reign of power at the Centre. It is simply based on the fact that the people of Manipur pitiably believe that they will be bereft of any developmental initiatives in case the government here is not in concurrence with New Delhi. Hence, as the new government has been assuring to bring true equality in the society, development and trust, it should not bother much with the opposition’s campaign but instead remain firmly focussed in delivering what has been promised to the people when they are still enjoying ‘overt and covert’ support of the Union government.

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