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My open letter to the politicians of Manipur

by IT Web Admin
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  By: Shanta Nahakpam

My name is Shanta Nahakpam I am an M A in International Business and Research from a Foreign University. I was born in a middle class family where my father and mother worked as an honest Government Employee. I doubt if they ever went out of their way to even take an advantage of their position during their service. Now, don’t doubt my parents how they were able to send me abroad if they were so honest! it was an education loan from SBI which was already rejected by Mr Dass the than B M of Secretrait branch Imphal. Somehow I manage to argue with him and get through for whose repayment I had to get maximum humiliation during 2015 and 2016 and my parents sold a part of our paddy field to repay it.
Their service to the Government of Manipur which lasted long 30 yrs was the only way to give us better education, food, housing and many other things which we demand and no doubt they might have felt many times if their sons and daughters wished anything beyond their power what would they do? I wonder they would have left it to the situation to convince us through the means they had. My parents had very basic dream for me and my brothers and sisters, like every parents they wanted us to study well and at least get a Government Job and lead a happy married life!
My parents would always say try to work hard be honest and they did send me out of the state investing more of their earnings and savings just because they wanted me to stay away from the bund and blockade of the state so that my studies should not be hindered by the many issues in Manipur. They send me for studies in Chandigarh(1996-2009) for a better environment they believe Chandigarh to be much better than the very trusted State in whose government they worked for their living. We did not have any other means of earnings, I still remember there were times when my father had to borrow rice and cooking gas from a local shop because they did not get their salary on time as the Government failed to pay them for the honest work they did.
I know you must be thinking why I am telling this silly story of mine as this is somewhat a part of your story too. As your family too must have faced similar situation no doubt many times during the time of Mr W Nipamacha when he was the Chief Minister of Manipur and in the case of Mr Ibobi when he handled the finance as well was the chief Minister of the State.
Let me put it this way today I am 35 yrs old living in Manipur since last 6 yrs and have done a lot of work(I think), tried to utilize the education I have gained, tried to make my life worthy of this birth but ironically nothing seems to work out in the manner it should be. Like my parents always warned me not to do few of the things I wanted to, telling me this is Manipur and its complicated here and I thought why? As this is my homeland I have a birth right to examine my knowledge and at least do something for my people. They never told me to stop what I was doing but always insisted that I simply leave everything and get a job and live happily. This was the word I usually get angry with and sometimes I would not go home and sleep in my little office thinking I have to win the battle of life and show them what I am .
Let me come to as why I am writing my personal life in open letter and the reason for writing this short story is because of the fact that I am a common man and I wish the future politicians (Those who claim to be) to understand the actual common man how they are suffering from today’s Ill Governance.
For a parent who has used all his savings and earnings in the welfare of his children’s future unlike you politicians who have enough cash of various sources which can very well keep your sons and daughter at some level must be having a very tough situation as to if, we (Children) should keep with our dreams and utilize our knowledge in some business for the well being of our self which will in turn make us self dependent or should we buy a job from you?
The current situation which you (Politicians) have created in our home state is the kind in which our parents know that you are corrupt but they will be ready to pay you a bounty for a simple Government Job which will make our education completely useless. In the case of a general common student it is very rare that an educated person gets the job of his qualification. The situation which you have created today is the kind in which our parents are helpless and there is a basic psychology that Jobs are being bought from you. And it is not for a common man that his children will get a job as per their qualification, in the case of a poor educated person his qualification has become useless due to the reason he cannot afford to buy a job from your pocket.
Now if we choose the path of a small business firstly their understanding of business doesn’t allow us to do anything which they think to be a lower level than we are qualified at and the second case our parents are not ready to invest on any non secured earning formula, for they believe that the investment which they will help by either ways (Savings or selling property) may get lost due to many reason they understand the business may not survive the test of time. More over being a middle class family or a common man they do not have any other source through which they will earn back the money we lose. Being a politician you may argue that there are many schemes of the Union Government of India (irrespective of the party you claim to be) which helps the MSME such as the PMRY & PMEGP, many others related to handloom piggery etc which is related to small scale Industry(the list may never end when explained by you). 
To this argument of yours I would like you to remember the many letters which you wrote to the General Manager of District Industries using your very letter head asking them to favour your candidate. At this point I simply doubt you will say you don’t have the knowledge that several of your workers collect some amount of cash for your letter. Even if the DIC selects your candidate they fail to pass the examination of the projects done by the Banks, Banks at various points will degrade their business and they will not sanction any amount in many of the cases.  Even if they
do it will take a lot of time and struggle or in some cases managers are bribed.  There may be few who get through honestly in the process of getting such grant or help etc.
In my case Mr T Rajen the than GM of DIC Imphal West managed to push through my application but this was not the end the application got stuck at the Bank which took several months and letters DIC to Bank and Bank to DIC. And that was the time I realised there is no political will in the start up of small scale industries as there was a major gap between the DIC and the Banks due to which the person selected for was stuck in between.
In this area your political will of creating small industries has completely failed as the banks re-check and re-interview the candidates and many of the selected projects will be thrown in dust bin of various banks.  Common man like me will get tired and leave the thought of starting a small industry.
To my understanding of creating various jobs or industries you are mostly dependent on the schemes of Union Govt of India and the many manifesto I come across does not have an iota of vision on how you will generate jobs through the plan if you ever become a part of the new Government how you plan to help the common man in the way they earn.  I as a common man doubt your passion on how you look at yourself as a leader who will lead us into a self sustaining society but I can certainly see the vision that you have an eye on the projects and schemes of Union of India has for the people at various regions and levels and that you understand most of the schemes and projects, the plan of investment etc which you claim your party will deliver it to us the common man.
Here I would say as a common man we sacrificed every penny to start a business or get a job at both situation but you are still looking at the Union of India’s scheme and plan of investment you do not present any vision or plan as to how you will synchronize the earning of the state irrespective the schemes the union of India has so that the economy of the state improves during your tenure.
Let me again remind the struggle with the system you have created, if we as a common man go to any department for the basic schemes and allotment of projects the state has to share some amount as in the case of Department of Horticulture it can be 80:20, 60:40 or 70:30 the little amount of share 20, 40 or 30 in some cases even 10% is a hindrance in acquiring any funds from the central projects of livelihood, town planning and many more sectors.  You as a politician do not present us any of the vision in which you present a plan as on how you will improve the State’s funding through your Governments earning at various level so that the unemployed youth can be allocated with different projects without any hindrance from the part of the state. As in many of the cases the concerned department will say since we are a poor state we do not have the state share part so the funds are delayed!
Sometimes days would be wasted waiting in front of the officers chamber just to try and convince him of what I wanted to do to be a part of the development of the State and that would break up the stamina of the common man to invest the idea for a better society. Tired from this honesty and chasing of a project which does not have state share I finally decided to open a small cafeteria where I decided to settle down.  The Bund, Blockade, Strike etc started to trouble my little world of juice cafe.  No doubt I became a popular person every now and then my cafe would receive sponsor application and I would willingly agree to sponsor in some cases the amount was quite huge but I still did it believing it’s a give and take policy as it is in every business.
Again I put forward all my knowledge and earnings to help others on sponsoring their programme etc for a give and take relation that I believe that they would also help me during many of my programme.  It
was already late and I had invested a lot of sponsorship when I realised during my State LeveL Watermelon Festival when many of them even did not turn up for the good cause of the society.
The issues of Manipur did impact my new venture in a way that I had to look for options to earn from other sources.  Even though I was using local fruits and Vegetables to run my cafe bunds and blockade did not impact much on my purchase of products for value addition but the sales were sometimes badly hit.  I still remember one time I requested my father to help me pay the salary of my staff since my sales were down and he did advise me to leave such business where you need to ask
your father for help in paying the staffs salary.  I had a heated agreement even than I did not leave my cafe business.(To be contd…)

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