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Are IAS and IPS Officers Sleeping As Manipur Burns?

by Aribam Bishwajit
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The Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and the Indian Police Service (IPS) are held in high esteem as two of the most significant pillars among the All India Services, shouldering the onus of preserving peace, law, and order in the nation. Yet, in the wake of current events in Manipur, one cannot help but critically question: Are Manipur’s IAS and IPS officers merely dormant bystanders, or have they regrettably morphed into the marionettes of the political elite?
The prolonged unrest in Manipur has already cast a dark shadow over the competence, or lack thereof, of the region’s legislators. While public skepticism regarding the capabilities of these lawmakers is understandable, given the perception of their insufficient education and training, it’s the glaring inaction of the region’s IAS and IPS officers that is deeply unsettling. Manipur takes pride in consistently producing these officers, recognized for their remarkable qualifications, having triumphed over one of the world’s most challenging exams. Their journey into these roles is often heralded with grand declarations of dedication and service to the community. But where are these manifestations of commitment now?
While the primary duty of maintaining law and order falls upon the legislators, these officers are not mere spectators. They possess the expertise, knowledge, and, most importantly, the moral obligation to advise and guide policy decisions, especially in turbulent times. Their insights are sought after in top-tier meetings, where their proximity to ground realities and crucial roles in governance are acknowledged. Yet, the escalating violence and disarray in Manipur indicate that these officers have gravely fallen short, mirroring the very lawmakers who’ve let the state down.
The devastation in Manipur has been heart-wrenching: loss of lives, the obliteration of countless properties, and displaced citizens yearning for the safety of their now non-existent homes. This chaos is the byproduct of both legislative and administrative failures. Simply passing the rigorous UPSC examination doesn’t absolve these officers from their responsibilities. Their true test lies in crisis management, and it appears they’ve faltered.
If these officers are muzzled by political pressure, or if their sage counsel falls on deaf ears, they should exhibit integrity and stand in solidarity with the afflicted public. Presently, it’s disheartening to see indicators suggesting that some may be clinging to their roles for selfish advantages rather than genuine public service. What merit is there in superficial gestures like conducting handloom and handicraft workshops for displaced citizens, taking photographs with them, and having DIPR circulate it through media when their plight could have been prevented with their proactive intervention? If these esteemed officers had earnestly discharged their duties, the very need for relief camps would’ve been eliminated. Remember, officers: Your oath is to the people, not a silent allegiance to legislators for your own gains.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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