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Beating the odds

by Jeet Akoijam
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Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown – and none in the state would feel the uncomfortable truth more acutely than the present Chief Minister. Contrary to what he set out to accomplish as the elected head of the state, and despite the show of bravado, the fact that the trust factor in the present government is at its lowest has not escaped anybody. To be fair, it is not an easy task looking after the affairs of the state even at the best of times, and right now, the times are bad, to put it mildly. With a bevy of ministers making news for all the wrong reasons, it would not have helped him none in his efforts to make things right. And the present issue of contention regarding the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) putting him and his government in a fix, the boat is definitely rocking right now.
Beyond the perceived failure of the Chief Minister to effectively show solidarity with the more vocal and proactive counterparts of the other states in the country decrying the CAA, due share of the credit must be given to the CM for persuading the centre to implement Inner Line Permit in the state which, even if a temporary relief from the looming shadows of the threat of CAA, should be viewed as a breather and an opportunity to draw up a better and more comprehensive defence against the approaching danger. Having said so, as the elected head of the state on whose shoulder the aspirations of the people rests, there is an urgent need for the state government to pull up its sleeve and get down to the task of finding ways to allay the fear and concerns which the CAA has created in its wake. As someone who have promised a better life and future for the state, the trust and studied suggestions should be taken into consideration and discussions with CSOs and legal as well as political experts should be sought without further delay to ensure that the threat to the lives and subsequent existence of the indigenous communities of the state is effectively thwarted.
The concerns of the people in these states rising against the CAA go deeper beyond religion. It is a legitimate fear of the possibility of one’s own roots being uprooted and displaced, and reducing to a minority in their own land. Politics is a game of numbers, and understandably, these numbers suits the present government at the centre just fine. This controversial Act is also a ploy to ensure the continuity of their sway over the nation, but there comes a time when one has to draw the line, and that time for us might very well be now. It is time for the Chief Minister to transform from an elected head of the state to a leader who stands tall and lead from the front. Political maneuvers and games are all well and good, but when it comes to the question of the very survival of the indigenous people of whom he is very much a part, there should not be any ambiguity of his thoughts and action.
Right now, the state is in search of a leader who can rise above the nitty-gritty of politics and deliver what is needed without any consideration to his personal welfare or safety. Recent developments have shown few individuals from other neighbouring states standing up to those in power and speaking their minds without mincing any words, obviously without giving a damn to the consequences because they need to. Those are the traits of a true leader- if anybody is asking. And with a true and fearless leader who can steer the enthusiasms and fervor of the people, together we can definitely beat all odds.       

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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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