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Blockaded mentality

by IT Web Admin
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The potential for growth and prosperity in terms of the natural wealth the North Eastern region of the country holds has been much documented and discussed. And yet, the possibilities and potentials remain a tantalizing mirage just out of grasp for the people in these regions. The reasons?- among others, the relentless politics of geography and ethnicity being perpetuated by various communities as and when convenient to assert their claims. The most notable manifestation of this unfortunate phenomenon is the incessant blockades and disruptions being carried out along the lifelines of the state since decades, and evidently increasing in frequency due to the apparent effectiveness of the method which in turn is a consequence of the indifferent and lackadaisical attitude of the state government, the cause for such disruptions being of little significance to the perpetrators or the administrators. But what could be so important and grave a matter that an entire state had to be held to ransom and its throat strangled for even months at a stretch?
The current ‘indefinite blockade’ being imposed by the UNC to thwart any move by the state government to declare Sadar Hills a full-fledged district is, to put mildly, mindless meddling spearheaded by a few vested elements who are misleading the naïve public by painting a communal tinge to the whole exercise. If the move can smoothen out administrative glitches and enable expediting of pending work, shouldn’t that be the aspiration for every Manipuri in the state- whatever be the faith, community or caste one may belong to? And when ‘warnings’ are issued against the state government declaring in no uncertain terms the untouchability of the land or holdings of a particular individual or community over which the UNC holds sway, what does such pronouncements which are nothing but a blatant threat say about the state government? And why hasn’t the state government been able to come up with a definite plan to settle the festering issues, including the demand for Jiribam to be a separate district till now, despite the continued use of the highways by the agitating groups as a convenient pressure point to have their way? Why is the Ibobi government still reluctant to press for the implementation of the Highway Protection Force which was agreed to be raised in principle by the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh? Or worse still, why does it take more than two weeks to sit up and take any notice of the gradually depleting stocks of essential supplies despite repeated experiences of such disruptions? Why delay the inevitable exercise of escorting back the loaded trucks who are left stranded along the national highways and left to fend for themselves for days, weeks and even months? Is laying a wreath on the memorial of the departed drivers on Driver’s Day its way of showing respect and concern by the state government?
Isn’t it time enough for calling a spade- a spade and stop beating around the bush? Those who are challenging the stability and progress of the state should be dealt with in such manner that only genuine concerns may be brought up for public debate and discussion. For the central and state governments, overindulging a particular section of the public or society with velvet gloves will only invite unrest and derision. Meanwhile, for those groups or gangs trying to shout down the voice of reason from the high ground (literally as well as figuratively), perhaps it would do good to try and open up to the bigger issues rather than blockading their own mentality in their quest to contain others.

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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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