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Connected catalyst

by IT Web Admin
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As far as one would care to remember, there has been a disconnect between the public and the representatives who were elected by the same public right after the elections. While the reasons or compulsions for such behaviour has so far escaped the collective imagination or comprehension of the perplexed public, there is no doubt that such an attitude have always created a divide which has been the bane to effective and progressive administration. Ideals like transparency and expeditiousness in public governance have been relegated to mere wishful thinking and a tantalizingly unattainable concept. And to make matters worse, developmental projects and activities have been hijacked by opportunists and portrayed as ‘Pride Projects’ without the intention or the wherewithal to see things through. Hope floats- and as if to re-emphasize the adage, things might just take a radically different turn- for the better. The present Chief Minister of Manipur, before taking over the most coveted post in the state has been interacting with the public through social networking sites on various issues regarding the developments in the state and quite frankly one would have assumed that these social interactions and discussions would be curtailed or even put to a halt owing to the aforementioned inexplicable reasons or compulsions. The general public was however pleasantly surprised when Nongthombam Biren continued to share his views, opinions and vision through the social networking sites in a frank, candid and uncomplicated manner which shows his commitment to putting the development of the state above everything else. The intention of the present state government for ushering in a more effective and efficient governance and administration cannot have been any clearer. In its first cabinet meeting, the BJP-led Manipur government decided to do away with interviews in recruitment to government services to “help curb corruption” and form an anti-corruption cell in the state to allow locals to lodge complaints of corruption directly with the government. In an effort to ensure transparency and accountability, the government also launched a dedicated number — 9402150000 —to receive public grievances, or information related to incidents of corruption. Experience has however taught us otherwise. Almost every step which looked too good to be true so far proved to be just that. While the alacrity of the decision promises much, the actual implementation and effectiveness of execution of this decision is still yet to be seen. There is also the question of whether the new decision to open an anti-corruption cell replace the pressing need to introduce the Lokayukta Bill which the state assembly unanimously passed as the ‘Manipur Lokayukta Bill 2011’ after intense debate on the last day of the last session of the 9th assembly with the primary objective to check corruption and probe into allegations raised against public functionaries. There is also the need to improve upon the various pride projects initiated by the previous congress government and to bring them to a fruitful conclusion. The most important task at hand, however is to see that every single instance of wrongdoing during the previous regime is made public and dealt with in accordance with the law of the land. Only such an action will not only set a precedent for the future but also act as a mechanism for introspection and restraint- a powerful reminder that the law does eventually catch up sooner or later. Will we be proven wrong in raising our undying hopes once again? Only the actions of the Biren led government will ultimately answer the question.

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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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