The government unabashedly says that the Sangai festival is a “national” event. One must hang his head in shame. It is no better or bigger than the one people see at Mela ground in Thoubal. To uplift it to the status of a national level it should come near the festivities people see in Seoul or Beijing.
What one finds at Imphal are sheds made of corrugated sheets fragilely fastened by bamboo and wires. Some bureaucrats who honey trap the mighty ones for personal gains even say that it is an international event since some traders from Burma will also come to the festival.
The roads nearby are yet to be repaired properly. Officials say that there will be impressive lightings in the arena. The low floor buses will ply for the benefit of the visitors. Since the Sanjengthong bridge was never completed despite tall claims by the chief minister these buses will block the narrow road across the Thumuthong bridge. Similar will be the situation from Minuthong to the festival venue.
While the arrangements will be like that of a village fair the law and order is a major concern. There have been blasts and gun fires here and there and the police and security forces have not been able to stem the rot. In 2011 an attempt was made to bomb the festival. Though no innocent person was killed the rickshaw puller was killed in the most excruciating manner. Minuthong is not far off from the festival venue and the militants may range out inconspicuously.
It has been the harvesting season for contractors from Thoubal district and some hawk eyed officials. But it is a national shame since it cannot be pushed up above the village fair status. And the scheming elements should stop misleading the people saying that it is a national event.