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Have We Forgotten the Mighty Indian State’s Duty to Protect Lives and Property?

by Editorial Team
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Have We Forgotten the Mighty Indian State’s Duty to Protect Lives and Property?

In recent times, the state’s responsibility in safeguarding lives and property has come under scrutiny, particularly in regions like Manipur, where communal tensions between the Kuki and Meitei communities have escalated into a violent conflict. The glaring inability of both the state and central governments to quell the unrest raises serious questions about their commitment to their fundamental duty: ensuring the safety and security of their citizens.
The preamble of the Indian Constitution envisions a society where justice, liberty, equality, and fraternity prevail. Central to this vision is the idea that the state serves as the custodian of the people’s well-being. However, the situation in Manipur starkly highlights the failure of the state machinery to fulfill this crucial role.
The violent conflict in Manipur is not a sudden eruption but a manifestation of deep-rooted socio-political issues that have been simmering for decades. Historically, the state has grappled with ethnic tensions and territorial disputes, exacerbated by economic disparities and political marginalization. Despite numerous peace talks and agreements, lasting solutions have remained elusive.
Politicians, instead of taking decisive action to address the underlying grievances, have resorted to rhetoric and evasion of responsibility. By shifting the burden onto the people and portraying themselves as mere spectators, they betray their oath to serve and protect. This abandonment of responsibility is not only morally reprehensible but also undermines the very essence of democratic governance.
The role of the state in maintaining law and order cannot be overstated. It is not enough to deploy central forces as mere referees in a conflict; proactive measures must be taken to address the root causes of the violent conflict. This requires political will, dialogue, and genuine efforts towards reconciliation and inclusivity.
Moreover, the state’s responsibility extends beyond the immediate cessation of violence to ensuring long-term peace and stability. This entails investment in education, economic development, and social cohesion initiatives that address the underlying grievances and foster a sense of belonging among all communities.
The failure to uphold the state’s duty to protect lives and property has far-reaching consequences. It erodes trust in the government, fuels resentment and alienation among marginalized communities, and perpetuates cycles of violence and instability. Furthermore, it sends a chilling message that impunity reigns supreme, undermining the rule of law and democratic principles.
In light of these grave concerns, it is imperative that both the state and central governments take urgent and decisive action to address the situation in Manipur. This includes initiating meaningful dialogue with all stakeholders, implementing confidence-building measures, and ensuring accountability for perpetrators of the violent conflict.
Furthermore, there is a need for greater transparency and accountability in governance, where elected representatives are held accountable for their actions and failures to act in the interest of the people. Civil society, media, and the judiciary must play a proactive role in upholding democratic norms and ensuring that the state fulfills its obligations to its citizens.
Ultimately, the protection of lives and property is not just a legal or moral obligation but a foundational principle of a civilized society. It is high time that we remind ourselves of the mighty Indian state’s duty to safeguard the well-being of all its citizens and hold those in power accountable for their actions—or lack thereof. Only then can we truly aspire towards the ideals enshrined in our Constitution and build a society where peace, justice, and prosperity prevail for all.

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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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