The state is presently obsessed with the developments taking place in the neighbouring state of Nagaland with regard to the political scenario, and with valid reasons. Any and every decision being taken will have far reaching consequences and will subsequently impact the future of Manipur. Notwithstanding the cruciality of the developments, there are and will always be aspects no outsider can influence, and is best to leave it at that. What we can take away from this changing situation is the bargaining power of the collective force. There are many questions which will remain unanswered for now, and rather than indulging in speculation and believing in hearsay, it is time for us to act accordingly so that our collective interests are secured and the continuity of Manipur as a separate and distinct geo-political entity is assured.
How does one go about it? More often than not the best solution also happens to be the simplest one, for the ability to mobilize support and cooperation from the public requires understanding and consent. What is heartening is the fact that despite the shortcomings and drawbacks present in our society, the public have slowly but surely started focusing on the silver lining rather than the dark clouds of inefficiency, underdevelopments, corruptions and bureaucratic confusions still looming over the society. More than anything, the present government should prioritise building upon the trust and ‘feel-good’ factor existing amongst the public to take up vital activities crucial for the inclusive and collective development of the state. The cobwebs of corruption, red tapes and bureaucratic hurdles not to mention the institutionalized practice of nepotism should be swept clean from every public office and institutions while fixing responsibility and accountability. But real and tangible changes can only be achieved when the mindset of those holding public offices can really appreciate their positions to improve the society and sees their roles as opportunities to contribute to the society rather than favourable circumstances to divert and misappropriate public wealth and properties for personal gains.
Since the new BJP-led state government took over, there have been a slew of positive initiatives which have enabled the people to shed their inhibitions and apprehensions of communicating with the government and its authorities. The public is now visibly more involved and concerned with the workings of the government- an encouraging sign that things are turning out better than before. This however should not be taken as an achievement but an indicator of what can be achieved. Refraining from self-back-patting will go a long way in ushering in a trend of letting the works speaking for themselves. The bottom line is that cooperation and trust of the public will ultimately decide the success or failure of any and every initiatives and efforts of the government.
William Gurumayum, Sub-Editor of Imphal Times is a resident of Sagolband Salam Leikai. He has been with Imphal Times since beginning. A avid adventure lover, writes mostly travelogue.