After what can be considered an unusually long period of relative calm and semblance of positive development in the state by any yardstick, we are now reverting back to the old days of chaos and confusion if the present social developments is anything to go by. After the initial euphoria and the heightened expectations of the public for a radical change in the system of governance in the state with the change of guard, the emerging picture is proving to be one of increasing disappointment with each passing day, not for lack of effort or expressed intent on the part of the incumbent state government, but more due to the fact that the very system which the public wants changed and were expecting to be altered, has eventually claimed yet another well-meaning bunch of ‘social activists’ who have evidently missed the woods for the trees.
Instances of ‘hands-on’ publicity gimmicks where ministers and political leaders got their hands soiled with physical activities in what is often described as acts of encouragement have become a rage of late, and while such acts may very well motivate the general public to contribute or cooperate with the government, it still does not address the basic issue of remedying the system of governance.
The deepening crisis on the educational front with the present imbroglio between the Vice Chancellor on the one hand and the students and the teaching as well as non teaching staff on the other has already put the future of thousands of students, if not more, at jeopardy, and there is still no sign of any initiative from the state government to settle the issue in the larger interest of the state even if the matter may not justify official intervention.
The ongoing agitation by the government employees demanding implementation of 7th pay commission is another huge hindrance which is proving to be a nightmare for the general public as the already lethargic and unfriendly public services has ceased functioning for all practical purposes. It goes without saying that the debacle which is unlikely to be resolved in the foreseeable future has already done its damage to the efforts on development and progress of the state.
And why is the state government, in this time and age, still unable to present a definite stand on the much discussed and disgruntled border issue for once? Every state ought to have its definite boundary, and the state government should present the official area and physical boundary of Manipur to the public which will be of immense help in framing policies, programs and conclusions regarding the public perception.
While the present government has repeatedly expressed its intent to usher in positive change in the state, there is still a load to be done, and the manner of implementation of various programs, policies and activities remain far from satisfactory. Slapdash efforts will only worsen the situation. What is sorely needed is for the system to be rectified so that more transparency, efficiency and effectiveness are achieved. The voice of the public should be a guiding force towards such efforts.
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.