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Season of discontent

As if on cue, the eternal dance of confusion and confrontations which has come to embody the unrequited simmering social turmoil of the state have once again started without missing a beat. It is that time of the year again, and despite assurances of stability and uninterrupted progress, the elusive peace has ditched the state yet again. The increasing chaos and unsettling developments which, thanks to bureaucratic and policy goof-ups, have turned the present state into a theatre for protestations and demonstrations for discontents ranging from threat perceptions to the territorial integrity, educational atmosphere, identity of the inclusive society and personal liberties amongst others.
For the disgruntled and dissatisfied organizations, groups or individuals, without going into the severity of the perceived problems or issues, resorting to disruptive measures to force the government’s hands should be the last option rather than the beginning, as in a land-locked and geographically challenged state as ours compounded by the diverse ethnic communities with different and sometimes diametrically differing views and outlooks, catering to the needs and aspirations to the satisfaction of one and sundry would be practically improbable.

The most pertinent question is: rather than putting efforts to solve the myriad issues after damages have been done, should not the state government take up proactive measures to ensure that a system is put in place to tackle issues which have the potential to snowball into social catastrophe before things get out of hand? The tragic irony here is that for effectively nipping the social troubles in the bud, the state government has to have a sensitive hand on the social pulse, and judging by the current social developments, it has missed more than a few beats. The present social perception of the state government is one which started out as a decisive and well-meaning lot but one which has been compromised by the system which have been the ultimate victor for so long. The aspirations of the people of the state when they set out to vote the previous party out of power  during the last general election was for a radical change which would enable them to have a greater say and witness more transparency in governance and administration. A little more than a year down the line, the hopes, heightened by a blitzkrieg of promises and assurances at the beginning, have all but vanished.
Hope however springs eternal. It is not too late to try and salvage what is left of the pride and dignity with which the present state government started off and take informed and staunch resolutions taking into consideration the welfare and progress of the state in its entirety. It should be brave enough to weather the political and ideological pressures from within and without. Issues which threaten the peaceful coexistence and practical arrangements of the numerous ethnic groups and communities must be extinguished with determination while ideologies which are in conflict with the society must be rejected even if they are pressured from the highest echelon of power and influence. The seasons of discontent can be made a thing of the past. For that to happen, a political will of the highest calibre must be wielded by a leader who is ready to lead by example. Time will tell if we did ever have one. 

William Gurumayum

William Gurumayum, Sub-Editor of Imphal Times is a resident of Sagolband Salam Leikai. He has been with Imphal Times since 2013. An avid adventure lover, writes mostly travelogue. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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