Man’s greed knows no bound. The urge to take in that bit more than what is rightfully ours has been the genesis of so much evils and ills in the society. Such a habit also infringes on other’s rights and privileges. Yet almost always, it turns out that it is those who are more knowledgeable and informed individuals who are doing the dirty deeds of infringing. The issues of kickbacks and underhand deals in Government contracts and supplies are nothing new. It has been the bane of many otherwise respectful and well-meaning leaders and powerful figures. But when such issues do break out, it never fails to elicit amazement and anger from the public, and are also a source of amusement for many, given the efforts and thoughts that is being invested in pulling out such schemes and also the ingenious ways employed for the same- tactics, had these been utilized legally and for the good, would have definitely made a visible positive impact on the development of the society. “Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth”- Albert Einstein on Mahatma Gandhi. A man with nothing more than a loin cloth around his waist and the conviction of the truth he holds as his sole and greatest weapon challenged, and ultimately forced the mighty British empire to relinquish its economic and political stranglehold over India. What the man, born as Mohondas karamchand Gandhi and revered as the ‘Father of the Nation’ exemplified was the perceived frailty and humility turning out to be his greatest strengths. Born on October2, 1869, he was a wayward child, as mediocre as anyone, full of curiosity and childhood enthusiasm. After attaining education and real life experiences from various countries, he realized the futility of oppressive politics and physical domination without the conviction of one’s actions. On his birthday today, the country, and the rest of the world as well are still remembering the person. What still remain true for the people today as it was then are the principles that Gandhi lived and preached. The principles of non-violence, selfreliance and rationality, among others, perhaps has more relevance in today’s world more than ever, what with the increasingly violent and impatient nature we all are developing, inadvertently or otherwise. We are also witnessing an increased dependence on central funds and largesse for the development of the state given that there is an evidently regressive development and no sustainable progress worth mentioning. The state government, despite continuing pressure and outcry from the public, had carried on with its own agenda and justifications. Case in pointseems like the main resource of the state are in deep trouble, with no permanent solution in sight except for some measures which is known to everyone that something which is not right is being committed. On development issues , the declaration of intent to construct a permanent bridge over Makru river, efforts are in full swing to beautify the Kangla moat – a landmark which is still in remarkably good condition given the dilapidated state of most other landmarks in the city to attract tourists, at best, throw a cursory glance, with no expenses spared. The Imphal-Moreh road- another vital route linking the border town of Moreh with the capital of Imphal and a source of income for thousands of small businessmen in the state, is still unsafe for transportation of heavy goods. It would be interesting to read the state government’s take on the matter, only if for the entertainment factor. One other principle Gandhi espoused was that of developing a rational mind. It would not be difficult for anyone to guess how far we have strayed from that objective. The present social conflicts and misunderstandings spawned by false propaganda and ethnically tainted rumors is today threatening to tear the state and plunge it into chaos and violent mayhem, all because we failed to reason with ourselves and instead chose to go with the flow which is unfortunately steered by self-centered and biased leaders. The increasing pace of competition and development calls for a greater control of our emotions, actions and intentions, and it is times like now when one needs to turn to the life of people like Gandhi’s for inspiration and vindication of our thoughts and beliefs.
William Gurumayum, Sub-Editor of Imphal Times is a resident of Sagolband Salam Leikai. He has been with Imphal Times since beginning. He also looks after the website and application of Imphal Times. An avid adventure lover, writes mostly travelogue.