There are all sorts of reactions in chemistry and the speed of reactions is an important area of research. Many reactions, such as rusting of iron, are slow reactions. Years ago, reactions that took a few seconds were considered as fast reactions! But now reactions taking milliseconds may be called medium fast! The concept of fastness has changed standards! Life is also a field of actions and reactions! Some are slow and some are fast etc! If we touch a flame, the reaction of feeling the pain (of hotness) is immediate while ageing is a slow reaction. We do not touch the flame again but people do not care much about ageing! People learn to adjust fast in the case of fast reactions while the response is slow in the case of slow reactions! Heavy drinkers and those who indulge in excessive sex (with different partners) get fast reactions in terms of short-lived pleasures. One can see such people in millions all over the world with the associated crimes, diseases and deaths! These actions have other slower reactions such as damage of brain, kidneys, liver and venereal diseases. Such slow reactions are ignored by the millions to end up in untold pain, miseries and premature death! The human mind tends to ignore slow reactions and so does not learn! Had the reactions been fast, people would have learnt to make the world a better place to live. Excessive tapping of underground water, polluting the rivers, atmosphere, oceans etc are ignored (being slow reactions) that will certainly entail dangerous consequences for the planet! Who cares about slow reactions that are dangerous! The human mind is getting more polluted by such reactions! The future is indeed frightening!
The way the society is marching toward development is also an irony for human kinds. Some of the most beautiful places in Manipur’s Ukhrul district have been submerged under water as an impact of the Maphou Dam constructed in the name of development. Chadong Village under Litan Police Station of Ukhrul district is now history. The next generation will never know that there was once a peaceful village called Chadong inhabited by some 1000 household in the state of Manipur. After the entire has gone under water, some villagers managed to find alternative villages and started new live from the beginning but some are left with no choice but to fight for their survival along with their little ones who are forced to leave the school (at a time when govt. talk about RTE) as the school they attended no more existed because of the situation created by the Mega Dam.
This newspaper had reported about some pregnant women being shifted to neighbouring Yangangpokpi area at a time when they are supposed to provide best form of relaxations.
The construction of the Maphou Dam may have been due to the requirement because the process of development cannot remain stagnant. But when the kinds of development are meant to sabotage the lives of common man and extinction of some of the precious place, there is reason to put up this question – Why and for whom the development are meant for? It is pertinent to note that who is paying the costs and who is receiving the benefits of these sorts of constructions being taken up in the name of development.
“Development” in a common sense is the systematic use of scientific and technical knowledge to meet specific objectives or requirements. But these are for the benefit of the people. If the so called development works failed to benefit the people then the kind of constructions cannot be counted as developmental works.
Chadong was a small village with a population of not more than 3000 people. It is already known to the planner of this mega Dam that the village will no more exist once the Dam started commissioning. So, why did the government failed to shift this village to some other location where they can make a better living. A mere compensation to please them will not make their live better – this is a common sense. Everyone knows that money is important but it is not everything. When the folks they have been living from a very long time cannot gather to continue the kind of happy life they shared, the so called money provided to them in the name of compensation are valueless.
This senseless government has failed to understand that ‘Development’ is not the construction of costly project but it is to provide better living to the citizens. If the construction is to suffer the people, it is not called developmental project.
Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 15+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents.