Without exceptions or let-up across parties that has ruled the country since independence, a continually disappointing and very prominent feature that has been the bane of progress of this country is that legislations framed by successive governments to protect the rights of the common people are often a mockery as the authorities entrusted with their proper implementation has never bothered to put the required efforts to ensure the same, let alone the thought of following up and improving upon them. There had been countless instances where government authorities turned a deaf ear to the cries for justice and relief as per the innumerable provisions provided in the legislations passed by the governments for the protection and safeguarding of the rights of the common people. Almost every single legislations framed by the government ultimately ends up as a convenient tool to protect and further the interest of the rich and influential people as the system is, in practice, no different to a monarchy where those in power and position treat laws and legislations as their weapon of choice for personal and political advantage.
However, with the advancements in information technology, the people today have access to information about the muzzling of the Manipur Private Schools (Registration) Bill, 2017 which got the assent from the governor due to pressure from a highly influential Private School body. In this regard the ruling government till today has not given a clear picture or explanation as to why the legislation passed by the state Legislative Assembly has not been implemented. Notably, the Manipur Private Schools (Registration) Bill, 2017 and the Manipur Coaching Institute (Control and Regulation) Bill, 2017, were passed unanimously in order to streamline the education system and to have proper control over the mushrooming of business oriented private schools and coaching centres. The speculation of the public about the pressure given by the private educational body and the probable nexus between the Education Minister and the body is assumable.
It is not only the Private School regulation and registration Act, but the Manipur Conservation of Paddy land and Wetland Act 2014 that was passed to conserve the paddy land and wetland and to restrict the conversion or reclamation thereof in order to promote growth in the agricultural sector in the state of Manipur that has been violated by the same private educational institution in blatant disregard of a standing order of the concern SDO issued to the pattadar to stop any construction activity on the agricultural land and restore the land to its original position immediately more than a year back.
Such flagrant violations of government legislation by wealthy and influential persons are nothing new or extraordinary- and therein lies the real concern of the common people. The evident impotency of the state government to enforce its own rules despite overwhelming evidences of violations is a clear indication of a compromised authority and corrupt system. Ironically, the present government is crying hoarse about its intention of uprooting corruption by marshalling support and evidence from the general public, while such a high-profile and clear-cut case has been deliberately overlooked. It is also a given that lawsuits are also being used by the wealthy to defer judgments or buy time to make ignoble arrangements, and the same may very well be taken up by the violator/s to wear out any protests or prohibitions.
If the state government is sincere in its intent to bring about development and efficiency in its administration and governance, it need to dispense such high profile and clear-cut cases swiftly and in a manner that will send out an unmistakable signal of its intolerance for violators of laws and legislations. After all, action speaks louder than words, and for long the people have been looking out for any signs of decisive actions. Hope the wait should not continue else the rot in the trust and belief that was once bestowed by the public might very well erode beyond repair.
Jeet Akoijam, Resident Editor of Imphal Times hails from Singjamei Liwa Road. Has been with Imphal Times since its start. A National level Rugby player and a regular Trekker and Nature Lover, loves spending time in lap of Mother Nature. Jeet is the father of two lovely kids. Jeet can be contacted at [email protected]