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Subdued voice

Man, being a social animal has to exist with and amongst other humans and in order to adjust and make co-existence possible certain laws and regulations are drawn up to safeguard the welfare of every member of the group or community, curtailing certain personal freedoms and liberties that might infringe on other person’s welfare. This is the basic idea of a social set-up. Leaders and arbitrators are then chosen to oversee the smooth working of the social system with adequate executive powers as deemed necessary to enforce the same- the Government as we know, create and accept in the contemporary world. A society, being made up of individual members, is bound to come up with conflicting interests and emotions. This is where the quality and the efficiency of the people entrusted to sort out these social issues are being tested. The problems being faced by the people of Manipur as a collective whole in recent times are uncountable and varied. Indeed an intimidating and daunting task for those entrusted to solve them.
Public memory is short lived- or so it is believed. But sweeping away these problems under the carpet and shrouding them with silence, putting the theory about public memory to the test is not the right step towards easing the problems. Nor is the polished method of prolonging the issues and tiring out the protesting parties to buy time and making these matters fade out of the mind of the public the prudent way of resolving things.
The recent assurances doled out to the different parties regarding their claims for parts of the state by the State Government smacks of the often repeated and always successful modus operandi. Instead of finding a lasting solution and bringing peace in the State, the Government shouldn’t be promising something impossible to deliver. It’s better to call a spade a spade and wind up the matter before things become irreparably damaged.
The threat to one’s own space and liberty, whether personal or social, has always evoked reactions ranging from the passively defensive to the more aggressive and violent. The spontaneous reaction of the collective society on that eventful day in 2001 which saw the unrestrained outpouring of the frustrations of the Manipuris is no different. It would be prudent for us all to ponder over the issue without preconceived notions or personal feelings, and to try and understand the facts as they are.
The aspirations of the different communities to better their own kinds is understandable, but if and when that aspiration starts to infringe on the right and liberty of another community or the rest of the communities as the case may be, then differences and suspicions are bound to develop amongst the communities. There is also the bigger threat of the political system feeding on the concerns of these different groups to its advantage, and what was at first a credible issue, even if only from the point of view of a particular community without delving further into the legality or the practical aspect and its impact on the entire social setup, such genuine concerns almost always gets tainted with political overtures, making the whole process a farce and drama, played out to the interest of the very few who are orchestrating such social disruptions. U
ltimately, the issue gets sidelined, or more seriously, gets diverted, eventually betraying the hopes and support of the very people who are made to suffer the consequences. The final step- resorting to brute force and irrational violence to subdue and suffocate the rational curiosity and dissenting voice of the society. The only way out of such undesirable situations, and indeed the most effective means of preventing the very fomentation of such divisive ideas is for the people to put a decisive, just and impartial Government which have the political will and the guts to implement even the most unpopular and drastic measures for the good of the society, state or the country- an impossible expectation?
Genuine issues should be resolved before things gets out of hand and peoples’ uproar takes precedence for those whose voices has been gagged for so long and their grievances fallen on deaf ears.

Rinku Khumukcham

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. Rinku can be contacted at [email protected] 

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