Home » Linthoingambi & Hemanjit Killed, Anthony & Avinash Gone – Who’s the Next Victim of Government’s Failure?

Linthoingambi & Hemanjit Killed, Anthony & Avinash Gone – Who’s the Next Victim of Government’s Failure?

by Aribam Bishwajit
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It is evident that the government in Manipur is failing in its duty to safeguard its citizens, despite benefiting from public taxes and luxuriating in the comfort of air-conditioned rooms, chauffeur-driven cars, and various other privileges. This failure is starkly highlighted by the tragic loss of lives among both the Meitei and Kuki communities in the past six months, providing a series of poignant examples that underscore the government’s glaring incompetence. Each incident stands as a testament to their inability to protect the people they are meant to serve, emphasizing the urgent need for a reassessment and improvement of governance to ensure the safety and well-being of the residents of Manipur.
The recent disappearance of two students has become the catalyst for widespread protests that have reverberated across Manipur. In a disconcerting pattern, the government opted to bide its time, waiting for the fervor of the protests to wane, engaging with the distressed families and the Joint Action Committee, but regrettably, these dialogues yielded no tangible results, encapsulating the recurring theme of governmental inertia that has marked the past six months.
While the government has been quick to assert its presence through symbolic gestures—Chief Minister N Biren Singh and ministers distributing schemes to displaced individuals and orchestrating a publicity campaign through social media and the Department of Information and Public Relations (DIPR)—these actions merely scratch the surface. Despite the orchestrated optics, the government appears to be grappling with a dearth of substantive solutions to address the prevailing crises.
The refusal of the 10 lawmakers representing the Kuki Community to engage with the Chief Minister and the current administration has not only disrupted the lives of all Manipuris but has also underscored a disconcerting power dynamic. The fact that 10 MLAs wield more influence than the remaining 50 highlights a systemic flaw, casting doubt on the efficacy of the democratic structure in place. In the face of this palpable governmental impotence, the people of Manipur are left grappling with a sense of disillusionment and frustration, as their leaders fail to translate promises into meaningful action, leaving the fate of the region hanging in precarious uncertainty.
Despite half a year elapsing, the government’s efforts to navigate the current crisis in Manipur seem to have fallen short of expectations. Since May 3, a surge in the deployment of central forces ostensibly aimed at safeguarding the populace has, instead, created an impression of prioritizing the protection of lawmakers and their assets from the ire of frustrated protesters. This has further fueled public discontent, as citizens witness a disconnect between the government’s actions and the urgent need for resolution.
The once-integrated Meitei and Kuki populations now find themselves separated, a consequence of the government’s inability to shield them and their properties effectively. While this division initially held the promise of preserving the lives of both communities, the government’s utilization of state and central security forces raises questions about their strategic approach. Rather than proactively employing these forces to prevent the movement of Meitei individuals into Kuki-dominated areas and vice versa, ensuring the safety of every individual, the government appears to be stalling on this crucial front.
In this critical juncture, the absence of a comprehensive plan to guarantee the safety of citizens before implementing a permanent solution only amplifies the prevailing sense of uncertainty. As Manipur grapples with the repercussions of governmental inaction and a growing divide among its people, the need for a thoughtful, inclusive strategy becomes increasingly urgent to mend the social fabric and pave the way for a more secure and harmonious future.
The unsettling incidents of students and individuals disappearing or facing harm when entering ‘enemy’ community-dominated territories bring to the forefront not only the glaring security lapses but also raise poignant questions about the government’s priorities. The augmented deployment of central forces, ostensibly for the protection of the populace, prompts a closer examination of their actual deployment and whether the government’s focus is genuinely on ensuring the safety of its citizens or primarily on shielding themselves and their families.
The cases involving Linthoingambi, Hemanjit, Anthony, and Avinash underscore a systemic failure to implement comprehensive security measures, not merely a consequence of navigational missteps. Over 30 cases were reported before tham. This highlights a disconcerting reality — the government’s emphasis on safeguarding its own interests may be eclipsing its commitment to ensuring the broader population’s safety.
As public outrage ebbs and flows in response to specific incidents, the government’s reactive approach becomes increasingly apparent. Rather than proactively addressing the root causes of unrest, there appears to be a pivot towards a temporary ‘forced peace’ aimed at superficially showcasing governance competence. This approach raises profound concerns about the government’s true dedication to finding a lasting solution and its willingness to invest in the well-being of all citizens.
The prevalent pattern of attention shifting from one incident to another, while fundamental issues persist, underscores the need for a paradigm shift. The government must move beyond the optics of control and commit to a proactive, comprehensive solution that transcends community affiliations. Crafting enduring peace, not just momentary appeasement should be the cornerstone of governance. The people of Manipur deserve more than a semblance of stability; they deserve a government genuinely devoted to their security and the long-term harmony of the state.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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