The real of taste of democracy is finally felt to the people of the state. Perhaps for the first time in the history of Manipur, people from across the state irrespective of their status can now exchange their views with that of Chief Minister of Manipur. Participatory form of government which was only heard in books now is reality with the kind of Chief Minister’s initiative to get in touch almost every day through social networking site in today’s world of internet.
For almost 15 years, media in the state did not get so much attention from any of the ruling government. Criticisms on the administrations, policy and public services were just another waste writings earlier. Surprisingly, the present government led by Chief Minister N. Biren Singh showed his serious concerns to every news report as well as editorial that criticized his government. The way the Chief Minister’s response is through open platform where every citizen can participate and expressed whatever feeling they have.
Imphal Times editorial, published yesterday did not have any negative intention neither it tried to malign the image of the two extraordinary leaders – Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister N. Biren Singh. What has been expressed in the editorial was to point out the desires of many people of the state. Controversial Act AFSPA , which has been protesting by the people of the region for many years has never been a matter that is being discussed at the Prime Minister’s level, even though it stands as a fact that the act is a legislation imposed by the British colonial ruler to suppress the freedom struggle of the country.
Imphal Times wanted to draw the attention of the Prime Minister on this specific legislation which we in the region considered it as draconian, as we in the Imphal Times sees his virtue of patriotism and his love for the country. The writing was just a reminder to make his dream of making India a strong nation comes true. We, in the Imphal Times believe that India can never become a strong nation if all the people of the nation are not treated equally. Everybody knows imposing AFSPA at some region and opposing its imposition to some places like those Maoist affected region of Northern India is nothing but discrimination towards its own citizens. The editorial is an indirect protest demanding repeal of the Act. If one justifies AFSPA let it be there in all the country.
On the matter, regarding Chief Minister of Manipur, Imphal Times’ real motive was to make our vibrant Chief Minister realize that some of the works and promises that he made were not converting into action. Chief Minister’s direct clarification on the non implementation of the packages he announced indeed is appreciable.
What is more interesting is the seriousness of the Chief Minister N, Biren Singh to media report or views expressed in editorial which is seen by the people of the state for the first time in the history of Manipur after merger to Indian Union. To be frank, no chief minister, had ever reacted to any criticism – either constructive or destructive to the citizens of the state. Chief Minister N. Biren Singh is perhaps the first Chief Minister who valued reports and views expressed in mass media besides his hectic scheduled.
In the success of democracy, people’s participation is a much. The definition of people’s participation may be different, but Chief Minister N. Biren Singh’s government is one where people irrespective of their position can take part.
Imphal Times is a small newspaper which completes 6 years yesterday. Its hard copy reached not many people but is trying to reach as much readers as it can by using various medium available today.
The courage of our Chief Minister to say that most of the packages he announced during his visit at the hill districts of Manipur have been implemented needs to be appreciated. But one thing need to remind is that some of the work being implemented does not reach the mark expected.