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Society as a reflection of the government

by Rinku Khumukcham
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Today, the state as a whole cutting across ethnic lines and communities have evidently inched itself towards the tipping point of intolerance and have given in to impulsive irrational outbursts. Demonstrations and agitations which were basically meant to be campaigns to arouse public concern about an issue, or more appropriately issues in the context of the state, has evolved into a warning call for an impending social unrest and chaos. Every declaration of protests is invariably followed with the added proviso of ‘intensive’, ‘extreme’ steps and ‘activities’ beyond the sanctions of the constitution of the country, and carried out with gusto. What is more disturbing is that the phenomenon is nothing new to the social and political scenario of the state and has been a salient part of the social landscape for a while now.
While agitations and unrests are part and parcel of the social process of addressing an issue or concern and are still considered an effective and necessary tool to attract attention of the government and thereby initiating the process to redress the issue, the process becomes a prelude to the destructions and disturbances which invariably follows.
The rising instances of intolerance and mob mentality are an unmistakable manifestation of the eroding law and order situation in the state. The judiciary, hampered by lack of required manpower and interventions from those in power and position has been reduced to a perfunctory service. The state and central security forces are being viewed with suspicion and often with disdain, often considered a necessary nuisance rather than the protectors of the people and the country as envisaged. The resultant breakdown in the system is the disturbing social scenario we are witnessing today. The increasing tendency of the society to take the law into their own hands and deliver instant and impulsive ‘justice’ speaks volume of the trust and respect the society rests on the judicial system as well as the law and order mechanism of the state. Much has been discussed, debated and deliberated on the rising trend of mob justice and failure of the state machinery to deliver effective and efficient justice, and yet the concerns and issues on the matter is being received with a lackadaisical attitude bordering on contempt. This very attitude evidently emboldens some reactive persons in the society to indulge in their sadistic whims in the name of social justice, and as such disturbing trends go unchecked, they have now become a social trend sanctioned by a few vociferous elements in the absolute absence of legal restraints and preventive actions by the law enforcers.
A substantial part if not the total of the social unrests and disturbances can be prevented if the law and order mechanism is made proactive and efficient. The first step for the present state government is to admit the reality and acknowledge the lacunae, if it really and truly desires to bring about the elusive change for the better. Honest self-evaluation, introspection, pragmatism and a proactive approach towards administration and governance should replace the denial and reactive attitude of the present government. Above all, the state government should relearn accepting and shouldering responsibility of the social situations.

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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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