Home » The Mysteriously Quiet Intellectuals and Underperforming IAS Officers

The Mysteriously Quiet Intellectuals and Underperforming IAS Officers

by Rinku Khumukcham
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A palpable tension has gripped the verdant landscapes between Bishnupur and Churachandpur in Manipur. With each dawn, tales of escalating violence and rising death counts cast a dark shadow on the state, as Meitei villages find themselves at the mercy of suspected Kuki terrorists. The narrative of unrest, while deeply unsettling, has also shed light on a glaring inadequacy – the apparent leadership vacuum at the helm of the state’s administration.
The rampant violence has persisted for months, yet there appears to be little sign of decisive intervention from Chief Minister N Biren Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah, or even at the national forefront with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This inaction has, unfortunately, fueled a burgeoning distrust among the populace. The growing disillusionment isn’t just whispered in hushed tones but is blatantly showcased on platforms like social media, capturing the people’s frustration and fear. People’s trust in both the Government and Civil Society Organizations has now waned.
In this backdrop of administrative inertia, one would anticipate the intellectuals – the thinkers, scholars, and seasoned academicians from esteemed institutions like Manipur University and Dhanamanjuri University – to step forward, providing clarity and direction. Yet, the prevailing silence from this quarter is both confounding and disappointing. Whether it is the fear of governmental repercussions or a genuine dearth of actionable solutions, the reticence of these thought leaders is costly.
However, while the absence of intellectual voices is a concern, the more pressing issue is the performance – or lack thereof – of Manipur’s IAS officers. Often celebrated as the backbone of India’s administrative machinery, these officers, who once confidently pledged their dedication to the people and promised transformative change, now seem conspicuous by their lack of visible action. Their recent media appearances seem hollow, with their assurances appearing as empty rhetoric rather than the beacon of hope they were intended to be.
Have our IAS officers been reduced to mere figureheads, paralyzed by bureaucratic red tape, or worse, political maneuverings? Or is it a sobering realization of their limitations when confronted with a crisis of this magnitude? Whatever the reasons, their perceived ineffectiveness is damaging to both their credibility and the trust the public once placed in them.
The essence of democracy lies not just in representation but in actionable governance. As Manipur grapples with its current turmoil, the need of the hour is two-fold: First, a fervent plea to the state’s intellectual community to break their silence, offering insights and potential solutions. Second, a stern reckoning for the IAS officers, urging them to step up and fulfill the responsibilities they so eagerly undertook.
Manipur is at a critical juncture. The path forward demands not just leadership but also vision, resilience, and an unwavering commitment to the well-being of its people. The time to act is now. The state can ill-afford further complacency.

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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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