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The unmistakable reflections

by Rinku Khumukcham
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The face is said to be the index of the mind since it evidently reflects the inner feelings of an individual. The physical body is regarded as the outward embodiment of the mind and any activity that happens in the mind is therefore manifested through the physical body. It can very well apply to a society as the working of a government is manifested in the appearance of the very state or society as the case may be. The ironclad and unusually heavily barricaded official quarter of the Chief Minister, the frustratingly chaotic traffic, the unsightly litter and untended garbage at various public places tells an unmistakable story of a state that has failed to take up the most basic steps to present any semblance of orderliness or control over the thoughts and actions of its authorities entrusted with power and privileges to dispense their duties. No wonder the state of Manipur has often been described as a functional anarchy where the ground reality is often kept away from the public domain while those at the helm of affairs of the state often presents a tweaked image for the public. To an outsider visiting the place, these unflattering sights and inconvenient experiences would definitely stay with them. Does the Biren-led government really believe that the impressions of the state on these tourists and visitors will be a pleasant and favorable one? Heads of states, state guests and dignitaries on official visits might go back with a good impression, pampered and fawned upon as they are wont to, but for a normal tourist or visitor to the state- one should not get their expectations of impressing them too high.
 The third best Chief Minister of the country (as reportedly declared through an India Today Axis My India poll) has repeatedly announced that the law and order situation in the state have improved considerably with facts and figures to back up the claim. Comparisons with the previous government are increasingly being drawn to strike the point home, and while these claims cannot be brushed aside summarily, they are actually not the reality on the ground. For how many of the general public had really managed to shed their inhibitions and hesitations in interacting with the security personnel in uniform- whether of the state or the centre? How many of the common public has managed to access the ministers and elected representatives of the people barring the fixed days allocated by the CM for allowing the public to place their grievances personally, to have their grievances heard and responded upon? Is the iron barricade in front of the official residence of the Chief Minister a sign of welcome for a public in need of an audience? The Chief Minister is concerned with people kicking at the gate of his official residence- a disrespectful gesture according to him. Yet why is he still not able to digest the fact that nobody will simply go and kick the gate without any pressing or serious enough reason because it is public knowledge that the uniformed security personnel manning the have the authority, competency and backing to retaliate with more than necessary force. Simple common sense dictates that it would augur well for the barricades which have come to represent an unapproachable and authoritarian office to be done with and instead convince of the intentions and the limitations of the government as only a true leader would. 

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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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