The one thing that the people of the state would perhaps be pining for at present is “if only….” If only-the state government would have heeded the protests of the people and the opposition at the outset before the bill was passed. If only- the state government have read the signs of things to come in the rising dissent of the public. If only- the state government have been more transparent in its dealings, especially when it concerns the interest of the public. If only- the state government have listened more and talked less. The present situation is a result of the failure of the state government to perform its most basic function- that of ensuring the welfare of its people- economically and politically. The perennial effort to appease the central government and to be in its good books, and worse still, to maintain and increase their coterie of unscrupulous racketeers and swindlers to do their dirty deeds and biddings have distanced the so called peoples’ representatives from the public. Distrust, suspicion and lack of communication increases as a result. The declaration by the JCILPS stating that the present steps being taken up by the state government cannot be trusted exactly conveys the manner in which the public have come to view those at the helm of affairs. It would not be an exaggeration to state that the present set of ministers and MLAs has shifted their focus from governance towards profiteering. Every single activity is being carried out on consideration of money and personal benefits and nothing else. The practice had thus been institutionalized leading to a trickle-down effect. The result- one now has to grease the palms right from the gatekeepers of any government department right up to the highest authority to get anything done, without any exception. The state is at a standstill as of today, and the hardest hit lot would have to be the students who have lost invaluable time and opportunities. Yet inexplicably, the government is mooting resumption of normal classes for private schools. Could it kindly enlighten the public as to the rationale behind such a consideration? Or has it lost the plot and is trying to distract and drag the issue further? Does it still believe that it can somehow wriggle itself out of its present quandary? After the dust had settled on the present issue, the next general election will be an interesting study in human behavior. The present government has shown itself incapable of standing its ground or protecting the interests of its people. The alternative isn’t much comforting either, with most of the leaders being outcasts of the present government or ones who have been discarded by the people- a classic case of old wine in new bottle. The ultimate responsibility of protecting the interests of the public will therefore come down to us, the general public through our judicious choice of representatives who can dig deep and fight our fight, not someone who can shell out the highest bid for our mandate.