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When Collective Numbness Masks the Suffering from Government Failures

by Rinku Khumukcham
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When Collective Numbness Masks the Suffering from Government Failures

In the relentless cycle of death and mourning, Manipur bears the heavy burden of a death toll exceeding 200, casting a shadow of unending sorrow upon its inhabitants. The prolonged agony, spanning over seven months, lays bare the grievous toll exacted under the leadership of Chief Minister N Biren Singh. Ironically, Biren, a former minister himself, shifts blame incessantly onto the previous administration, conveniently forgetting his own complicity.
As Manipur grapples with the profound anguish inflicted upon its people, the deep-rooted conflict between the Meitei and Kuki communities metamorphoses into an inescapable quagmire. The landscape of despair is further exacerbated by the failure of leadership to provide solace or resolution. The ceaseless wailing reverberates through Manipur, a poignant symphony of pain that underscores the urgent need for reconciliation and decisive action to break free from the chains of this seemingly interminable tragedy.
The relentless onslaught of violence has cast a pervasive numbness upon the very essence of the citizens of Manipur. Despite their valiant efforts to voice concerns through expressions, protests, and various forms of agitation against the government, the outcomes remain disappointingly void of positivity. The collective spirit of resistance, once vibrant, now grapples with the disheartening reality that change seems elusive.
As the abnormal becomes the new norm, Manipur finds itself ensnared in a disconcerting paradox, where the abnormality of the scenario appears to have been reluctantly normalized by the very people enduring its harsh realities. The resilience that once fueled protests and fervent expressions of dissent now contends with a weariness born out of prolonged adversity. The echoes of discontent linger, but the path to a positive transformation remains shrouded in uncertainty, leaving the people of Manipur caught in a disheartening cycle of normalized abnormality.
The current crisis not only lays bare the shortcomings of the ruling parties but also exposes the inadequacies of the opposition, further complicating Manipur’s plight. Despite the formation of the Joint Action Committee and numerous committees, their inability to exert meaningful pressure on the government or instigate positive societal change becomes painfully apparent. Disillusionment takes root as suspicions grow that these committees’ leaders might be entwined with lawmakers, given the conspicuous silence of those who once boldly confronted the government during the initial stages of violence.
The public’s reluctance to engage in prolonged protests stems not from apathy but from the harsh reality that many are from impoverished backgrounds, compelled to prioritize feeding their families and earning a livelihood. Faced with a government that has faltered and organizations that have proven seemingly incapable, trust erodes, prompting the public to introspect on the seven months of turmoil. It is now a critical juncture for the people to harness the power of democracy, sending resounding messages to the government, demanding accountability, and steering Manipur toward a path of genuine transformation.

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