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No Government, So No Governance: Manipur Under Joker Administration

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No Government, So No Governance: Manipur Under Joker Administration

By – Amar Yumnam

Manipur has been for nearly a year without any governance worth the name, worth the characteristics, worth the functioning, and what not by any definition. What is governance has been mentioned repeatedly by many including myself. It has also been mentioned that the leader of the administration has already become a target of ridicule in social media, including very abusive languages being used about him. Today, the general public has been likely fully convinced about his shamelessness.
Today let me start with something about what a Cabinet Government is like since Manipur too presumably have one. I find Kooiman’s perception of governance very appropriate and to facilitate further discussions: “Governing, compared with the steering of a ship, meansnavigating by continuously perceiving the movements of thesubsystems, and, dependent on these movements, adjustingthe course.” Lord Ivor Jennings defined a Cabinet Government as a “heterogenous collection of authorities exercising a vast variety of functions.”Since any society is necessarily characterised by multitude of personalities, multitude of objectives and multiplicity of performances to serve the social functions properly, there is a fundamentality for a Cabinet Government in a Democracy. But in a curious way, the public manifestation of the government of Manipur does by no means appear a Cabinet Form of Government; at best it looks like a non-performing one-man rule.
In the beginning people expected like that Manipur would be experiencing the flavour of a government “navigating by continuously perceiving the movements of thesubsystems, and, dependent on these movements, adjustingthe course.” But sooner than later, it became a one-man government whose thinking is based on REACTIONISM. But reactionism can never be a policy nor can it be a principle of policy of any government. The leader of the democratic governance has now distinguished himself for uttering ‘LEMNA THAROI’ (none would be spared) with heightened voice and anguish facial expressions. Lemna Tharoi is invariably a Manipuri idiom implying actions would be taken against anyone to make the ‘culprit’ and others accountable for any action which is to the disliking of the head of the Cabinet. For a very short period some actions have already taken placeto make it look like committed to accountability. This certainly served the purpose of dulling down the public thinking, sharing and debate on social and public actions of the government.
This public behaviour was not certainly one of respecting and approving the actions of the government but a shared public view of uselessness of integrating with the thinking and the actions being expressed by the government; the government uttering was seen as a case of expressing feelings and actions and not one of performing actions at all. This necessarily means that it is a reaction to something which had already happened. Since this happens to be the MOST COMMON REFERENCE point of the present Head of the People of Manipur, I am afraid if he is adopting REACTIONISM as a policy to cover his inability to perform. Without mincing words, I would definitely emphasise that Reactionism can never be a policy nor can it be a principle for a policy. A policy has to lead from the front towards certain social advancement; REACTIONISM can never be a guiding light for any society. Manipur needs policy. The present social turmoil can never be solved by allowing each party to articulate freely and kill each other like in a free atmosphere. Policy is fundamental. If unable to evolve policy, leave space for leadership for others; since the Cabinet is almost non-functional, the appeal is being addressed only to the leader of the Cabinet.
I am right now reading a book by Professor Meghnad Desai – a Brilliant Economist, one of the best fifty during the last forty years, one of the Best Admirers of Adam Smith and Arthur Pigou and a Member of the House of Lords of England – on the principle of concern for uplifting the welfare of the poor. He writes in his latest book ThePolitical Economy of Poverty: How Economics Abandoned the Poor (2022) “reflecting his lifetime of thinking, teaching, reading and writing of economics” of the effect of COVIC 19: “Even those in charge of economic policy – central bankers and finance min, bank managers and corporate leaders – are out of their depth. Rules previously learned – ‘balance the budget, don’t borrow’ – no longer help steer the way out of crisis. Factories stand empty, not because there is no demand but because people cannot come to work. Supplies are low despite acute demand. Foor may rot while millions go hungry. No surprise then that the economic core of the disease is to give money to rich corporations, offer subsidies to big banks and salaries to millionaires, while extra money on welfare payments under universal credit is carefully rationed and withdrawn at the first chance.”
Reading this portion, I was feeling with deep pains and profuse tears that I was reading about my own land and people – Manipur – still under the impact of COVID 19. In this we are also bearing the additional burden of killing between the Kukis and the Meeteis. While this crisis should be resolved by policies of the government and never by the relative numbers killed, we have only our political heads sleeping over; the policy problem has been made to become and remain as a social problem. Manipur needs policy for the present crisis and nothing else..

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