The state of Manipur is indeed volatile to the point that the merest hint of an aberration in the society never fails to draw huge crowd, and having thus gathered, without the slightest idea of the actual going-on, will then proceed to participate and pass judgments. It is perhaps the manifestation of the constant need to escape from the grim reality that is incessantly threatening to tumble the fragile social balance. Or, it may also be the inherent urge to celebrate life, no matter what the circumstances be that challenges our daily lives.
Leaving the reasoning for such social phenomena aside, it must be said that the people of the state surely do take celebrations or any expressions of personal or social emotions for that matter, to an altogether different level. Almost everyone of us is on the lookout for a good time, and there is invariably some form of continuation of the myriad festivals being celebrated in the state by different communities and groups throughout the year. Such a tradition which has had social sanctions more often than not tends to be a source of nuisance and disturbance to the society ultimately.
If we consider any festival or celebration, we will invariably find that there almost always is a residual celebration to wind up the principal or major event, and as if that is not enough, people will find a way to associate another event with the one which has been done and over with. There had been many undesirable consequences in the past as such, and going by the present social arrangements, things are set to remain unchanged for the foreseeable future.
The extra toll regarding the social, financial and safety aspects such prolonging of celebrations takes need to be ascertained so that the society as a whole can appreciate the need for its people to come to terms with reality and try to make collective efforts to lift the presently pitiable social and economic condition of the state instead of overindulging in trivial pursuits of momentary delights.
It is time we take stock of the situation of the various ills restraining the state from making rapid strides towards progress. We need to earn our celebrations and breaks from our routine physical and mental sapping tasks. Every organisation, group as well as the government have a stake in curbing the excess before things get out of hand and becomes an accepted social evil. We need to enjoy and entertain without letting go of our responsibilities.
- Published in Editorial