The BJP led government in Manipur is completing its first year in office on 15th March 2018. It is a rag-tag coalition government and there have been so many convolutions of this motley combination. Despite all the predictions of its untimely demise it has completed almost one year. In 5 days from now they will be celebrating the first anniversary. In the last 360 days perhaps this government has made an impression that they are making an effort to render good governance. Never underestimate the intelligence of the common man; they know more than they say; they think more than they speak; and they observe more than they see. Crowd and laity on the streets may agree that this government has passed the first year exam.
I have a huge circle of gossipers and backbiters. I thoroughly enjoy their company and you will be surprised to know that most of them are highly respected figures. Through them I collect a lot of frivolous and trivial information about the government and governance particularly in late evenings when they start speaking frankly and fearlessly.
One Prof. says, “the biggest achievement of this government is that – so far it has protected the unity and integrity of the State”. Another gentleman maintains that in the last one year we have not encountered any serious blockade or bandh in the State. This is a great accomplishment of this government. Somebody estimated that one-day-complete bandh of the State incurs a loss of about 20 crores of rupees; and in case of blockade of National Highways the loss is about 6 crores. I have serious reservations about the method of the calculation. Just for the sake of making a point I have reluctantly quoted the figures. But the pertinent truth is, in the absence of bandhs and blockades our socio- economic activities remain brisk and vibrant and saves a lot of bucks.
My brother claims, this is a very clean government. He is making such a sweeping remark because he was selected as a lecturer without paying a single penny as bribe to this government. So he praises the present Government and the State recruiting agency. Don’t tell anybody he actually failed miserably in the primary teachers’ recruitment-screening conducted by the previous government. My brother is only an M.A First Class with NET (succeeded as King Robert Bruce of Scotland) with an Honors Degree from a prestigious University. Nearly 300 college lecturers have been selected and appointed by this government. And none paid bribe, incredible!
Again a sweet daughter of a respected widow from my locality is among the 54 Doctors selected by the same State Recruitment Agency. In a lighter vein, I asked the mother “paisa di khara tingkhibra?”. She retorted back “ sarkar bu badanam toubinu , chumna khanbani “ ( don’t try to tarnish the image of the government, selection was clean). Not a single finger rose to raise the allegation of corruption in the recruitment of these doctors. Wow!
Speedy repairing and restoration (after the earthquake) of Ima Market is another feather to the cap of the government particularly for the concerned authorities. Ima Market is not only a place for commercial and economic activities but also a symbol of our history and heritage signifying pride and dignity of Manipuri women. This is unique and famous because it is manned by women only. At the same time it has a peculiar way of running and functioning not by law or rule but by convention and tradition. Blessings might have showered the present government.
Hill – Valley chasm is being bridged gradually by healing touches and also by reviving the age old emotional & historical bonding; this is the most sensible step though protracted for so long. Imphal city is now among the smart cities of the country, Churachandpur (Lamka) will follow; and funds are pouring in for both. Power and water supply in the urban areas are satisfactory; in rural and hill areas a lot more has to be done. The pot holes on major roads are instantly repaired; I personally believe that there is a ‘pot hole repairing wing’ in the PWD; nice work. River widening and dredging work is appreciated but it should be properly planned and implemented scientifically and systematically. National Sports University is coming up and it will widen employment opportunities directly & indirectly. State Cultural University should not lag behind due to lack of fund, try UNESCO, ICCR, ADB, NEC, MDONER etc. Revival of State Transport is welcome; waterways and choppers are to start; trains arriving at Imphal by the end of this year. Two IRBs are approved and another two may be added (4000 jobs created). Anti Corruption cell and revamped Vigilance Dept. is a good deterrence for corruption (taking gratitude money/dead money is permissible). Most of the NEC projects are coming to us. The progress of reconstruction, refurbishment and expansion work in NH 37 is unprecedented. Integrated Check Post at Moreh will be a milestone in the Indo-Myanmar trade & tourism. A few days back the Federal Government has sanctioned 325 Km long road for Manipur under Pradhan Mantri Grammin Saddak Yojana – II. Bravo!
Am I applauding this government, more than it deserves? As a matter of fact these days I stop looking at negative things because of the influence of Sadhguru, who claims to be uneducated but knows God particle and explains Big Bang.
Honestly, I really don’t know how to gauge the achievement of a government or an individual, but I am profoundly impressed by Churchill in this regard. After winning the war, the then Prime Minister of Britain, Winston Churchill was once asked, what was his greatest achievement? He gave a ponderable reply, “My greatest achievement was my ability to be able to persuade my wife to marry me”.