Setting aside two days for the people Reaching out to all

Not exactly a perfect 10 but somewhere very close. That is the observation of Chief Minister N Biren that Hill Leaders’ Day and Meeyamgi Numit have been helpful in resolving the woes of the people. Formulation of different social security schemes and its subsequent implementation are outcomes of these two days, was another observation of the Chief Minister that bordered more on the reality than chest thumping and this is a point which will serve the Chief Minister and the BJP led coalition Government well in the long run. Apart from addressing the needs of the people and getting a first hand account on the conditions in which people live, the very act of setting aside two days in a month for the common people is a move that has gone down well with all. In holding these two days religiously every month, Chief Minister N Biren has managed to ring out the message that his Government does not live in an ivory tower and is very much a people’s Government. Something which not every Chief Minister or Government in the State can lay claim to. And this is where due credit should be given. This then necessitates that the Chief Minister does not surround himself with yes men, people who will only say what he wants to hear, skirting the real point and the reality. The reality is, the Chief Minister has managed to reach out to the people but this does not mean that it should end there. Keep the doors open, but at the same time ensure that the hand is thrust out to help the people come in. And to thrust out the hand, it is important to ensure that the hand is not directed by any yes men who may be physically close to the Chief Minister.
The two days may also be seen in the context of the policies taken up by the BJP led Government to reach out to different sections of the people, particularly the hill people. Significant to note that the Government of Manipur is today no longer ‘communal Government of Manipur’ to many Naga CSOs notably the United Naga Council. It is also no longer untouchable to the hill people, meaning many from the hills have today come to identify themselves with the BJP led Government and this is a welcome departure from the earlier days, when everything the State Government did was always viewed with suspicion and distrust. Early days yet, but ultimately everything will depend on how the BJP led Government here manage to capitalise on the new found ‘love’ with the hill people. It is these feelings which should transform into something bigger and better and here it is important for the BJP led Government to look beyond the immediate and look beyond say ten/twenty years hence. Build on the new found trust and confidence and take steps to ensure that all identify themselves with the social and political reality called Manipur. This may be easier said than done but with the right approach, this is not something which cannot be achieved. Respect the view points of each and agree to disagree when there is no meeting point. However to agree to disagree, it is important that all trust each other. A beginning has been made and it should be the responsibility of all to take things forward to such a state that agreeing to disagree means that there is room for different aspirations to co-exist in a state of harmony.

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