Manipur again, most improved State

    18-Dec-2022
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Free Thinker
‘India today’ once again declares Manipur as the most improved small state for this year too. This is the third time ‘India Today’ is doing it, perhaps on the same yardsticks. Manipur is the most improved state amongst 10 small states; they are - Delhi, Sikkim, Puducherry, Goa, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Arunachal Pradesh. The names are just mentioned randomly and certainly not in terms of their performance and position.
According to ‘India Today’, Manipur stands at the top in three categories – Health, Governance, and Tourism. I agree, in Tourism, we have done extremely well in the last few months. The Sangai festival was just the icing on the cake with Sushmita, Jaishankar, Lara, and others. Governance is no doubt improving. Health is much better – Covid is under control; only some positive cases and minimal deaths have been reported in the last few months.
My prioritization is slightly different, Deka ji, I would like to put the law and order at number one; for an ethnic-sensitive insurgency-prone State, it must be given the top priority; Shri Biren has done exceedingly well in maintaining law and order of the State. Even the opposition parties will agree that these days the number of bandhs, blockades, and violence has come down drastically. We are near normal. Credit goes to the security forces, police, and intelligence agencies too.  They all work in tandem.  Subsequently, AFSPA may be lifted completely.
Once you have peace and tranquillity you can certainly do well in economic activities. It is actually happening;  hotels and restaurants remain open till late evening smoothly and peacefully. If people feel safe and secure they can do any theme business. Though we don’t have big industries and companies, our small-scale industries and tiny businesses have grown rapidly in the last few years; for instance, ‘Ngari business’, fish trade, water bottling,  food processing, along with cash crops production, ginger, pineapple, turmeric, cinnamon, etc. As per Modi ji’s prescription, we are doing good business with U-Morok (king chili or Bhut jolokia ) and black rice (Chakhao); it is a pleasant surprise fresh U- Morok & Chakhao are available in all the big cities of the country, and the dried U- Morok has reached even Khubchand (renowned pork shops ) in Delhi.
Hon. CM was a journalist and of course, he knows a series of secrets of many contemporary politicians and leaders including police and bureaucrats in the State. That is an added advantage in running the State administration. I strongly believe that his good governance has a direct bearing on this qualification.
Another added advantage of Shri  Biren is that the Central Government keeps sending Union ministers to the State.  One pess wall  (not from India Today) was telling me that almost every at least a Union Minister is in Manipur. That is true. Just see the advantage of a minister’s visit  –       he or she will do something good for the State or at least announce better things for the people.
Again, there is a huge improvement in the Health sector too. It is mainly due to the Chief Minister-gi Hakshelgi Tenbang (CMHT); free medical treatment for the poor people in the State is ensured by CMHT. Journalists, who are not well to do, are also covered and now this health care scheme may be extended to the Bars (judicial). Whether you get the free and full treatment using the CMHT card is immaterial. But,  it certainly gives a kind of feel-good factor to the people. The psychological well-being of the people is ensured. Now they think that they will get free medical treatment at least for 5 lacs  – that kind of comfort has been provided by Shri  Biren.  According to Dr. Lenin, psychologically strong persons have a stronger immune response.
Surprisingly Delhi stands at the bottom among small states; it might be because of its inability to control air pollution and sudden withdrawal of the buy one and get one free scheme on ‘Daru’. Another pleasant surprise is that among the big states Tamil Nadu is number one, where liquor considerably contributes to its prosperity (excise duty collection is one of the highest in the country).
‘India Today’ is right that initially, Biren ji used to invite people to his Durbar to listen to their grievances and find solutions.  Grievance redressal was done then and there. People could not come to his Durbar – particularly poor people from remote hills or villages. Then, he suddenly announced “go to the hills “ instead of people coming to him, the state administration started going to the hills and doing the needful for the people. Then, he added “go the villages”, particularly in the valley. The administration is now delivering in the hills as well as in the villages. Besides, his Durbar is still open to all and sundry; he is easily accessible; I also went to his Durbar last December and made a request – he said he will do it. People say once he says ‘yes’, he will do it. I don’t know whether buttering in public amounts to corruption.