Reaching out to the interiors Stepping out of Raj Bhawan
If the soul of India lies in her villages, then it may be said that the spirit and soul of Manipur lie in the remote, hilly areas and it is gratifying to note that Governor La Ganesan has taken it upon himself to visit some of the remotest parts of the State in the last few days. It was not said, but it can be discerned rather easily that it was with the intention of reaching out to the more remote parts of the State that the Governor personally paid a visit to Tamenglong district headquarters on January 19 and touched on the basic requirements of the district-roads, health sector and education. Reaching out to the people and this is perfectly in line with delivering the message that the Government is there for the people. Many, many years back it was, but perhaps the last time Manipur heard and saw a Governor of the State personally stepping out from Raj Bhawan to get a first hand experience was when the late Dr SS Sidhu took a road trip on the Imphal-Jiribam highway back in 2005 when the first marathonesque economic blockade imposed by the All Naga Students’ Association, Manipur was on in full swing. Those were the days when the Imphal-Dimapur line was literally cut off and the only route connecting Manipur to the rest of the country was the Imphal-Jiribam line and the late man took it upon himself to personally inspect the second lifeline of the State. This is why the recent exercise of reaching out to the more remote areas of the State by the Governor himself is so appealing and is something which would have surely gone down well with the people. Forget the Governor, the man occupying Raj Bhawan, but there must be still quite a large number of people, settled in Imphal, who are yet to visit Tamenglong, thereby underlining the remoteness of the place. Herein lies the significance of the Governor’s visit and one hopes, its significance is not lost on those occupying positions of power and influence in the State Government. Much in the same line, the Governor also recently visited Behiang in Singnat sub-division of Chura-chandpur. Again this is a place which a majority of the people may not have visited and is a place which comes to the consciousness of the people only when some- thing happens there and makes it to the news.
Significant to note that the Governor took the ‘get vaccinated’ call against Covid to the people during his visit and this is a point which the local administration should try and take forward. This is about taking the words of the Governor a step or two up. In just two words, the Governor demonstrated what a high profile visit to a remote area of the State could mean and apart from conveying the need to get vaccinated against the virus, the two words of the Governor is also a reminder that the fight against the virus involves the co-operation of the people. Connectivity, healthcare, education are again points that La Ganesan touched upon and significant to note too that he did not let go of the opportunity to remind the people of the Government’s War on Drugs campaign. The Governor also said the right thing at the right place in reminding the people to check the influx of illegal migrants and this is all that more significant given the fact that Behiang is located along the Indo-Myanmar border and there have been instances of quite a number of illegal migrants from Myanmar being detected in Churachandpur and elsewhere. This is a first hand message given to the people at the right place and perhaps this is the first time that such a message has been delivered at a border village. Let the Government take a leaf or two out of the visits of the Governor to two of the more remote places of Manipur and try to translate his calling at these two places into reality.