Wanted : A Govt that works Veering towards anarchy

What is there to show that there is a Government in place at Imphal ? The answer is best left to the people who matter, but even as 37715 students are set to appear for one of the most important stages in their academic pursuit, the Class X exams conducted by the Board of Secondary Education, Manipur comes the news of a 48 hour bandh which is set to come into force from midnight of March 14. Just 24 hours before the bandh was announced for everyone to hear and digest, came the news of a pharmacy fired at in the high security zone Thangal Keithel and a little earlier a JCB operator or driver and a helper were brutally assaulted by four armed persons on the road leading to Toubul from Mayang Imphal. This is apart from the on and off gun attacks launched on the Meitei villages at the foothills and Manipur is clearly living up to the image of the Wild West. A term synonymous with Hollywood but while this is about the celluloid world, Manipur seems to be living up to the understanding of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. The only hitch is there nothing to suggest that the Good is anywhere on the horizon and that he would come riding on his horse, set things right and ride into the sunset. This is about the romance of the Westerns, but the reality in Manipur today is something far removed from the celluloid world and there is nothing romantic about the presence of gun wielders who do not hesitate to throw their weight around and in the process make victims out of the civilians, people who may be out on the road to make a living. Any Government worth its salt would have woken up to the grim reality and instilled confidence in the common people that their rights would be protected and no one is above the law. But when more and more start to ‘rise above the law,’ flex their muscles, impose diktats expecting everyone to fall in line then surely the path to anarchy is paved. This is what is extremely worrying and situation has come to such a pass that to many, the golden line is ‘silence is the better part of valour.’ Confronting the foe is something far removed from flexing one’s muscle and this dividing line should be clear to all, especially those who have the ‘power and the influence’ to thrash anyone who they think have crossed their path, impose their diktats but in the process gain a certain degree of legitimacy amongst some sections of the public. The last point should underline the ‘absence’ of the Government and in such a reality, it is the rule of law which is the first casualty. How long will Manipur be made to pay the price ? Not something which has been vocalised, but at times the unsaid but intensely felt reality will only peg Manipur down on the index of everything that humanity stands for.
It is amidst this grim reality that over 37 thousand young students are set to appear for their Class X examinations from March 15. The exact figure is not with The Sangai Express but of the over 37 thousand candidates there must be some, if not many, staying at any of the relief centres set up across the length and breadth of the State.    This is where it becomes important to give some thoughts to the plight of the young students holed up in one of the relief centres and a bandh on day 1 of their first public examinations will not help them at all. Perhaps some thoughts on this may be given by the bandh sponsors for the sake of the young students. Manipur is passing through a very critical phase and this is where the Government should demonstrate that it is aware of the situation and the best way to show that it emphatises with the people is to ensure the rule of law. The ethnic violence has taken a stranglehold on the lives of the people for over 10 months now and one primary reason why numerous power centres have emerged all over the place is the failure of the Government to dispense with its duties effectively. What steps has the Government taken up to fill up the vacuum created since the evening of May 3 ? Questions which only the Government can answer, but let it also be very clear that this is not the time for grand announcement but to ensure the rule of law. And the first step towards this is to ensure that Manipur starts taking her step towards normalcy. That a talk has been initiated with the Kuki leaders with the HAC Chairman leading the way is welcome, and one hopes some concrete, positive results come out from the initiative.