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The Idea of Manipur


People are just about as happy as they make up their minds to be.
Abraham Linclon


New Delhi:
The four years I have spent outside Manipur, fix in two discrete views of the state. On one hand, there is the popular sentiment in the present living condition, which is characterised with high tension and chronic disorder; while the venture of the union government to pacify the imbroglio, on the other.

The rules of the day in Manipur are depressing. There is, unfortunately, no expression to recount the existing condition, that sometimes reaches the point of sheer absurdity. It is a wretched society, pervaded with violence, corruption, underdevelopment and animal conduct.

The destiny of the people, who live for the sake of living, is beyond comprehension. Praise those lot who are happy and satisfied there.

Earlier, an emotion troubles me that New Delhi is the main culprit for creating such a hopeless society. The intuition has changed now, wondering if the general people are also more than responsible for falling into the pit of a failed state. But the issue cannot simply be put away by blaming someone.

For the babus and elected officials, who provide directives and moolah from here, the state is just another part of derelict India. Of course they deliver the support materials, though, I'm not sure about their intentions.

The last time when PM Manmohan Singh visited the state, he announced the City Development Plan for Imphal. It was approved under the Jawahar Lal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission for a total outlay of Rs.1870 crores. According to reports from the Ministry of Development of North East, two projects have so far been approved at a total cost of Rs 51.46 crore with ACA committed for Rs 46.31 crore. A sum of Rs 11.58 crore has been also released as on December 31 2009.


Several programmes were also in the offing after the PM's visit:

  • Jiribam-Tupul (near Imphal) railway line;
  • The upgradation of Manipur University into a central university;
  • Manipur to be included in the States to be covered under new Central initiative for improving rural health care
  • Double-laning of Maram-Param road;
  • Opening LPG outlets in all sub-divisional headquarters;
  • Development of mini-secretariats, residential quarters, internal roads and other amenities at seven district headquarters (all districts other than Imphal) and the three headquarters of ADCs at Kongpokpi, Moreh and Jiribam;
  • Construction of a New State Capital Complex; and
  • Widening and improving of 16 roads amongst others.
It often seems this list would transform the place, but these are more mundane things than what is in reality. The thought merely prompts us to talk politics. What about those people who only want to live in peace?

The sluggish development programmes cannot keep pace with the chronic ailments that afflict Manipur. Above all, we have started becoming greedier and more violent than before. It's how we change ourselves that could bring the solution. Easier said than done, but that's our only hope.

It doesn't matter if the Centre is unreliable or not, we can be more humane and start new lines of thought. People can change the form of government or the system of financial management, yet they should be logical. Gun cannot speak — they are meant to be fired and as long as there is fire, there is heat too.

You cannot be a merchant and think about the land. The insurgents have also succeeded in declaring that many of them are making their living as tradesmen. Money is a great leveller: the government and these 'revolutionary' businessmen have become so equal in how they are looting the public from the persistent melee.

Ultimately, life goes on... people are killed with impunity, schools and colleges are shut for long, and infrastructure are scarce. How the legislators respond makes no difference, nonethess people are also carrying on their lives in the big mess.

© kapil arambam 2010




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