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Issues and Challenges: A Closer Look into the Politics of Manipur

An introduction to the public issues

Across the world, the rule when it comes to governance and administration is a public issue. This is different from a private issue. To illustrate the difference between these issues, imagine there is a town that has been developing at a formidable rate. Such a town or city is having a traffic problem because of the rising population and the residents’ more purchasing power.

In such a condition, we can do two things: either relocate to a nearby city outskirt or take initiatives to contain the traffic problem. The first one is a private solution and the second is that of a public.

So now, in this world of contradiction called Manipur, the predicament is the sole reliance on private solutions to public issues while decadence has become a way of life. In short, we have no public issue but just a serious of unorganised issues that overlap each other over the months and years. To take a couple of examples, there is an ongoing armed conflict but our solution is not to die—ridiculous yet true; and the transport and communication system is in shambles but it is no issue as long as we can buy a pricey car from the ill-gotten money. After all, as it has entered into our daily social expression: ‘it is only the stupid who cares about the truth’. 

Yet, we know there is a whole wide world beyond our areas of self-interest. We also know on occasions like an election or trying times that we are so familiar with, we do come across issues of economic blockades to institutionalisation of corruption. The tragedy called Manipur can reclaim its ‘self’ if the citizens are aware of the public issues. On the ground, people are not unaware about this matter but in such a colonised part of the world, we accept things that come our way as a kind of destiny that we cannot do without.

The newly formed N Biren government seems to be in a hurry to take up development works. Even an ex-extortionist who jumped ship shamelessly (from Congress to BJP after the MLA Election 2017) is apparently taking a proactive role in areas listed under his portfolio—though nobody knows the motives or sincerity. Besides, it’s only been two months that the new government had taken oath but the circus continues with sordid tales of defection.

Regardless of this political farce or the masses’ short memory, the public issues have remained as always unmarked and unresolved. Today we have some of these issues that might not be all inclusive but pretty much cover the major issues and challenges that we face as a ‘people’ (arranged here in an alphabetical order) and containing many of these issues depend on us as a people and we cannot leave it to the government that cares more about pragmatism, howsoever disgusting it is, than the right thing.

  • •    Armed conflict
  • •    Development policies
  • •    Economic self-reliance
  • •    Ethnic confrontation and solution
  • •    Good governance
  • •    Indigenous people’s problems
  • •    Trade and commerce
  • •    Transportation and communication

Each issue will be elaborated separately in the coming days. Watch out for this space.

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