No more culture shock waves, please


Great men are humble and decent, mediocre ones create bedlam.
Heirangingeida Yurangba (creating mayhem amidst chaos), a proverbial Manipuri saying was what Mr V Shanmuganathan had accomplished during his short stint as Governor of Manipur. In the imbroglio prevailing in Manipur which are of mammoth and sensitive issues viz Pro-ILP Movement in the valley, Anti-Tribal Bills in the hills, AFSPA, misuse of National Food Security Act 2013, demand of ST status by the Meiteis, bandhs, economic blockades, escalating prices of essential commodities, pathetic conditions of roads and highways, sluggish development, apathy of the State Government towards the welfare of the public and a host of other issues, Mr Shanmuganathan had created a ruckus which could have been avoided.
V Shanmuganathan was posted to Manipur as Governor and to be precise, Governor is like President or First Citizen of the respective State, a respectable and honourable position. It was his maiden posting in Manipur as a government servant. He was a senior BJP leader before being appointed Governor of Meghalaya and then given additional charge as Governor of Manipur after the demise of the then Governor Mr Syed Ahmed.
On the inauguration function of the Manipur University of Culture in tandem with Manipur State Film and Television Institute at Palace Compound, Imphal on 12 Aug 2016 as the Chief Guest, ego had got the better of him and unfortunately he could not control his egoistic impulse on that august gathering comprising of the incumbent Chief Minister of Manipur and a host of distinguished personalities . His invitation for 100 words on the definition on ‘Culture’ was an open and disgracing intellectual challenge against the various eminent personalities congregated there as well as to the whole people of Manipur. Either he was ill-informed or ignorant of the facts, but out of the eminent intellectuals congregated at the occasion, many are national as well as international figures, many are national and international awardees. The shocking reality was that he had downgraded himself to a lower level in front of all those present, not expected from a person who holds such a towering position.  His act was tantamount to giving humiliation to the people of Manipur.
V Shanumganathan, hailing from Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu  might be a person of great intellect, might have possessed honourable credentials in the field of academics, might have possessed expertise in various arenas, dexterity in myriad fields, might be a person with a strong patriotic fervor, might  possess a host of other qualities, but as a Governor, he failed to strive for social harmony and peaceful co-existence among our countrymen. The recent episode is a crystal clear illustration. Seems like he still can’t get rid of the hangover of Licence Raj of British colonial rule. He might have rendered yeomen service to the nation, he might be involved in many social activities over and above being a prolific writer. But all his qualities have, of late, gone down the gutter due to his ego which he unfortunately failed to contain.
The Ex-Governor of Manipur may be highly educated but he himself disclosed the real person inside him thereby exposing his attitude, the attidude of an uneducated. As a Governor, he should have, instead, tried to find out about the people of Manipur, develop a mutual relationship and win the hearts of the people, not promoting disharmony and creating cultural shock waves. In Manipur, apart from family and locality, even in the world of bureaucracy also a superior officer whilst in office use to put tags such as ‘Brother’, ‘Sister’, ‘Uncle’ etc., before the name as he calls to his subordinates if they are older than him, a part and parcel of our culture. A simple example may be made of an IAS officer calling ‘Uncle’ to a peon.
As a high profile VIP, Mr Shanmuganathan should have possessed humility and carry out his jobs of a Governor of a state, not to act with defiance and challenge the people. Whatever intellect he possessed, admiration and regards should come automatically from the people just by his greatness and respect for human values, not by dictating terms and degrading himself to a lower level and making himself an object of mockery in front of the people. Here, it is pertinent to mention that a daily wage manual worker with humility has more dignity than him. He should know that there’s a lot of difference between a ‘Boss and a ‘Leader’. He is a boss, not a leader. Well, actions speak louder than words. In fact, his actions speak that he is an uncultured person.
What pains the people most is the phrase “Once in a lifetime opportunity” of having a cup of tea with him. Course, having a cup of tea with the Governor of a State is a matter of great honour.  But who amongst those prominent personalities as well as the people of Manipur would want a cup of tea with such an uncultured and undignified person anyway? He should have known that he was on an inauguration function with a congregation of distinguished and highly cultured personalities, not inside a classroom delivering lecture or giving advice to a pack of rowdy students.
We pray to the Almighty that no such lower-level boss be sent to Manipur to serve as one of the leaders of the state. Now that he has gone back to Meghalaya, people are relieved thinking ‘good riddance’. Meanwhile, we warmly welcome Mrs Najma Heptullah who was sworn in as Governor of Manipur on 21 Aug 2016 and we expect a lot such as love, amity and cooperation with the people of Manipur from Her Excellency.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here