The public: more than mere numbers


With the announcement of dates for state election, the long run for parties contending for the coveted seats of power is on the home stretch now. And with it, last minute scramble to present a semblance of continuing development activities is being seen around the state capital. The long trench being dug right in the middle of the road along the RIMS road, the demolition of sewage drains along Keishamthong- Elangbam Leikai constructed just a few years ago being few of the numerous examples. Roads are being laid with stones and soil which presents a frustrating experience for the public with harmful dust posing a threat to health and the rough surface causing accidents. Come rain and the damage is complete. Such incomprehensible efforts to hoodwink the public is nothing new, and is the preferred method to extract the most political mileage by every political party without exception for as long as one would care to remember. The irony though, is the public is not buying any of it, and therefore the whole futile exercise has come to represent the foolhardy misconceptions of those drunk with power and resources but are insulated from the real concerns and problems of the general public. Why is the government and its implementing agencies so consistently stepping on its own toes when it comes to the actual delivery of developmental projects envisaged to benefit the people of the state? Why is it so apparently difficult to draw up plans which would remain functional for at least a decade, if not more? And why is there no visible mechanism in place to effectively monitor the activities and pull up erring parties when it comes to such development activities for betterment of the people? And why are those at the helm of affairs of the state still unable to deliver efficiently and with earnestness any single project without focusing their entire attention to retaining the biggest possible cut for themselves? Development and progress is an ongoing process and the manner of implementing such projects and plans subsequently determine the pace of growth. It would not be too far off the mark to observe that the present turmoil and social unrest is a manifestation of the prolonged and systematic failure and deliberate attempts by those in authority to divert resources to their personal coffers at the risk of jeopardizing the projects. Siphoning of public resources has become so institutionalized that the question has shifted from ‘why?’ to ‘how much?’ It is the accumulation of the little niggling discontents and frustrations being made to endure over the years as those who are put to power indulges in looting the resources of the state, promotes nepotism and practices corruption with blatant disregard for the sentiments of the common people that has snowballed into an issue that has taken on a more sinister hue threatening the very existence of the state as we know today. It is the very system of governance and administration being practiced in the state at present which gives rise to elements feeding and prospering on the uncertainties and insecurities of the people. It is time for those in power to consider the general public as more than mere numbers they need to shore up to achieve the coveted positions. The very people are the ones who made them what they are, and disregarding their own source of power and influence will only spell their doom.

Source: Imphal Times


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