Parasitic elements

The Sangai Express
April 14 2010

The observation of Governor Gurbachan Jagat at a seminar held in Imphal fittingly under the theme ‘Peace Dividend’ that there are elements who wants to prolong the conflict situation for their own vested interest could not have come at a more opportune moment. This is a fact, which needs to be digested by all, the politicians, the police, especially the upper echelons of the force, the para-military force as well as those who have taken up the gun to wage a war against the country, for a cause they believe in. The Governor’s observation aptly fits the situation in Manipur today. The emerging class of the nouveau rich, the fly by night operators and those who stick their neck out to go around serving demand notes for a commission will certainly come under the category of people who have reaped dividends from the conflict situation. Then there is the other class, which is more dangerous and more irritating. This class consists of some desperadoes who gather a few people together, get some guns and grenades and then coin some profoundly sounding names and then announce their arrival on the scene, all in the name of the people and to fight for the ‘lost sovereignty’ of the land. In fact this trend is so endemic today that it has muddied those, who have genuinely taken a life to the jungle for a cause they sincerely believe in. This has a drastic effect on the people as the sole aim of the desperadoes masquerading as sons of the soil, bleed the people dry with their taxes, terrify all with guns and bombs and even go to the extent of exploding some powerful explosives in crowded places. The Governor’s observation should be understood in the light of this reality facing us today.

On the other hand are the dubious characters, who go on to don the garb of netas, sup with some of these dubious armed groups for electoral gains and then loot the people with impunity. That many political netas are known to have links with these elements is perhaps the worst kept secret among the people of Manipur. This parasitic trend has also entered the realms of the Government Departments. The days of the professional contractors and suppliers are passe. Instead what we see is the growing presence of contractors and suppliers with ‘connections.’ No one without any ‘connection’ can ever harbour the hope of landing a plum contract or supply work. This is one reason why we see so many people getting rich so soon and constructing palatial buildings and moving around in fancy cars. These are the fly by night operators and yes they cannot function without the knowledge of some of the law enforcing people. This is where the vicious cycle starts. So while a village chief or a school headmaster in a remote village have to bear the brunt of security personnel in the event of suffering any set backs at the hands of the insurgents, another class of people, who have taken advantage of the conflict situation live in comfort and send their children to the best schools in the country. It is time for all concerned, the political leaders of the land, the heads of the police force, the top brass of the para-military forces and the leaders of the proscribed outfits, to introspect how the conflict situation has been turned on its head for the benefits of a few, while the sufferings of the common people continue to multiply.

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