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Showing posts from February, 2012

ABDICATED MORAL SPACE

This article was published by the Imphal Free Press (http://ifp.co.in) on 23 Jan 2012 at ifp.co.in/imphal-free-press-full-story.php?newsid=4140&catid=5

The trouble with Manipur is, nothing sounds the alarm bell loud enough for it to remain awake long enough. Nothing, not even the worst crisis, it seems can shake it out of its complacency. And crisis is one thing the state has never ever been scarce of. It has been almost by rule a crisis a week recipe for the state, some not so severe while others were nothing less than nightmares. Regardless of the fact that these crises had either faded on their own with the passing time or stemmed by public resentment, one thing is clear, given the circumstance Manipur is caught in today, nobody can promise the last word has been said on the matter. Turmoil and upheavals, many of them extremely violent, seem to be an inalienable destiny of the state. The worrying thing is not so much these crises are extremely stressful, but that nobody ever s…

SANS BLOCKADE POLL MANIFESTO: POLITICS OF SILENCE

This article was published by the Sangai Express ( http://thesangaiexpress.com) on 21 Jan 2011 at http://www.thesangaiexpress.com/sangai-express-news.php?newsid=12499

In the 2007 Assembly election, the Congress maintained a stoic silence on the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and swept the polls, brushing aside the challenges of other political parties which had promised to lift the said Act, with certain riders. Learn from the past, is probably one dictum which the Congress sincerely believes in for there is just no other comprehensible reason for its silence on blockades in its election manifesto released with all the accompanying hoopla, topped up with a long list of its ‘achievements’ serving as the preamble, on January 19. In as much as election manifestoes are important for their contents for it is a public document promising what it will do if voted to power (We believe that it is equally important even if the party is not voted to power), it also stands that its silence on any…

WHOSE WRIT RUNS

This article was published by the Imphal Free Press ( http://ifp.co.in) on 16 Jan 2012 at http://ifp.co.in/imphal-free-press-full-story.php?newsid=3992&catid=5


What the Manipur administration needs most at this stage is moral legitimacy to enforce the rule of law, without the need to use force. As of now, there is none of this and this is evident all around. Nobody takes the government seriously and everybody thinks it can be challenged, not so much through the legal channels available, but by taking to the streets. The present atrocious spree of book burning, the defiance by affected teachers of the government’s much needed rationalization of transfer and posting, agitations for the government takeover of schools and colleges, students diktats on the way schools and colleges should be run or on the content of educational curriculum, etc are just some examples of this. It is an old story, but one which needs to be retold repeatedly to remind the government that it needs to pull up…

ON VOTING DAY, THE IMPORTANT POSER... WHAT GOVERNANCE DO WE WANT

This article was published by the Sangai Express ( http://thesangaiexpress.com) on 28 Jan 2011 at http://www.thesangaiexpress.com/sangai-express-news.php?newsid=12673

In a few hours from now 17,41,581 registered voters spread across 60 Assembly Constituencies would have started to seal their fate and in the process decide what type of governance they would want for the next five years. The next five years is how long the 10th Assembly would last, that is if such a situation does not arise necessitating a mid-term poll but be very clear, the decision that each one of us make is not going to impact just on the next five years but on the type of political leadership that will get institutionalised with another five years backing up as the cushion. And five years is a pretty long time, either to take the State forward, let the status quo continue or take things back by a couple of years. Voting day is the time when that decision rests in the hands of the people, as long as the understandi…

POOR CM, PAUPERISED PUBLIC

This article was published by the Imphal Free Press ( http://ifp.co.in) on 12 Jan 2012 at http://ifp.co.in/imphal-free-press-full-story.php?newsid=3930&catid=5


The power situation in Manipur, in particular Imphal city, has worsened in the past few months. Even those areas once given powers from the transformers meant for VIPs, and therefore the flocking focus of many small enterprises such as motor workshops, welders etc, there are now under punishing load shedding schedules, threatening the total collapse of many of these small businesses. Only those businesses which can afford to run generators through the day without suffering too heavy losses, are managing to keep some work flow intact. Apparently there has been a further segregation between VIPs and VVIP for some elite enclaves still get uninterrupted power through the day. In other words, the government ensures VVIP homes do not miss their favourite television series but is little bothered about small enterprises shutting do…