TODAY -
Shooting from the CM's shoulder
Source: The Sangai Express (Editorial)

Imphal, August 12 2009: Chief Minister O Ibobi may remain smug under the impression that he has once again successfully undergone another test by fire, but what he has not realised is that in the process to be in the good book of Delhi, he has managed to alienate the people from almost everything that the State Government stands for.

The scathing criticisms and allegations levelled against the State Police Department, following the July 23 fake encounter, and the staunch opposition to the decision of the Government to deploy police commandos and IRB personnel in the hill districts, are immediate examples that come to mind.

Such a trend will be his undoing in the long run, for ultimately, political compulsions will force Delhi to realise that it is the people, and not Mr Ibobi, who matter.

The Centre can shoot from the shoulder of Mr Ibobi for some time but not for all time.

Mr Ibobi should realise this, for how long can he hope to survive only with the blessings of Delhi ? However at the moment, the political mandarins at Delhi are yet to come to this point and this is not due to lack of political far sightedness or shrewdness, but is a manifestation of where Manipur stands in Delhi's overall scheme of things.

This explains the complete silence of the Congress led UPA Government over the outcry raised against the July 23 incident at BT Road, which has literally paralysed the State for the last two weeks.

The Centre cannot take refuge under the explanation that law and order is a State subject for the cry of the people was against a policy, pursued by the SPF Government.

The complete indifference of the Centre to the situation here, only lend credence to the notion that all State sponsored killings have the tacit endorsement of Delhi and fortifying this notion can only be to the detriment of the country.

Can we imagine Delhi keeping quiet if such a situation arises in other parts of the country ? Delhi has to decide how long it can and should go on favouring an individual at the risk of alienating the people.

Killing a suspect or someone entirely innocent, in custody, cannot be called protecting the integrity of the country.

It is not duty towards the Nation, rather it should be seen as acts detrimental to National interest.

Given the situation in Manipur, where the idea or spirit of Indian Nationhood is hotly contested by some sections of the people, who are even openly waging a war against the country, Delhi can alienate the people, only to the advantage of the sections who are sitting on the other side of the Constitution of the country.

The politics in the neighbouring countries too dictate that the people be won over.

Given this political reality, it is a little surprising to see why the Centre continues to give the short shrift to the people here.

It would do wise for everyone not to view and understand everything through the prism of electoral politics.

Lalu Prasad Yadav and Co.

ruled Bihar for over 15 years.

This however did not mean that they had the unqualified support of the people.

It is time for the Congress led UPA Government to demonstrate that they do care for the voice of the people and the first step would be to make Mr Ibobi accountable.

This will have a trickle down effect on the Government apparatus and if sincere efforts are made, who knows, the police commandos may one day be seen as protectors of the people and not predators.


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