TODAY -

Reshuffling & local vegetables

Free Thinker *

 Seasonal food items as seen at Mayang Imphal Keithel on June 16th 2020
Seasonal food items as seen at Mayang Imphal Keithel in June 2020 :: Pix - Shankar Khangembam



Are you sure that there will be reshuffling in the Government ? Still I am not sure . Why ?

Because the priority as of now is to contain the pandemic and to restore the tottering finance and economic activities ; and at the same time to safeguard the interests of the State and its people while finalizing the Naga political settlement ; and also to seriously examine the delimitation contention.

Once it is ascertained that the number is in favour of the current dispensation, more politicking and indulgence may cause stress and strain in the system and also within the Parivar.

By-elections may be conducted along with the Bihar State election in Oct /Nov if not with Assam in April/May next year. If the win is 10 out of 13 , none will challenge the credibility of the authority till the next general election. Prof knows better, power struggle will always be there within and without. What is important is to strike a balance and move ahead in the interest of the people.

Some people question the fairness of a voice vote in a 'confidence' or 'no-confidence motion'. If the number is overwhelmingly in favour of a group the Presiding Officer may take his decision on the basis of hand-count or voice vote.

But there is a well established parliamentary practice all over the Commonwealth Countries where the Westminster System prevails that "even if a Member of the 'House' insists for a division/voting , the demand ought to be conceded to ". This is the prevailing Parliamentary Practice and this has a long precedence throughout ; and of course precedence has the force of law too.

Sometimes the Presiding Officer ignores such demand if he is abundantly clear and convinced of the outcome , in order to save time and energy of the 'House'. However a division/voting could have been permitted in the name of procedural prudence .

The Presiding Officer is supposed to be guided by Practice & Procedure of the 'House' , not by rules and laws from outside or the whims and fancies of someone. In addition May and Kaul & Shakdhar may be consulted for better understanding.

Coming to the pertinent issue of reshuffling one gentleman ( not so gentle after two / three pegs of single malt whiskey) asked me at night a very straightforward and blunt question - Who are going to be inducted and who are likely to be dropped ?

I retorted back "I am not the Chief , and this is the prerogative of the Chief" .

Then he yelled back - Chief is dependent on Delhi . I thought I should not give a reply but just to calm down, I told him - "let him come out from the Hospital". He took it seriously.

A very respected leader in the Delhi - NE circuit,a few days back , enquired about the highest rail bridge to be constructed in our State .While talking about the possibility of starting the train service between Delhi to Imphal by 2022 , he in a lighter vein asked me - what should be the yardstick of dropping or inducting a person in the Council of Ministers? I respectfully wanted to know whether it is for local or national. Maybe " for both".

One should be committed to the people and the nation ; one should be loyal to the Party he/she belongs ; one should be trustworthy to the leadership or dispensation ; one should have a relatively a clean image ; one should be a believer in the ideology of his/her Party or Organisation ; one should be have strong desire to serve the country and common people ; one should be able to dedicate everything to the cause of the nation; one should have a very loveable personally ( not mandatory but desirable).

These are for an Ideal situation. In a realistic scenario the criteria may be changed according to the requirements and inevitabilities of politics . For the local situation we may not get ideal candidates.All are having more or less the same standard . After all they are the products of our society. They are equally good and bad. They are equally corrupt and honest.

One criteria which may be adopted to fathom their commitment to the people - we may check the level of their understanding/knowledge of ethnic vegetables grown and consumed in the State. For instance we may find out whether they know the global names of " Yongchak " - it is called Petai/ Stink/ Bitter / tree bean.

Even if they don't know the global names of our local vegetables at least they are supposed to know the English equivalent of our popular veggies.

" Komprek " is Water Dropwort. " Yelang" is called Jointweed. " Phakphai " is Vietnamese coriander.

"Sougri" is called Kenaf leaves . " Thangjing " is Water Fox nut or Prick water lily or Gorgon plant. " Peruk " is Centella .

" Yensin " is Woodsorrel. "Yendem" is called Taro ( Indo - Myanmar Taro ).

In fact I really don't want to trivialise the present political situation of the State. But I am serious and more worried about the present pandemic, people's helplessness, children's education, senior citizens' health-care, poor people's subsistence, fragile economic activities, Ima bazaars inactivity, defunct trade, tourism and travels.

Anyways many of my friends are in politics - just for their sustenance and survival I am just prescribing a mantra " seek the blessings of either 'Ram' or 'Krishna'. I think they understand what I mean.


* Free Thinker wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on August 26 2020.



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