TODAY -

Editorial of the week

CLEANING TIME

If the President's Rule in the state is not able to clear the Aegean stable that the Manipur administration has become, no successor government will be able to do it for a long time to come, if at all. It is true, ultimately we are for popular government, where the people choose their leaders and lease out to them the responsibility of looking after their public affairs for a specified period. While in normal circumstances, this may be perfectly in place, in not so normal times, certain drastic, emergency measures have to be taken. The Presidents Rule is one such emergency measures -- a mild form of dictatorship where the administrative powers are allowed to gravitate at a single node, thereby eliminating to a great extent, bureaucratic red tapes which have become the bane of all administration under the Indian political system.

Apart from this, Presidents Rule has another advantage. It does not have to be as obsessively concerned of popularity as a popular government. It does not have the kind of compulsions to cater to popular sentiments as an elected government, which by necessity have to return to the people and seek their confidence at the end of each term. The tedious route to power in a popular government no doubt was involved to safeguard public interest and democracy in the long run, but it also comes along with some prices and in not so mature polities as ours, these can become crippling. Hence the President's Rule upon which there are no compulsions to please everybody, can afford to consider schemes whose benefits are known but which popular governments never dared reach out for in fear of the short term unpopularity they would risk. The eviction of encroachers from the Palace Compound where now stand the BOAT and the sprawling pologround, during the last spell of President's Rule led by Lt Gen (retd) VK Nayyar, is just a case in point. No popular government was actually able to go about doing what each was sure was the very need of the hour, precisely because of opposition from political quarters which stood to lose in the electoral politics.

Indications are, the present Presidents' Rule administration is also set to shift gear and embark on the cleaning mission. Its action on the adhoc doctors entangle, we hope is motivated by its desire to set things right. We do however hope that it would take care not to leave anybody unjustly hurt or victimized. We hope it will once and for all sort out other similar service cases introduced by adhoc and selfish policies of past governments/such as the part-time lecturersí case. The longer these are delayed, the more the injustice -- to those employed as part time lecturers now, (for they can never feel secure in the jobs they hold nor reap their full benefits), as well as others qualified for the same jobs but were never given a fair opportunity to compete for them. In the present circumstance, we are even inclined to believe that it is the responsibility of this emergency constitutional, mechanism, to do the dirty job of clearing up the administration, so that the succeeding government will be more at ease in going about as well as concentrating in its job of running the government. Or should we be saying, leave a cleared table for future popular governments to mess up afresh.

Courtesy: The Imphal Free Press

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