TODAY -

Editorial of the week

THE MERRYMAKERS
Courtesy: The Sangai Express April 13, 2002

Today a large number of households mostly in the valley will be celebrating Cheiraoba or Meitei New Year. Tomorrow another section of people will be observing another Cheiraoba. And the entire State reveled on January 1 welcoming a new year. Lots of new years indeed. The Yaoshang festival began on March 28 and came to a conclusion after five day long merrymaking. But even now the merry making is continuing. This at a time the State is passing through troubled times. Celebrations and merry makings invariably call for expenses. The State is in a complete financial mess. Number of unemployed people is rising by the day as all Government development works have come to a complete halt. The education system is in a shambles. Numbers of school dropouts are increasing. The dreaded disease AIDS is glaring in the face of the State threatening to wipe out a large youth population. The problem of drug abuse remains insurmountable. Despite prohibition, country brew or Indian Made Foreign Liquor flow freely. The law and order situation is worsening by the day. Innocent people are either liquidated in fake encounters or subjected to inhuman treatment. An environment of uncertainty exists. Fear psychosis has become a part of our every Manipuri's life. Suspicion and distrust hang heavily in the air. Safe water supply does not come to every household. Erratic electric power has not only affected the career of students, but also slackened the pace of small scale industrial units. All the daily requirements from onion to oil and snacks to smart shoes are coming from outside the State. Our fields remain idle after harvesting paddy. There is hardly any irrigational water to keep the farmers busy. The few agricultural products perish as there is no cold storage. The cold storage constructed at Mantripukhri finds itself in cold storage.

Taxes are not coming to the Government. Development funds are siphoned off and diverted. Development works are implemented only on paper. Work culture does not find in the dictionary of Manipuris as such everybody is apparently opting for the easy way out. There is a wide disparity between the pay given to the Government employees and the volume of work they have done. While a migrant laborer from Bihar or Bangladesh can become a lakhpati overnight, the living condition of average Manipuris remains the same, if not worsens. On top of this we are electing again and again non-performing, incompetent and self serving politicians. The political instability in the last many years has taken a heavy toll on the overall condition of the State. Cracks have already surfaced in the fledgling Okram Ibobi Singh coalition with Manipur State Congress Party openly opposing the joining of DPP to the Secular Progressive Front. Under the circumstances, are there any reasons to be smug and celebrate about? Only industrious people will move ahead on the road to progress while an indolent people will never succeed.


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