Corruption & Insurgency - A Combo Pack for Manipuris

We have a modern sense and understanding of things. We have tech-support. We are connected to the rest of the world within seconds. The world is on our finger tips. We see many swanky cars in our localities. We have many geniuses from multiple fields. There are just so many things we can boast about, except a liveable place to survive and sustain.

Hola! Welcome to the brand new Manipuri society where corruption and insurgency are the best ever combo packs for every Manipuri. Be a police and get rich. Be a revolutionary and get rich. Be one of them!

Corruption is like a bottle of whiskey in a room full of thirsty teetotallers with no other brew to quench their thirst. They do not have an option but to end up drinking it. First, they hate even the very thought of trying it. Later, out of their thirst, they change their mind and think about giving it a try. After the trial peg, they got the kick that they never had and they, kind of, enjoy it. After the second peg, things do not remain the same. The kick gets ‘higher’, and they become wilder. This is just an exemplified understanding of how corruption becomes addictive among most of the bureaucrats in every system including ours.

We have more than enough eligible officers in the system who can collectively transform it. But it’s quite a risk bearing task. Things will be topsy-turvy, their careers may even be at stake. So, they have only two options – to resist and bear with a hell lot of frustration or to surrender their conscience and self-respect. And as we know, most of them prefer to choose the latter for reasons that need not further exaggerate.

As for insurgency, it is a never-ending discussion. We can be proud of the very fact that many of our folks have innovative ideas (a hell lot of them). The hurdle is how to implement those ideas in one such place where owner-less bombs and bullets would play ‘dhampa-espaait’, sans a defined playground. A bomb can surprise anyone anytime, anywhere with a banging ‘dhampa’ on the way while one is driving back home or when one is leisurely enjoying a cup of tea at one’s own maangon or shumaang. We have no clue where all these bastardised bombs and bullets come from. At times, we would wonder if there is a secret bombs and bullets’ factory right in our ‘Awaanglom’ or ‘Makhaarom’ leikai. Though that would not be a plausible discovery, we could at least congratulate the CEOs of those factories for their insightful venture.

Imagine things were a little different. Imagine there were good colleges for our students. Imagine there were good employment facilities for our youth. Would they ever prefer to leave their sweet homes for better education or employment opportunities in different places across the globe? Eight out of ten would say they would love to stay at home. They stay out of Manipur as they are compelled to do so. Never mind, the you-do-it, so I do-it-attitude. The remaining 2 are categorized under amateur travelers who love exploring new places. They, however, have the same yearning feeling to return back home — a place where their hearts are.

Too much imagination can affect our already disturbed mental peace. So, let us keep wondering, discussing and brooding on all the issues. Let us share our opinions. Let us also not forget to share our opinions on crucial issues like AFSPA and insurgency. It’s more or less the question of who comes first – the hen or the egg. Some opine that insurgency is the main reason why a draconian act like AFSPA has been imposed on our society. While some others opine that AFSPA is a step-motherly treatment of Indian system in our society as a result of which insurgency rules the roost in the state.

Let the interesting discussions continue. Let more intellectuals share their valuable opinions. As for the mapaamgi chaaksu chadaba, mawagi chaaksu chadaba types like us, it is a wiser option to remain as some keen observers. The crore-dollar question about who will change Manipur is perhaps a siki-worth question inspired by the fable – then again who will bell the cat? We are the rats, let us silently enjoy our share of stale cheese and let all the fat cats enjoy their milk served in expensive bowls.

This article was published on 28 April 2013
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