Public want power and water as state`s No 1 priority

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IMPHAL, April 4 (Newmai News Network): Many activists and intellectuals in Manipur both from the hills and the valley have expressed lethargic views when asked their suggestions and advice for the new government of Manipur at the backdrop of the long-time turmoil experienced by the state.

In a whirlwind interview conducted by Newmai News Network today, scholars, senior journalists and activists in the state did not have much to comment seeing the ground realities of Manipur.

President of All Manipur Working Journalists Union (AMWJU) A Mobi expressed that unless there is a radical change of the entire system nothing positive can be expected.

“To change the entire system, it is next to impossible,” lamented A Mobi while noted activist-scholar Dr Dhanabir Laishram sarcastically quipped that to answer this question he has to rewind himself to the 1950s and demand the basic needs like safe drinking water, roads and electricity.

“We are in the 21st century but still demanding the facilities of the last century,” said Dr Dhanabir Laishram.

Irengbam Arun, resident editor of Imphal Free Press daily expressed similar view and said, “It is not that I don`t want the government to do for us some major things but I have to start with the ABC of development like drinking water, electricity and better health care.”

Noted Manipuri Film actor Olen suggested that the new government should conduct the post mortem of its past misdeeds and start looking forward for a better take off. The actor wants that providing electricity and drinking water to the people should be a priority of the government for a small start.

Journalist Rupachandra Yumnam and Modern College lecturer Adibo Newmei are of the opinion that good and effective governance by the new government is the call of the hour.

“The new state government should focus on good governance and then win back the confidence of the people,” said Rupachandra Yumnam.

According to him, winning elections does not mean the government has got the `full` support of the people. He advised the government that making the governance transparent and accountable will soothe the Manipur society at the moment. Adibo Newmei said the last election was a farce as the faultiness among various political parties had become deeper and serious and that if cautions are not taken by the new government things will go incorrigible.

Dr MC Arun of Manipur University has this to say,” We have achieved many things and in the same time failed the equal number”. But according to him, making a corrupt free society will make all the difference. Dr MC Arun is of the opinion that most of the problems in Manipur are related to corruption.

Romeo Bungdon of  All Manipur Tribal Union (AMTU) suggests the new government that the people should be made secure psychologically by improving the law and order situation and then the government should do something for food security. “If these things are done, things will fare very well in Manipur,” said Romeo Bungdon while tribal student leader Dr John Pulamte has this to say,”Minimise polarisation among the different communities, after all, whatever demand and aspiration we have for our own, we will always be human beings of common interest. Trust difficit is here among us.”

Tribal rights activist S Ramhaoleng wants the new government to focus in areas where development is lacking. He said there are assembly constituencies that seldom been represented by a cabinet minister. “In such constituencies development will not come,” said Ramhaoleng. He cited Chingai and Tamei as examples.

Zeliangrong women leader Panti Gonmei said electricity and drinking water should be the focus of the new government. She then suggested that the state government should discipline security force personnel in the hill areas saying these personnel often cross their limits in remote places taking advantage of the lack of media attention.

But given the situation, A Mobi, Dr Dhanabir Laishram and Arun Irengbam are pessimistic. A Mobi however said at least the change in the electoral system can bring some impact in a positive way.

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