State and its issues: An update

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Leader Writer: Wangkheimayum Bhupendra Singh
There has been a huge upsurge in two things in the state during the recent past- first, the number of ambitious regulations introduced by the government and its agencies have seen a bulging increase, while there is a substantial increase of cases of violence against women. The new set of regulations introduced by the government if properly implemented and followed will be good for the society and the state. But, the other growth is quite alarming and it would have serious consequences in the society. The first batch concerns the state and its agencies’ imposition with an equal amount of reaction and participation from the general public for its success; while the society, its morality with a humbler yet firm and substantial action from the government is needed to arrest the growth of the second.

The recently introduced systems and regulations of the state include among others the pre-paid power supply system in the core areas of Imphal city which are Paona Bazar and Thangal Bazar; the declaration of pedestrian only zone in Paona Bazar and Thangal Bazar; the revamped Zero Garbage campaign and introduction of Kangshi Gari for collection of Solid Waste in Imphal area-with strict penalties for offenders. Howsoever ambitious it might be, the recent endeavours on the part of the state should be welcomed by one and all and a participatory approach is needed for the success of these efforts. Yet, the state needs to implement in letter and spirit. With regard to the zero garbage campaign, nothing has been done to improve waste collection services outside the Bazar area. The prepaid power supply has been introduced in the Bazar area and we hope to see the end of the cobweb of electric wires jumble in the area soon. And somehow, power pilferage in the Bazar area will be checked to an excusable level. But, we are yet to see how honestly the Power department implements the new system.

On the other hand, never in its remembered past has the state seen so much violence against women in such quick succession. The state has been time and again considered to be a woman friendly place in the past; however the recent spate of violence against women including gang-rape, murder after rape, attempt to murder and the list goes on… negates the very concept of the state being woman friendly. The gang-rape of a tribal woman by four persons including two IRB personnel; the charred body of a woman found and later identified to be that of one Premila, who was allegedly raped and killed; a teenage girl who was allegedly raped by two persons just half a kilometer away from the office complex of the deputy commissioner of Thoubal among others are recent incidents which are still fresh in the people’s mind. The only thing that the rise of such crime reflects is the moral degradation of the people of the state in general and the society at large. There is no denying the fact that state actors have been found involved in such crimes, however their involvement in the crime should be considered as the involvement of an individual rather than the involvement of their official status. Yes, they should have been extra cautious being a state actor; however the crime as such was committed by the individual and not his office. The society should also bear the responsibility of such crimes to some extent, as the degrading morality of the individual in particular and that of the society are at play here. The general public is not that naïve so as to fail to understand that such crimes are committed because of degrading morality at the spur of the moment. The criminals should be punished befittingly. But just punishing the criminals will not deter the future criminals from repeating such ghastly acts. The society and the government should not remain oblivious to the real root of all such crimes. Morality seems to have taken a back seat in today’s society. It is time for the people to realize that books alone cannot uphold a society, but that morality is as much needed for a society to surge towards development. It needs a collective fight on all fronts to subdue such criminals from carrying on with their crimes in the society. However, even though it seems that the people of the state realises the only solution to all problems lies in collective action, we seem to be so engrossed in the ‘oneness of our own kind’ that we have forgotten the true implications of the ‘collective oneness’.

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