Leader Writer: Paojel Chaoba
Struggling to live in the present society, a society that reveres individuals with colossal bank accounts, having en-vogue cars, as with corrupt politicians, smugglers, who made it big and having tags of committing ‘white collared crime’ are pedestalized, hence contradicting the thinking philosophy of the common man. The state which saw statehood in 1972 may have come a long way, development is happening, security forces may have lessened their atrocities, at present, Imphal city is witnessing new traffic laws and questionable whatnot. But, for the man left with the option to fend for himself and family, surviving on a hand to mouth basis, there is also the felt to augment oneself. The urge may be so strong that morality and imbedded principles within oneself no longer matters and the flaws doctrine in the human psyche take over and the “sins’ kept under control runs rampant.
In simple words, the under privileged Manipuri is crushed under the boot of the state administrators, those connected with individuals in power, whether it may be ‘connections’ pertaining to state or non state actors.
An overheard chat in a tea stall in one’s locality bears testament that the public is fed up with operations and administrations of both. Favoritism perpetrated by the elected and creamy officials, some UGs group with their senseless extortion. The underlying current is writ large in the heart of the commons and to shout that we have had enough, but fear of the unpredictable and ‘what might happen’, the ‘not my business” mindset stance are also one main hindrance in upbringing our society. One dare say that the voice of the public is ascertained more during a ‘time pass’ tea stall sitting, or over a ‘leipung’ chat. Comments printed on a newspaper, which is supposed to be an opinion forming body may seem irrelevant to the populace according to the present scenario.
Mentioning a Greek philosopher! Diogenes,who was a popular figure during the times of Alexander. Referred to as the “Mad Socrates” by Plato, his attitude was grounded in great disdain for what he perceived as folly, vanity, pretence, self-deception, social climbing, and artificiality of human conduct . He regularly walked the streets of Athens with a lighted lantern during the day. Quizzed at of his behavior, Diogenes replied that he was looking for an ‘honest man’. A nearly naked hermit with a dog, Diogenes scorned the general perception and lifestyle of the Athenian society then. When he was once visited by Alexander, “The Great”, asking him of what his heart so desired. Diogenes replied that Alexander should step aside as he was casting a shadow and blocking the rays of the Sun and that he was sunbathing at present. That reply to Alexander may have cost him his life, but on the contrary, Alexander was said to have retorted , “ If I were not Alexender , Then I would be Diogenes”.
In the context, with pertinence to the Manipuri society, most of us here run after favors and try to hobnob with those in power just as a means to “Get Rich Quick”.
Dwelling in the aspect, one may state that Diogenes, if was born in Manipur, then might have asked Alexander for a plump contract work. The “Manipuri Doigenes” has a family to look after and not like the Athenian who was single and forlorn, whose views and philosophy were based on cynicism and utter rejection of nepotism. Thus, comes the question of “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”, now, every basic human seemingly wants reciprocation. Hence, Manipuris, the underprivileged feel the need to augment their living status. The “ Alexanders”, at present the MLAs may not be so wise as to ask what the Manipuri Diogenes or rather the public wants ! But know in their hearts that the issues vexing the state has to be responded in regarding positive effect. We need to observe then, how the new cabinet ministers take stock of the situation and in their mandated responsibility, try to streamline the hitches in their administration. With the programs and schemes duly provided by the centre, the public should be given the chance to say,” My dear MLA, step away as your shadow is blocking the warmth of the Sun”. To the public, a long live.