Price of Political Silence


Political parties these days are enjoying media attention. What little they do or speak garners a large news space. The Lok Sabha election is round the corner. Therefore, at least to them, it is the right time to be in public limelight. O. Joy, a veteran, better known as `opposition leader` of Manipur got resigned from Manipur People`s Party (MPP). In fact, O Joy`s name was synonymous with MPP. A party that O. Joy has toiled with during his long political career; what could have prompted the patriarch to leave the party? In his rendezvous with the media after his resignation from the party the patriarch had reaffirmed that his ideological commitment to nationalism and regionalism is intact. He said he needed a larger platform to address the issues of the state. There was speculation that O Joy would join the Congress. That has remained as speculation. Within the MPP there has been a lot of churning. Internal rivalries are part and parcel of an organisation. We do not want to poke our nose into their internal affairs. The party failed to open a single account in the last Assembly election. O Joy had to accept his defeat too. What fuels one`s curiosity is the sudden break from hiatus from his long silence ever since his defeat in the assembly election. Although the patriarch had said that it was a short break from active politics. He said he had occupied himself in writing book. That is a very venerable exercise from a politician like him. It is also said that politics is also about `timings`. Why would a veteran like O Joy resign from MPP at the eve of Lok Sabha elction? Or is it just a coincidence? The bearing of this question would have an analogous strand with other political parties, and more importantly with their functioning as well.  The Congress by its virtue of being in power is visible to the people on some front. Its ministers and MLAs would have something to engage themselves either with `ribbon cutting` or `stone laying`. Their candidature for the Lok Sabha election was announced much later when other parties have done so. The Congress seems to be at a comfortable mood with its thumping majority win in the last Assembly election. Left parties have their own yearly calendar to follow. Manipur`s Left visibility is prominent especially during the September month because of Irabot`s birthday. If not for the month of September, a political party which identifies themself as revolutionary vanguards; a group that believes in expounding social transformation through mass struggle both inside and outside the parliament – there visibility in public domain is also uncertain. The BJP being a major player in the national politics has the advantage of projecting prime ministerial candidate despite its zero account in the state Assembly. A bee nest activity by party ticket seekers stole public attention. The political noise of Narendra Modi`s visit to the state was an electoral opportunism. Besides that the party has no visible activity. AAP because of its Kejriwal wave has made its presence felt in the state. Other political parties whether regional or national have been invisible to the public. Any issues that has to do with the overall welfare of the people demands serious attention from all the political parties, their wakeful rituals only during the time of election is a deep rooted ailment in our democracy. The price of their silence other than the time of election is being paid by the common man. Is it time to expunge the opposition as they have seemingly ceased to exist?


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