The question is just how far will Night Plaza or Imphal Evening go in promoting night life in Imphal.
Or is the Night Plaza a political statement delivered by the BJP led Government that the law and order situation has improved to such an extent that people now can come out for an evening with their family, friends and others ?
Or is the latest venture the beginning of a night culture in Imphal which for long has been known as the capital of a State which sees no activity once the Sun goes down ?
Either way October 2, 2017 must have surely been the first for a good number of people in Imphal, used as they are to having to rush back home once evening sets in.
Only those who know Imphal will understand the import of kick starting the Night Plaza and one just have recall the phrase, “Come back soon, the time is not good” a phrase used by all parents and elders of the family and this is invariably the parting shot that every youngster receive if they are planning to go out with friends.
This fear psychosis is firmly based on the ground reality.
Everyone in Imphal will remember the by gone days when guns and bomb blasts seemed to do the talking almost everyday and it should be noted here that the talking guns and the bombs going full blast did not always come from the militants but also from those who were supposed to give a sense of security to the people.
No wonder bandhs and shutdowns announced by different armed organisations on the eve of every Independence Day or Republic Day invariably come into force much before the deadline announced by the armed groups for indirectly helping the armed groups were the bunch of well armed policemen who come out in the night and start barking out orders to all who step outside their homes.
The fear of the dark was everywhere.
Literally and metaphorically speaking and it is here that the efforts of the Government to introduce the Night Plaza gains significance and should be noted.
Difficult to say how successful the night venture will be but in going ahead with its plans, an important statement has been delivered.
To the people too, the Night Plaza must have come like a breath of fresh air for they have been subdued for far too long.
Lock the gate after dark, and do not venture out was the unspoken rule in every family and it was only at times of emergency, such as when one has to take an ailing family member to the doctor that people come out from the confines of their homes.
Of course there were others like the media persons, who by virtue of their profession, had to move around in the night and return home when all had gone to sleep.
The Night Plaza should be seen against this reality and all the more reason why those involved in organising the night event should put in their best foot forward.
This is where the observation of a visitor to the Night Plaza on October 2 becomes important.
No efforts should be spared to ensure that the items put up for sale there are not exorbitantly priced.
The food stalls should take care to see that the food served are tasty and to cite an example, a plate of chicken chowmein should carry the taste of chicken and not some shredded pieces which have been tossed around in the cooking pan.
The venue too needs a serious rethink.
Why not move it to the road just behind the office of the All India Radio ?
Source: The Sangai Express