TODAY -

The culture and objective of "Sangai Festival"

Thoudam Imomacha Singh *

Day 10: Sangai Festival 2014 : Concluding Show at BOAT :: November 30 2014
Sangai Festival 2014 : Concluding Show at BOAT on Nov 30 2014 :: Pix - Khaba Yumnam



The yearly extravaganza of "Sangai Festival" is the customary state carnival of Manipur. The culture and objective of organising the "Festival" is to promote ecotourism and also earn income to invigorate the state exchequer.

Comparatively Manipur has little prospect to build up big industries due to financial constraints and other topographical disadvantages. Small states in India in general and those in the North East in particular like Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura have to rely on central subsidies for taking up any public welfare scheme.

Besides the centrally funded projects and schemes these states have also to resort to other viable alternatives like foreign aid with a sense of transparency in implementation.

As for Manipur, a number of centrally sponsored projects are allegedly remaining incomplete due to reasons not clearly known to the general public. Some of such projects may even remain in an incomplete state forever as the saying goes everybody's property is nobody's property.

As for the implementation of centrally sponsored projects, the writer would like to suggest the monitoring of work progress must be the joint responsibility of the Centre and the State so that loopholes could be detected or avoided well on time. The very recent news that has come to the mind of the author is that out of a central allocation of Rs. 1,022.30 Crore, only 30 percent has been utilized by the end of November during this current year.

In this connection, it is interesting to note that the state Chief Minister has issued a directive indicating his desire to utilize 60 percent of the leftover amount.

Regarding this matter, another question that arises is, 'has the state government a magic-wand to perform miracles ?' Because the Chief Minister's directive implies something impossible should be made possible. The writer's view is not that of a pessimist, but it is the opinion of someone with a practical sense of mind.

This year's "Sangai Festival" is over. But the state government is to remain alert from now onwards to check and remove the lapses that had been found out during this year's "State Gala".

This year's "Sangai Festival" was something special in the sense that the Prime minister of India Shri Narendra Modi was benevolent to have graced the concluding session of the magnum-opus as the most honourable 'Chief Guest' on November 30 last, during his brief sojourn in Imphal. Although bandh and boycott were there in the street, the spectacle at the venue of the "Festival" with vast audience has indicated the euphoric atmosphere.

Both the Prime Minister of India and the State Chief Minister were seen by the spectators while they were exchanging pleasantries on the podium. They looked very cordial with each other. In their public address, both the VVIPs were impressive. The Prime minister was sagacious enough to thank the people of Manipur and the public leaders in beautiful terms along with promises of aid and assistances to be extended to Manipur.

The writer feels that it may not be too much of a thanksgiving to say Shri Narendra Modi is an innovative young leader of India who could easily pick up the Crown of India's Prime Ministership by dint of his own political craftsmanship. Rather, a man destined to be the Prime Minister of India.

The state chief minister also has had his own share of credit and appreciation while he addressed the audience. The writer had also immense confidence that the State chief Minister while expressing his thoughts, would certainly like to share his own understanding of issues like the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) 1958 and the Inner Line Permit issues.

But the Chief Minister has not expressed a single word of concern on these dynamite-like issues. Now the question is whether the state Chief Minister is trying to buy time regarding these issues due to his plight of helplessness.

The observation of the writer is Shri O Ibobi Singh is a leader of the Manipuri public first and his being the state Chief Minister is something that always stands second.

Something of people's interest is supposed to be the priority of the state Chief Minister's attention. The writer would like the state Chief Minister to clarify his stand on such issues of public interest. If he does it, it may be another feather on his political cap.


* Thoudam Imomacha Singh wrote this article for Hueiyen Lanpao as part of 'Between The Lines' column
The writer is a former broadcaster of AIR Imphal. He may be available at imomachasingh(at)gmail(dot)com
This article was posted on December 08, 2014.


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