In A Dilemma: Professional Ethics or Personal Security
To Go On Posting or Not?

Gurumayum Bidyasagar Sharma *

Barak River en route to Sibapurikhal (2013)
Barak River en route to Sibapurikhal (2013)

One of my friend told me about a recent news report about UGs looting government employee at gun-point at Sibapurikhal. In fact I didn't get the chance to read the article and so I am not really quite sure what happen there.

This article is an effort to address the issues regarding posting to remote place or far flung where human security is always a big question mark.

Most people who are fortunate enough to get a government job have this very first problem of where his/her posting is going to be. Is it going to be in the hill districts? Is it going to be in the valley region?

To be very precise nobody wants to serve in the remote areas. Everybody wants to be in their comfort zone. But why is that so? Why do people have such a narrow sense of work ethics?

The answer I got is Security, Communication gap, & Accessibility. So here is my take on this. Yes I agree that security is always a problem when it comes to remote areas. But have you forgotten that you are in Manipur? We have been having security problems since a long time (whatever the reason maybe, I am not going to go toward it now).

When you apply for a job in the Government you should really take into consideration that you are liable to be posted in any part of the state. You should be aware of the fact that Manipur does have a lots of Security problems and when you became part and partial of the government or a civilian you are going to face the very same security problem.

If you are really too concern about your security, remember the people living there also faces the same problem every minute of their live. I am not overlooking the role of the government in providing enough security for the Government employees or public anywhere. The government is knee deep in problems. So much problems that they sometime fail to see the imminent threat until something happens.

The government learns (or should learn) from mistakes, like everyone does. They improvised as they go along the way.

Everyone is looking at the security risk involve in going and serving in the remote places of this small state. But what everyone seems to overlook is that your 100% sincere duty in that place is a step forward to creating a safer Manipur. You are looking at the symptoms and you are delivering anything. You are complaining of weight gain but you don't want to work!

If security was such a concern for you then you should never have applied for that job. You should first consider all the problems that may crept up when you join that job. If you want to really stay inside the safe confine of your house then I have no problem in saying this "Your education is worthless; It is just a piece of paper"

Communication gap? You kidding me? They are also Manipuri. Most of the villagers in the remotest part of Manipur understands basic Manipuri. If that is not the case then write up to the official to provide you with someone who can speak the language that the villagers speak.

How does they communicate when they come to Imphal? Think out of the box and find a solution instead of just finding a way to stay in the valley. If you are saying that people who speak the same language as the villager or the people of the area where you are posted should be only posted in the place then aren't you just dividing and putting a wedge in between the already strained relation between the different communities of this state?

Accessibility is somewhat a valid reason for people not willing to go and work in the far flung areas of the state. Poor connectivity is always a problem. I remember my first trip to Sibapurikhal in 2013.

Sibapurikhal at that time was under Churachandpur district. I don't know under which district it comes now. In 2013, the approach from Churachandpur side was almost unavailable. The only approach that was available was from Jiribam side. In fact there were two way to reach the place. Either you go off roading on the rough terrain or you go Fulertal in Cachar district of Assam and take ferry upriver to the place.

We went for the ferry ride (nobody wants off roading after going through Imphal-Jiribam road). It took us 4 hours upstream to reach the place. We were going there during winter season when the Barak River was lean. Would have been a problem had it been during monsoon.

Map on display at the Primary Health Centre in Sibapurikhal (2013)
Map on display at the Primary Health Centre in Sibapurikhal (2013)

So yes I agree that connectivity is always a problem. The government should really work on getting a better connectivity in the state. Not just as publicity stunt (the picture that the present government are showing as achievement with caption after and before in Imphal-Jiribam highway are not the same section. Better luck next time buddy).

However even though there are difficulties in reaching any particular place or area, shouldn't one have in mind that the people on the other end of the road also have the very same problem when they want to access basic amenities of life? What happens when there is a medical emergency in those remote areas? They have to overcome all the difficulties when they run errands. They have a permanent place in there called home in there. The place that you are saying is not worth serving in is home to hundreds and thousands of life. You are not going to be there forever (unless you decide to).

So isn't it also our duty to serve the people in remote place in the same manner as you serve in valley areas? Let the government do their part in making it more secure to work in anywhere in the state. And I believe the government had been doing it though not upto the mark.

The government only seems to come alive only when any untoward incident happens.

Such are the time when the work ethics and personal security come into a clash. But this are also the time which present itself with the opportunity for one to decide whether he wants to make a change in life or he just wants to live as it is. Such are the time which differentiate a Good Human being from a normal person.

What happens when you serve for a couple of years in a different place? No harm is there. Everyone talks about the valley and hill people as one and the brotherhood that runs between us. Are you one of those folks who just speaks about such good things and does nothing? Erecting a lamp post during the Mera Wayungba is not going to unite us. Your actions here and there is. Yes, cultural ties are also important. I am not questioning the importance of the cultural values here. What I am trying to express is that when you alienate the people in the remote areas by not going and serving in those places, you are only making the situation worst.

When you say security is a problem by citing examples of what happen with (late) Kisan (MCS) and in Sibapurikhal you are giving and exceptions. Understand this that those points are exceptions and not conditions for working in the places that you are posted. Robin Sharma has rightly written in his book "The Monk Who Sold his Ferrari" that "A Ship is always safe in harbour, but that is not what ships are made for".

The Government also needs to provide adequate security and accommodation for the employees when they serve in the remote areas. Network of roads need to be developed to connect all the parts of the state. But I believe that this will come slowly.

So in the meantime isn't it a humanly act that we serve in those far flung places? Don't you want all the people in Manipur to live in peace? Or are you one of those who feels that you are higher class and it is below your status to serve people who are poor and struggling to get the basic amenities? Or are you one of those who make it his life goal to divide Manipur and make gains out of it?

I don't really know what kind of person you are or why you don't want to serve in remote areas. But all I have to say is that the places that you are calling remote/inhospitable or anything are home to hundreds and thousands of Manipuri. Those places are Manipur in every aspect.

* Gurumayum Bidyasagar Sharma wrote this article for
The writer can be contacted at gbidya(dot)unipune(AT)gmail(dot)com
This article was posted on July 12, 2017.

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