TODAY -

The struggle so far..

A. Thoudam *

Sit in protest at Keishampat Leimajam Leikai, Sega Road. Protest in front of MPSC office, North AOC on 10th August 2017
Sit in protest at Keishampat Leimajam Leikai, Sega Road on 10th August 2017



"then in that case, let the result be declared".. this was a sentence that cut deep wounds. I still remember sitting in the front row of the visitor's area inside the court. Yes, I am talking about the ongoing case against MPSC. I can still recap the look on the judge's face while he was giving his statement, though he was not directly looking at the audience. Let me clarify here, that the case was due and the merit of the case was still left to be discussed. The hope that we aspirants had on that morning was shattered. Allow me to take you down the memory lane and enlighten you on some of the struggles we faced since the birth of our group.

When the result was declared hastily, I knew that there was something fishy. This feeling was reaffirmed when I saw around 200 people coming to MPSC office, to file RTI applications for their answer papers, the very next day after the declaration of the result. During that time, we all came together and took a pledge to form a group and file a case against MPSC. Thus was the birth of "The Group Of Aspirants".

Since that very day, we started having regular meetings. We were determined, enthusiastic, energetic and huge in number. We started piling up ideas and strategies from different angles. The meetings almost lasted from morning till late evenings. The struggle was on!

As the court cases started, we were so involved in it that we had to sacrifice our studies and personal matters so as to further the case. One important struggle that we faced, still we do, was the lack of funds. As we are still students and almost all of us are from middle class families, the lack of funds gave terrible nightmares. Also, some looked down upon us as miscreants and obstructionists whose mission is to disrupt only because we could not get through the exam.

I cannot remember when the ideas of becoming a social activist came to me, for just a month before, I was merely a student preparing for the exam. So were my fellow mates, but everyone was starting to develop the feeling that," we should do something to change the system".

We went to our opposition leaders, asking for help. We had to wait for so long and it was already late at night, but we kept our patience and finally got to meet one of them. We were assured that they would lend their support and we came back happy and contended, but much to our surprise the assurances were never fulfilled. On another note, the BJYM helped us in our struggle by storming the MPSC gate and obstructing the interview process of the said exam. They also made certain promises before the election, but then again, their promises still remain unfulfilled even after they have come to power.

After the result was declared, many members from our group left. Funds and man power were scarce, but there was much to be done. Someone aptly visualized our predicament, "it was an evening on the Loktak lake, a fisherman alone on his boat, returning home, which was still far. As Dusk presented itself, a mighty storm was also on its way towards the fisherman". We were running out of money, energy, time and encouragement.

However, the few persons who remained, did not lose "hope". It was a hard time for us running from pillar to post, raising funds, asking for help. Most of us who had never entered the arena of press, started holding press conferences. Our confidence was mounting. Little did we know that we were moulding ourselves for the better. This went on for months. The housie we organised, the press conferences, the sit in protest, etc, took whole of our energies and time. But it was a sacrifice we were willing to make.

It has been nine months since we started our struggle. However, we saw light at the end of the tunnel, when some of us got our RTI copies. Much to our expectations, there were many irregularities, for example, tampering of marks, absence of examiner's signatures, totalling errors, etc. With this, the momentum of our struggle began to rise again. People, who were once sceptical, have also started supporting us. When we went to the offices of DC and the SP, the people working there were so supportive of our cause that they even helped us draft the application seeking permission from the DC to hold a sit in protest against the malpractices of MPSC.

Now our struggle has seen an interesting turn of events. People near and far, have started supporting our cause, monetarily and morally. The diasporas, the parents, and other citizens have started showing their appreciations.

With the new evidences pointing fingers against MPSC, we are all the stronger. We always knew it would be a mighty task, for we are challenging the system and corruption, to be particular. One has to stand up, sacrifice and take up the challenge, and we did!!

Now that the fresh petition has been admitted, we shall surely see some positive results in days and months to come. Salute to all those nameless faces, who believed that we can still change the system, for without them, we would never have reached this far. The only thing that kept us running and bonded till now is HOPE.


* A. Thoudam wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer can be contacted at groupofaspirantsmpsc(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was posted on August 21, 2017.


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