TODAY -

Our City Or Our Disgrace

Rev. Fr. Paul Lelen Haokip *

An unkempt public toilet for women at a market place
An unkempt public toilet for women at a market place :: Pix - TSE



In a corporate world, a critic is paid for his/her observations and helpful corrections. To critique someone is not a pleasant job but a necessary evil for good. To critique is to be observant.

Read on, let's see some of our happenings. It is not surprising to see well dressed gentlemen in front of the Secretariat crossing the road dividers and trying hard to get over the heavy traffic road. When we drive, it is a tough job to negotiate with the small road as well as pedestrians appearing from any side, any time.

Few months ago you could see the sight of horses roaming around in Imphal city as if they have been released from jail. At two painful incidents, I saw horses dead just in front of HOTEL IMPHAL but neither the patrolling police personnel nor the Municipal staff removed the carcasses until the stench to the disgust of the passersby.

One used to be almost practically hell up/held up at Governor's Bungalow junction or the Khongnang Ani Karak due to the months long unfinished road repairs. You find captions like "No Urinals" in different parts of the city. I agree. But where is the public convenience provided adequately? We have few shabby and foul-smell ridden places, of course.

Don't be surprised to see men facing the walls and releasing their full bladders in the city corners and between the houses. Toilet facilities are the basic needs of every healthy society. But to our hard luck, we don't really have proper toilets in this city. A hard thing for the women folk to compete the men in this necessity ease.

You find even learned men and women just littering papers and wastes from their vehicles as if that thing will disappear in the air. We clean the drains and heap up that rubbish on the side as if it will disappear that night.

Don't you sometimes see smart cars with smart (A or B Class) people inside throwing out sweet wrappers or empty bottles as they drive swiftly. To me they have lost their class because of the lack of civic sense. If one honestly feels that this small city of Sanaleipak is his/her belonging, will he/she do that?

A couple of time I drove through the Kangla gates to avoid the heavy traffic.

But, Kangla - the capital and heritage of Manipur seems to be an unsafe place where even security men are involved in kidnapping and murder. Not a strange sight to see uniform men and women collecting ' 10 from trucks or auto rickshaws having a U-turn at wrong traffic points. Thanks to the Deputy CM's promise to have a better screening of the would-be security personnel of our State.

If our daily newspapers give us some consoling, bravery stories, instructive and constructive pieces of news in the first page of their own esteemed dailies I think our Manipur will be a lot more-positive and pro-life in its conduct. To our hard luck, we are drowned and stained with news of molestation, rape, murder, kidnap, theft etc., in the first page itself. Who does not want to be greeted with a positive page?

The religious celebrations sometimes honk so loud that a sick person will be irritated and most likely will curse our outward expression of religiosity. Cordoning off streets for dances, private functions etc., can hardly bring appreciation from the heavy traffic passers-by.

It is not a new thing to see stone loaded trucks being splashed and washed at the drinking water outlets where other drinking water tankers also carry the same for human consumption. While you wait in long queues for just some fuel, don't you feel irritated to wait for oil pumps giving hundred of diesel/petrol to empty can loaded vehicles? Is this how Manipur manages fuel shortage?

In the heavy traffic in Imphal City you negotiate and wait for your turn. Suddenly you see well dressed uniform security from the wrong side or the one way. You are like "Oh My God". Where is the POLICE, I mean Politeness, Obedience, Loyalty, Intelligence, Civic Sense and Equality?

Some months back, we were glad to see some Police Commandos nabbing Army PRO and friends ferrying contraband drugs to Moreh. Few days later, the dailies carried the news of Police Commandos in full uniform and well armed, carrying the same forbidden drugs to the same destination Moreh. Oh Moreh! you are the cause of many a downfall.

Even security men are involved in gang raping a woman of their mother's age (U-morok Seller). U-morok seems to be effective with the verdict on the culprits. Shame on us! Now, whom will the citizens of the country and Sanaleipak believe? We the people are left with just one option, that is "mistrust/suspicion". When will our law keepers prove themselves trust worthy. Now, who will judge the judge?

At times, you are taken aback with the loud sirens companying the bullet proof VIPs vehicles who are accorded security. What about the security and safety of those who guard the VIPs? Don't they also have family and dears ones expecting them back at home safely? Life is to be respected at all levels.

The right to participation in social building is an important area to be safeguarded by the legislative, executive and the judiciary. Prime concern for ethical principles, practices, orientation and behavior need to be the hallmark of a civilized society.


* Rev. Fr. Paul Lelen Haokip (B.Ed., M.A. Soc., M.A. Public Adm.) wrote this article for Hueiyen Lanpao (English Edition)
The writer can be contacted at paulhowkeep(at)yahoo(dot)co(dot)in
This article was posted on July 19, 2013.



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