TODAY -

This is Manipur !

Zamminlien *

A semi low floor bus at Khwairamband
A semi low floor bus at Khwairamband :: Pix - TSE



If you hear people shouting 'direct, direct' you're definitely in Churachandpur parking at Keishampat. The moment you cross Keishampat's bridge, you'll be accosted by a couple of under-aged boys wearing a shirt with atleast two buttons missing. They will escort you to a counter where a middle-aged man sits by a wooden stool selling tickets.

The man selling the tickets is always busy surrounded by passengers trying their best to get the seats near the window. Some passengers would dare to wait for the next twenty minutes to board the next bus to sit by the window.

Direct bus (a mini bus) plying between CCpur and Imphal would charge an extra of Rs. 10. Passengers would never hesitate to pay extra bucks to avoid those bus stands between CCpur and Imphal, and vice-versa. Even those who don't get seats are willing to sit on a mora. Line bus usually takes more than two hours to travel the 66 km stretch road. Direct bus, on the other hand takes hardly one and half hour.

Upon leaving Keishampat, the bus would halt every moment someone on the road raise their hand to get in the bus. Passengers would grind their teeth, some would even shout "direct nataro?", but the driver would keep on taking passengers till all the seats are filled.

Besides that, there would be some people dressed in khaki with an automatic rifle in their hands, trying their best to get 'cha thaknaba'. Nobody complains, all have to endure the whole episode. This is Manipur.

Anybody taking the steering wheel may drive the innocent people as they please. It would be wrong to say there is no law and order, there is, but not that efficacious. The people need to sweat it out. The people must have been used to it.

A large number of people queuing in the counter would be ignored, but the slip of the security guard of the bank be first attended. Nobody ever dare to question the share dividend between the guard and the clerk. People just wait for their turn to avoid the clerk shouting back.

A friend of mine had said 'this (queue) is the beauty of Manipur'. Yeah, he's right.

This is Manipur.

People would complain against Government officials of being corrupt. But the people themselves keep on paying bribes. If everybody desists from paying bribes, corruption might be diminished. To get the signature of an official, one needs to start paying bribe from the peon. To get the work done in haste, paying bribes is again the best option.

The people have put themselves into the dilemma of paying or waiting, a wait that they are never ascertained for.

Corruption in Manipur is not a new thing. It has been passed down from generations. It is something which we are never proud of, but never tried to impede. Am I wrong ?

Manipur's Anna Hazare is not what we expect. Imposing bandhs and blockades (the most popular trend of Manipur) to stop corruption would make us a laughing stock.

The only option available may be to keep on sailing with this evil practice. You pay and get your work done briskly.

This is Manipur.


* Zamminlien wrote this article for Hueiyen Lanpao (English Edition)
This article was posted on March 20, 2013



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