Birth pangs of a new Manipur
- Imphal Times Editorial :: December 15 2016 -
Two new districts- Pherzawl and Jiribam will officially come into existence with the Chief Minister of the state inaugurating both the districts today.
The event will be nothing less than the proverbial baptism by fire, as preemptive moves by the United Naga Council which include but by no means limited to total shutdown of all Naga inhibited areas of the state, imposition of indefinite economic blockade along the national highways and even attempts on the lives of the truck drivers who are being escorted back to the state by state and central security personnel have been carried out in attempts to thwart the move.
Yet even as the state has been reeling under the impact of the prolonged indefinite economic blockade along the two national highways compounded by the demonetization move of the Narendra Modi government, Chief Minister Ibobi have gone ahead and declared the creation of seven new districts which are carved out of seven older districts.
The move, as the Chief Minister have stated, is to improve administration and governance.
While there are many who are still questioning the decision and are still protesting the same, yet the state also saw a surprisingly huge number of the public applauding what is termed as a masterstroke of the Ibobi government and went up in spontaneous merrymaking and rejoicing.
Despite the claims and counterclaims on the present developments in the state, the timing of it all still leaves a shadow of doubt in the minds of the people as to the real motive and agenda behind such an unusually swift decision by a government whose administrative trademark for the most part is to dither and dally on almost every issue whether political or social until every ounce of interest and enthusiasm runs out of steam.
While time will eventually unfold the truth, yet that is the one luxury the people of the state does not have.
Amidst the display of bravado and resoluteness in creating the new districts, one cannot help but notice a tinge of desperation and an attempt at diversion of issues which would have otherwise gathered momentum by now.
The unrestrained run of employment notices in almost every department, the unexplained attempt of the state government to acquire almost double the land officially required for the National Sports University, failure of the government to put effective administration in almost all the hill districts and the dismal lack of timely actions even in the valley districts to name a few.
The present demands from the Naga based groups would definitely have sprung from a concern which is serious enough to warrant taking risks and agitate.
Regardless of the validity or practicality of such demands, it is the inherent duty of the state government to allay the fears of any unfounded concepts or assumptions or to address any real and genuine ones before things get out of hand.
Now that the state government has had its way, it now remains to be seen how the landmark decision can change and effect administration that has hitherto failed for all practical purposes in the hill areas of the state.
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