Bridging the divide
- Imphal Times Editorial :: April 01 2017 -
With the change of guard in the state, there is a palpable sense of renewed vigour and enthusiasm amongst the general public as well as those in administration and governance.
The turnaround can be gauged from the fact that announcements for plans and projects by the new government is being received with a positive hope and anticipation rather than with snide remarks and sarcasms as were the case earlier.
Perhaps such a change in perception may have a lot to do with the no-nonsense and go-getter attitude portrayed by the Chief Minister N Biren, or it may very well be also a spontaneous expression of the undying hope and aspirations that had for long been suppressed or brushed aside and crushed beneath the ever increasing piles of politically motivated and opportunistic schemes devised and implemented by the few with influence and power without the scantest consideration for the frustrated and deluded public.
Now that concrete steps are being taken up in right earnest to untangle the political and social complicacies, it is time to take into account the irrefutable fact that there had been a gradual build-up of mistrust and suspicions amongst the different ethnic groups and communities in the state.
Accepting this very simple fact should be the first step towards any and every effort to address the issue and to lay down a strong social foundation which can withstand any future divisive forces.
The earnest appeal of the chief minister for putting in constructive suggestions before passing judgments should be kept in mind as such moves will encourage participation of the public in state building and will eventually lead to better and stronger state.
Arguably, the best measure for securing such a positive outcome will be to increase interaction and communication amongst the various groups and communities which calls for putting in place a network ofroadways that is operational throughout the year.
Every other factors of development and progress inevitably hinges on the improvement and construction of existing or new roads which are vital in making the people living in far-flung and remote places to access facilities and opportunities that makes life better and safer.
Transfer of technologies and infrastructures can be achieved with relative ease which will accelerate development and instill a sense of belonging in the hearts of these people which is evidently in short supply till date.
But above all, improving roads will increase interaction and communication amongst the people of different communities and groups which is perhaps the only effective means of dispelling the suspicions and distrust.
With increased understanding of the diverse customs, cultures and traditions will come respect and appreciation.
A tourism related exploratory festival of sorts in every district of the state can be held in turn which will act as a medium through which people from different places can experience and enjoy the company and cultures as well as the way of life of the diverse groups and communities instead of confining state level tourism festivals in the state capital.
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