TODAY -

Looking beyond the next 4 months : Covid and Olympics
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: August 28, 2021 -



Still four months left to go for 2021 to end but already questions may well be raised on how Manipur will remember the year, which is already at the fag end of its 8th month, when one looks back say, three or four or five years hence.

One obviously will be the second wave of the pandemic which has taken a heavy toll on the people and another will obviously be the good showing put up by the five persons who made the cut to represent the country at the Tokyo Olympics, 2020.

It was amid the rising deaths and rising number of positive cases that Saikhom Mirabai Chanu lifted her way to the Silver, thereby opening the medal count for India.

Again it was amid the pandemic here that Nilakanta did Manipur proud by being a member of the men's hockey team that lifted the Bronze medal at the same Olympics, the first medal that the hockey team won after the Moscow Olympics of 1980.

It was a case of so near yet so far for the women's hockey team of which yet another player from Manipur, P Shushila Chanu was a key player.

Boxing ace, Mary Kom fell short of landing a medal, but she did the State and the country proud at the Olympics and the other Shushila from Manipur was the only Judoka to represent the country at the Tokyo Olympics.

It is ironic but when people talk about the stupendous showing by the five athletes from Manipur at Japan, say ten or even twenty years down the line, the pandemic will also be remembered.

A case of 'nature' penning the history of mankind and a case of five sons and daughters of the soil penning a story of glory and how the two must go side by side.

This is how the current year will be remembered and it is also interesting to note that what happened and will happen in the four months left of the year will go to a large extent on how Manipur decides which party should rule the State for the next five years.

And when one talks about 2021 in the political context, it will always need to be seen in the backdrop of the Assembly elections lined up for the early part of 2022.

Adding that much more punch and 'taste' to the run up to 2022 will obviously be the manner in which heavy weight from Bishnupur Assembly Constituency, Govindas Konthoujam first resigned as the president of the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee, then the Assembly and from the Congress before finally jumping to the BJP bandwagon.

It is also significant to note that Govindas jumped fence to be with the BJP not at the State level but at New Delhi, where the Central leaders of the BJP rolled out the red carpet and Chief Minister N Biren and State BJP president A Sharda Devi were present.

How much will the move of Govindas impact on the coming Assembly elections is something which only time can tell, but it is still not very clear whether his exit from the Congress will open a sort of a floodgate with others following or not.

The Congress must be feeling the rumbling created by its own men and many others who are understood to be close to the power players may have started getting an inkling of how things will proceed.

Whatever the case, 2021 has certainly been significant and interestingly what happened and will happen in the coming months will have a big say on how the Big Two fare in the Assembly elections next year.



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