TODAY -

Election: The greatest weapon of the people

Thongam Zingo *

Polling for Second phase of 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly election at  Khoupum, Nungba ::  08 March 2017
Polling for 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly election at Khoupum, Nungba in March 2017 :: Pix - Shankar Khangembam



It is the plough of the farmer,
That will bring smiles to their faces,
When the fields are green and the harvest are many.
It is the tool of the labourer,
That will reward for their sweat,
When the wages are satisfied and meet the family needs.
It is the lift of the oppressed,
That will equate them with oppressor,
When the cruelty is removed and everything is fair.
It is the shield of the weak,
That will make them safe and secure,
When the blows are protected and served as armor.
It is for the poor, the means and only means,
To the Food, the Cloth and the Shelter,
The greatest weapon of the people 'For A Change'.


The Nation awaits the Lok Sabha Election in the year 2019 probably at the proposed month of April-May. Manipur also awaits a grand festival with infinite feasts and shower of notes. The election will also come to Manipur in the form of a market where the people get themselves sold.

Moreover, several families, several friendships and several kinships are ready to collapse. Organizations and various pressure groups will also be absorbed in this grand festival with no whereabouts. It has been the scenario of Election or scenario of Democracy in the State.

No one will dare to challenge the statement that "India is the largest Democracy in the world". It is because the structures or the institutions of Democracy fully exist in the country. Value or substance may or may not be existing, it is a different thing.

Election is the backbone of Democracy and it is through election that a Nation is proven to be democratic. Other institutions like political party, opposition party, ruling party, parliament, pressure group, etc. are also a proof for existence of Democracy. In this regard, India is the largest Democracy in the world. But the question is, 'Is the value of Democracy existing in the country?'

Talking about Manipur, the movement of Meetei Nationalism, Naga Nationalism, Kuki Nationalism, movement for Right to Self Determination, Resistance Movements, etc. seem to be vague and meaningless when we look at rate of people's turn-out in the election. There were great news in National Media 'Record 86 percent turnout in last phase of Manipur Polls' (Times of India dated 8th March, 2017).

Another statement of Chief Electoral Officer regarding 2017 Election can also be quoted, '89 percent polling was recorded at the end of the repoll in 34 polling stations'. I am mentioning these examples because, Election Commission, Union Government or even National Media are proud of such things as they publicize it as success of Indian Democracy or Democracy in Manipur.

The point is, criteria like turn out in polls is treated to be a basic ingredient of a successful democracy. The evils, dirt, etc in the process of democracy or election is hidden. In my opinion, NOTA is also a vague concept or thing without any significance.

It is only a diplomatic tool to increase turn out in the polls even though people are sick of the type of democratic process in India or sick of the types of candidates who come out to be people's representative. If such things continue, the future of Indian Democracy is dark.

In short, election is the backbone of Democracy and greatest tool of change. Everybody is aware that the process of election in Manipur is very dirty. We also have a habit of agitation, bandhs, blockades, forming JACs for our demand or reaction against Government.

But we always forget that when we rightly use our voting right for the right person, such agitations won't be necessary in the future. There is of course retardation instead of development in the state.

'Manipur is developing or developed', this is just the words of politicians making the people blind and just a mere political agenda. It is very funny that the purpose of a political party seems to be eradication of another political party only.

Such type of propaganda was also seen in the campaigns like,' Our aim is to uproot ...... Party from the soil of India'. This is the irony of Indian Democracy and Democracy in Manipur as well. They are focusing on competition to snatch power.

It is my humble appeal to the people of Manipur, lets utilize the coming election of 2019 in a right way, without the influence of money, power or muscle for a change and for a Democracy with value.


* Thongam Zingo wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was posted on May 09, 2018.


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