TODAY -

MP election issues & non-issues

Free Thinker *



We are going to have our polls on 11th of April for the hills and on 18th for the valley; nomenclature like 'outer Manipur' and 'inner Manipur' creates psychological barrier among the people of the State, so may I take the liberty of referring to our constituencies as Manipur hills and Manipur valley respectively?

Those who are good in (renaming) giving appropriate names may kindly do this favor to us so that there is more unity among the people of Manipur and territorially too. Perhaps the name 'outer Manipur' breeds the idea of some territorial ambitions in certain quarters.

The most important election issue ought to be the unity and integrity of the people and of the State. There is no compromise on this issue. Those who stand against the idea of Manipur must be rejected; or in other words those who want to dismantle the unity and integrity of Manipur should not be voted.

People of Manipur never oppose the idea of Greater-Nagaland or Kuki-land if such demands have nothing to do with the territorial integrity of Manipur (& unity of its people).

Corruption is a non-issue in our State because we don't have the material and resources to be that corrupt and flee for London; the entire State budget is equivalent to a defense kickback. So, don't believe in the propaganda of some vested interest mongering that there is rampant corruption. Yes of course we indulge in some kind of favoritism, nepotism, giving gratitude money etc.

That is quite natural in a very cultured society like ours. But we have a bad habit of giving tips/gratitude money before the service is rendered or work is done; we need to reverse this habit. Universally Tips are given after the job is done or in other words gratitude is expressed to the person when the needful is done.

One senior leader sent a WhatsApp message to a promising politician and he forwarded the same to me; because he knows me very well that I am fond of such ideas ; the message was a written quotation of a great Roman orator Marcus T Cicero who belonged to the first century BC "the poor work and work, the rich exploit the poor, the soldier- protects both, the taxpayer-pays for all the three, the banker - robs all four, lawyer - misleads all five, physician/doctor- bills all six, the goons-scare all seven, politician lives happily on account of all the eight".

Whether it is rightly attributed to the renowned classical orator is not a matter to be looked into; but the content of the quotation is of great relevance till today. Then my subsequent question is whether all the eight namely the poor, the rich, the taxpayers, the bankers, the lawyers, the doctors and even the goons vote for the power, happiness and comfort of the politicians?

They call it democracy. And this is still considered the best form of government. Till we evolve a better system we may continue with democracy where the fools are exploited by the wise in the name of equality, liberty and justice.

One very inquisitive voter who has just entered her name in the electoral list asked me whom to vote or which party to be supported or which ideology to be trusted? My simple reply to the young lady was - just go for the best candidate, party and ideology does not make must sense these days.

In fact, the significance of Political parties and ideologies wither away when most of the leaders indulge in pragmatic power politics. The choice is left to the electors to choose the best candidate. Meanwhile, I have come across an interesting news item (courtesy TOI) - what if a voter has no fingers! When we cast a vote, indelible ink is applied on our left-hand fore-finger.

Have you wondered what happens if a person has no forefinger on his left-hand? If a voter has no left-hand forefinger, then indelible ink is applied on any finger on his left hand. If he does not have any fingers on his left hand, ink is applied on his right-hand forefinger.

If he has no right -hand forefinger, then any other finger on his right hand will do. If he has no fingers on either hand, ink is applied on the extremity (stump) of either hand.

Who is the best candidate?

Again, it is subjective, and we can't be so objective about it. However, a general yardstick may be worked out for a fair judgement: who is more educationally qualified (no fake certificates please)? who is poorer? who is having least criminal record? who speaks less lie? who has more connection in Dili (this is important to expedite things for the State)?

Who has good rapport with the Organizations, NGOs, Clubs, Imas, Students Unions (this will help to maintain peace and tranquility in the State)?

If you are still unable to decide the candidate it is better to take the gratitude money and vote accordingly. And if you have taken the gratitude money from almost all the contestants and having a moral dilemma while casting the vote you can go for NOTA (none of the above).

But the problem is, if NOTA gets the maximum number, is there any ethically democratic solution rather than the existing Statutory/Constitutional remedy i.e. to declare the second-best the winner?


* Free Thinker wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was posted on April 01 2019.


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