Of political instability, COVID and war on drugs

Kakai Singsit & James Doungel *

Manipur is a land of paradoxes where every elected representatives want to be a minister and all the ministers eyeing for the top slot and thereby making a mockery of democracy- on whose bedrock they were catapulted to the pedestal by we, the naive voters, with the expectation that they will deliver their promises.

But there can be only one CM on a given term and twelve Council of Ministers including the CM and the speaker, as was reinforced by the ironclad anti-defection law of 2003 or otherwise known as the 91st Amendment Act of 2003. It was thought that the 91st amendment act will bring forth political stability and deterred elected representatives from changing party loyalties but it did not.

N Biren Singh’s BJP government inherited a fractured mandate and its zeal to form the government had come with a heavy price as it had to accommodate the coalition partners the major chunks of the ministerial berths available which became costly at the later part.

For two years it was gliding smoothly rolling out largesse and packages ably strengthened by its people-centric policies much to the admiration and enthusiasm of the people to such an extent that he became the most popular Chief Minister Manipur that had ever seen. But all was not well within.

The first political roller-coaster came to light during the early part of 2019 when there was clamour for change of guard from various dissenting MLAs but the schism was ironed-out after the intervention of the central leadership of the BJP and placated the dissenting MLAs. The hatchet was buried but not forever as it has resurfaced yet, again and again.

Again, Manipur government was rocked by yet another dissension when all the BJP MLAs who had missed the ministerial bus submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister in the later part 2019 demanding for total reshuffling of all the present cabinet ministers with new faces. Improbable as it seems the matter was put to rest after the intervention of the central leadership or euphemistically known as the party high-command.

It was during those halcyon days that the much acclaimed “war on drugs” was launched which in the later days came to be his Achilles heels and haunts him till today. It paid off dividends with drugs and psychedelic substances worth thousands of crore of rupees caught and thousands of poppy fields were devastated. The climax came when one ADC, chairman’s quarter was busted by the Narcotics department with drugs and cash worth Rs 28 crore.

The involvement of a high-profile political personality in such a shady business sent shockwaves to the people’s psyche because this is not the first that a high-profile personality was indicted on drug business.

His incarceration, later fleeing, his surrender and yet again the granting of bail on medical ground and the ensuing high-drama in the court, the affidavit marked by allegations of prodding for leniency from the highest personalities in the helm of affairs has never fail to hog both national and state media banner pages.

Then comes 2020 with all the dizzying concoction of last year’s hangover episodes but concomitant with a glimmer of hope that political instability had been put to the back-burner for the sake of peace and development only to be cut short by the arrival of Corona Virus pandemic which we are grappling with right now.

The first confirmation of a positive case sent panic to all the citizens of Manipur thus forcing the government of Manipur to imposed lock-down from the fag-end of March, 2020 till today though enforced in the attenuated form, now.

All attention was directed towards the containment of this pandemic which is seen to be exponentially increasing day by day. Government machineries and the people were preoccupied with only COVID and expatriation of our citizens elsewhere.

Then came the deflection- the Rajya Sabha election of 2020 which saw the revival the old-ghost, that we were under the fantasy that it was already exorcised, coming back to haunt the government.

The build-up to the election was marked by the most shameless episodes of MLAs, Ministers jumping from one ship to the other only to return as the prodigal son with excuses and pretexts so ludicrous that we all hung our head in revulsion. The Corona Virus scare and its fight containment was shrugged-off for the ultimate price.

In fact, it was forgotten. The ruling party walked away with the golden spoon much to the chagrin of the opposition party who until the day of the reckoning was under the impression that they will sail through.

The revelry was short-lived as yet another bombshell in the form of an affidavit was dropped to the Manipur High Court’s room indicting high-profile personalities of the state, including the CM, DGP and a Vice president of the BJP, Manipur state unit.

The already festering situation was superimposed by yet another internal political bickering which is yet to crystallize. Fickle as we are, our attention-span is now being directed to this very contentious issue of ‘war on drugs’ and the ensuing recriminations.

This topic is now on everybody’s lips- from drunk to sober, devil’s advocates to political savants, plebeian to patrician, and etc. The all-pervasive discussions and debates has becomes the favourite time-pass for ‘Hotel Philosophers’ who are under the delusion that their cup of tea is deficient of taste if not blended with the ‘super-cop vs the state’ topic with one supporting the other only to be negated by the other.

The devil deserves his due so the super-cop deserves our fullsome accolades for her commitment in the eradication of drugs and giving a free-drug Manipur but the question of ethics and protocol in the conduct of his or her official duty with due regards to the judiciary, the executives and the legislatures was thrown to the wind.

This is simply untenable. If the matter was in the court why not let the court take up the matter without any interference from any quarter.

Branding the judiciary as entirely corrupt and launching invectives against it undermines its sanctity as the custodian of people’s rights. If not satisfied with the court’s decision why not take recourse to the appellate forum that is available for any aggrieve party?

The executive and the police department was not spared either in the affidavit. When the matter was subjudice it is a wonder how the matter reached national and state medias.

To be a firebrand or loose-cannon is normally taken as the job of the pressure groups or civil societies but here a government officer that too from a uniform service is doing the reverse role. If all the democratic institutions are not respected in the conduct of their business then surely we are heading towards mobocracy, which is undesirable.

Lashing out at the titular king was very poor in taste for the CSOs had done their part. After all, the present government led by N Biren Singh had done stellar job during its short tumultuous tenure of three-years.

The significant improvement of Law and Order, the new entente it had brought with the hill people, the vanishing culture of bandh and blockades, people-centric governance etc should be collectively reminisced. Though plagued by oft-repeated internal dissensions and bickering this government had done commendable jobs.

We, the people had to go through a hell lot of tribulations thanks to the political instability manufactured in the cauldron of our elected representatives. Now that Manipur is grappling with COVID-19 it will be wise if our collective attention is directed towards it. A wise man once defined democracy as this- “Buy the people, off the people and force the people.” See the irony.

* Kakai Singsit & James Doungel wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on July 23 2020 .

* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.

  • Addressing the Zeliangrong question
  • COVID-19 Status 10 August: Govt of Manipur
  • Ramkashing, Sinneihoi, Aton: eMing
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Women plug food supply gap during lockdown
  • NGO Studies (MAINS) program in South Korea
  • Initiate inquiry for Hospital refusal
  • Love in the Hard Times :: Poem
  • From cluster to local transmission
  • Negative remarks on positive activities
  • MK PB Singh, 1st CM & Mizo agitation
  • COVID-19 Status 9 August: Govt of Manipur
  • Azolla: An organic farmer's friend
  • Corona Came Calling... :: Poem
  • Manipur gi sakkhangbidraba yelhoumee
  • COVID-19 : Impact in Manipur :: News Timeline
  • Thousand questions to life but.. one answer
  • Time to take all into confidence
  • Yaoshang Thabal Chongba #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 8 August: Govt of Manipur
  • Impact of Covid-19 on mobile phone users
  • International Day of Indigenous Peoples
  • A call against systematic inequalities
  • August Diary :: Poem
  • A tale of Friendships Unlocked !
  • A Nuclear Free Future
  • Stay positive on Northeast plan
  • Is MSPDCL taking advantage of COVID-19
  • Folk Dance @Republic Day #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 7 August: Govt of Manipur
  • Written obituary :: Poem
  • Truth unearth by COVID-19 pandemic
  • Clarification from SKY Hospital
  • COVID-19: Orders - 7 Aug: Govt of Manipur
  • Children's psychology & lockdown intervention
  • No confidence & godfather
  • Death in childbirth in the 21st century !
  • Need for a suitable pandemic model
  • Phuba Khuman in Senapati dist #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 6 August: Govt of Manipur
  • Thoubalphobia- Malemnganbi's Child Delivery
  • Why not establish veterinary college, Manipur
  • India-Myanmar Convergence :: Webinar
  • National Education Policy : A New Horizon
  • Wanted : Total figure of local transmission
  • Lets appreciates the thousands heroes
  • Become an Amateur Astronomer
  • COVID-19 Status 5 August: Govt of Manipur
  • BIG 17th call : Biotech Ignition Grant
  • Maya Kuki- 3 titles at IAWA India 2020
  • 2020 :: Poem
  • What is Intellectual Property Right (IPR)?
  • Art of running a coalition Govt
  • Traditional Raas Dance #3 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 4 August: Govt of Manipur
  • 2 from Manipur clear Civil Services Exam
  • Education Policy: Prospects & Way Forward
  • Appeal to stop Chromite mining
  • Agri-enterprises for Atmanirbhar North-East
  • Changes to make-up during COVID-19
  • Time to act sensibly
  • Barricading or brainstorming?
  • Tarao Laimanai, Chandel #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 3 August: Govt of Manipur
  • Ravi's take on China factor in NE Insurgency
  • Opportunities in post COVID days
  • Shifting of drug supply trend in Manipur
  • Hope in COVID Era !! :: Poem
  • Press Communique from NPF [3 Aug]
  • Stand on ST demand
  • Culturals @ Sangai Fest 2019 #3 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 2 August: Govt of Manipur
  • Misinterpretation of Naga Political Settlement
  • Home returnees, unemployment & ILPS
  • NEP to adversely affect future of North-east
  • Conflicts of laws on Child Marriage & POSCO
  • His Stoic Endurance :: Poem
  • 'Declare relatives working in Naga movement'
  • Rise from July 1 to August 1
  • 'Zehara' - Manipuri Movie :: eRang Classic
  • COVID-19 Status 1 August: Govt of Manipur
  • CCC @ Khongnangkhong [Aug 1]: Gallery
  • Where are the men in family planning ?
  • Asymptomatic & Rapid Antigen Testing
  • Cosmic Lover :: Poem
  • Incremental benefit of cleaning Nambul River
  • Why only 5 Kg of rice to cardholders?
  • Imphal View from Nongmai Ching #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 31 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Id-Ul-Azha celebrated by Meitei Pangal
  • COVID-19 & its detection strategy
  • Physical Education & Sports @ MU
  • Naming the COVID vaccine
  • Withdraw MoUs signed for mining
  • More deaths, more concern
  • Ailing Nambul River recovering
  • Dr TS Gangte: Pioneer of higher education
  • COVID-19 Status 30 July : Govt of Manipur
  • August Calendar for Year 2020 : Tools
  • Hand sanitizer @Kakching [Jul 29]: Gallery
  • The Killing Fields 2013-20 : News Timeline
  • Orders / Memo on 30 July : Govt of Manipur
  • National Education Policy 2020
  • A Golden Jubilee Reunion :: Poem
  • Employment options in Insurance Industry
  • The Political life of the State
  • Recording death tally at four
  • Hentak :: An indigenous Manipuri food
  • COVID-19 Status 29 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Enforcement of COVID-19 Guidelines
  • My Love :: Poem
  • LPG management and supply
  • International Faculty Development Program
  • High-end Forensic Geology in crime scenes
  • Covid-19: Impact in Manipur :: Photos/News..
  • Manipur on the map of COVID death
  • Checking corruption: greatest joke of the year
  • Imphal during lockdown [26 July] #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 28 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Plantation is no less a serious business
  • COVID-19 : Impact on mobility of women
  • Appeal to stop Mining in Ukhrul, Kamjong..
  • Making sense of lockdown
  • Non-Discrimination in combating COVID-19
  • Zeiladjang @ Makuai, Tamenglong : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 27 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Chassad & the Question of Justice
  • Online Training program for Police Officer
  • Proposal of Online Education: Its impact
  • The walls of Roman Londinium
  • Reminiscence of coming :: Book Review
  • Seeking to set house in order
  • The dawn of a new-normalcy
  • Imphal during lockdown [26 July] #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 26 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Delimitation amasung yelhoumee Meetei..
  • Investigative Journalism training conducted
  • Gas Balloons :: Poem
  • Career in insurance: Jobs for millions
  • Meet model teacher helping students
  • Understanding total figure of 2212
  • Manipur Art Fest 2019 #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 25 July : Govt of Manipur
  • PM calls for Vocal for Local to Manipur
  • Makhol_ Discussing Arts E2 with Astad Deboo
  • Society :: Poem
  • IQs & EQs of politicians
  • Living with COVID 19
  • 'Blood donors should be welcome'
  • Bracing for the worst
  • Princess & Political Agent launch #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 24 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Virus Fabrics Spray by Kakchingtambam Kiran
  • Tales from a conflict zone :: Poem
  • Why Manipur senior IPS officer shot himself
  • Anti Defection Law: Big Debate
  • COVID-19 vaccine : So near and yet so far
  • Central observers here after trip to Delhi
  • The limitation on Free Speech
  • Impact of COVID-19 on transgender
  • COVID-19 Status 23 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Love Story of Tonu Laijing Lembi
  • 29th NAMA Virtual Convention 2020
  • Understanding disasters & disaster mgmt #2
  • Seeking NHRC to intervent in Akhil Gogoi case
  • Impacts of COVID-19 on agriculture : Paper
  • Lockdown & opening doors to outsiders
  • In search of the elusive leader
  • Anti-Repression Day #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 22 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Race Apart ? :: Poem
  • Of political instability, COVID & war on drug
  • Preventing skin damage due to face masks
  • Issues raised by NPF Legislature Wing
  • Webninar : How to develop skills in writings
  • Nonsensical rush for fuel
  • When the virus starts attacking
  • Manipur & the Lushai Expedition, 1871-72 #3
  • COVID-19 Status 21 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Negatives turning positive, catastrophe in wait?
  • Environmental change : Uttarakhand : Rvw
  • Empathy Campaign at Imphal Airport
  • Rejoinder by Dr. Liezietsu [21 Jul]
  • Responsible conduct- Jiribam to Thoubal
  • BJP may be in trouble..
  • The Princess & Political Agent launch : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 20 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Governor & Maharani launch Binodini's Book
  • Mount Koubru: Its dying glory, & way forward
  • Govt expenditures on education in Manipur
  • 2nd Online Career counseling in IT
  • The last of the oaks :: Poem
  • Rising cases of infection
  • Manipur today is living on mercy of Delhi
  • HSE Toppers - Commerce stream : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 19 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2020 #3: Gallery
  • Loktak Lake: A gem perishing front of our eye
  • Man behind 'Save Nambul'
  • X-rays and applications
  • COVID-19 pandemic & existential crisis
  • Training programme on mushroom cultivation
  • Best result in last three years
  • HSE Toppers - Science stream : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 18 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Understanding disasters & disaster mgmt #1
  • Salam Sangita : NE Women Success Stories
  • Subconscious Mind in COVID Era :: Poem
  • In quest of leadership
  • 4 BJP Ministers' visit to Delhi
  • HSE Toppers - Arts stream : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 17 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Between hospitals and hope
  • War on drugs: A losing battle in Manipur
  • Rays of the Setting Sun :: Poem
  • What actually LOP meant & intended : NPF
  • Rejoinder by Dr. Shurhozelie Liezietsu
  • Posers over Delhi trip
  • The face of justice
  • Class XII Result : Highest Marks
  • Class XII Result : Science Toppers
  • Class XII Result : Arts Toppers
  • Class XII Result : Commerce Toppers
  • Class XII Result : District PC
  • Class XII Result : Science
  • Class XII Result : Arts
  • Class XII Result : Commerce
  • COVID-19 Status 16 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Training programme on mushroom : Gallery
  • Diplomacy in Power & Leadership
  • PPE distributed to Community Health Centre
  • Think population studies as career
  • Intensify agitations as Govt fails to act
  • The Jiribam and Thoubal experience
  • Discovery of Thangjing hill range waterfall
  • Anti-Repression Day #1 : Gallery
  • Accelerating rights of women, post-COVID
  • Heritage Park @ Sangai Festival : Gallery
  • EEVFAM Foundation day : Gallery
  • Mining MoUs & Concerns in Manipur
  • Licypriya low-cost 'Face Shields' : Gallery
  • Airlifting of organic Pineapples : Gallery
  • 9th Manipuri Film Awards (MANIFA) Result
  • Yaoshang Halankar @BijoyGovinda #2: Gallery
  • Manipur & the Lushai Expedition, 1871-72 #2
  • Barak waterfall @ Tamenglong #2 : Gallery
  • Kanglen Aarti katpa #2 : Gallery
  • Eikhoigi Puwarini Nambul Turel #2 : Gallery
  • Manipur & the Lushai Expedition, 1871-72 #1
  • Takhelchangbam Kunjabihari : Wari Liba
  • I Rise :: Film Scenes : eRang
  • Class X (HSLC) Exam Toppers : Gallery
  • Class X Exam 2020 : Merit List
  • Class X Exam 2020 : Result Sheet
  • Class X Exam 2020 : Subject Toppers
  • Class X Exam 2020 : Statistics Abstract
  • Motsillaba Mingsel :: eRang Photos
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script