CM blames officers with parochial, ethnocentric mentality
Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, January 09 2024: Chief Minister N Biren said that there are several bureaucrat officers with parochial and ethnocentric mentality, who do not work as an Indian or a Manipuri, but for their own community, and these officers ignited the present crisis in the state with their communal strategies and activities during their tenures.

He made the remark during observance of the 190th Death Anniversary of Maharaj Gambhir Singh held at the Canchipur memorial complex, on Tuesday.

Speaking as chief guest of the commemorative event, Biren recounted that the memorial complex was left unattended with overgrown bushes unlike today's condition, which looks lively.

The complex is an important monument for Manipur that will serve as a remembrance of the brave forefathers to the younger generations.

Stating that his government had been planning to install glass panels along the compound wall of the complex with names and details of different kings of Manipur, the CM regretted that the project had to be kept in abeyance due to the crisis erupted in May last year even though most of the preparations have been completed.

Biren also spoke on the importance of understanding history to bring a strong and united Manipur.

Unfortunately, hardly anybody thinks about fate of the state and its indigenous communities, especially the Meetei.

At a glance everything seems serene, but in reality the social fabric of the state that binds together the diverse communities has been severely weakened due to various factors.

The small state is now facing various challenges and their impacts in different spheres such as drugs, environment, ecology, population imbalance, demographic shift among others, and it is high time people analyse gravity of the situation and act accordingly, he said The chief minister further said that King Gambhir Singh died at the age of 47 with the primary reason being segregation of Kabaw Valley from Manipur and giving it away to the then Burma by the British government.

He was shocked by the development and it took a toll on his health, which ultimately led to bis death.

Unfortunately, there is not enough written material to make aware such historical accounts to the younger generations, Biren said.

He also spoke at length about the might of the erstwhile Kings of Manipur, who expanded the kingdom to interior parts of Myanmar, historical evidences of which are still standing today.

"We are alive today because of the sacrifices of our forefathers.

The observance function is being organised not just for namesake, but to let the people know and remember the sacrifices made by our forefathers.

Earlier, there was only a statue of King Gambhir Singh, but his government erected the statues of Meidingu Narasingh and Sana Herachandra acknowledging their contribution in safeguarding the land," Biren said.

Assam, Manipur and Tripura were the only places in North East India that had survived as independent nations for thousands of years in South East Asia, the CM said, while explaining the need to organise such observance in grand manner.

Biren further said that as his government had the support of 54 out of 60 MLAs, he could have comfortably remained as the chief minister for another two terms at least by offering job appointments, and taking up some road projects while insisting on percentage cut for everything but that is not the governance he envisioned for.

As such, the CM said, he launched campaign and drive against drugs, deforestation, poppy cultivation, encroachment and illegal immigrants for the sake of the society and the future generation.

These are also the responsibilities of a government and he is doing what is needed for the well-being of the people, Biren pointed out.

Further stating that there used to be harmony and cordiality among the different communities in the state, as could be comprehended from the G20 events and latest edition of the Sangai tourism festival, he lamented that the crisis that broke out on May 3 has strained the relationship among some communities.

Whatever his government did was within the confine of the Constitution and to bring about a better future of the state, he said and called upon the people of the state to remain strong and united, and stand for the unity, integrity and identity of Manipur.

Biren also called for concerted effort to root out illegal poppy cultivation, drug trades and illegal immigration.

He further maintained that there are substantial audio and visual evidences of the crisis through which one can easily understand the ground reality.

One should not just raise fingers against the government while ignoring these evidences.

His government will not tolerate any programme or policy that will jeopardise the future of the state and its people.

Separate administration is something unacceptable under any circumstances, he said, while adding that his government will never entertain such demands.

Biren also said that Moreh was recognised as a town and was under the jurisdiction of a small town committee.

There were several bureaucrat officers with parochial and ethnocentric mentality, who do not work as an Indian or a Manipuri, but for their own community.

Former chief secretary Lamkunga recognised five additional villages during his time.

Despite the fact that the state government cannot grant permission for settlement in reserved forest areas without the approval of the Central government, former additional chief secretary Saisona allotted 60 residential plots in Langol Tarung.

Similarly, there were several such officers, especially in the forest and revenue departments, who violated rules, allotted lands in reserved forests and recognised new villages.

Even DFOs were found granting recognition to new villages.

The government investigated many such cases and many of the officials involved had passed away.

A true government should not succumb to appeasement policies but work in the larger interest of the society and for a better future for its people, he said.

Biren expressed dissatisfaction over t he absence of MLAs and officers in the function and suggested that the department organise such functions in grander manner by facilitating symposiums, competitions, seminars to create more awareness among the youth and students.

Kabaw valley was gifted to Myanmar without the consent of the then King and experts should explore the possibilities of contesting the Treaty of Yandaboo in the international court of law.

"We are the legacies of our forefathers, who defended Manipur and stood as a sovereign in the South East Asia region.

There is no honour in living if we cannot protect our territory etched by the blood of our forefathers," the CM said.

He also acknowledged the persistent attacks on security forces in Moreh and said that joint security teams of state and central government are carrying out operation.

He appealed to the public to refrain from sharing half-truth or unconfirmed reports, especially in this volatile situation.

The observance was also attended by ministers Th Biswajit, Awangbow Newmai, Dr S Ranjan, and L Susindro, Rajya Sabha MP titular king Leishemba Sanajaoba, MLAs, security advisor Kuldiep Singh, chief secretary Dr Vineet Joshi, and Manipur University vice-chancellor professor N Lokendro among others.

The CM and other dignitaries offered floral tributes to the portraits and statues of Maharaj Gambhir Singh.

Meidingu Narasingh and Sana Herachandra.

Other highlights of the function included guard of honour, gun salute, sounding of the Last Post by a contingent of Manipur Rifles, offering of tarpan and performance of Nata Sankirtana by Guru Gulapi Nata Sankirtana Academy.

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