TODAY -

May 30 : Election to the ADCs :: Democracy at the grass root level
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: March 31 2015 -



Autonomous District Council (ADC).

The name is autonomous, but in reality how autonomous are the ADCs is the natural question that follows.

It is not without reason why voices of discontent have been raised over the delegation of power and authority to the six ADCs of Manipur-Chandel, Churachandpur, Senapati, Sadar Hills, Tamenglong and Ukhrul.

No doubt a sensitive issue specially in the backdrop of the Nagalim demand, 6th Schedule for the hills of Manipur and countless other issues which are perceived to pose a threat to the existence of Manipur as a geo-political reality.

It is against this backdrop that election to the six ADCs will be held on May 30 and if everything goes as planned then the election will be held on this date.

Tough to say how much interest the upcoming election will generate but it is nonetheless important to keep in mind that the last election to the ADCs was held after a gap of 20 years in 2010.

The State unit of the BJP has somehow set the ball rolling taking jibes at the Congress and while it would be premature to gaze at the crystal ball, it would be interesting to see if there have been any positive changes in the hill districts in the last five years.

If what the ADCs have been saying carries any substance then what is stopping the State Government from adequately devolving authority and power to the elected members of the ADCs ?

Moreover what steps have the ADC members taken up to truly implement the understanding of grass root democracy in the hill districts ?

The banners have been raised on behalf of the people and it is only right that the people get to know what have been done for them in the last five years.

Can any of the elected members really say that they have done something tangible for the people ? If not then why ?

No easy answers here for the dynamics of politics at the grass root level may not be as simple as it sounds.

Going by the present political equation across the country as well as in the State, the contest may well be between the Congress and the BJP, but it would be foolish to write off the prospect of other political parties, notably the Naga Peoplesí Front in the Naga dominated hill districts.

In the Kuki dominated districts the equation may well be different but it is interesting to note the polarisation of politics in the State.

The oldest regional political party in the State, the Manipur Peoplesí Party is no longer a force in the hill districts and this is a tragedy.

In about 60 days time, Manipur will witness another election to the ADCs and one can only hope that 2015 will not see a repeat of 2010 when there was a boycott call sounded in the Naga dominated districts.

It is here that the essence of holding elections to the ADCs need to be understood in its entirety.

The main purpose of holding the election is to devolve democracy to the grass root level and give the hill people a say in their own affairs.

Cannot really say whether the 2010 election has been able to come anywhere near these points, but a beginning has been made and it is a significant beginning.

Let the election be held and in the process take extra care to ensure that the real essence, that is devolving power and responsibility to the grass root level is not lost on anyone.



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