TODAY -

Beginning of a new vote culture ? The hopes and expectations
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: June 08, 2024 -



It is a massive mandate and what makes the victory margin all that more remarkable lies in the fact that it came against all odds.

A strong message that elections can be won without buying votes and without resorting to strong arm tactics has been delivered.

Simply put, the people were taken in by the points delivered, the story that was put on offer, a story that talked about Manipur and the idea that goes along with the understanding of Manipur as a geo-political reality.

As the result of the Lok Sabha elections has demonstrated, especially in the Inner Manipur Parliamentary Constituency, the story of Manipur needs to be seen and understood in the backdrop of so many realities.

To get a better feel of the story of Manipur, one has to scratch the surface and understand why the demand that the Meitei folks be included in the Scheduled Tribe list of the Constitution of India needs to be understood in the proper perspective.

As MP elect Professor Angomcha Bimol Akoijam argued many times, the rationale behind creating an Assembly within the Assembly in the form and reality of the Hill Areas Committee needs to be questioned.

And this question may well be raised in the context of the fact that the Imphal valley is just a few metres lower than Churachandpur, a place which has been designated as a hill district and hence comes under the ambit of the HAC.

A line of argument which the Professor has put to good use in his articulation on the ethnic clash when the confrontation was at its peak and the Left leaning, so called liberal media in the rest of the country were championing and even helping in telling the false narratives that were spread across the country and the world.

It is the clear cut articulation, the no mincing words style of approach to the many burning issues of the place and the people that the Professor managed to win the trust, confidence and hope of the people at the hustings.

A point which should not be forgotten.

Again it is for this very reason, why so many, including those who always kept a safe and ‘respectable’ distance from any election in the past, chose to volunteer and canvass for the Professor.

These were some of the pull factors that worked and worked they did for remember the BJP has an overwhelming majority in the House of 60.

It was also more or less the same thing in the Outer Parliamentary Constituency from where the young and promising Alfred Kanggam Arthur emerged victorious with a comfortable margin of over 80 thousand.

Now pitch the victory margin against the threats, the diktats issued against the Congress candidate, the presence of 5 NPF MLAs, the support extended by the BJP which is in power in Imphal and one can work out the difficult circumstances under which the vote was fought and won.

Coming to the Inner Parliamentary Constituency, it should not be forgotten that the election was held during extraordinary times and it is in line with this that the people also responded to the situation in an extraordinary manner and voted accordingly.

No votes were bought by the Congress candidate or the party and it was only the prospect, the idea that convinced the people to vote for the Professor.

The question that is important now is whether this voting behaviour would turn out to be a flash in the pan or will leave a mark on the electoral norms of Manipur or not.

Will it be a case of going back to the earlier times when money and muscle power played a big and at time decisive role, once Manipur returns to a semblance of normalcy ?

Or will the vote of 2024 leave such a mark it will leave behind a legacy which will be nurtured and promoted ?

Only the people can decide this, but remember a lot will also depend on how the MP elect conducts himself inside and outside Parliament.

One also hopes that the MP elects do not forget that they are in a way ambassadors of Manipur to the rest of the country and how they conduct themselves once they are in Delhi will go a long way in carrying forward the story of Manipur, particularly how erroneously the Meiteis have been portrayed in the past and not so recent past.

The mettle of the Meitei folks lie not only in the sportsfield but also in politics where only the best are chosen to represent them is a line that should now ideally stick with the understanding of Manipur.



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