TODAY -

Elections & loyalty vis-a-vis Manipur crisis
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: April 02, 2024 -



No doubt, elections are the very soul of any representative government and politics is the core of any election but the political process in general and election in particular in Manipur is marked by certain discernible trends.

Such trends call for serious engagement on the part of thinking public and leaders who dare to dream for a change in our society.

While our society seems to be lacking that brand of species, the state is drifting towards an abyss of darkness and uncertainty.

One aspect of this trend is manifested in the political condition of contemporary Manipur society and its electoral process.

At the same time, most of the national political parties are also unable to generate a substantive issue based electoral politics; they simply fight election for the sake of power.

This can be gauged from the fact that most people do not understand which political party stands for what principles, goals, objectives, in short, their ideology.

Besides, their election manifestoes are seldom circulated in the public thus preventing the emergence of widespread debate and discussion on the issues which particular political party stand or fight for.

Interestingly in most of the elections in Manipur, manifesto of a political party, which is supposed to be the most vital aspect of the election, has become least important. No one takes it as seriously as it deserves.

Debate over the content of it and review of the previous manifesto which can go a long way in exposing the progress report of a ruling party are conspicuous by its absence in our society.

It is hardly visible in the domain of mass media as well.

The end product is the emergence of 'lies' and lip service as governing political technology on the part of ruling political elites.

This technology rests on the foundation of Machiavellian analyses of human nature and character of public as fools, emotional, lacking power of perception and understanding, forgetful in nature etc.

Most political parties surgically execute this theory.

Coming to the ensuing Lok Sabha elections, the ruling party, theoretically, has the upper hand, if the trend over the past three/ four decades is any indication.

Most of the Lok Sabha elections held in Manipur were won by candidates sponsored or supported by the ruling parties.

Ruling parties with majority MLAs often managed to secure greater number of votes than their rivals, thus winning the elections.

This trend reveals a disturbing mindset of the electors. This trend reveals loyalty of voters to their representatives.

In fact, loyalists (of ruling parties) often decide the results of Lok Sabha elections in Manipur.

Loyalty to a political ideology or principle is a desirable attribute but unquestioning loyalty can be self-defeating and dangerous to the society as a whole.

Loyalty of electors should rest on the ideologies or principles of political parties and politicians, not on the political parties or politicians themselves.

At the same time, loyalty to a political party or a politician should never precede one's loyalty to the collective cause of Manipur.

In another word, one's loyalty to the cause of Manipur should always be placed on the highest pedestal.

In case, loyalty to a political party or a politician comes into conflict with one's loyalty to the collective cause of Manipur, one must be sensible enough to make the right choice.

With Manipur literally burning for the past 11 months or so, and its future hanging by a thin thread, citizens must have a clear understanding of where their foremost and most steadfast loyalty should be.

First, all citizens must be loyalists to the collective cause and interests of the Nation.

Blind or unquestioning loyalty to a political party or a politician can be suicidal and also can unmake the Nation.

Loyalty for the sake of some benefits or favours is another matter for that is a classic case of opportunism.

Coercion and threats are two other factors which greatly influence the outcomes of elections.

But a true loyalist to the collective interest of Manipur can never be influenced or cowed down by coercion or threats.

It's time to show where citizens' foremost loyalty is.



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