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The Manipuri Dream

It is high time we as a society realise and acknowledge that one who pursues the Manipuri dream in legitimate and honest ways is a state treasure.

ByKemlin Kshetrimayum

Updated 21 Jun 2022, 6:56 pm

(Photo: IFP)
(Photo: IFP)

 

Running a successful business empire, costly wine and steak at dinner, fine dining at expensive restaurants, having a private jet, driving a luxury car, a gorgeous ex-model as a devoted wife, a mansion by the sea, holidays in the Caribbean or the Mediterranean - That is what an average American aspires and that is the modern-day ‘American dream’, a life of extravagance in the land of excess. Like all things that concern with human desires, the American dream is subjective, but a great deal of working Americans’ ultimate aspiration is to live the good life.

Owning a few shop plots at Bazaar, driving a semi luxurious car or an expensive SUV, having close business or other ties with certain powerful persons to have their backing and support, having the ability to contribute or donate generously at locality events thereby earning the respect of the locality, having a few flats at the metropolitan states of the country, living in an expensive, well-built house, I believe that is what the majority of our populous aspires. And I doubt it will be wrong to call it the ‘Manipuri Dream’, a life of plenty.

The well developed capitalistic economic system of the United States, its abundance of resources and services, makes the American Dream achievable through legitimate and honest ways. But the scarcity of resources, services and ultimately capital, our industrially unfavorable topography, and the lack of proper and cheap transport means, not to mention the ever-worsening but always wobbling law and order of the state, all contributed in making the ‘Manipuri Dream’ almost impossible to achieve through legitimate means.

To live the kind of extravagant lifestyle that commands respect, one has to look for semi-legitimate or otherwise illegitimate ways of making money.

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Every corrupt government employee, most drug traffickers and bootleggers, and other wrongdoers who are keen on making money I believe are all doing what they are doing in order to live this lifestyle of plenty. It won't be far stretched to claim that the root cause of corruption itself is the direct result of this pursuance of a better lifestyle.

Immoral acts like adultery, theft, etc are looked upon with disgust by the society; those who are accused sometimes even those who are only suspected or rumoured, our society usually takes little time in penalizing and humiliating them.

News and reports of debarring or forcefull alienation from the community for adulteres are usually easy to come by. What is really hard to come by though are stories of the communities and the society taking any kind of action against convicted or accused corrupt officials. It almost seems like the semi conservative society of ours with all its old fashioned sense of justice have turned a blind eye and adapt a sympathetic stance when it comes to corruption.

A former employee of the government that resides in my locality, who was convicted of taking bribes by the Anti-Corruption Cell not too long ago, is roaming around like nothing had ever happened. Meanwhile his neighbour; a person who was caught while having an extramarital affair nearly a decade ago is still hanging her face in shame while walking around the locality. If we really think about it, the adulterer’s act only concerns herself, it does little or no harm to the society. The damage that was caused by her immoral actions was only to her image and reputation. The damaging acts of the corrupt employee, however, had societal consequences and damages.

The society that can't accept the immorality of individuals for some reason managed to normalise corruption; racketeers, dishonest contractors and shady suppliers are accepted and often rewarded with respect and high status within the community. It seems like according to the society plundering of public funds is less condemnable than individuals’ moral corruption. And the root of all these normalisation and acceptance can be traced back or directly link to the wide scale pursuance of the better life by any means necessary among the masses.

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It is high time we as a society realise and acknowledge that one who pursues the Manipuri dream in legitimate and honest ways is a state treasure; the society should do everything to promote and support them, and on the contrary, all who pursues it through illegitimate and dishonest means are the true enemies of the society, and the society must do anything to counter and suppress them; a just society is where penalties are given not only where it can easily give, but to all where it is due.

APJ Abdul Kalam once said, “ If a country is said to be corruption free and become a nation of beautiful minds, I strongly feel there are three key societal members who can make a difference. They are the father, the mother, and the teacher”.

To me what the great man meant was that corruption in it's most initial form is a mindset; a mindset that is normalised, taught, developed, and ultimately practised. It's a fact that the pursuance of the good life with little or no regard for honesty and sincerity by the employees along with the masses plays a crucial role in the corruptness and inefficiency in every pillar of the existing democratic system in the land.

(The views expressed is personal)

 

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First published:21 Jun 2022, 6:56 pm

Tags:

corruptionmanipuri dreamlifestylemanipuri society

Kemlin Kshetrimayum

Kemlin Kshetrimayum

The author is a master's student of Manipur University

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