The state has bleed enough
By Brojen Sinam
There is nothing more pitiful than the forced life style that has to be adhered to by the majority of the population of this state during this era. The infrastructure are basic and perpetually deprived which has caused a setback in achieving any decent means of a livelihood for many of the citizens, while at the same time, a handful enjoy rapid financial capacity without a known source, on which no one dares wink an eye.
What should one capture from such a situation? Is it that such governance has existed since time immemorial? What form of governance are the people opting for? If it is for a democratic form of governance, are the people really aware of their shortcomings? If the people are indeed aware, then how does the government manage to take the vast majority for a ride, escalating in geometrical proportion without an intermittent gap, till the present day?
It would seem only the people with the financial capacity to lure the voters are appropriate for the present trend for representing the people. Are the people conscious of the ideology of a particular political party that is it still significant in the state? Why is it that the manifestoes of any political parties have no more value to the electorate? Why is the focus more on creditable political candidates, than on credible political parties? Why is it that the trend of the elected should be hell bent to occupy a sit in, on power?
It would seem that power mongers are those that are only concerned for a particular group of people who have the capacity to pay the cost for favour without integrity? If things are done according to the rules and policies as allocated by the provisions, then only can each and every one share the responsibility equally. There would not be the necessity for any type of mongering. The problem in the present scenario is just to be in authority, without taking on the responsibilities. Mis-, mal-, non-, the prefixes have become well-known to anything that the authorities have ever tried to accomplish without any sense of responsibility.
Corruption is the very outcome of these irresponsible representatives, who have time and again chanted the same mantra as being the greatest challenge. Yet, have no real determination to solve, preferring instead to point their fingers at their predecessor. Have any of the successors brought a positive change in a progressive way over that of his predecessor. All but is a sham without intention to rectify, thus nothing more than the rise in corruption.
These are the known facts to each and everyone whether in the high or low political profile. The aim of finding a scapegoat or a sacrificial lamb has become very common in order to evade their responsibilities. Tactics and techniques for manipulation are not difficult to those with bad intention.
Also, the so called law makers and their representatives are comfortable leaving the law as toothless as it is to curb unwanted corruption that they have been chanting whenever they are present in the public domain. They are perfect in belittling public opinion but hopeless in perfecting anything worth their promises.
Notwithstanding the fact that the major hindrance to sustainable development, with a disproportionate impact on poor communities and it's corrosiveness on the very fabric of society, is corruption.
Corruption is leading to the siphoning off, of funds needed for the basic infrastructure, for which the people have to bear the cost. Clear evidence of this is the poor maintenance of roads which subsequently add to more than 25 per cent, to be compensated for the extra fuel and time consumed. Electricity and water are no better, any regular business enterprise would have to spend 250 per cent more, which either it will reflect to its end product or will have to close for uncompetitive cost.
Who is responsible for causing these effects and who benefits from all these losses? The ones whom we have considered capable of taking responsibility to chalk out and control the system, for good governance is being a total failure to the wishes of the people. It would seem that these handful of people who are in politics, encouraging “bribery as a crores industry” are going to make life miserable for all the community who still fail to realise their sinister design. The most amazing mockery of all time is the sign board displayed in some of the government offices with ‘Don’t give bribes’ where it is very prone and nothing will be done without it. Nothing in this state is following what is committed. It is always found that whatever pronounced in the public is either not informed or has any relevant with the concern department who are to experdite.
In advanced nations or nations where there are right thinking leaders, policies are framed to enable sustainable margins at a minimum cost. Whereas in this state due to the additional cost of many other factors, the end cost – retail price - is the highest. This makes maintaining a sustainable margin for the producer virtually impossible.
The government somehow copies those practicable policies but not to solve the problems with a holistic approach, rather to be manipulated for their own vested interests. Are there any subsidies for transport for a land locked area like Manipur, which incurs the highest transportation cost as compare to any other part of the world? If there are, how are they implemented to benefit the common people?
It has become too vivid for the common people, without any vested interest, to understand where and how such subsidies for transport, power, etc., have been spent? Subsidies are a component to maintain a comparable market rate and to enable competitive end prices of our producers, with that of other producers outside the state of Manipur.
A simple example would be the price of an egg. Can anyone from this state sell an egg produced on their farm below Rs 7/-? In comparison the price of the same egg sold from outside the state is no more than Rs 4/- under any circumstances. Why this disparity in prices? The answer is because the government fails to capacitate the state producers, by not reaching out with facilities to enable them to compete with the rest of the producers of other states. On the contrarily taxes are levied on live stock feed imported from outside the state when the end users are the farmer of the land, whom government should give maximum facilities to enable to compete others without affecting their sustainable margin.
Words without deeds will fail to render change of any significance while the state government continues to fool the people of this state with empty words & promises. A chain reaction of a continuous vicious circle of constant increase in rates, which have been created out of this extra financial burden of bribery, has impeded severely the economy as a whole.
Actual costs of raw material, transportation and administration, plus sustainable margins, coupled with other costs all comprise a main component of the input cost to a farmer. Any change in any of the components will effect to reduce that margin. To increase it to a sustainable margin the retail price would have to be enhance, which will then reflect in the other component costs.
The only mechanism to check this vicious circle is by introducing direct system to reach the subsidy component, free from interference from corruptible elements, to the target groups. When the above costs tend to rise constantly due to the presence of highly volatile and uncontrollable market factors, this discourages the state farmers to a great extent. Thus, when producers in the state are perpetually in a forced occupation, they have a high tendency to drift to more sustainable earnings. Depriving its essential producers of a decent livelihood and forcing its citizens to live & work with a constant shortage of power – example we get power for 13 out of 48 hours - is an un-favourable state of affairs for any nation or state that wants to be seen as progressive.
Even as a lay person without being a professional on the subject, one can clearly observe that a high percentage of the population is not able to make savings for any eventuality. Though there may be many reasons for this, the incapability to earn with comparison to the high expenditure one has to bear for a modern life style cannot be ignored.
Example, let’s take it for granted that even Indian Economy does not entitle, the lowest wage earner, say Rs 200/ with all odd work for 20 days a month for an ideal family having four members, to meet their basic requirements.
For the use of cooking, gas which is government controlled at Rs 415.50 with regular consumer connection of one, generally takes 3 to 4 months to get one refill replaced. That is 2 to 3 months after, booking after 21 days of the last issue. If anybody uses the LPG gas of 14.5 kg gas in the cylinder in less than 4 months, it means an extra budget for black market prices. How many can make it last for more than a month and how many have more than 4 consumer connections, to avoid gas from black market rates which ranges from Rs 600 to Rs 1800? To get it booked and to get it issued most people have to stand in queues for not less than one hour respectively. If this lost time is converted into a cash value along with the conveyance cost of the entire consumer, less than half the total sum can render the same amount of service to the consumer and also generate additional employment to the unemployed.
Uncontrolled items are much more reasonable although some are higher than other neighboring states due to the high cost of transport and others factors.
On Education, Government Schools are only left for their name sake, where no sensible parents opt for their uncertain control of quality due to unreasonable interference. The blessing in disguise is the private Schools and the employment generated for teachers who are employed with meager sums managed from the fees collected from those desirous of quality education. An increase in the pay scale of the teachers of these creditable schools will be directly proportionate to the fees which may not be within the capability of most parents. The role of government aid would have been significant in satisfying both ends but will not be possible for various reasons. Due to uncontrollable situations created over decades and with no determination to check and rectify the usage of government aid, an impossible situation has resulted, both for the schools & teachers.
Essential Electricity Power, phenomenal shortage of 73% is ridiculous, 13 hrs (alternately 8 hrs and 5 hrs a day) out of 48 hrs. With collections of flat tariffs with system of calibrating the consumption is virtually abolished, which anyone can rest assure is not followed anywhere in the world. If anybody hopes to keep his home lighted and wants to have modern gadgets for leisure or want a stable supply for a business, then a set of backup is inevitable. To be sure that not very many can afford the backup and no matter how deprived one may be, one still has to bear the expense of candles costing not less than Rs 20, on a daily basis which adds up to Rs 600 per month over and above the electricity tariff of Rs 410 monthly.
Water, an essential life supporting element is another which has become scarce in a land receiving sufficient rainfall. Systems for a low cost pipeline supply of water to each household, has been a total failure and neglected. Not to mention of hot water supplies through pipelines, as in most developed countries, which help considerable reduction of consumption of energy. A mode of portable water also compounds the expenses and for many households, adds additional time and labour.
Using the road for traverse is another nightmare. Comfort is out of question, whereas the durability of any mode of transportation is questionable. Undulated road surfaces forbid economical speed, thereby consumption of excess fuel, high rate of depreciation as well as a longer time to reach ones destination is foreseeable.
Roles of organizational capabilities have been ignored and have been politically motivated. This dilutes the significance of its contribution in promoting the desired progress. Without it the proper functioning of the said organization in the prescribed norm, will allow the vested interest of the leaders to point their fingers at the people for not giving their essential support. Local bodies on social or economic developments are not monitored in a proper manner, therefore the incentive to harness the potential of local people is totally void. Government policy makers are yet to realize that all their resources will not be sufficient without the support of the people.
The dilemma is that a minimum of incentive on a particular development program, through careful organization, would have benefited multi fold, has been disregarded. Promoting & developing a sense of community ownership by the youth, through proper guidelines could help bring a drastic change in a society, which unfortunately has been overlooked and neglected. No department or authority has ever been concerned or taken the matter seriously in order to bring about any significant progress in this field. Tapping the potential of the youth of the state can contribute in saving considerable resources. The resourcefulness of the youth has been witnessed from time immemorial at local level, without much appreciation from the government, apart from some halfhearted initiation from Municipal Council, way back. A resource that would have contributed in bringing great change and progress were abolished due to mismanagement and corrupt practices.
What else more worst can be mentioned about the infrastructure when it is beyond all limits. And mind you this is not all, administration is far worst than one can ever experience in one’s lifetime. Displacement of habitation without an iota of consideration for rehabilitation, fake encounter with arm forces excesses at itse highest rate, extortion by the personal in uniforms, conspiring and victimizing uprights officials while those proven guilty still thrive. Government machineries that should be of highest virtue of trust cannot be trusted anymore. Testimonials of all these are already on the dailies of the state.
Grievances in many folds were snub at the buds without redressing what so ever. Such obstinate attitudes of the government have always invite uproar from the public and causes unrest frequently disturbing the normal life and drastically affecting the economy of the daily wage earners. While hampering the normal process of the government offices, performance as it is were far below one’s expectation. If there were any settlement through understanding, turns out to be a farce and non committal. In the event to get the clearance of any plan will have to be a herculean job, running from pillar to post without certainty having to drain out heavy burden on one’s resources. These are the Hallmark of the state government which should have a backlash from the people for having created a heavy toll on the economy of the state.
If one has to assess all these facts, to decipher how much one has to spend in excess, due to the mismanagement, nonfunctional or malpractice of the relevant authorities and how these factors can disable or incapacitate one of one’s human right to a decent life.
All these have compounded to cause a huge lost in the state resource, in terms of improper or injudicious utilization of human resources available in the state. Focusing only on funds to spend on project alone will not improve the economy of the general public. To introduced and preserve a lower cost of transport system, distribution systems along with time factors are constituent part of development.
Though these facts are aware by each and every citizen of Manipur, not many have initiated for a change as though the outcome of an election is inevitable regardless of their input. The state does in no way lack expert people to rectify all these problems but it does definitely lack leaders with integrity. Therefore until and unless the majority of the deprive section of the society does not act at this, the right time during the election, to identify and elect person of integrity who has the aptitude to show care and concern of the fellow citizen, the status quo will remain. The electorate needs to rise up and show their power and strength in bringing a better change of the state. When the state is in good progress, only then all the grievances and uproar from various section of the society shall also be resolve. Now is the right time for the people of this great state to show that they will not tolerate these nuisances any longer.
NO POLITICAL PARTY SHOULD BE RE-ELECTED IF INDULGE OR ENCOURAGE CORRUPTION. NO MATTER HOW MUCH FUND IT CAN GARNER FOR THE STATE. BECAUSE THE DISPARITY IT CREATES WILL ONLY BE TOO VOLATILE TO CONTAIN FOR A PEACEFUL EXISTENCE.
A time for soul searching and time to heal the bleeding
Manipur could be beautiful if that beauty can be reflected from our soul.
VOTE FOR A CHANGE
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