Recently, some students of D.M College at Imphal dismantled their toilet complex for non-repair of the same by the authorities. Around a month later, miscreants burnt down a good portion of the Maha Union Higher Secondary School building in Chandel. Many instances of such nature have been happening in Manipur. We may recall the most unfortunate incident of burning down the state library some years back. Although these were the results of government inaction on related issues, the public at the receiving end was always the loser.
While reflecting their grievances and demanding certain things from the authority, some people in Manipur have the habit of resorting to violent activities. They never opt for constructive form of protest. In defiance of government apathy, they may volunteer to arrange their grievances on their own and set an example to the authority. Such a trend may also be promoted among the people particularly the agitating groups.
“Constructive Protest” is also necessary in matters of development works. Had the students of DM College unitedly come out to repair the dilapidated lavatory instead of damaging it, the people of Manipur would have lauded their endeavor. At the same time, the authority would have been psychologically defeated. Government infrastructure is public property. School and college buildings are for use of the public. Such buildings, whatever be their conditions, have been instrumental in shaping the future of the nation. To those who cherish the sanctity of education, educational institutions are like the temples of learning.
Everywhere in Manipur, there is one or the other grievances in almost all sectors. People of the state are habituated to launch strikes, bandhs, blockades and sit-in-protest even for petty demands concerning small sections or groups. We have heard bandhs demanding declaration of examination results, blockades against lack of school infrastructure, strikes for non-payment of salaries for some employees, and such other small issues of different groups. Such protests and agitations only affect the poor general people, while the authorities seem unmoved from such agitations. Then what is the benefit for launching agitations?
On many occasions and situations, the people on their own may contribute towards necessary development works instead of awaiting government response. It will teach a lesson to the authority on the hectic public responsibilities on a variety of issues. Meanwhile, most political leaders have the habit of announcing development plans in public functions without considering the feasibilities and availability of resources.
Majority of them rarely take care of materializing commitments by keeping their words. Hence, the ministerial pledges have often reduced its significance. Many a times, the public become intolerant towards the government inaction on its commitments, thereby inviting agitations of all sorts. Here, the political leaders and bureaucrats need to be sincere in their commitment and action. At the same time, the public may also endeavor to solve the petty problems making their own efforts, without awaiting the government to act.
As the poor government of Manipur can not take care of majority of the public grievances, the public at their own cost needs to make-up as much as possible regarding creation and maintenance of public properties. The culture of constructive protest may be promoted. On the other hand, the political leaders must avoid the blind announcement of commitments in public functions without considering the availability of resources.