New directives and common people
“You can fool some people sometimes, but you can’t fool all the people all of the time……”
Yet another new decree is on the way. Thanks to the law enforcing agencies and the Government, people will have to suffer more apart from all the economic hardships and insecurities. It is not surprising that the rules which have been enforced now will fade away in few days or months. It is like a nightmare, it appears and disappears. This has often been the system of the State. A decade ago there had been instances of directing two wheeler riders to put on helmets according to a certain section of the law. The same directives were announced recently. The uniqueness this time is that the pillion riders will also have to put on helmets. But the issue here is what had happened to the earlier directive. When did that decree expired? For this simple reason one will surely be wondering how long will this new decree last. We all are aware of the fact that new statutes and laws mean an easy way of earning some quick money for some (or most) of the law enforcers. Today there will be new regulations and after few days that same will be lost somewhere after having made the common people endure the hardships and of course filling some pockets. It is also a fact that most of the traffic police manning the roads are not able to implement the rules and regulations properly. Many people break the laws by ignoring various signages- one-way, no-parking etc. It is again worse with the security agencies that can do anything at their will. Many of them park their vehicles in the middle of the road and that too when they are not in any kind of emergency situation. They hardly realize the fact that they should be the one who should set an example. And the miserable part is that the traffic police are helpless. It would have been more encouraging if the same courage and bravery the traffic police and those security personnel show to rickshaw pullers, buses, taxis and common people, can also be applied to the other law breakers. As we all hear quite often that nobody is above the law.
Another approach we can look at is whether there is a conspiracy behind all this helmet hullaballoo. There are high chances that some helmet companies/sellers are conspiring with some officials in order to get a new market to trade their products. The idea behind this unconstructive thought surfaced from the fact that the directive mentions that it will be implemented in 3 days time. Imagine around 1 lakh people buying helmet in that short span. That can be a boon for their business because most of the people in the State depend on 2 wheelers for day to day activities. Certainly many people will be overcharged, cheated by the ‘wise’ shop-owners. Instead of repairing roads and checking other unnecessary elements on the road, the Government seems to be pleased to direct all the hardships to the people. If roads were well maintained and if stray animals are strictly checked, that will have been much better and appreciative. Many people have to negotiate with all this and above that a new decree is laid down. Expansion off markets and business centers are a must in order to ease the traffic problems. The same is admitted by the Government but practically nothing is done. Of course safety is important but it is also not wise to make people go around with new rules because later on people can become immune to it and can make a mockery of the law. Some of it has already been observed.
On the other hand, when even roads are not properly maintained, the Government is talking about expansion and up gradation of the Imphal Airport. Not only is that, it is talking about night landing facilities. In a place where it is unsafe to venture out after dusk, what is all the excitement about night landing! In the Airport millions of rupees will be spend on doing such unimportant activities. It is difficult to find out the logic behind the need for an international standard airport in the state and that too for what purpose. Sometimes it’s quite entertaining to look at the policies being taken up by the Government, especially in the field of development. It seems the concept of development has been taken in a different track by the policy makers. There is a presumption that having high rises/skyscrapers, flyovers is synonymous with modernization and development, when on the other hand there is not even a single street which is free of pot-holes (although a small length in front of Raj Bhavan is preserved very well), where power supply is received for only 6-7 hours daily and there are no proper running water. Take for instance, the Government’s eagerness to create and upgrade the Imphal Airport and make way for night landing. Night landing for what purpose! Is it really necessary, even more than better road and bridges? From where will the power supply be drawn or is it that common people will be burdened more with the time immemorial system of load shedding in order to lighten the Airport. Stop these cheap gimmicks. It is time to focus on something which will be more realistic and people centric.
It is not that much necessary to have an international standard Airport as the State still does not have the required number of passengers. Neither people from outside is going to come here and take the flight. To put in simple terms it is not the need of the hour. May be these kind of stunts are useful for the politicians to praise themselves of all the empty achievements during elections. Things will come back at the same place in few moments, after resources have already been wasted. It is a trend in Manipur to start a new thing and it fades away with the passage of time rather than growing. With the new directive coming out people will be busy figuring out how to acquire a hood and among these also there are certain sections of people who are enthusiastically contesting for a better, attractive and costlier helmet. It seems that something extraordinary needs to happen every time in Manipur-from kidnapping of children to this helmet issue.