Information Manipulation, Stated Beliefs and Revealed Beliefs: Manipur’s current methodology

By Amar Yumnam Governance has now attained the “the status of a lost word of the English language to a fashionable and challenging concept in a range of disciplines and

By Amar Yumnam

Governance has now attained the “the status of a lost word of the English language to a fashionable and challenging concept in a range of disciplines and research programmes.” In fact, governance is now a key word in every discussion of a society and its economy. But any discussion on governance is never complete without referring to a 1532 book, The Prince, of Niccolò Machiavelli. Looking at the challenges of reforms and the absence of political responsiveness to widely shared public issues in Manipur, Machiavelli sounds like the most appropriate commentator. He wrote in 1532 thus: “And it should be realized that taking the initiative in introducing a new form of government is very difficult and dangerous, and unlikely to succeed. The reason is that all those who profit from the old order will be opposed to the innovator, whereas all those who might benefit from the new order are, at best, tepid supporters of him. This lukewarmness arises partly . . . from the skeptical temper of men, who do not really believe in new things unless they have been seen to work well. The result is that whenever those who are opposed to change have the chance to attack the innovator, they do it with much vigour, whereas his supporters act only half-heartedly; so that the innovator and his supporters find themselves in great danger.” This sounds exactly like a commentary on contemporary Manipur. The response in terms of electoral outcomes, the responsiveness of the political elite to the core issues of the people, and the very character of action of the administration in Manipur all reflect the very phenomenon explained nearly five centuries back.

But this is not the end. Manipur has now acquired additional aspects in this and with a very dangerous outlook for the society. The degraded character of governance functioning has now taken roots in the very functioning of the individuals themselves. Till recently the problem was one of divergence between the stated beliefs of the political class and the beliefs revealed in their actions; there was no convergence between the two. The public felt this and despite the Machiavellian weakness of inability to effectively organise at the collective level, there were voices of dissent loud and clear. Now this has almost disappeared. In a context where the government sector is the only effective and widespread employer of people, the governing class has been able to corrode the core values and principles of governance of every government sector and institutions such that the relevance of dissent has been murdered. All in the government sector and all those who aspire to get access to the facilities of the government have only sacrificed their personal beliefs and joined the bandwagon of sycophancy. This has led to the below par quality in any delivery by the government and the institutions in Manipur in every aspect of performance. The situation has reached such a level that even the non-state forces, which had promised a better world and elimination of the negative traits in the governance in the beginning, are now strong partners in the game of non-convergence between stated beliefs and revealed actions. This is a very violent atmosphere where the very source of any dissent could be eliminated as the two partners, the state and pseudo-anti-state forces, have the capability to indulge in any violence without accountability; there have been and there are examples of this in Manipur. It is a kind of scenario where the scope for recovery to an ameliorated social context is hugely stunted.

Now we may wonder how such a situation can prevail for long. The answer has to be found in what is happening with information sharing. A very systemic disease of the governance as manifested in the functioning in every government sector and institutions in today’s Manipur is the indulgence in information manipulation. Information is manipulated in such a way that the stated beliefs are taken as genuine ones by the populace. It is also done to cover the revealed actions so as to make them appear as truly reflecting the stated beliefs. There is a large scale indulgence in information manipulation. Some people are aware of this game but there is the Machiavellian weakness and the contextual danger of being victim to elimination.

Thus such a beautiful land of Manipur is now dominated by people who manipulate information to portray positive images while stealing in every possible way. This game is administered by the sharing of booty by state and pseudo-anti-state forces. This has murdered the scope for common people to organise in any way to voice dissent with every probability of getting lives eliminated without accountability. Manipur is now really dirty, dangerous and deadly. One has to be a practitioner of the game or leave the land behind. It is a place where there is no scope for theory, no scope for critique, and no scope for social amelioration. Who cares?

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From 2014 To 2015: Expectations on social life

By Amar Yumnam The year just gone by has experienced significant changes in the political front. India underwent a dramatic shift in the power centre of the country; the political

By Amar Yumnam

The year just gone by has experienced significant changes in the political front. India underwent a dramatic shift in the power centre of the country; the political party long used to holding, using, misusing and abusing power has been reduced to a miniscule by the electorate through an absolutely democratic process. This rise of a new power-centre in India has led to the emergence of this country as a new Asian power-centre besides the two usually talked about, China and Japan, with visible changes in the dynamics of Asian diplomacy. The world is also continuing with the heavy prices being paid due to the rise of a dangerously violent Islamic force. Closer home, the scenario has been as if the world has not seen any politically landmark event during the year; the region has been absolutely isolationist in this respect. Thus politically speaking the world has experienced both satisfying and worrying experiences accompanied by no remarkable change in the home front.

As compared to the political front, social life during 2014 has been a very painful and worrying one by and large for the world as a whole. The year started with terrible pains in the aftermath of horrendous rape in Delhi. Then came the kidnappings and as yet untraced of school girls by a terrorist group in Nigeria. There have been unexplained disappearances of passenger aircrafts. Then at the fag end of the year there has been this mass killing of students in a school in Peshawar in Pakistan. But unlike the non-participation in the political dynamics, Manipur did contribute her share in this painful social experience. Dead bodies were recovered from the digging up of compound of an old school in Imphal. This capping of the globally discouraging social scenario by the discovery of dead bodies in a school campus has completely dampened the year-end and New Year spirits of the people in Manipur despite the efforts of the people to portray un-mindfulness of the atrocious social events. The prayers and worshipping of the Imoinu and the Gan-Ngai manifested more serious endeavour for social existence than the usual New Year celebrations.

So, in this light, what should we expect and pray for in this year just begun? Globally, we pray that the world no longer witnesses unaccounted disappearance of passenger aircrafts. The world should not experience kidnappings and disappearance of school girls. The world should never ever undergo the pain of massive killing of school students. At the home front, we only wish the Tombisana School reality should be the only case in Manipur and there should be none any more. While the aircraft disappearances do have technological and regulatory issues to be addressed, all the other painful social issues have things to do with governance. Governance today, with all the social, economic, knowledge and technological dynamics, is no longer like any time before. As Ralf-Eckhard Turke writes in his book Governance: Systemic Foundation and Framework: “‘Complexity’, ‘Dynamics’, and ‘Diversity’ are omnipresent in today’s discourse on governance. They refer to the fact that social conditions in modern societies are perceived as multi-layered and complicated. Social issues are being addressed by multiple actors; governments are not necessarily playing a primary role anymore. A multiplicity of actors is involved, expressing individual interests yet having unequal capacities to exert influence. Resolutions for governing issues are the result of various interacting factors that are rarely wholly known. Knowledge, experiences, and interests are dispersed over many actors constantly changing their roles and relationships. Actor dependencies and constellations increasingly differ from global to local and from sector to sector. Diversity cumulates as these processes gain speed as well as intensity. There have always been competing interests, e.g. countryside versus city, sacred versus secular, merchants versus manufacturers, employers versus workers, etc. However, there was, in earlier times, considerable cohesion within those groups as a consequence of their strong tribal and nationalistic frames. Today, the actors involved struggle hard to realise legitimate and effective governing but can rarely keep pace with changing trends and shifting roles.2 It is difficult to have a truly representative government when actor and group identities are fragmented and pluralistic, while political parties are either ‘big tents’ with multiple, sometimes even conflicting, constituencies, or ‘small tents’ representing a variety of regional interests, or even small single issue parties.” This implies the primacy of appreciating governance requirements and evaluating governance performance contextually.

While the global needs are important, the home front requirements thrown up by the discovery of dead bodies while digging a school compound in Imphal are very significant. The governance of the land and the government performing the governance functions have for long the trust of the people of Manipur. The security forces performing the functions of protecting the interests of governance have since long lost the confidence of the people at large. In is in this background that dead bodies have been recovered from the school compound which had been under occupation of the security forces. Two contextually significant characteristics have emerged here. First, the people as well as the government feel that it is not the handiwork of any criminal or criminal gang. Second and even more importantly, the people are confidently sure that the security forces of the government have committed the murder and buried the bodies in an unaccounted manner. Interestingly, the government too portrays subscribing to this view of the public. Here lies the biggest danger and the dead-knell for democracy. If the legally authorised agency to use force behaves in this way, there is no value of life under the existing milieu. Further, since this has happened in the heart of the administrative capital of Manipur and in a campus just opposite to the old building symbolising democratic sanctity, it has struck shock to the minds, ethos and social psychology of the people hard. This can have a long term impact of instilling distrust among the masses, particularly as the government happens to be the largest employer in the organised sector. This way, the much valued social capital of the region can disappear. But the contemporary world has realised that no meaningful development can occur without a generalised trust. This is the challenge the governance must live up to besides identifying the cause and circumstances of the killings. The government has the biggest challenge here to restore the trust of the people here.

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Silent Crises In Manipur: Time for application of mind, evolution of policy and action for change

By Amar Yumnam Manipur is now facing serious social crises with national, international and provincial implications, and  which are not perceived as such by the population (I include intellectuals as

By Amar Yumnam
Manipur is now facing serious social crises with national, international and provincial implications, and  which are not perceived as such by the population (I include intellectuals as well) and by the government of the population. But these crises do demand attention of and application of mind by the government of the population, agency for action and the centres of application of mind. I must define here what do I mean by centres of application of mind. I am invariably and continuously reminded of what an academic elder and professional advisor (let me mention Professor Atul Sarma, one of the best Economists of the country and with whom I have been discussing issues of the North East right from 1980 to this day) has been emphasising for any development process. He talks of three leaderships: a. the political leadership to be provided by the politicians; b. the administrative leadership to be provided by the bureaucracy; and c. the intellectual leadership to be provided by the intellectuals. He has always em
phasised that none of these actors can afford to fail in performing her roles or otherwise there would always be a vacuum, a vacuum unaffordable by any society; if all three fail chaos is the outcome. While the political and administrative leaderships are self-evident, I must explain what intellectual leadership is. Now I mean the institutes of higher learning and the responsibilities performed by academics in those when I say centres of application of mind; this is intellectual leadership.

Before I spell out the silent crises confronting the society of Manipur, let me emphasise the kind of responses needed to these crises and to be provided by the intellectual leadership, the administrative leadership and the political leadership. All these demand application of mind, evolution of policies and implementation of policies with a long term perspective. Before taking more time, let me emphasise in no uncertain terms that this long term perspective is really long and extends beyond the life-time of a human being. This is because the issues involved relate to the society at large and any society’s life definitely extends beyond the life of an individual. The ultimate question is about the survival and survival with meaning of a society; an individual can find meaning within a context of a social framework. The American way of expressing nationality on the basis of belongingness and not on ethnicity has many lessons to be digested in this context.

The three types of leadership are not sacrosanct in isolation, and meaningfulness emerges only in convergent functioning. The way to appreciate the issues confronting the society are to be provided by the intellectual leadership. The decisions for converting these ways into policies are to be taken by the political leadership. The means for effectively implementing these decisions in terms of actions are to be provided by the administrative leadership. The biggest social crisis facing Manipur today is that the three types of leadership are not in tandem; the political leadership imposes decisions on the administrative leadership, and these two types imagine that they are supreme and superior to the intellectual leadership. The truth of the matter is that no society can flourish on the assumption and functioning that each leadership is exclusive and supreme; there is no example in global civilizational history that this premise is sustainable and has provided foundations for advancement. One latest example is
what a good colleague of mine in international relations has told me on how the avoidance of bombing of Kyoto (a role played by the intellectual leadership in the USA) helped in establishing wonderfully close relationship between the United Stated States of America and Japan after World War II.  This non-convergence and non-coordination in the functioning of the three agents in Manipur is of a nature of preparedness for responding to the real social crises.

Now what are the social crises? The first social crisis confronting Manipur is the one relating to family, and it applies to every family irrespective of ethnicity in the land. There is a rising and deepening challenge of ensuring livelihood in Manipur. This has impacted on the relationship between husband and wife in the family. With the deepening of the challenges and the resultant increasing impossibility of sustaining love between husband and wife, we now witness rising incidence of wives bearing the brunt of all these in every dimension of the issue. This is not a sustainable atmosphere for the society as well. If the society collapses, what is the relevance of Manipur as an entity at all? The society which would emerge as a consequent of all these would be one different from the society we all have lived with so far. Is this really what we collectively aspire?

The second crisis I would like to take note of is the one relating to the society and going one stage beyond the family. All the ethnic groups in Manipur today are pre-occupied about respective land and population. The first problem here is that there has been no application of mind, no evolution of policy and naturally no implementation of policy to address these exclusivist approaches to ethnic social articulation. We have never thought of converting the enthusiasm for land and population size into a positive approach for improvement of land-based policies and rewarding competence beyond the numbers. This is crisis of failure of all three types of leadership to perform their roles.

The third social crisis facing Manipur relates to international dimensions. Manipur is going to be the socio-politico-economic space where all the manifestations of relationships between South, South East and East Asia are going to occur. The crisis has a particular urgency with Myanmar growing more than 7 per cent per year after the introduction of reforms in 2011 and thus possibility of doubling their income in less than ten years. This necessitates fundamental domestic actions to rise to the occasion. First, we find that all the governance functionings of Manipur do not have any inkling of the absorption of the global character; this applies to all the three types of leadership. Second, since the governance itself has yet to acquire the global characters, the various ethnic groups function in an isolationist and exclusivist way. This is suicidal approach for any ethnicity. Technology is knocking at the door, but we have not cultivated the character.

Now the question arises on how we can think of addressing these social crises, and as there is urgency in addressing these. First, there is the fundamental imperative to evolve a social goal which we all collectively aspire to achieve. Here a quote of what John F. Kennedy said is apt: “By defining our goal more clearly, by making it seem more manageable and less remote, we can help all peoples to see it, to draw hope from it, and to move irresistibly towards it.” While endeavouring to achieve this goal, we must be ready to commit fully and ready to overcome everything. Here I would like to quote John Kennedy once again: “[W]e choose …… do the things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organise and measure the best of our energies and skills”.

While living up to face the challenges of founding civilisation, there is necessity for the intellectual leadership to be incorporated in the evolution of policy interventions. This is what Jeffrey Sachs calls mobilising the expertise in his wonderful book titled ‘The Price Of Civilisation: Economics And Ethics After The Fall’. First of all there is a need for removing what he emphasises in the book: “Government [read as functioning of any department and institution in Manipur] has been outsourced to private contractors, the ones who pay the campaign bills……..As a result, we live through one abject failure after the next”. Should we live through failures or should we emerge out of those? This is a three million question for eternity relevance in Manipur .

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If This Is Application Of Mind: Whom the Gods would destroy, they first make mad

By Amar Yumnam The educational institutions in Manipur, right from the first stage to the colleges, have been locked out by the provincial government. This has also been articulated as

By Amar Yumnam

The educational institutions in Manipur, right from the first stage to the colleges, have been locked out by the provincial government. This has also been articulated as a correct decision arrived at by the government after application of her critical mind as put to the public domain by the second-in-command of the provincial government. Let me start with a quotation from the classic Rights of Man by Thomas Paine: “If we look back to the riots and tumults which at various times have happened in England, we shall find that they did not proceed from the want of a Government, but that Government was itself the generating cause: instead of consolidating society it divided it; deprived it of its natural cohesion, and engendered discontents and disorders which otherwise would not have existed. In those associations, which men promiscuously form for the purpose of trade, or of any concern in which Government is totally out of the question, and n which they act merely on the principles of society, we see how naturally the various parties unite; and this shows, by comparison, that Governments, so far from being always the cause or means of order, are often the destruction of it.” Paine also writes in the same book: “When I contemplate the natural dignity of man, when I feel (for Nature has not been kind enough to me to blunt my feelings) for the honour and happiness of its character, I become irritated at the attempt to govern mankind by force and fraud, as if they were all knaves and fools, and can scarcely avoid disgust at those who are thus imposed upon.” Before I make any comment on the latest manifestations of the orientation and quality of the provincial government of Manipur, I must at least express my personal gratefulness on the recent shut-down of the educational institutions; it has forced me to reread Thomas Paine’s classic. But beyond this, the decision has been nothing more and nothing less than dangerous stupidity. It is a complete case of the Gods making it mad before destroying it.

Now the onus is on me to articulate before the wise men in command on why I term the whole approach stupid. To begin with, it comes immediately after the recent Ukhrul fiasco. The recent happenings consequent upon the processes of governance there in Ukhrul are supreme examples of governance incompetence and absence of application of critical mind; a critical mind is not an external thing, it should be spontaneous and accompaniment of any decision-making process. Both the Ukhrul happenings and the closure of educational institutions sine die are examples of the government looking at these decisions as the ultimate outcomes and as finality in the process. Society is never a static entity, and anything is part of the process and never an ultimate. The provincial government is under the illusion that it can enforce an outcome instead of influencing the process of transformation in a positive way; negatively in the present cases.

Second, the world has multiples of examples of how the imperatives of the education and knowledge creation processes were honoured even in the worst of circumstances, and thus ultimately secured the civilizational process. The nearest example is the case of Vietnam where education was not compromised even during the high periods of bombing by the American forces. The continuing example is that of the United States of America where scholars call the final shots even in decisions for Atomic Bombing of Japan (a colleague and friend of mine has recently brought to my light how Kyoto was spared of the deadly bombing thanks to comments of the scholars) and the deepening global competition in knowledge and technology. But in the case of Manipur, ‘the wise men’ have thought it prudent to put a stop to the whole process of knowledge acquisition for periods best known to them. But unfortunately for them, and even more unfortunately for the society at large, the rest of the world does not wait even a second for us; it is a red herring race.

Third, education can never be an off and on process kind of thing. The social transformation dynamics are such that they continue irrespective of whether educational processes are in place or out of place or absolutely hang-fire. The problem is that the transformation with the education and knowledge creation processes is always healthier and richer than otherwise. The contextual problem is that the provincial government has applied her critical mind, and has come to the conclusion that interruption in knowledge creation would be prudent.

Fourth, the latest developments putting Manipur in the heart of the global connection between South East, East and South Asia demand that the province prepares herself forever continuously and with greater capability so that the unfolding processes serve the interests of the people and the land in positive ways. The imperatives for this preparedness are wide and deep. The province has not yet have the fortune of attaining any social and economic momentum so far. Further, the unfolding challenges are of a nature and scale where the people and the land have not experienced in history. This necessitates the compulsion for committed preparation than ever, and in a way very different from the periods so far of only exploiting and misusing the doles of allocations from the federal government.

Fifth, the internal dynamics of the home are such that there are so many conflicting interests to be addressed. Shutting down of the educational institutions does not in any case help address these conflicts. It only amounts to suicide before the others kill you.

In fine, the greatest tragedy of the people and the land of Manipur so far has been that the provincial government has all along been under the spell that fire-brigade approaches to social issues are relevant and would pay off. No they do not. Time is now for realising this. Social issues are always much more than law and order issues to be addressed in a way of fire-fighting exercise.

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What Has Happened in Ukhrul: height of fragility

By Amar Yumnam Any loss of life due to actions by any agency, whether state or non-state, is painful. No effort should be spared to avoid such kind of an

By Amar Yumnam

Any loss of life due to actions by any agency, whether state or non-state, is painful. No effort should be spared to avoid such kind of an outcome. Death is never a reversible event and so should never be externally imposed on any soul. This principle should be respected by both the state and the non-state entities. Otherwise, the state or the non-state agency would emerge as the Enemy of the people. Something like this keeps on happening in Manipur. In other words, Manipur has been in a cycle of fragility for the last half a century. There would be moments when things seem improving but would be back to the same turmoil situation sooner than later.

Before I proceed, let me explain what do I mean by fragility in the Manipur context. First, Manipur has consistently failed to provide minimum economic infrastructure so that the people can indulge in meaningful efforts for livelihood in a facilitating context; the state has not developed the capability to facilitate people’s endeavours for productive activities. Second, the state in Manipur has constantly displayed the lack of a reliable capacity to uphold the rule of law. Third, Manipur as a polity has failed to produce political leaders who can inspire, fire the imagination of the people, acquire the trust of the population and thus command respectability in actions.

The tragedy of fragility anywhere in the world is that in most cases the fragility gets alternated with conflicts. This has exactly been the case in Manipur. While there are political and economic reasons (I would not count cultural as significant) for this cycle in Manipur, I am afraid if this has been made structural by the institution of state here. This fear is borne out strongly by what is happening in Ukhrul now. We know for sure that for the last nearly a decade Ukhrul has been moving in a robust way towards stability and convergence with the overall polity of the land. This was indeed a welcome development after decades of incorrigible violence and instability, particularly as the atmosphere was anti-state politically and territorially. This trend was about to take roots spatially and politically when the latest developments have taken place. Instead of positive political and economic interventions getting evolved and implemented, we now see a situation where the provincial law enforcing forces have claimed lives. This speaks volumes of the dogged failure of the state agencies to learn lessons from the earlier rounds of the cycle of fragility. What is even more disturbing is the likelihood that the state agencies thrive in a context of the sustenance of the fragility. When I say state agencies, I would definitely imply, a la carte Milton Friedman, the people manning the agencies of the state. A broad picture is now emerging in bold frame that these people manning the state agencies rather commit to see to it that the disturbances continue. The deep and widespread corruption everybody talks about might be most convenient to indulge in an atmosphere where the fragility of the state is salient. The recent culmination in the killing of two persons by the law and order enforcing agencies should be fully owned up by them. While there could be excuses and arguments that the town and surrounding areas have been under tension for some time, the shooting to dead is unpardonable; this action betrays the incapacity of the state to learn lessons from past events and absolute lack of governance capability to face crises positively.

Now let us trace back the fragility indications Manipur has encountered in recent years. I would take up three. First, the Malom incident which produced Irom Sharmila. This happened when the scenario in Manipur was moving towards decline in conflict and as if the fragility cycle was not going to be repeated. Second, the Manorama incident. This also happened when the similar developments were taking place in Manipur. Now comes, the third example of the current happenings in Manipur. Whenever the fragility indicators show signs of improvement, we have always had a state, in both union and federal sense, which would see to it that the situation goes back to the instability scenario. This has happened so many rounds in Manipur that in most likelihood the institution of state has made the fragility structural in the polity of Manipur. The democratic process has not given us political leaders who can inspire people and lead the state out of fragility towards stability and development. But the fragility seems to have ensured the personalised and individualised success of the people manning the state agencies to follow tricks of personal aggrandisement with full immunity. This is how the fragility has been made structural in governance in Manipur.

Now the state has emerged as the biggest problem of the state in Manipur. Bringing a change in this scenario would necessitate altering the character and orientation of governance in Manipur. How to bring about this change is a million dollar democratic question in Manipur. Fragility has too long been allowed to characterise the political economic feature of Manipur, and this has to be changed sooner than later. The state should always be an evolving institution and never one thriving in conditions of fragility at the cost of the common people.

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Good Society As The Global Challenge: Time to critically examine in Manipur’s case

By Amar Yumnam ‘The Good Society’ is title of a book written by Lippmann in 1937 and followed by another book of the same title six decades later by a

By Amar Yumnam

‘The Good Society’ is title of a book written by Lippmann in 1937 and followed by another book of the same title six decades later by a team of social scientists. Today good society is an actively researched area among economists. The last one and half decades have witnessed a proliferation of hectic research by economists on individual happiness, subjective well-being and quality of life. Development research in Economics today has recognised and accepted the fundamentality of understanding and endeavouring development contextually. This general understanding has impacted on the research and appreciation of individual quality of life. This has led to the need and rise in research on the social quality of life or societal well-being. The last three years are particularly significant in this line of research with strong implications for policy formulation. The need for an assessment of the societal well-being within which we try to ameliorate our individual quality of life cannot be overemphasised in the context of Manipur. In one recent personal interaction, a villager in an interior area in Tamenglong responds that the village does not have any (no road, no power, no school, no health centre, no telecommunication facility), and so needs everything. This response came when asked to identify one need which, if met, he feels would make the villagers happy. This is about the mountains of which we take the poor qualify of life almost as granted and nothing to be surprised. Now come to the valley. I will not talk of the Iron Lady, Irom Sharmila whose struggle has wide and deep implications for the society and people of Manipur. Let me talk of myself as an individual. This Sunday I went to Kakching with my wife just for an outing to refresh. We had parked our truck almost on one side and away from the pavements in a region within Thoubal District; the pavements were absolutely free. A personnel of the local police force came in and told us that a VIP was coming and so he wanted us to take our vehicle away. I retorted that the vehicle was almost on the side and untouched to the pavements. The immediate thought which came to my mind was: “Are only the VIPs human beings and the rest only insects.” My quality of life was immediately compromised by this one behaviour of the policeman; while my wife and I went for refreshing ourselves to improve our quality of life, irritation turned out to be the result. After coming back to home, it also occurred to me that the policeman himself must have got into the police service by virtue of a purchased favour from a VIP (definitely not by his merits and competence), and his obligation is thus only to the VIPs and never to the people at large. These are realities true to the facts of social existence in Manipur. In the context of the global appreciation of the need for examining the characteristics of a Good Society Framework prevalent in any society, it would be prudent to examine the scenario of our own Manipur.

The most common components while examining the goodness of a society are: Child Well-Being, Safety, Health and Healthcare, Non-Violence, Integrity and Justice, Civil Society, Compassion, Environmental Sustainability, Education, Social Sustainability, and Social Cohesion. In the context of Manipur, we can also add Access to Public Amenities. Let us take a look at a few of these characteristics in the case of Manipur to assess if ours is a Good Society or otherwise. Child mortality rate is competitively good in Manipur. This is due to the traditional social environment and customs and not because of the interventions of the state as administered by the government. But there is already a deep and widespread danger of problems connected with child nutrition and unequal opportunities; the initial positive aspects of child well-being are fast being overshadowed by negative aspects. As regards safety, the rise and character of road fatalities in Manipur today leave a much to be worried about. In connection with violence, the last half a decade or so looked like that violence was showing signs of decline. But the absence of accompanying governance responses to these signs of violence has now led to the re-emergence of violence as a social character to perform and achieve. It is as if the governance of the land thrive in an atmosphere of violence. As regards Integrity, it happens to be something like where the society has accepted prevalence of corruption as a norm; corruption happens to be something to indulge, participate and flourish with total social acceptance. Add to this another culture which has to take roots in Manipur; I am talking of the absence of the respect for the Rule of Law in Manipur. Corruption and absence of Rule of Law are the Integrity and Justice indicators in Manipur. These are accompanied by the complementary and supporting functioning of the Lai Seva Committees in most of the places. The private Mahadeva Laishang at the Kakching Garden is richer than many of the community civil-society based Lais around in the valley. In the mountains too, funds are there for building churches but not for improvement of shared amenities. As regards education, time is now for complete reshaping of the whole system. The society is also not moving towards sustainability as evident by the vast and fast exodus of brains from the land. The ethnic fractionalisation increasingly taking shapes as norm for every political, administrative and social articulation and functioning indicate the crumbling of the age-old social cohesion.

Well, by any yardstick, Manipur’s cannot be called a Good Society, and there is nothing to be proud of in this status. This is happening at a time when the evolving international and domestic challenges to be faced with good society characteristics are on the rise. The governance acts today to correct the situation for otherwise we shall be plumbing the depths of despair sooner than later collectively as well as individually.

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Nationalism, Pretentious Governance And Manipur: Need for critical application of mind

By Amar Yumnam Two recent events are critical testimony to the character and quality of governance we have in Manipur; these two display in full bloom the pretentiousness and non-synchronisation

By Amar Yumnam

Two recent events are critical testimony to the character and quality of governance we have in Manipur; these two display in full bloom the pretentiousness and non-synchronisation with contemporary needs of the present government in Manipur. While one of these two is a single happening, the other is an ongoing one. The single happening is the one in which the head of the people in Manipur came out to the venue of a highway and scolded in full public view a Minister in his council for whatever. Given the historical quality, orientation and commitment of the person exercising the liberty to scold a member of his team in full public view to the cause of the people of the land and the province, it betrays nothing more than a drama. Since he has been in power for an otherwise long time, he must be presuming that drama pays well in this land of theatrics. A character named Mary in Pride and Prejudice of Jane Austen utters and it would be good for him to recall that: “..every impulse of feeling should be guided by reason; and ….exertion should always be in proportion to what is required”. Another character, Darcy, in the same classic states: “Nothing is more deceitful than the appearance of humility. It is often only carelessness of opinion, and sometimes an indirect boast…..The indirect boast [is] highly interesting. The power of doing any thing with quickness is always much prized by the possessor, and often without any attention to the imperfection of the performance”. Well, “the imperfection of the performance” is already before all the people for undertaking something in a very half-cooked approach to the project. First, the lack of supporting funds for full implementation of the project is an information already in public domain. This weakness should not be attempted to be filled by public display of theatrics in governance functioning. Second, the guiding principles of the hurry for the urgency of the current project in terms of a Festival later in the year are still hazy at best. This is a much more important issue than the progress or otherwise in the road-widening project. A festival or fair today in Manipur should clearly spell out the approach and orientation to the integration, knowledge and technological issues desiring to be addressed unlike what all have been done or not done so far.

The second event and an ongoing one is the one relating to the demand for implementation of the Inner Line Permit system in Manipur. This is an area where the government should rather be displaying a sense of urgency and commitment in functioning. If it is not prepared for this it should say so. It should not behave as if it is going to act and without ever acting. The time and energy of the people should not be wasted and tested for long as the contemporary speed of global race for advancement is fast and furious. The clarity of the thinking of government in this issue is paramount as it centres on nationalism. The nationalism issue is now at the heart of the country’s policy-articulation, the evolving political economy of South East Asia and the socio-political turmoil of Manipur. First, the government of India as prevailed at the Centre has never so far given attention to the requirement for nurturing a shared spirit of nationalism which encompasses all. This has led to a situation where ethnicity and localism are stronger components of the prevailing spirit of nationalism rather than the nation state. But the new government under a determined Prime Minister has shown unmistakable signs of addressing this lacuna. The provincial government should now spell out and adopt a policy on how to converge with this. Second, the nationalism of Manipur has for quite a few decades been allowed to be increasingly based on and synchronised with ethnicity and localism. This is a critical moment for Manipur for addressing this social characteristic particularly in the light of the unfolding scenario of linking up with the South East and East Asia.

Here I would like to recall a lecture delivered on August 31 of 1837 by Ralph Waldo Emerson before a Phi, Beta, Kappa Society. He spoke: “It is one of those fables which, out of an unknown antiquity, convey and unlooked-for wisdom, that the gods, in the beginning, divided Man into men, that he might be more helpful to himself; just as the hand was divided into fingers, the better to answer its end…The old fable covers a doctrine ever new and sublime; that there is One Man, – present to all particular men only partially, or through one faculty; and that you must take the whole society to find the whole man”. The upshot my argument is that it is not the time for street plays of the Head of the People of Manipur. There is so much to be thought about in a creative way about what we want and need out of the festivals and fairs being organised here; these issues go much beyond the activities and thinking mind of the contractors on construction of roads. Further Manipur faces critical issues of defining and re-defining nationalism. Any delay in shared application of knowledge and mind on this issue would be at the peril of the society of Manipur. Here the provincial government has an inescapable responsibility on how to mobilise and direct the energies of the people instead of indulging in public theatrics.


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Human Vulnerability, Culture As Destiny, State Formation In A Border Province: Key questions in Manipur today

By Amar Yumnam Any development in any society today has to be competitive and meaningfully address the issues of individuals and households in that society. Further all the interventions in

By Amar Yumnam

Any development in any society today has to be competitive and meaningfully address the issues of individuals and households in that society. Further all the interventions in the society has to be oriented towards meeting the needs for generating epistemic communities in the society so that the clusters of knowledge creation in the society become more wide-spread and deep-rooted. Still further, every society requires the evolution from a framework of culture as destiny to an environment where culture becomes the foundation for innovation and emergence of entrepreneurs. Moreover, any border region in a country has to address the usual deficiency in public order and infrastructure for undertaking activities. Another critical element in societies still trying to develop is the inevitability of addressing the issue of establishing appropriate political and economic institutions for facilitating development. Here the global lesson in this has been one where the right economic institutions have been more rewarding within a shorter period and even facilitating the evolution of appropriate political institutions. Now all these are relevant as well as urgent questions to be attended to in the context of Manipur.

The urgency and the imperative for addressing these issues are all the more in the context of evolving global thinking in both the immediate neighbouring countries and the larger global context. As regards the neighbouring countries, one very recent report for the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) is very significant. This Report prepared by the Asian Development Bank Institute is titled as “ASEAN 2030: Toward a Borderless Economic Community”. It spells out strategies for making ASEAN “truly borderless economic community” by 2030 in her own unique way different from “the highly bureaucratic organisation or a structure” like the European Union. At the global level, the latest report of the United Nations Development Programme, Human Development Report 2014_Suataining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience, has drawn the international attention on imperatives to enhance the range of choices and the need to protect the capabilities of individuals to face any critical crisis.

Manipur today demands the unified attention of the government for establishing a knowledge society where new thinking is facilitated and new knowledge is increasingly applied to the solution of problems; it goes much beyond the public bluff of the Chief Minister scolding a Minister. One critical need of Manipur today is the engagement of the government in evolving and implementing policies for reducing the deficiency in public order and reach of governance. This goes much beyond the “improvement” of the highway from Keishampat to Malom. There is the inevitable need to establish in right earnest a framework for provision of inclusive public goods for the entire territory and people of Manipur; this we have been missing for an unwarrantedly long period of time. This need is much more imperative than the requirements of the Sangai Festivals which have so far been only melas for clustered sale of items instead of the needed temporary cluster of knowledge and technology as any such contemporary fair should be. This deficiency in thinking by the government is still painfully salient, and with the consequence of poverty of infrastructure for activities far and wide. The rising vulnerability of the people to a shock, and increasing environmental degradation to recover from the shocks are issues to be responded to with policies sooner than later.

With the world increasingly based on knowledge for functioning and interaction, Manipur can no longer afford to lag behind in evolving an own system of knowledge creation. This would entail establishing a contextual system of interaction for knowledge creation within and without. Given the diversity in ethnic composition and geography in Manipur, application of mind and evolution of policies for this are long overdue in Manipur. Instead of a system of knowledge creation, we now experience an unhealthy competition in politicking for exclusivity among the various ethnicities.

One thing mentioned more often than not by all in Manipur is the richness of culture. But all these amount to articulating, practising and emphasising culture as destiny instead of as a dynamic force for social advancement. Culture as destiny is prohibitive of emergence of new ideas, entrepreneurs, and an atmosphere of knowledge creation relevant for building capabilities for global competition. The provincial government has not applied it mind yet to this aspect of culture as foundation for social dynamics rather than as destiny. This has been the dominant characteristic of collective articulation and functioning as well. This is why the “richness” of culture has not led to the speeding up of development and enhancement of technology upgradation in functionings.

This takes us to the related question of vulnerability of the people of Manipur to any shock or disaster. In the olden times, there were societal security in both the mountains and the valley such that any temporary shock of an individual would be taken care of by the society. Now this security has disappeared in both the regions. In other words, an individual has to face any shock with her own capability today. This calls for the government to see to it that a framework is functional and alive in the society where the range of choices available to an individual is increasingly widened, and the capabilities of individuals are allowed to become progressively rise.

All these lead to the imperative to apply devoted mind and evolve policies with a sense of urgency for evolving appropriate economic and political institutions for taking Manipur to the level where she can join the unfolding globalising process with her heads held high.

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Absence Of Coordination In Governance, Privileges And Non-Emergence Of Salient Development Scenario: At whose cost in Manipur?

By Amar Yumnam The Head of the People of Manipur (read as Chief Minister) had recently reaffirmed in the floor of the house, where the paragons of democracy get exemplified,

By Amar Yumnam

The Head of the People of Manipur (read as Chief Minister) had recently reaffirmed in the floor of the house, where the paragons of democracy get exemplified, that there is no coordination in the various organs of his administration while exercising various governance responsibilities. Mind you, we have to take his words with all the possible values attached for he has been in the helm of affairs for more than a decade. Further the house acted aggregately in an area supposedly related to the “privileges” of the attendees consequent upon an arguable aptness of the description of the qualitative features of the attendees by a social articulator of issues in a discussion in a local television channel and irrespective of whether the very contextual issue one supports or otherwise.

But quite painfully unfortunate is the absolute silence and absence of demand for introspective debate by all when a much significant issue of polity – absence of coordination among the various organs of government while supposedly performing tasks in public interest – was being intimated by the politically most important person in the floor of the institution where the “privilege-aware” supreme protagonists of democracy are supposed to be gathering. Was it a case where the greed of anyone was not being questioned and ipso facto unimportant to demand further deliberation? Even more painful has been the failure of the fourth estate of the land to focus on this admission of a major governance weakness and arouse public debate.

Now one may ask me with every privilege one has at her command as to why this admission of governance failure is painful. I have quite a few worries which should disturb the mental peace and social existence of anyone in this land. Manipur has been politically a very disturbed province for more than a period of three decades. She has also witnessed a hugely deepening ethnic fractionalisation where the Nagas would think of Nagas as against others, and the Kukis and the Meeteis would also follow suit. These have led to a kind of scenario where collective actions have become vastly negative and violent in colour and approach; understandably so as these would always be the case anywhere in the world where armed groups are present. All these should necessarily have occupied the body and mind of the government on how to evolve policies and strategies for countering the negative trends in the society. The admission of absence of coordination among the organs of the government in attending to the responsibilities of governance and performing activities in supposedly attending to public interests attest to the fact that the needed and expected collective application of mind by the various organs of the government have not happened. In other words, the government has not risen to the occasion; the polity has not evolved towards a responsive and responsible one. It is a clear case where the politicians and the bureaucracy have failed to provide the administrative leadership they are supposed to be providing to the society.

This scenario further calls for another question to be raised as to why there is persistence of this. Here a study by a leading Japanese institutional economist, Masahiko Aoki, of the Japanese and the Chinese transition to modern states took place and just now made available has lessons to be learnt. He writes: “There can be various types of domains in a societal game depending on strategic interactions are mediated. Analogous to the contractual exchange of goods and money in the economic domain, emotion-inducing, action-eliciting linguistic utterances, symbolic behaviour, gifts, and so forth may be exchanged in the social-exchange domain to generate and sustain social norms, customs, and herd behaviour in others. In the political exchange domain ….. the government provides public goods, such as national and local security and protection of vested property rights, in exchange for tax payments so as to maximise its own payoffs, for instance prestige, sustained dominance, wealth-building, or monument-building.

In contrast, in response to government actions, individuals and organisations select actions from among yielding, colluding, approving, rejecting, revolting, and so on. A “stable equilibrium state” in this game ….is…the polity”. In a polity, the public would inter alia be “paying taxes if payment of taxes is enforced or trying to evade taxes if evasion is not detected..” Now when it comes to the prevailing scenario of Manipur, it is as if both the political class and the bureaucratic elite enjoy and thrive in the absolute absence of convergence and coordination among the various organs in order to fool the public eye for both isolated performance and failure; heads I win and tails you lose. It could be that the traditional institutional roots of social existence and polity have yet prevailed in Manipur and the modern democratic roots have not yet been established. Is it a case that the traditional social institutions create a facilitating environment for the agents in the government to forever indulge in greedy behaviour of rent seeking and all in the name of the governance? We all know that the perfection, purity, competence and performance of Sanamahi was made immaterial by the corruption between incompetent and non-performing Pakhangba and his mother. The performance and functioning of the Pakhangba seva committees, as I know them, today inherit the corruptibility and pretentiousness behind the method of Pakhangba coming to the throne. But this method can never be a genuine foundation for democracy to emerge in any society. But unfortunately Manipur seems to be under the spell of this institutional characteristic conveniently facilitating the government to be non-convergent when it comes to the performance of the various organs. But all these have been at the huge financial and development cost of collective advancement as any non-coordination compromises the quality and level of achievement while individualised and colluding benefits remain intact. No we cannot afford this to continue for long.

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Confusion, Idling and Devoid of Knowledge Acquisition and Application: Are you talking of Manipur?

By Amar Yumnam A famous person once said: “Knowledge makes one disqualified to be a slave.” We may ignore the acquisition and application of knowledge if we are determined to

By Amar Yumnam

A famous person once said: “Knowledge makes one disqualified to be a slave.” We may ignore the acquisition and application of knowledge if we are determined to be destined to slavery individually as well as collectively; we may wrongfully and non-contextually assume here that ‘ignorance is bliss’.

We may also ignore, at our own cost, the significance of exchange. In the early globalisation processes centuries back, exchange was just exchange of material items. However, in the present form of globalisation exchange is in very diversified areas; it covers both tangible and non-tangible items. Besides this diversification, knowledge is increasingly emerging as the major component of the exchanges taking place under the contemporary form of globalisation. With these transformations, the smoothness in the flow of exchanges is also being invaluably valued now; there is no provision for confusion and idling in the light of the contemporary global changes taking place.

It is exactly in these global context of changes that we feel hugely perturbed by what prevails in today’s Manipur. Irrespective of whether it is the mountains or the valley of Manipur, exchange (whether of the old variant or the new one) does not seem to occupy any significance to the social and economic life of the people. There is no smoothness in the flow of exchanges and it can be disturbed without any qualms; the values of smoothness are not yet felt and appreciated in this land and by the people.

Today we experience absolute halting of flows of materials and people and stoppage of these flows by the very people who should otherwise be beneficiaries of these flows. We are experiencing these more often than not. Both the mountains and the valley of Manipur are now stages for these stoppages. The response to the calls for stoppages is dominated by convergence to the calls rather than otherwise. Now how can we explain this phenomenon? In Economics, have something call the ‘opportunity cost’, in which we go for a choice when the sacrifices involved in the next best choice is lower than that of the present choice. Using this logic, we can very easily deduce that the sacrifices the people make as a result of bandhs are immaterial to their way of life and well-being. Now this is a very intriguing situation. We need to ask why is it that, in a democracy and with a government supposed to be committed to the enhancement of the well-being of the people, people feel no hesitation in going along with the calls for bandhs? While there could be many explanations for such a scenario, one explanation necessarily has to relate with the performance of the government and linkage of this with the quality of life of the people. Such a situation can prevail only when the performances of the government in areas related to the well-being of the population have floundered. Such a situation is also because the people do not expect better future under the existing regime of governance either. Now what all these mean? These mean that the provincial government does not appear to be relevant and significant to the provincial population at large by any significant yardstick; even if there are few who feel the relevance, those who do not profusely outnumber them.

What should the government do at these moments? Can it afford to be confused? Can it afford to be idling? Manipur now faces a regional situation and an emerging global context where the people cannot afford to be ignorant and also the government cannot afford to be confused and idling. This is unfortunately is exactly what prevails in Manipur today. To begin with we expect and the situation compellingly demands a government which is not confused and does not idle around. Should the provincial authority rise to this?


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Cauldron of Pretensions, Confusions and Opportunisms for, By the North East and Of the North East

By Amar Yumnam This is the moment necessitating extreme introspection, sublime efforts for contextual understanding, and freeing from the routine approaches for appreciating the social issues and addressing the transformation

By Amar Yumnam

This is the moment necessitating extreme introspection, sublime efforts for contextual understanding, and freeing from the routine approaches for appreciating the social issues and addressing the transformation problems by the people of the North East for the land and people of the North East India by the people from anywhere. The North East is now in a renewed focus, and the new government at the Centre shows signs of endeavouring to appreciate the region with the specific characteristics of each unit within national and international frameworks of existence. This being so, we cannot afford to allow this new effort to get derailed by a few opportunists from within and without the region. The two decades of the so-called Look East Policy without any body and soul put into the policy have already caused social havoc, unhealthy economic tussles and dangerous political turmoil; these should not be allowed to get accentuated further.

I have just read a cartoon in the Manipuri edition of The Sangai Express. I was shocked by the shallowness, absence of ethics and poverty of knowledge of the cartoonist. One may know how to draw cartoons, but that does not necessarily qualify one to be a cartoonist in a newspaper; sarcasms have a place but should not be a reflection of personal unfulfilled wishes. I happen to experience the poverty of quality of this cartoonist on a day just back home after attending a workshop on the economic corridor linking Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar with a feeling of enhanced responsibility for the people from this region; the cartoon has been so depressingly and degradingly captioned. While the theme of the workshop on the economic corridor was good, we have reasons to be extremely cautious of the ways things have happened in India so far. In the workshop there were ample display of narcissism of routine and conventional understanding of the issues of the region by people from within as well as from outside the region. The people from outside the region have been trying to look at the region from the framework they are familiar with and not from a framework alive to the realities of the region. In other words, the individuals from outside the region have been trying to impose themselves and carve a place for themselves in the renewed focus on North East India. The Indian pretensions come in full display here. While behaving like experts, the Indian style has been purely on mechanical understanding of the issues and regions, the developed and civilised way being practised in the US, Europe, and Japan, and recently in Thailand and China is founded on intense efforts to move beyond routinized understanding through contextualised efforts. What is even more painful is that quite many bureaucrats and technocrats, who have crossed their prime, are also trying hard to place themselves in the centre of articulation of issues and framing policy interventions for the region; the relevance of these people today are at best close to zero as they were never exposed to contextualised understanding of the milieu of issues and interventions.

This is exactly where the people in the region have an important onus on themselves today. We have to be doubly careful such that these two kinds of people do not snatch the agenda of the North East and establish themselves as pivots of policy making for the region of the region. We cannot allow “the German-Jewish intellectual Walter Benjamin’s famous vision of history as a vast heap of wreckage of incidents and events that keeps piling higher and higher into infinity, with progress signifying merely more wreckage waiting to happen” to prevail anymore in the region. What we want in the region is a kind of development fully alive to the social, cultural, demographic, political, economic and environmental realities of the region. One of the top 100 global thinkers of the world, Robert D. Kaplan has written of his feelings in his just published book Asia’s Cauldron: South China Sea and The End of a Stable Pacific thus: “A boom town of oil and gas revenue erupts out of the compressed greenery; coloured glass and roaring steel curves define buildings that are like rocket launch pads located near lakes the hue of algae and mud. I sip a pink cocktail beside a brightly lit rooftop swimming pool at night – glowing balloons float at the surface – and look out at the cityscape. The comic book futurism of Batman and Gotham City comes to mind. Palm trees crowd in on overpasses. Despite the unceasing stacks of high-rises, there is a naked, waiting-to-be-filled-in quality to the landscape of spiky blue-green mountains and coiling rivers: where a hundred years ago tin and rubber were beginning to be extracted in large amounts. This was a time when the capital of Kuala Lumpur was little more than the “muddy confluence” for which it is named. An archipelago of trading posts and river outlets, Malaysia and the Malay world are supposed to conjure up the short stories of W. Somerset Maugham. They don’t anymore. Maugham’s vast sprawl of uninterrupted, sweaty jungle, with its intimate and heartrending family dramas played out in colonial plantations, is long gone. And there is an oppressive fecundity in everything I see.” This definitely is not the kind of development which we should be visualising for the North East in the decades following today.

There are some things which should be core of our understanding of the region. Right from Bangladesh to China through the North East was a continuum geographically, socially, culturally, and economically though these were disrupted by the partition, independence and mergers after the Second World War. Any talk of linkages and collaboration among these should be seen as rather re-establishing the continuum rather than establishing contacts in an otherwise absolutely strange entities. Here the borders are not the militaristic understanding as boundaries. Borders here are geographical, cultural, demographical and economic continuums. The landscape, the seascape and the mountain scape in these areas should be appropriately appreciated and evolve policies accordingly in a holistic way and not in stand-alone approaches any more. Viva la difference and let this be the fountain and beauty of the new development connections

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Socio-Economic Situation In Manipur: Poverty, budget and all that

By Amar Yumnam One political economic characteristic of Manipur so far has been the absolute absence of thinking about the people of Manipur and of orientation towards the contextual articulation

By Amar Yumnam
One political economic characteristic of Manipur so far has been the absolute absence of thinking about the people of Manipur and of orientation towards the contextual articulation of development needs by both the bureaucracy and the political class in Manipur right from 1951 to 2014 except for a short period after attaining Statehood in 1972. This short period of drive for regional boost was when a regional party was at the helm of affairs of the province. The oldest political party of the country has been in power at both the provincial and the union levels but for short periods in between. The biggest contribution this party has done has been the enactment of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act way back in 1958, and yet there has been no contribution to the evolution and establishment of contextually relevant development interventions for the region as yet by this party and her government. The significance of the emergence of a powerful government at the union level and headed by a party other than the oldest political party of the country lies here.

Before we come to this significance, let us take note of the contents of the Report of the Expert Group to Review the Methodology for Measurement of Poverty headed by C. Rangarajan which was submitted to the government in June 2014. According to the estimates given by this Expert Group, as of 2011-12, Manipur has the second highest proportion of poor people below the poverty line at 46.7 per cent (the first being Chattisgarh at 47.9 per cent) with the total being 12.9 lakh persons as compared to the national percentage of 29.5; even the next poorest State, Bihar, has proportions more than five percentage points lower than that of Manipur. When it comes to poverty among the urban population, Manipur tops the list. The situation is slightly better among the rural population, but I would like to hasten here that this is because of the consumption basket approach in the poverty measurement and definitely not because of relative higher income. This is what has been achieved by the government of Manipur for the people of Manipur. The head of the people has been so apologetic even for a little over twenty kilometres stretch of road linking the headquarters of Chandel district to a National Highway. This has been the characteristic of the governments of the province with all their unwillingness and unpreparedness for articulating and devising development interventions alive to the contextual realities of the land and people of Manipur; it has been a case of lying down with dogs to get up with fleas. Unfortunately the political degradation has been such in Manipur that the rock will not come to rule even if the rudder does not rule.

But the time is now to leave this policy lethargy behind and think afresh; let us start ab initio for it is better late than never. The latest Expert Group has revealed that poverty scenario in Manipur is indeed bad. Here the silver lining is that the latest budget of the Union Government has shown the light for contextual regional thinking to frame policies for social advancement. Starting from the University of Sports to the general approach for encouraging entrepreneurship in the rural areas, there are lots of hints and approach from which the provincial government can draw lessons for initiating a new regime of governance possessing the principle of contextual articulation for development interventions. This is fundamental for Manipur today. There is an imperative now for a massive transformation in the quality, preoccupation and orientation of the polity in Manipur from one of den of rent-seekers to one of developmentalists. Manipur has been moving increasingly towards a highly violent society where both state and non-state agents have free runs. The state agents rejoice when the traditional as well as contemporary agents resort to violence and settle an issue without realising that this is the surest way to stunt the emergence of a modern lawful state. The fact of modern development history anywhere is that unlawful states will never flourish. The non-state agents too rejoice in the collapse of the state machinery not because it would be good for the people but because it creates a convenient milieu for the rent seeking by the covert and overt individuals associated with them. Time is now to admit the truth, shame the devil and initiate thinking for the land and people of Manipur by all.


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Head Misused And Disappearing And Heart Lost: Manipur today

By Amar Yumnam Let me start this time with a long quotation from the first chapter of a 2010 book on Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of

By Amar Yumnam

Let me start this time with a long quotation from the first chapter of a 2010 book on Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation by Steve Johnson:

“………. as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.
—SHAKESPEARE, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, V.i.14-17

Sometime in the late 1870s, a Parisian obstetrician named Stephane Tarnier took a day off from his work at Maternité de Paris, the lying-in hospital for the city’s poor women, and paid a visit to the nearby Paris Zoo. Wandering past the elephants and reptiles and classical gardens of the zoo’s home inside the Jardin des Plantes, Tarnier stumbled across an exhibit of chicken incubators. Seeing the hatchlings totter about in the incubator’s warm enclosure triggered an association in his head, and before long he had hired Odile Martin, the zoo’s poultry raiser, to construct a device that would perform a similar function for human newborns. By modern standards, infant mortality was staggeringly high in the late nineteenth century, even in a city as sophisticated as Paris. One in five babies died before learning to crawl, and the odds were far worse for premature babies born with low birth weights. Tarnier knew that temperature regulation was critical for keeping these infants alive, and he knew that the French medical establishment had a deep-seated obsession with statistics. And so as soon as his newborn incubator had been installed at Maternité, the fragile infants warmed by hot water bottles below the wooden boxes, Tarnier embarked on a quick study of five hundred babies. The results shocked the Parisian medical establishment: while 66 percent of low-weight babies died within weeks of birth, only 38 percent died if they were housed in Tarnier’s incubating box. You could effectively halve the mortality rate for premature babies simply by treating them like hatchlings in a zoo.

“Tarnier’s incubator was not the first device employed for warming newborns, and the contraption he built with Martin would be improved upon significantly in the subsequent decades. But Tarnier’s statistical analysis gave newborn incubation the push that it needed: within a few years, the Paris municipal board required that incubators be installed in all the city’s maternity hospitals. In 1896, an enterprising physician named Alexandre Lion set up a display of incubators—with live newborns—at the Berlin Exposition. Dubbed the Kinderbrutenstalt, or “child hatchery,” Lion’s exhibit turned out to be the sleeper hit of the exposition, and launched a bizarre tradition of incubator sideshows that persisted well into the twentieth century. (Coney Island had a permanent baby incubator show until the early 1940s.) Modern incubators, supplemented with high-oxygen therapy and other advances, became standard equipment in all American hospitals after the end of World War II, triggering a spectacular 75 percent decline in infant mortality rates between 1950 and 1998. Because incubators focus exclusively on the beginning of life, their benefit to public health—measured by the sheer number of extra years they provide—rivals any medical advance of the twentieth century. Radiation therapy or a double bypass might give you another decade or two, but an incubator gives you an entire lifetime.”

The implication of this long quotation is that information is important. It also emphasises that putting this information to good use is significant. Here the critical input is the level of knowledge. Knowledge possession should be of such a level that the importance and the contextualisation of the information received are appreciated. The application of the information to activities and interventions should also be founded on sound knowledge such that the outcomes of these actions are significantly positive. Now the world is accepting the fundamentality of basing our individual and social actions on the application of information and knowledge. This is why we hear so much about the knowledge society and knowledge economy.

But the question to be asked is whether such a transformation towards the application of information and knowledge in individual and social functionings spontaneous or is there some other requirement for it to emerge and flourish? Well the answer is that there is a definitive requirement for a social milieu (we call it culture) where the members of the society commit and work relentlessly to listen to the values of information and importance of knowledge. Relentlessness is the term to be noted here. The society cannot work in an off and on manner when it comes to the use of information and application of knowledge while behaving, functioning and performing; it has to be a continuous affair. This behavioural quality should inhabit every organ of the society – state, individual, ethnic groups and what not. The preeminent significance of this behavioural quality is on the rise with every advancement in the application of knowledge as manifested so glaringly in the contemporary digitising world.

This is where the biggest predicament of Manipur lies. The opportunities for building the capacity to process information and appreciate knowledge are increasingly beyond the reach of the poor. The school education and the component characteristics are now so much dominated by the private sector that the cost for meaningful participation of all the children is beyond the reach of many. Despite these weaknesses, we can claim that the semblance of competitive school education is prevalent in Manipur. Complete school education, the scenario is so depressing. The post-school education is as good as non-existent in Manipur today. The functioning, performance and delivery in this stage is so hopelessly absent of use of information and application of knowledge. This contrasts with the deep necessity at this stage of learning to put to practice the capacity created at the school level education. In other words, at the post-school educational institutes in Manipur, we are manufacturing products who cannot adopt the principle of harnessing information and using knowledge in functioning. A little learning is a dangerous thing is what we have been made to appreciate from childhood. But what Manipur now does is moving in a very fast pace towards a society which cannot put the heads to good use to the processes of functioning and influencing performance for better outcomes. This lax and discounting knowledge now characterises every functioning of the land in both the state and the non-state agents.

In a dangerous way this negative pace towards degradation is now salient in all the functioning of all the diverse ethnic groups in Manipur in both their internal and external manifestations. We must now be seriously alive in particular to the looming internal and external violent dispositions of the diverse ethnic groups in this land. While heart should be foundation for functioning within and without ethnic functions, all are engaged in articulating issues and interests along vis-à-vis others. Unfortunately, this is the only area where head is put to use in Manipur. But this is exactly where the process is negative and the outcome would be damagingly violent. God save Manipur as both the state and the non-state agents do not have time and inclination to ponder on this emerging outcome.


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A New Wind, A New Hope And A New Approach Across India Sans Manipur

By Amar Yumnam Culture – in the sense we understand as to how the general population and the community behave, interact and react to people, events and issues – have

By Amar Yumnam

Culture – in the sense we understand as to how the general population and the community behave, interact and react to people, events and issues – have both fast moving and slow components. In right circumstances, the evolutionary process can be fast, and otherwise can be very slow. It is to be emphasised that circumstances are not uniform across social contexts, communities and spaces. The fast evolutionary process with positive milieu can definitely fasten the development trajectory of any society.

For the case of India as a whole, a new wind of hastening the evolutionary process of the culture of governance functioning and social economic performance for enhancing the milieu of development is already visible. The recent decisions about approach to decision-making and raising of the railway fares are absolutely positive indicators of the way changes are taking place. For the last decade, India had faltered in following up the Economic Reforms initiated in July 1991. These reforms should have been pursued further by at least minimising the burden of subsidies hampering the capability to initiate new activities. Development will not occur and will not get faster in the absence of new investment and new activities. The new investment and the accompanying new activities will definitely instil a kind of motivation for cultural evolution towards new dimensions. But the inability to control and reduce subsidies has played havoc with the Indian economic performance during the last decade or so. The new government at the Centre has shown clear signals that it is no longer going to be following the same approach as exemplified by the policy decision to reduce subsidies of the Indian railways. The timing also is very important; since the next elections are five years away and the time for the new government has just started counting, it exactly is the moment to take hard decisions. This way, the positive outcomes of the hard decisions of today would start yielding generalised benefits in time for the next elections. So far so good for India in general!

But there is a problem for Manipur here. The wind in the rest of India does not reach Manipur within an expected period of time lag when it comes to positive ones; the negative ones really arrive though in real time. This is true irrespective of whether the agency involved is of the Union government or of the private sector; e.g. there is not much difference between Airtel and the BSNL in Manipur in terms of quality service unlike in the rest of India. We can continue multiplying the examples. This is an issue we should be applying our critical individual and collective mind. The political economic problems surrounding mineral exploration in Tamenglong and the push and pull tensions in the Chandel district are to be framed, understood contextually and addressed appropriately. Why is it that the positive influences of culture on development performance have not emerged in Manipur at all? Why is it that the ethnic diversity of Manipur has failed to ignite the development trajectory unlike in the developed countries of the world where diversity has enhanced positive competition? Why is it that the time preference for economic returns has remained stumblingly short-term in the case of Manipur as compared to the development need for long term investment outlooks? Why is it that the latest globalisation processes and the emerging potentials have failed to positively alter the cultural outlook for time preference for long term returns despite the historical globalisation reality that Manipur had been historical destination of many streams of population, mainly from South East Asia, for centuries? Why is it that all the communities are made to look like as pushing for exclusivist approaches to social functioning and community interaction by a handful of political protagonists? We have to break through all these blocks in order that development can be possible in Manipur. We have to strive for a smart culture where positive stimuli are generated for both intra- and inter-community functioning and performance.

The myopic time preference of the people must have been inherited from the long agriculture-based functioning and social existence. This must have been accentuated by the absence of a visible development trajectory for more than half a century under the new administrative dispensation capable of impacting on the inherited time preference of the population. Instead the time preference has been aggravated along ethnic lines and with increasing overtones of violence. The cultural orientation too has shown aggressive features of refusal to evolve.

This is where the government-based institutions become paramount in the case of Manipur. The change towards smart culture has to be aggressively pushed, nurtured and sustained by the various agencies of the government. The time is now for proving the mettle of the state. The government should be making up her mind on the core requirements for altering the time preference of the communities for short-term exclusivist benefits towards long-term returns in a context of co-operative competition. If the present trend continues, the chaos would only get worsened. We must identify the areas where the cultural dynamics could be fastened for stronger development performance, and strengthen the social sector interventions for enhancing the quality of the slow components. We have to make the culture of Manipur alive.


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Entrepreneurship In Policy-Making: Modi’s hallmark and Manipur’s lacuna

By Amar Yumnam Change and development do not happen in a vacuum. The UPA II period was a vacuum. There was no authority, no accountability, no assuring space for functioning

By Amar Yumnam

Change and development do not happen in a vacuum. The UPA II period was a vacuum. There was no authority, no accountability, no assuring space for functioning and hence no facilitation for change and development to occur. But, thanks to the digital inputs to the Indian society during the last two and half decades, the people have been aroused to the possibilities for growth, change and progression. There is a big difference between the characteristic features of the pre-digital population and the digital population. This is because the information content of the two population groups are very diverse. In other words, the information inputs and information content of the digital population are very contemporary and global in orientation. In sharp contrast to this, the information inputs and information content of the pre-digital population are marked by time-lags. Because of this the expectations and demands of the two groups are very diverse. True to the time-lags in information inputs, the pre-digital population are patient and ready to wait for the positive outcomes to emerge. This is not the case in respect of the digital population; as their awareness level is very contemporaneous, they expect things in a very competitive way. This naturally leads to a lower level for patience
and unwillingness to wait for the positive outcomes to emerge. The absolute disconnect between the UPA II’s competence and the characteristic features of the population led to the emphatic democratic overthrowing of the UPA government at the first opportunity of reckoning.

Further, in any society the leadership is very important as to which direction and at what speed the society is moving. It depends upon the leader as to whether adequate and relevant policy responses to the problems of the people emerge or not. It also depends upon the leader as to whether a facilitating environment exists for the policies to yield fruitful results. The removal of vacuum and creation of a facilitating environment for change and development to occur depends upon the existence of an emphatic, clear–headed and policy-innovative leader. It is only such a policy-inducing leader who would create an appropriate environment for the digital population to exist, function and move forward.

Still further, the world has by now established fairly widely accepted norms to be followed while pursuing policies for change. The policy entrepreneurship leaders can thrive in such contexts. This is where the moment of Modi becomes significant. Modi happens to be a sharp learner; the mental, emotional and commitment training under the RSS during his youthful days must definitely have equipped him with the orientation, preparedness and capability to remain connected to the pulse of the population. During the campaigning for the democratic reckoning process, he had shown his preparedness and capability to connect to the population. Now that the people have responded positively to his orientation, it is now his turn to live up to the expectations of the digital population. This is exactly where Modi as Prime Minister becomes very interesting.

Morning shows the day – so goes the saying. The last fortnight of Modi as Prime Minister has revealed some very substantial elements of him as leader. His invitation of the leaders of the neighbouring countries to his swearing-in ceremony indicates pretty well that he wants to lead from the front. Second, he establishes that, in important matters like the foreign policy, he wants to innovate. Third, his abolition of the Group of Ministers and the Enhanced Group of Ministers as decision-making centres establishes at one stroke that he is man dedicated to commitment and accountability. He shows in pretty clear terms that he does not want any room for evasiveness and non-accountability in matters of the nation. The arrival of the Chinese Foreign Minister within weeks of assuming office indicates that he is determined to respond to the Chinese speed of change with his equally fast capability of entrepreneurship in policy decisions.

In short, the capability of Modi as policy entrepreneur in both the domestic and the external dimensions have now emerged in clear terms. It is also increasingly becoming clear that he wants the globally accepted norms for governance and policy-execution. This is the moment for Manipur to reassess herself in the changing environment. She happens to be one province of India which has missed every bus of development since the emergence of policy-led change in the country in 1951. After the saving of the Palace Compound before the turn of the century, we have been seeing some kind of activism in governance for the last decade or so. But we have a grudge here. This activism does not seem to be accompanied by any sense of accountability. Secondly, this activism does not have the framework of policy-entrepreneurship. Third, all these activism betray the lack of awareness of by now established norms of development intervention.

The question now to be asked is whether the political leaders are all to be blamed for all these weaknesses? Is there a big problem of the bureaucracy being unable to live up to the demands of the time? The tragedy seems to be related rather to the second as exemplified by the absolute non-observance of globally accepted norms in development intervention in all the functioning of the provincial government. There is a big need for a huge debate on this issue in Manipur if we are not to kiss the bus again.


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Tamenglong Headquarters As The Summer Capital of Manipur: From bleak to hope

By Amar Yumnam Charles Dickens wrote the Bleak House where: “Fog everywhere. Fog up the river, where it flows among green aits and meadows; fog down the river, where it

By Amar Yumnam

Charles Dickens wrote the Bleak House where: “Fog everywhere. Fog up the river, where it flows among green aits and meadows; fog down the river, where it rolls defiled among the tiers of shipping and the waterside pollutions of a great (and dirty) city. Fog on the Essex marshes, fog on the Kentish heights. Fog creeping into the cabooses of collier-brigs; fog lying out on the yards, and hovering in the rigging of great ships; fog drooping on the gunwales of barges and small boats. Fog in the eyes and throats of ancient Greenwich pensioners, wheezing by the firesides of their wards; fog in the stem and bowl of the afternoon pipe of the wrathful skipper, down in his close cabin; fog cruelly pinching the toes and fingers of his shivering little ’prentice boy on deck. Chance people on the bridges peeping over the parapets into a nether sky of fog, with fog all round them, as if they were up in a balloon, and hanging in the misty clouds. …Gas looming through the fog in divers places in the streets, much as the sun may, from the spongey fields, be seen to loom by husbandman and ploughboy. Most of the shops lighted two hours before their time — as the gas seems to know, for it has a haggard and unwilling look….The raw afternoon is rawest, and the dense fog is densest, and the muddy streets are muddiest near that leaden-headed old obstruction, appropriate ornament for the threshold of a leaden-headed old corporation, Temple Bar. And hard by Temple Bar, in Lincoln’s Inn Hall, at the very heart of the fog, sits the Lord High Chancellor in his High Court of Chancery. ..Never can there come fog too thick, never can there come mud and mire too deep, to assort with the groping and floundering condition which this High Court of Chancery, most pestilent of hoary sinners, holds this day in the sight of heaven and earth.” But he also wrote the Great Expectations. He as well wrote in David Copperfield thus: “Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show. To begin my life with the beginning of my life, I record that I was born (as I have been informed and believe) on a Friday, at twelve o’clock at night. It was remarked that the clock began to strike, and I began to cry, simultaneously.” The description of the fog in the Bleak House is like the road leading to the Tamenglong headquarters. But we cannot afford to allow this situation to continue forever, and the time is now for a rebirth and a new clock to strike.

The timing is important. The results of the recent elections to the Indian Parliament have assured the ushering into an era of hope and change. The necessity and compulsions for taking the mountains of Manipur along in this journey are now much more compelling than ever for social, political and economic reasons. Today I would take up the case of the headquarters of the Tamenglong District. Tamenglong Town is the most difficult district headquarters of Manipur by any yardstick. Within the district, it is the most difficult one to reach from any village in any direction within. It is also structured in a very diverse way; we can have linkages from Tamei, Tousem and Khoupum Tampak as examples.

But what is unfortunately more pressing right now is the linkage with the headquarters of the province with those of the district. We can reach Tamenglong Town from Imphal through two routes – one from Imphal via Kangpokpi and Tamei, and another via Khongsang. The first route is longer, and so the people generally opt for the second one. Now how does the second one take us from Imphal to the district headquarters town of Tamenglong? We have to start from Imphal by the Imphal Jiribam Road (it is said that it is a National Highway and going to be an Asian Highway. But I am not sure about it for it does not have any of the accepted indicators of a National Highway. Of course, it is marked by irritating halts and checks by an army self-described as “Friends of the Hill People”. It is also taken care of by a roads construction agency of the country who have assured work for themselves for at least the next century looking at the way their workers work/don’t work on the roads.) One hundred and seven kilometres from Imphal towards Jiribam, we would reach the diversion at Khongsang. This would take from two to two and half hours. From Khongsang to the Tamenglong Town is a stretch of forty kilometres. It would take the same number of hours as it took for travelling from Imphal to Khongsang. The stretch wears the same condition as it was in the past – two decades, one decade or whatever – with no sign of improvement.

Now the question before us is how do we attend to this issue of non-improvement in the linkages between Imphal and the Tamenglong Town? I can think of three strategies. First, there is an imperative need for evolving a special policy for dependable connectivity between Imphal and all the district headquarters of Manipur. This would be incomplete unless we frame this as a package-programme accompanied by the dependable linking up of the district headquarters with all the block headquarters within. Tamenglong can be accommodated within this framework on a priority basis. Second, the Imphal Jiribam Road should be handed over to an international construction agency, preferably a Chinese, in order to learn timely completion, quality construction, working pattern and reliable delivery of the projects in hand after completion. While these would be good but would not be enough for Tamenglong. The forty kilometre stretch from Khongsang to Tamenglong Town and the difficulties being faced in the town itself are such that there is need for a more comprehensive and aggressive intervention. This takes us to the third strategy of developing Tamenglong Town as the Summer Capital of Manipur. This would have two very positive spin-offs. The necessary infrastructure development would inevitably come up. Further if it is developed as the province’s Summer Capital, the authorities would have the ability to ride roughshod over the disturbances being faced now. In any case, time is now for giving a fillip to development in the mountains of Manipur, and Tamenglong needs more than any other area.

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Diversity and Convergence `“ Good; Diversity and Non-convergence `“ Unstable: Manipur in the latter category

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By Amar Yumnam In early and non-complex environments, people generally prefer a non-diversified society. It makes management of society easier and make early breakthrough possible. But it usually slows down after a point and breakthroughs become increasingly difficult.  But the … Continue reading

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By Amar Yumnam
In early and non-complex environments, people generally prefer a non-diversified society. It makes management of society easier and make early breakthrough possible. But it usually slows down after a point and breakthroughs become increasingly difficult.  But the recent researches in development increasingly point to the role of diversity in ensuring a faster and sustainable development. As society progresses the challenge for further development becomes more complex. This rising complexity demands more innovation and higher density of knowledge inputs in decision making. A homogenous and less diversified society finds the scope for innovation and raising knowledge density relatively difficult as it moves forward. But a diversified society finds this challenge more easily addressed. In fact, diversity thrives as complexities rise.

But this positive scenario is possible only when there is convergence in the spirit of the diversified groups. When the power of richness in diversity is directed towards a convergent goal of social advancement, there is no complexity to stop the onward progression of that society. However, if the diversity is also accompanied by non-convergence in social spirits, the spontaneous backwardness is ensured. Every complexity would be a huge burden that this society finds hard to tackle. Small scale complexities would transform into larger ones in course of time. The creation of knowledge and emergence of innovativeness would be stunted in such societies. The richness in diversity would not be a power for addressing complexities but would rather be a source for further confounding.

This is the reason why the United States of America beats the rest of the world in development speed, level and stage. The biggest strength of this country is the committed unanimity in encouraging diversity in every sense of the term and not only in demography. This commitment to diversity and diversification is accompanied by an equally strong individualized collective convergence in social purpose; the collective objective converges. Now the world has absorbed this lesson in an increasing pace. With the rising need for knowledge as a major determining input for development, the emerging economies are increasingly trying to absorb this lesson and make it inherent in social functioning. The recent aggressive globalization of the Chinese education sector is in the line of this policy. The Thailand and the Philippine education sectors too are following this policy. The South Korean and Japanese are also following this policy. These countries have realized that diversity of population makes the possibility for innovation and growth of knowledge only wider. The United Kingdom has also been advised recently to follow this policy by the Growth Commission at the London School of Economics.

It is in this global context that Manipur finds herself today in an absolutely unenviable position while it possesses the looked-for diversity historically. The inherited diversity of Manipur runs along two lines. First, there is the geographic diversity. Secondly, there is the demographic diversity. At this point, we need to ask ourselves as to why diversity has not been a blessing as it has been in the developed countries. Why is it that diversity has rather led to instability and social turmoil in the case of Manipur? Manipur has what the world is looking for, but does not seem to have benefitted from it.

Now let us go back to the American story and the story being unfolded in China, Japan, Korea, Thailand and the Philippines. In all these countries, certain policies have been made inherent features of national commitment. These countries have always invested in certain key areas which go in fostering the convergence across diversity. They have unstintingly invested in improving the quality of human capital across the diversity. This investment has been directed to touch the diversity in such a way that no group is left out. The skills and general education should be targets of investment for growth and should touch every segment of the diversity. This investment on human capital should be characterised by a structural approach such that quality teachers are ensured across the diversity.

The investment on human capital should also be accompanied by an investment on infrastructure in the broad sense of the term. This would enable raising the density of interactions across diversity. This again would have the impact of enhancing the flow of knowledge and innovative ideas. Such a society naturally scores over others on technological innovations and adaptations. The society does not require fresh adaptations to a knowledge society but spontaneously evolves into one in the routine process of transformation.

Now these are the absolute characteristics Manipur has been missing all along. The land has not had policy which addresses the human capital investment requirements of the diverse population. She has also not had any policy to address the infrastructural requirements of the diverse population and diverse geography. The blame game has been given a fertile ground to flourish. While the diversity could have served the purpose of enhancing the power for innovation and development through collective convergence of the spirit of diversity towards a social goal, it is only served in multiplying the social goals. This diversification of social goals has only created an unstable social atmosphere. While the diversity could be the strength for meeting the challenges of complexity of transformation, the diversity itself has turned out to be complex and confounding.

This is exactly where and the reason why we are looking up to the leadership of the land. We are looking with a critical mind at the behaviour of the political leadership. With equal curiosity, we are also looking at the performance of the academic leadership. Further we are also observing the leaders of the civil society sector with a curiosity as to how they are trying to help the society evolve towards convergence. The sooner these different sets of leaders are able to take Manipur towards a collective convergence of social goal, the better. Otherwise, the potential for for positive advancement would turned out to be the mantra for doom.

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Manipur’s New Woes and the Vanishing Peace

India definitely is not a peaceful country, peace being understood in the negative sense of absence of violence. Rapes are definitely on the rise and there is no sign of any respite. During the last ten years abduction cases have … Continue readi…

India definitely is not a peaceful country, peace being understood in the negative sense of absence of violence. Rapes are definitely on the rise and there is no sign of any respite. During the last ten years abduction cases have … Continue reading

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Resilience of Manipuris: History as future

The post Resilience of Manipuris: History as future appeared first on Amar Yumnam Development history of the world teaches us one fundamental lesson of progress. This is about the role of knowledge and technology. Sustained rise o…

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By Amar Yumnam Development history of the world teaches us one fundamental lesson of progress. This is about the role of knowledge and technology. Sustained rise of population has been made possible by the evolution of agriculture ten thousand years … Continue reading

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Messiness as Social Agenda: Dilemma of transition

By Amar Yumnam Every individual and every society goes through phases of transformation. This is however never a continuous process nor a linear progression. It could happen that a single… Read more »The post Messiness as Social Agenda: Dilemma …

By Amar Yumnam Every individual and every society goes through phases of transformation. This is however never a continuous process nor a linear progression. It could happen that a single… Read more »

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