Manipur is the most corrupt state in India. Majority of the MLAs have been thikadars who, through their nexus with the political, bureaucratic, and armed class secures Govt. contracts. They amass great wealth through various thikas, which they poorly implement. The result is a vicious cycle of dilapidated infrastructure, misappropriation of public funds, and a thriving ecosystem of thikadar-politician exploitation.
How do such a nexus of corruption continue? During elections, political parties distribute cash to solicit votes, perpetuating this sorry saga of corruption in Manipur. The false narrative entrenched in Manipur is that “people are corrupt, so they elect corrupt politician.” But PRJA is challenging assumptions this time. PRJA is challenging money power and muscle power. We said let’s defeat “cash for votes” by creating an entirely different alternative that challenges the notion that people are corrupt, and ignorant. People are not. It is the corrupt leaders, it is the so-called “mapi mapas” (those in power nexus) who perpetuate this narrative that corruption begins at the bottom. In reality, corruption trickles down from the top. But the way to change that is for the praja to topple that top from the bottom during elections. People are the true sovereign.
We are challenging an entrenched cynicism that says “Manipur cannot be changed in 10,000 years.” It is not uncommon to hear on the streets that “even if God comes to Manipur, the people will not change.” Change will begin only when we destroy this narrative with an alternative that empowers the people to collectively fight corruption at the root.
We, PRJA, believe that clean and corruption free Manipur begins with clean elections. It’s that simple. We have given the people a choice to take ownership of our campaign. And the people have started responding. #Ten4Change is a way for everyone to own a piece of our campaign. Anybody who says people of Manipur “CANNOT” contribute ₹10 to begin the process of change is a peddler of cynicism, with a sinister mission to maintain status quo.
Everyone can participate. ₹10 is small, but that’s exactly the required formula for change: when all the ₹10s come together change in Manipur begins. ₹10 means “moral yes;” it means “I’m for it;” it means “No” to big money, and vote buying. It means: “I’m a part of this community and it is within my individual power to help shape it.” #Ten4Change is a choice. It is a symbolic journey from feeling powerless to being empowered.
Let’s sustain this movement for the sake of Manipur. Make a donation today and be a part of #Ten4Change campaign to transform Manipur.