Thus far and no further: OP-ED
The few quotes, I, recently came across that captured my attention was in his imitable interpretation of famous quote “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me”, “ek khep jhukiyo bhaney jhukkawney ko galti ho tara dui khep jhukiyow bhaney jhukkiney ko galti” by legendary Lt. Madan Tamang. Also “history never repeats itself, but it does often rhyme” and another is of course “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. The aggregate connotation is simple enough but it fits so well with recent few political developments that took place and yet few in the line in our state and across the identity spectrum. The simplest of caveat could have avoided larger implications, on which now we can only have afterthought and perpetual blame game with mutual skepticism.
Our beloved Sikkim just celebrated 48th State Day rather in a grand manner despite it hold the fact that its populace inclination towards tribalism is at its zenith. Its true, identity rather is a relative term but one fundamental proposition upon which identity issue based is how the incumbents and fellow groups recognize them. Be there as it may, the issue at hands simply is how these issues that concern each one of us being addressed so lightly. Issues that pertain to Article 371F, distinct identity rather different identity, the ‘Idea of Sikkim’, economy so on and so forth have become only a political issue that revolve around votes and elections. It has never been a part of intellectual exercise of serious Sikkimese so to say. As such, these issues never get attention it requires resultantly end up being jumbled and intertwined so much that half the time is consumed just to understand where we gone wrong.
Considering the piteous junction that we are dwelling, the best of the incumbent would be to accept the fact that we have gone wrong significantly on these issues that matters, thus far and no further. Now, equally important and urgent tonic to rely on would be to address these issues in most democratic way rather than dwelling whitewashing. As the cliché goes long and short-term solution, I neither see a term nor a solution. It primarily does not at all means there is no solution. The blinky yet paradigm mantra I prefer at the moment is to break the narratives and deconstruct what has been constructed a destructive Narrow Complex rather land up in endeavor to reconstruct Pan-India Complex that’s being long subdued.
The word Sikkimese in itself is complete and self-explaining legally and politically having the sanctitude of Article 371F of the Constitution of India in particular and the Constitution as a whole. Sometimes, we significantly lagged to showcase who we are in correct forum and timing. I see next to zero anywhere in the Pan-India forums our distinct identity within the larger identity being reiterated in perhaps the best of the voices. I am cautious enough not to include the Democratic Institutions here as it has another pitiable representation rather jargon Our Voice. Perhaps I see no better moment than this junction to work on these paradigm concerns. Perhaps it is the best of the moment in history to tell our story and let them know why we matter as anyone matters.
This of course is easier said than done, nonetheless, these are few of the alternatives and recourse at the moment of too little too late. Having said this, its inference cannot be whatever done thus far are wrong in toto and to belittle few good things we have done. However, with the caveat I would stick on one simple premise as far as our responses to the issues that matter have been bleak and incomplete.
The zeitgeist of the post apex court’s judgements is ostensibly resonating an eternal discourse which is must but further perpetual slip ups create chaotic turbulence for which we are not ready at all. Such developments are absolutely not good at this uninvited era of majoritarian brute force that distort dissent and dissident. It also distorts even the truth at the helms of flogging narratives through all means and mediums.
The ability to concede wrong being done and moving ahead with correct and participative approach is sine quo non for course correction. Timely retrospection of our deeds, liberal approach enough to attract intellectuals to deliberate on the issues that matter for democratic discourse is much needed. The grotesque mode of change that hinges in our inability to exploit the opportunity at its best must be address with utmost priority at the earliest. On the other hand, seemingly at an unending behest of some populist approach of the incumbent across the spectrum using freebies and accommodative policies actually incapacitates our unexplored human resources, as such, these are equally inimical to our society and even our identity.
The uncompromisable endeavor of our incumbents and policy formulators should rather be to prepare human resources who knows their past and are craving to avail fighting tooth and nail to occupy and make best use of the institutions, be it political, educational, democratic or any other. For the purpose, not just to serve the nation but also to unfurl our own identity which are often vacillating.
So that even the prudence to understand being cheated is one step ahead at the right direction as our quote at the beginning says “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me” and of course “history never repeats itself, but it does often rhyme”.
By Pradeep Gyabak Tamang. The author can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
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