No harm in extraordinary measures:
Restrictions on Thabal Chongba
Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures and the very purpose of toying with the idea of restricting Thabal Chongba during the Yaoshang festival should be understood in the current context. The Government has not used the term, ban but has adopted the less rigid term restriction so as not to rub anyone the wrong way, but the situation calls for some tough measures. True there is no confirmed case of coronavirus in Manipur, but all should remember that two more samples have been sent for confirmation. This is after the earlier ten samples all returned with negative results. Given the huge movement of people from Imphal to other Indian cities such as Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati and other places, it is only right that all possible preventive measures be taken up. This is where one hopes the thermal screening at Bir Tikendrajit airport in Imphal is dispensing its duties with the seriousness the situation demands. This point is all that more relevant given the fact that of the two samples sent for confirmation, one belongs to an employee of the Airports Authority of India. An example that one just cannot be too careful and this is where the idea of the Government to put some sort of a restriction on Thabal Chongba should be understood and appreciated in the true spirit. The situation calls for all to be vigilant. How ready is Manipur, if in the event the coronavirus lands here ? This is not to alarm anyone but a realistic poser the State Government, its agencies and the people themselves should be raising now sincerely.
This is where again it needs to be understood why Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided to give the go by to the Holi celebration this year, one of the biggest festivals of India. It is along this line that BJP president JP Nadda had issued an advisory to all State unit presidents of the BJP not to take part in the mass celebration of Holi festival this year. The common thread running through the decisions of the two BJP leaders is obviously coronavirus. And intrinsic in the decision of the Prime Minister and the call of the BJP president is the message to the people to scale down the Holi festival. This is important for Holi is easily the biggest festival of the majority community here and the people of Manipur do love festivals, most often failing to draw the line. This is the reason why many voluntary organisations have of late come to the forefront urging all not to overdo Thabal Chongba and keep it restricted within the period of the Yaoshang festival. The idea of the State Government to restrict Thabal Chongba falls in line with the need to keep some sort of a check and balance and given the coronavirus infection across the world, the idea of the State Government falls perfectly in line with the need of the time. Restrict Thabal Chongba, restrict moving around in big crowds, take personal care. These are the points which should not be forgotten for there is no vaccine yet for coronavirus.