Prison spell : CM bang on target
Every reason to be riled. And it is more than a threat. This is what should be understood in the announcement of the Chief Minister that anyone found fooling around in quarantine centres while they are doing their time would be sent straight to jail. The stand of the Chief Minister is understood and appreciated but here one wishes that a similar tough stand was struck when reports emerged that the Health Department has started looking for some passengers who arrived by air from different cities of the country bypassing the mandatory quarantine period. The silence of the Chief Minister on the report that an MLA skipped institutional quarantine and went straight home before lodging himself in a designated hotel is understandable but this is the ugly reality that is unfolding in Manipur. Even as the Chief Minister announced how seriously the Government has taken note of the foolhardy activities of some returnees while staying at quarantine centres, came the report that FIRs have been registered against some individuals for letting go a torrent of abusive words against the person in charge of the quarantine centre where they have been lodged. This was not all, for three other persons have been also pulled up by the police while trying to supply liquor to some inmates of a quarantine centre. Not exactly the same but it was just a few days back that some boys and girls were seen dancing, flouting all norms of social or physical distancing inside a quarantine centre and all these instances reflect a certain mindset which is deeply disturbing. There have also been reports of inmates sneaking out of the quarantine centres and mixing with others, some breaking open the gate of the quarantine centres to lodge a complaint or two and there are high probabilities that Manipur will see such tamashas in the days to come.
It is the mindset that is deeply disturbing, more so if they happen to be students studying in different parts of the country. Discipline, so indispensable in students is what is glaringly missing in all the instances that have been spelt out. Studying what, is the question that follows. Deeply disturbing to note that the efforts that have gone in to arrange the logistics to bring them back, the train, the bus, the quarantine centres, the arrangements put up to check them when they arrive here, plus the money that has been sanctioned for each of them per day, have blown over their heads. This brings forth the question, how concerned are some of these young people about the highly contagious virus that has claimed lakhs of lives across the world ? How aware are they of the economies that have collapsed in different parts of the world ? It is the failure to acknowledge the global reality that is disturbing and hard to digest. As young people, with many being students among them, these facts should have registered in their consciousness the moment they boarded the trains to come back home. The help and assistance extended by the Government and by extension their own people in Manipur should be respected and this respect should be demonstrated by sticking to the protocols that have been laid down in black and white.