Lockdown and opening doors to outsiders : The twain shall not meet
The Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS) and the Indigenous People’s Association of Kangleipak (IPAK) have a point. The Government do need to seriously try and understand the point they have delivered. Else the very reason for imposing yet another round of lockdown will look like an attempt to merely keep the people locked up. Stop issuing Inner Line Permit to non-locals at the moment-this is the line adopted by JCILPS and IPAK and there is merit in this. Such a stand should not be taken to mean that non-locals should be kept away for good, but as long as the COVID-19 threat looms, as long as the cases continue to rise and as long as the Government deems it fit to impose lockdowns, the issuance of ILP to non-locals to enter the State should remain suspended. Does not need rocket science technology to understand the logic behind this stand. And there are examples galore in front of the Government. All the COVID-19 cases, except some cases at Jiribam and Thoubal, have come in from people who have just returned to the State. Moreover there are also reports of a number of para-military personnel who have tested positive for the virus, particularly BSF personnel and Assam Rifles personnel. All standing indications that the virus has come to the State from people who have just entered the State. This should be more than enough reason for the Government to come to the realisation that it absolutely makes no sense to throw open the doors of the State to non-locals, who may come from different parts of the country. Keep the local people under lockdown and throw open the door for non-locals to enter and there is a missing link somewhere. This is a point which should be digested.
Another lockdown chapter is on and as expected the huge crowd on all the roads of Imphal, just a few hours before the lockdown came into force, was a terrifying sight to put it mildly. Much like July 22, when large number of people thronged the fuel pumps to fill up their vehicles, never mind the fact that the lockdown means no one should move out from their homes. The mentality of the people, to repeat another line, is mind boggling. It is this same mindset which led to the huge crowd just a few hours before the lockdown came into force and in such a scenario one wonders whether the real objective of imposing the lockdown has been digested by the people or not. This is the tragedy. Days before the spread at Thoubal and Jiribam, no one on the roads of Imphal seemed to care. Over crowding-dismissing the call for all to maintain social or physical distancing, not wearing face masks as per the prescribed manner etc were daily sights. Conducts which clearly conveyed the point that no one cares. Such a mindset is akin to rolling out the red carpet for the virus that causes COVID-19 apart from demonstrating their extreme selfishness. As things stand, the total positive cases is now 2068, as on July 22, and if the people do not come to their senses and continue to let their selfishness ride over the interests of the collective good, the number of positive cases will continue to rise sharply.