Manipur : A smuggling paradise Who all are behind this ?
Drug smuggling, vehicle thefts, gold smuggling. Correction-Drug smuggling should be qualified by the line, ‘drug/heroin manufacturing units’ and clearly Manipur stands right up there on the list of infamy. And so it is that now stories of drug seizure, other than the ones which run into crores of rupees, barely qualify for more than a cursory mention. Vehicle theft is another story that has been keeping up with the times, one must say. So from the bicycle lifter of decades back, today it has now graduated to the level of inter-State activities involving high end cars. It is more or less the same with gold smuggling with the Customs Division, Imphal Unit having seized gold worth more than Rs 9 crore in a span of 48 hours and clearly Manipur is today no longer just a passageway for drugs but for all things that carries a tag in the world of smuggling. Cigarettes, WY tablets, powder, name anything and Manipur is right there occupying a position of infamy as far as smuggling goes. This is what is worrying. All smuggling activities point to certain basic flaws in society, in the system of administration and governance and in the mindset of certain people, who seem to have indoctrinated the one line statement, ‘get rich quick without having to work for it.’ Work as understood in honest, sincere efforts and not the fly by night operator types where the underlying point is make money without giving two hoots about the morale and ethics involved in the process of acquiring wealth. And in the process play with the lives of countless number of people and here one should understand the ‘lives of countless number of people’ beyond the understanding of the drug users, but also the drug pushers who have been used and abused by the drug cartels. When one talks about the mindset of the people, here it is important to view it beyond the huge amount of money involved in all the smuggling activities but see it in the daily activities that one encounters. When a fish vendor has no qualm about stealing a few grams from a kilogram of fish that one buys, this points to that instinct of cheating others. It is the same when one buys fruits or vegetables from the market ! It is this mindset which used to be exhibited so blatantly during the Class X and Class XII exams some years back. The lacunae continues to this day, with some being pulled up for leaking question papers this year. Changing people’s mindset rests with society and the smallest unit of a society, the family.
There is no point in harking back on the golden days of yore if one is not ready to adjust with the changing times and needless to say this should go with a sense of responsibility, a responsibility towards society. And the first and best place to start this is the family. The value, the ethics that is ingrained in the young child can certainly influence his or her behaviour when they reach the stage of adulthood. This is about the family and the responsibility of elders and parents and guardians in a family and view it from a bigger prism then one has to take the society into consideration. When a mob takes the law into their hands and seems to receive some sort of a ‘societal backing’ then it is time to worry and Manipur has seen enough of this. All these are in one way or the other related to a bigger scourge that one sees in society today. So even as the Government has launched the War on Drugs campaign, it needs to seriously deliberate on how many drug kingpins have been netted. Have any serious study been conducted on the socio-economic condition of the drug pushers who have been pulled up so far by the police and other law enforcing agencies ? Who are the kingpins financing the whole operation ? These are basic points which should be tackled with. So far everything seem to suggest that all those arrested are small time pushers and the Government will need to go beyond the slogan of War on Drugs. It is the same with the other smuggling activities which are rife in Manipur.