Morphine to heroin to WY The drug menace
Morphine to heroin to brown sugar and in between there was podrom, hyptogen, calmpose tablets and later came the alluringly named World is Yours. Throw in the cough syrups with codeine as one of the major components and truly the world of drugs has got Manipur in a vicelike grip, with those hooked to it ‘hallucinating’ their days away and leaving the family shattered. The number of rehabilitation centres that have sprung up all over the place is a clear reflection of how drugs continue to play havoc with the lives of the people. Poppy plantation is the latter avatar of the drug menace in the State and the War on Drugs campaign launched by the BJP led Government at Imphal seems to have captured the imagination of the people, with almost all the hill districts coming out to pledge their support to the initiative of the Government. However it should be kept in mind that this is just the beginning and more needs to be done. Obvious that the War on Drugs campaign should go beyond the task of just destroying poppy plantations and getting the villagers/hill people to come out and declare their stand against poppy plantation. The Government will need to study the economics of poppy plantation and as a young writer has pointed it out in the article which is being carried along side this commentary, the Government will need to study and understand the economic implications of opting for poppy plantation. As the article here has so clearly spelt out, the returns from poppy plantation is enormous, in fact more than the returns of telecom companies taken together ! Obvious that for the War on Drugs campaign to have any substantive meaning, the Government will need to study the economic implications and the financial returns that come from planting and harvesting this plant. It will be a long haul, as pointed out in the article and it will need much more than a slogan to make the fight meaningful.
Making things more complicated and tough is the point that so far no big names have been nailed. As repeatedly pointed out in this column, those arrested with drugs on the streets of Imphal and the highways, particularly the Imphal-Moreh stretch and the Imphal-Dimapur route can at best be carriers who may be transporting the ‘goods’ for a fee. Who are the masterminds ? This is a question that needs to be answered and efforts are indeed needed to find out the answer. Situation is such that today Manipur is no longer just a transit point and it may well have become a drug producing hub, if the earlier reports of drug manufacturing units being busted are anything to go by. What is the follow up story ? This again is a question that is being repeated, but repeated for there has been no convincing answer so far. Almost every single day, there are reports of people being pulled up or arrested in possession of drugs, but there has never been any sort of a follow up report after the arrest. Who financed the drug smuggling task ? For whom were the drugs being smuggled ? These are all questions at the moment but this should not mean that such questions should not be raised. And the important part question is, will Manipur ever see the day when such posers become irrelevant ? The War on Drugs need to go beyond destroying poppy plantations, staging rallies and getting people to publicly announce their support to the campaign. For starters expose one of the big fishes and surely this will go a long way in giving more teeth to the campaign.