Trundling from one issue to the other Covid : A comeback ?
Trundling from one issue to the other and this is how Manipur has been for some time, correction, for years now. An indication that the people know how to kick up issues and keep them burning for days or months on end, or a statement that noting substantial has been done to address the root cause of all the issues that keep cropping up now and then with much regularity ? The answer could lie somewhere in between, but there is nothing pleasant about this reality, which may be said to be ugly. Like the rest of the world Covid has been right up there at the top since 2020 and in between, Manipur has seen the stand off over Mount Koubru, Mount Thangjing, the base year for the ILPS, illegal immigrants and yes drugs, read as the War Against Drugs launched by the State Government and the accompanying crackdown including busting of drug manufacturing units. The border row at the Indo-Myanmar border is another issue which has been dogging the State for some time now and no one seems to know when the issues surrounding the border fencing would be resolved or if it can be resolved at all. There are other issues which seem to be lying dormant at the moment but can gather pace and gain momentum any moment and the demand that the Meiteis/Meeteis be included in the Scheduled Tribe list of the Constitution of India is one such example that comes to mind. Lurking in the shadow is obviously the ongoing peace process between New Delhi and the NSCN (IM), with the latter not indicating in any way that it has dropped the demand for a Greater Lim. It is in such a climate that Manipur has been trundling from one issue to the other and at the moment one prominent issue that has been gaining momentum is Urea and the question of its availability to the farmers. How do people cope with the different issues that keep cropping up now and then ? More interestingly how does the Government deal with the different issues that keep coming up with such regularity ? Only those in the corridors of power will be in a position to answer this question satisfactorily and it is not for nothing why there is the widely held understanding that working in the media in Manipur is never a dull moment ! Like in other States of the North East region, the focus of the Government at Imphal would obviously be on the gradual increase in the number of Covid cases and one wonders what steps the Government would be mulling over, other than the call for the new normal.
Given that it is a global pandemic and has already taken such a huge toll on the people, Covid has started making a sort of a comeback. The decision of the Government to order the closure of all schools till July 24 should be understood with the merit it deserves. Also understand the stress on the children below 12 years, who are yet to be vaccinated and the risk of possibly exposing them to the virus and herein lies the importance of getting oneself inoculated against the virus. It is already more than a year since the vaccine was launched in India and it is difficult to understand why some people are yet to overcome their vaccine hesitancy, particularly in the hill districts. Has the State Government taken the trouble of studying why people from the hill districts are staying away from getting themselves vaccinated ? The Sangai Express had in an earlier commentary here pointed out that the Government would do well to understand that to many of the hill people, coming to the vaccination centre to get their dose would mean losing one day’s earning. Other than this, has the Government reached out to the district administration to understand the reason for the low vaccination in the hill districts ? Better still, why not involve the influential CSOs of the hill districts to give more teeth to the vaccination drive ?