Mind your common senseCarcasses in Loktak
Lack of civic sense and common sense coupled with a selfish mindset can make a lethal cocktail and this is what is being played out in all its ugliness in the face of the African Swine Fever outbreak. To the pig farmer, especially the marginal rearer with one or two or three pigs, who had pinned hope on making some money at the end of the year, the loss must be huge. The meat seller or butcher who is better known for selling the prime parts to the consumers must be reeling under financial stress and so too the numerous eateries which have sprung up all over the place in Imphal-the hotels, the pork Momo sellers, those running restaurants with their specialities centred on pork based dishes such chilly pork, pork fried rice, pork chowmein, etc and it is only natural that all would note the situation and respond in a manner that should help the Government to contain the situation and help curb the spread of the virus. However when a people whose vision and mental makeup are crippled by a pathetic lack of common and civic sense made worse by an overwhelming sense of self centrism, then the script is ready to prolong the grip of the virus that causes African Swine Fever and spread to more livestock. For the last few days, that is for at least the last three editions, the focus of The Sangai Express has been on the senseless act of dumping the carcasses of pigs in the river which are then carried into Loktak Lake. Get rid of the carcass in any way one deems fit and convenient and never mind what happens to the others is the point that is written in bold in the very act of disposing carcasses of pigs into the river. It is this mindset of the people which can only make things worse and compound the situation brought about by the outbreak of the African Swine Fever. The writing on the wall is obvious. The very act of disposing the carcasses of pigs in the river means that it will be carried into Loktak Lake and in the process pollute the water. As the People for Animals took the trouble to point out, disposing the bodies of the dead pigs in the river means it will lead to a wider spread of the deadly and lethal virus. Moreover the virus that causes ASF is known to infect both domestic as well as wild pigs and it can remain active in the body tissues of the dead swine for a long time. Highly contagious, the virus is, and the very act of dumping the dead bodies of the pigs means opening more avenues for the virus to spread.
Something is just not right. People as a whole need to seriously look inward and study sincerely. The ASF outbreak and people’s response to it is but just an example of a mindset which has always refused to look beyond the immediate interest of oneself. And it is this mentality which can emerge as the greatest nemesis of the people itself. No external force on earth can defeat the people of Manipur, but it is one’s own mindset and how people respond to any unwanted development that could spell the death knell of society. Look at the bigger picture. What if the virus mutates and begin to infect other animals and even humans ? A question raised in the backdrop of the apprehension felt by the Principal Investigator of the Sangai Project. What if the virus mutates in such a way that it starts to infect the pride of Manipur, the rare Sangai at Keibul Lamjao National Park ? Manipur is not new to virus mutating and taking a heavy toll on the people as it was just two years back that Covid continued to mutate taking a heavy toll on human lives. The chaos it can create if the virus starts infecting the wild pigs at Keibul Lamjao National Park can only be imagined and far from controlling the ASF, Manipur may have a task that may become too difficult to handle. Can the people afford this, given that the Manipur is still in dire straits and the economy is yet to pick up from the crippling blow it has received from the over 150 days of unrest ? This is the time for the people to demonstrate their maturity and a thought for the others and dumping bodies of pigs in the river which eventually land at Loktak will amount to scripting a tragedy.