When the world today needs to join hands for fighting the notorious Coronavirus that is invading humankind when leaders of countries already affected are formulating a mechanism to counter the unseen enemy, it surprises, to many when some so call leaders are politicizing to welcome the invaders for their mere selfish gain. Forget about the politics of US President Donald Trump and the befitting response from the Director-General of WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Leaving aside the politicization of using the war against the unseen virus over the crisis of migrant labourers, it is shocking to learn that in this small state of Manipur with just around 30 lakhs population some people are playing politics playing with the stomach of the people.
When everyone knows that, assuring food to all the people irrespective of rich and poor, caste and creed are the only means to enforce the lockdown which at present is left as the only weapon to fight the unseen enemy, some people are intentionally trying to make good use of this crisis time.
Everybody knows that it is next to impossible to put all the people locked into their rooms without getting proper food. The beginning of the first nationwide lockdown for 21 days beginning from March 24 midnight called by the Prime Minister of India received support from all quarters but faced some criticism when the issue of daily wage earner started coming up and when state government started distributing minimum edible requirement through local MLAs, the government particularly the Chief Minister who has been taking the matter with extreme seriousness cannot concentrate to the war against COVID-19 pandemic as he and his team were disturbed by complaints of not getting food that he had announced after approval by his government.
It was a correct decision for the Chief Minister to hand over the matter of rice and other edible items through district administration under the supervision of the Chief Secretary by an order issued on April 2. While doing so the N. Biren Singh administration also announced that 25% of the local area development fund can be used by MLAs for COVID-19 related cases. This means that the MLAs can distribute essential items to his people using his local area development fund.
At this juncture when the state government is taking the matter with extreme seriousness when MLAs are worrying about their people of not getting adequate foods, when many people come out to help the poor and needy in getting their food, why some people are trying to earn money by smuggling in products of tobaccos and betel leaves. Of course, these items may not be illegal but are unnecessary items at this time of crisis.
The most shameful act was noticed after an MLA started labeling his name in the food items he distributed to the people of his constituency.
What is more worrying is the mindset of these people who wanted to politicize the issue of COVID-19 pandemic for their gains. It is a humble appeal to all of them that politicization of the crisis may sabotage the government measures to contain the virus and once it goes out of hand no one will be left. Because the virus knows no religions, casts, creeds or rich or poor. Even the politicians will not be given the privilege to live. Remember, the British Prime Minister, the German Counselors, etc.
And one thing that would like to remind those government authorities is that, how could a person start open sell rice through e-marketing when the people are starving. And how could the government let free the retailers and wholesalers to increase the price of essential commodities at their will? And not the least, why many people are stocking fuel when there outing is prohibited.
At the time of crisis, we all human being should fight the unseen enemy with the most effective weapon. Interpretation of weapon here is the regulations and guidelines provided by the government – stay home.
We are defeating the virus and we will eradicate it from this planet only after we all unite.