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Should trading Frog amount to smuggling

by Rinku Khumukcham
0 comment 5 minutes read

Different communities across the globe have different food habit. Different religions does have restrictions of foods and what is ironic is that the restriction of food habit of different community belonging to similar religion are also not same . For example , some Hindus in the northern India allows mutton , while many following the same religion are vegetarian. Among the Christian too, the Seven Days Adventist believers don’t accept pork when it has nothing to do to other Christian.
Manipur, a state inhabited by over 36 different communities all have different food habits and followed different religions. Most popular religion followed here in the state of Manipur are Hindu, Christian, Islam and other indigenous religion like Sanamahism etc. For the Hindu followers of the state being a vegetarian or non-vegetarians does not make much differences today. There are no hard restrictions imposed. But there are people who believe that vegetarian should be the choice if followed Hinduism or Sanamahism among the Meitei community. As for Mao community in the state which follows Christian faith ‘frog’ soup or frog meat is a traditional food which is treated as a special food item with healing medicinal values since a very long time before Christianity arrived. Like fish, for the Meitei, frog is a popular food item for Mao community. Unfortunately frog – the amphibian group is protected under the schedule 4 of the Wild Life Protection Act. It cannot be treated as an edible commodity that can be trade for business.
The issue is being brought to the notice of our readers after two persons were caught red handed along with around 2000 frogs while carrying for sale at Senapati district today morning in a vehicle by volunteers of Wild life protection body and the state police today at a place from Thoubal district. Both the police team and the wild life protection group ( Wild Life and Biodiversity Conservation Committee, Manipur) are performing their duty . It is illegal to trade ‘frog’ as per the law of the land. There are endangered wildlife which are consumed by many communities which are protected by the Wild life protection act. Heavy penalties are imposed to any person who goes against the wild life protection act . Conservation and protection of wild life is the need of the hour with many treasure animals and living creature are in the verge of extinction that finally put the world in drastic imbalances in biodiversity . Reptiles including king cobra, snakes are also becoming endangered in the state of Manipur. Many environmentalists and wild life lovers are worried about the fate of Sangai – the brow antlered deer, which is being protected at Keibul Lamjao National park. This is indeed the need of the hour and there is every reason to appreciate the good work of the Forest department authority and those wild life protection groups and the police department when they used any means to enforce the law for protection of the wild life as per the law of the land.
Having said so, there are various kind of endangered indigenous fish which are endangered and some are even reported extinct not because people have consume a lot of those fishes but because their existence has been ruined by the act of human being in the name of taking up developmental works. For example the construction and the Commissioning of the Ithai barrage has vanished many indigenous fishes which were once abundantly available in the state of Manipur . NGAKICHOU, NGAKRA, NGANAP Meitei Ngammu etc. are becoming expensive fishes at which one cannot get in the market anytime. That means these indigenous fish of Manipur , particularly for the Meitei community are becoming indigenous species . However, these indigenous fish are not protected under any provisions of the wild life act. MEITEI NGAMMU is a traditional food of Meitei community at which the community believes to have similar healing medicinal values as that of the FROG by the Mao Community. Mother who delivered baby were served with MEITEI NGAMU to boost their immunity. Leaving aside the scientific explanation, the Meiteis , the Maos and any other community in the state have unique food that they believe with high traditional and cultural values and even consider as a mandatory cultural items.
If FROGs which is a traditional food item of the Mao community affiliated with cultural importance , one wander why the very said amphibian which can be farmed like that of the fish or chicken or pigs or any poultry can’t be taken as one. There are laws that ban beef in many parts of the country, but there are many communities which follows different religion and treated beef as their important food items. In a country like India banning of beef is next to impossible . Because it will hurt the sentiment of some community which has been co-existed since time immemorial in the country.
Same is the case, when it comes to the state of Manipur which is considered as a mini India . It will be next to impossible for the law enforcers to ban consumption of Frog among the Mao Community as it has traditional values.
Coming to the point, during this COVID-19 pandemic when all life has been put to halt , it is natural that people started looking for things for survival. Frog at present is not an endangered amphibians, it can be reared and produced at large number if one desire to so. Imphal Times have nothing to say when the two arrested today for trying to sell around 2000 number of frogs at Senapati district where Mao people lives as at present there are laws to act against them. But what we at the Imphal Times would like to suggest is to exclude Frog from the protection under the Wild Life Act and to include it in the farming category. Many will live , and the Mao Community and some others who believe in the traditional values of frog items will also be happy. And above all the two arrested today will also have a job to feed their family.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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