By – M. Kalanjoy Singh and Dr. P. B. M.Basaiawmoit
The world is in the grip of Corona Virus or COVID-19, i.e. since the latter part of 2019, when it was discovered in China’s Wuhan Province. Perhaps, it was a bit too early to become alarmed as it had happened in mid-2009, with regard to swine flu or H1N1. Few leaders even joked about its impending imminence, particularly on COVID-19 being contagious and/ infectious. However, today, the situation has drastically changed, whereby it warrants declaring Health Emergency in most affected countries as a preventive measure and to contain its spread far and wide through Italy, followed by Spain leads in death statistics.
In India, Kerala followed by Maharashtra leads in COVID-19 cases though comparatively, the death toll is still below the two-digit figure. And all States and Union Territories are in a state of complete lockdown. India has been taken to be a model in accelerating the pace of containing the spread of COVID-19 and we cannot but laud the timely initiatives taken by the Union and State Governments under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. NEDF extends our sincere appreciation and acknowledgment of the Government of India and Government in North East India for your deep concern and urgent action to respond to COVID-19 in spite of all the challenges to deal with the virus.
However, preventive and/ pre-emptive measures alone are not enough. Instead, we should find the origin and root cause of COVID-19 so that it can be eradicated from the face of the earth. In this regard, China may be able to help by providing information and sharing with the global community as to the origin of this amoebic and tentacle-like virus which has brought about a state of global emergency and which perhaps made Prime Minister Modi said that it is even worse than world wars. Unless capped and uprooted at the very earliest, it won’t take long for this Frankenstein to swallow up the whole world; more deadly and dangerous than chemical weapons (or is it one of such products ?) and other human adventurism without calculating the cost leading to an uncertain future and uninhabitable planet earth. As a small and insignificant group of concerned persons from North East India, who have been engaged in mitigating climate change within our limited knowledge and resources, we are reminded of the words of the venerable Gautama Buddha, ”Try to spit at the sky and the spit will fall on you” and also of the Law of Physics which states, ”For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction” in that, we believe that COVID-19 is an incidental Frankenstein human creation/invention as a by-product of all those effluences, emissions, wastes which negatively impact climate change and coming forth from such an environment, obviously is immune to any unproven countermeasure unless tested and tried. Perhaps, bio-techs, microbiologists and climate change scientists may be able to provide more concrete verifications and solutions. As such, it is paramount upon all, irrespective of nationality, race, gender, age, occupation, religion, colour to take (not play) an active role for mitigating climate change along with all its related actions such as global warming, rising sea level, melting of ice caps, etc., through air, soil and water pollution, accelerating extractive industries, dumping nuclear wastes, considering nuclear energy as an alternate and renewable energy, raping mother earth, replacing natural biodiversity with genetically modified biodiversity and so on.
First and foremost, it warrants that all signatory countries of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change fulfill their respective commitments to carry out its mandated provisions and take it forward with all seriousness and that those countries still hesitant to sign and ratify, should do so without much further dilly-dally.
At the same time, people need not to be panic irrationally but to carry out to the best of one’s ability, instructions, guidance coming from Government sources and related agencies. We would also urge upon Governments to provide succor to the poor and the vulnerable, viz. daily wage laborers and unorganized sector of labour, the homeless, differently-abled, widows, the jobless and many others. We would further request one and all, not to add insult to injury to victims of COVID-19 in that, there should not be any ostracizing, stigmatizing, discriminating them, socially and mentally.