TODAY -

Laymen view on nationwide lockdown and airlifting betel leaves

Mamta Lukram *

 Huge consignment of betel leaves seized at  Bir Tikendrajit International Airport, Imphal :: April 04 2020
Huge consignment of betel leaves seized at Imphal International Airport on April 04 2020 :: Pix - Shankar Khangembam



Airlifting huge amount of betel leaves (kwa mana), for the state of Manipur during a period of nationwide lockdown due to global crisis of COVID 19, has a tale to tell. The inherent lifting up of betel leaf’s importance above essential commodities is in common parlance, a trade monopoly, which could be termed as imperialistic in nature.

The coherent explanation behind the trade is systematic exploitation through slow self-gratifying means like intoxication and addiction. These have been proven disastrous and effective, which are strategies as employed for invasion and expansion of imperialism.

The story of opium war in history of China could be cited as an instance. Apprehension of parallel similar threat could be smelt out from the very act of airlifting betel leaf in special flight during the fight against pandemic COVID 19.

In a small state of Northeast India like Manipur, which is frequented as socio-economically backward in the policy framework of the country, panic stricken was the whole community when the first case of COVID 19 was confirmed.

Panicky response made the situation more chaotic where communities did even barricade themselves by fencing at the entrance of the localities. They didn’t stress much on how such acts could jeopardize essential/emergency services.

Several civic bodies sets honest request to the people, the need for opening the locality gates and fencing and clearing up ways for speedy movement of the emergency service.

As a follow up causal effect, sense of dejection and distrust filled the atmosphere. Some predicted about side effects of social distrust that would be left behind even after war against corona. Structural changes is expected in a state like Manipur, which is marked by strong community life,

Precautionary measures of 21 days nationwide lock down started from 25th April 2020 is strictly followed in the state too, later extended upto 3rd May 2020. The sudden lock down have left many unprepared and striving for the access to essential basic commodities.

The psychological insecurity in moving out to seek for livelihood, worsen by the legal implementation of restricted public movements, transformed the lives of many thousands into nightmare. Artificial scarcity highlights as the social trend during the difficult times.

Panic buying by rich with higher purchasing power incapacitated the mass poor. The rich and the poor become more streamlined in the society based on purchasing power parity (PPP).

Social distancing got approved as the most effective preventive measure to safeguard the collective welfare. People are to stay back at home for each one’s safety in the community. Violators of the restrictions are imposed of penalties. Inaccessibility of essential commodities due to systemic failure hit hard everywhere.

Distress due to possible running out of stock many essential items including pharmaceuticals lately become common concerns. Critiques of loopholes in the emergency lockdown for lack of some appropriate regulatory or preparatory mechanisms were also pointed out as major threshold.

Nevertheless, everyone appreciate the move as the immediate response to the pandemic. Following and supporting lockdown guidelines evolved as gestures of responsible citizen.

Prohibiting vehicular movements along the two National Highways which is better termed as ‘lifeline’ bear correlations with public grievances. These are routes through which major movements of goods and tariffs for supply chain takes place.

The dependent economy of the state sustained through the support system of import activities. Closure of these routes heightened the sense of assured shortage which will eventually lead to scarcity of basic commodities.

The global pandemic on one hand, and the question of state’s preparedness to combat it on the other hand poised as the challenge in the public ethos. Government authorities took up alternative arrangement of airlifting cargo to tackle the urgency situation. Special flights are arranged for procuring items of basic needs. Flights later become the only reliable source for sustenance.

Despite the authorities appeal to stay calm and refrain from panic buying, hoarding by rich people persisted. Assurances from government to provide essential items were paid no heed. Contestation over scarce resources continues, where well-off families enjoying all privileges.

Karl Marx’s prism of economic analysis stating poverty not due to scarcity of resources but due to unequal distribution of wealth was doubtless proven during the lockdown in the state. Social setting crumbled and people strived to sustain in as simplified ways as they can. If socio-economic theories could ever be contextualizing in contemporary situations, days of social emergency like today will be suitable example.

Meanwhile, when the whole world is fighting against the spread of dreadful disease, a bizarre incident happened in Manipur. On 4th April 2020, it is reported that Imphal Airport received huge consignment of betel leaf weighing around 6500 kg, through special flight service amidst lockdown. The import was criticize of being senselessness in response to the situation.

Profit seeking is business ethics and looking for venture that could maximize profits sometimes overruled all odds. Whatever may be the legal bindings behind the business to support it as an act of personal business liberty, however the underpinning logic is the level of demand that instigate a business to muster courage of hiring private flights to ferry betel leaf during catastrophic stand.

The socio-economic or legal explanations being added for this act may provide multi-layered meaning, however hardly satisfactory could be the people with this way of business. Nevertheless, before pointing fingers on others we do need to self-introspect our real stand.

How deep has the imperialistic trade monopoly of tobacco pan-eating culture rooted in our society?

Isn’t consideration of betel leaf as one most profitable item of trade, an indication of social intoxication? When price of rice shoots up Rs 50 p/kg, the whole society raises voice, when Zarda (tobacco) pan being sold Rs 40 p/piece is considered normalcy as part of the struggle.


* Mamta Lukram wrote this article for Imphal Times
This article was webcasted on April 26 2020.



* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Kanglei Thokpa @ Sagol Kangjei : Gallery
  • Violence in Manipur 2023-2024 : Timeline
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2024 #3: Gallery
  • Meitei Professors' Invention granted Patent
  • Historic Premiere: 'Chilli Chicken' at Manipur
  • Effective Unified Command for Resolution
  • Music & Quiz: Drug Abuse amongst youth
  • Visionless and headless DMU
  • When is the right time & situation for PM visit
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #37: Download
  • Inspirations from Scientists of Manipur: Book
  • Manipur crisis: Treat the disease, not symptom
  • 133rd Durand Cup Trophies Flags Off
  • NEET droppers vs freshers
  • Death : Only future to look at ?
  • Mental health of displaced people
  • Aftermath of Imphal Flooding #1 : Gallery
  • When was the last time we smiled ?
  • Appeal to Stop Unbearable Monetary Demand
  • 'Oppenheimer' links with Supreme Science
  • 'Preventing from holding a press conference'
  • Travel tips during Monsoon
  • Look at it via ground reality
  • Making the 'Balak Buddhi' wiser
  • Kang Chingba @Govindajee #1 : Gallery
  • Release Ebo Mili & Stop large dams in ArP
  • Rainforests are the lungs of Earth
  • Education suffering from political interference
  • Inflated bill main vote plank, law dont cut graft
  • From the Lok Sabha to Manipur
  • Third visit of Rahul
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #9
  • International Day of Yoga #1 : Gallery
  • Lord Jagannatha's processional chariot fest
  • World Zoonoses Day 2024
  • PM 'bola' in Parliament
  • Acknowledging the stand of UNC
  • Embracing tree plantation as a new trend
  • 17th N Tombi Equestrian C'ships #2 : Gallery
  • The spirit & the creed of the Olympics
  • Kang Chingba (Rath Yatra) : Book
  • 'Economic blockade: Rumors baseless'
  • The Power of Poppy - 38 :: Poem
  • Balancing children's academic performance
  • Imphal flooded (again) [Jul 3] #2 : Gallery
  • Covid, Ngari, Yu and Loktak
  • Rural people struggling with network problem
  • English certificate courses for BA student
  • 6th July is International Day of Cooperatives
  • Clogging the waterways with plastics
  • Diverting public attention from core issues
  • Manipur Kanba Khongchat #2 : Gallery
  • Gateway of Assam
  • Integrating GIS & EWS for flood management
  • The Dopamine overdose
  • Free workshop on civil service exams
  • Bucket of cold water after a hot shower
  • Breaking the silence
  • Imphal flooded (again) [Jul 3] #1 : Gallery
  • Embracing 'Sharra - Kashar-ot'
  • Drug abuse & illicit trafficking in Manipur
  • Nudity being served to increase followers
  • Record high temperature
  • Bangladesh FM Hasan Mahmud's Riyadh visit
  • Indigenous call for NRC
  • Come home to the electorates
  • Meiteis must unite for survival
  • Flood advisories issued
  • State & District Control Rooms
  • Green Hydrogen for a clean environment
  • Need for an Emergency
  • Monsoons beauty
  • Calling out the indifference of Delhi
  • Questioning the silence with a roar
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #8
  • Problem & prospect of floriculture in Manipur
  • WomenLeaders India Fellowship 2024-25
  • Naga Peace Talks and Narasimha Rao
  • Arunachal Minister visits Oil Palm @Godavari
  • Clear cut stand from the Nagas
  • Crisis resolution in 100-day plan ?
  • Great June Uprising @Kekrupat #2 : Gallery
  • Manipur: A battleground of imperial geopolitics
  • Wangkhem Suresh @ Higher Defence Course
  • Shoppers Stop's 1st Store in Dimapur
  • Stop razing rail station, divert 25k Cr to Signal
  • Has Imphal completely lost the plot ?
  • Time to take responsibility
  • Tarpon chaklen katpa @ Andro #3 : Gallery
  • July Calendar for Year 2024 : Tools
  • Letter to Prime Minister of India
  • International Day of Parliamentarism
  • Skill Development Course at Lumshnong
  • The Power of Poppy - 37 :: Poem
  • Radio E-pao: Manipuri Film OST (130+ song)
  • Manipur Kanba Khongchat #1 : Gallery
  • Multiple Openings @ JCRE Solutions
  • Our mass addiction to predicting future
  • Bonsai - A play with another aspect : Review
  • Timely diagnosis to stop misuse of medicines
  • Impactful tool- Instagram marketing strategy
  • Essence of the June 28 rally
  • Birds of the same feather
  • Scientist of Manipur: Satyendra Thoudam
  • Education and the fate of Manipur
  • Centre not mind talking to Kitovi or Alezo
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Nambol
  • Why Bangladesh urge military diplomacy
  • MoU : Assam Don Bosco Univ with Cambridge
  • Understanding beyond the coup
  • Donning the role of LoP
  • Rally @ Jiribam [June 26] : Gallery
  • Umananda Island- World smallest river island
  • Breaking the impasse
  • Fantasies of a sinister childhood
  • Program: developing women entrepreneurship
  • Microlearning is impacting talent acquisition
  • Looking for the way forward
  • The message
  • Moirangthem Robi - Mr Universe India 2022
  • Parthenium Menace in Indo-Myanmar : Book
  • Respect & recognise domestic worker
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Hiyanglam
  • One test not for India
  • Include tomatoes in your skincare routine
  • Raising ST call a notch or two higher
  • United in grief, but...
  • Panthoibi Phijol Hongba @Mandalay : Gallery
  • Open Letter to Hon'ble CM of Manipur
  • Slavery in the machine world
  • 'Either Rio regime delivers or it fails'
  • No need for NEET or NET
  • Walkathon to promote health at Guwahati
  • Paradox of arming & disarming citizens
  • Meaningless statements
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #7
  • You are king of web, then slave
  • A Groundbreaking HIV Prevention Option
  • Board of Studies at Assam Don Bosco
  • Public Services as a career choice
  • Manipur violence and state
  • Last minute cancellation
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #36: Download
  • Saraighat Bridge - An Expedition
  • Meeting with MP Dr Bimol Akoijam
  • Manipur: 11 medal (5 gold) @ Natl Taekwondo
  • Socialization and the Two "Meads"
  • The Power of Poppy - 36 :: Poem
  • Scientist of Manipur: Raghumani Ningthoujam
  • Chilli Chicken Delivers a Flavorful Punch
  • International Day of Yoga 2024
  • Antimicrobial Resistance: Top 10 health threat
  • Indo-Naga Talks (From 2012) :: Timeline
  • Taste vs Health
  • Fiasco of UGC-NET, NEET 2024
  • From NEET to NET: It's time to fix NTA
  • Great June Uprising @Kekrupat #1 : Gallery
  • Ema Panthoibi Phijol Hongba at Mandalay
  • Proposed Palm Plantation behind Jiri violence?
  • 'Why Impose War on Us'
  • Why workers most affected by scorching heat?
  • Coup of 2021 not the only push factor
  • Last chance not to fall from grace
  • Ibudhou Cheng Hongba #1 : Gallery
  • Kind attention 'Your Lordship' CJ of India
  • 'Opposition-less Govt in Nagaland is rhetoric'
  • Xorai - Assam's cultural symbol
  • Natural ways to lighten dark underarms
  • Is Delhi doing the right thing ?
  • Set the priorities right
  • Ima Keithel flood- May 30 #3 : Gallery
  • Modi's arduous journey & fate of Naga peace
  • Autism: Why fit in, when you can stand out?
  • Bloodstained Masquerade :: Poem
  • Dharamvir Singh: Forgotten hero of TV
  • What is keeping the clash going on ?
  • Warning of a coming politico-military storm
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #6
  • The Great June 18 Uprising : Timeline
  • The Great June 18 Uprising : Gallery
  • Are we on track to end AIDS by 2030 ?
  • 3 writers from Manipur for Sahitya Akademi
  • Manipur's traffic, parking: A big nuisance
  • Career in elderly care
  • Keeping the folks under a state of confusion
  • Nothing neat about NEET
  • Aid to relief camps @ Jiribam : Gallery
  • Gastronomy tourism in Manipur : Gallery
  • Eid-ul-Adha: Embracing sacrifice
  • Bike Rally - Sekmai to Kangla : Gallery
  • Tarpon chaklen katpa @ Andro #2 : Gallery
  • 2nd Annual Art Exhibition #1 : Gallery
  • Education Fair @Imphal #2 : Gallery
  • Ima Keithel flood- May 30 #2 : Gallery
  • Scientist of Manipur: Laishram Shanta
  • Bimol Akoijam (Cong) wins Inner PC : Gallery
  • 'Ishanou' Selection @ Cannes #2: Gallery
  • Imphal valley districts flooded #3 : Gallery
  • Ima Keithel flood- May 30 #1 : Gallery
  • Imphal valley districts flooded #2 : Gallery
  • Imphal valley districts flooded #1 : Gallery
  • Licypriya meets Italy PM & Pope Francis
  • HSLC (Class X) 2024 : Full Result
  • HSLC 2024 : Important Info & Grading System
  • HSLC 2024 : Pass % : Private Schools
  • HSLC 2024 : Pass % : Aided Schools
  • HSLC 2024 : Pass % : Govt Schools
  • HSLC 2024 : Statistical Abstract
  • HSLC 2024 : Comparative Statement
  • Scientist of Manipur: Jayanta Manoharmayum
  • Scientist of Manipur: Amom Ruhikanta
  • Preserving Thang-Ta :: Rare Photos
  • Malemnganbi Laishram : Science Topper
  • Thokchom Sheityajit : Arts Topper
  • Aiena Naorem : Commerce Topper
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024 : Science Topper
  • HSE 2024 : Subject Pass Percentage
  • HSE 2024 : District Pass Percentage
  • HSE 2024 : Candidates with Highest Marks
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024: Science Full Result
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024: Arts Full Result
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024: Commerce Result
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024 : Arts Topper
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024 : Commerce Topper
  • Nupi Landa Thaunaphabishing : Full Book
  • A ferocious hailstorm @Imphal : Gallery
  • Scientists of Manipur : Ngangkham Nimai
  • GHOST of PEACE :: Download Booklet
  • List of Kings of Manipur: 33 - 1984 AD