Queues reflect discipline, a sort of civilised behaviour where order is maintained. Viewed from this perspective, the people of Manipur may be said to have a high level of discipline. Not easy it is to stand in queues for hours on end just to get five litres of petrol. Sometimes such a queue may be lined up overnight so that the consumers may receive their share of the fuel the next morning. So it is that queues have come to define the Manipur that one sees today. So there are queues for fuel and thanks to the decision of the BJP Government at the Centre there are queues in front of banks and ATMs. Again here it is not easy to stand for hours in front of banks and ATMs to withdraw or deposit and earlier to exchange the demonetised notes with the legitimate tender, but this is how it is and it will continue for days to come. Apart from the queues in front of petrol pumps and banks and ATMs, there are now queues and long ones at that in front of grocery stores, to buy a few kilos of essential commodities, such as a kilogramme of potatoes or onions. So while the queues in front of the banks and ATMs may be seen as a necessary evil to crack down on black money, the queues in front of petrol pumps and grocery stores have been necessitated by the penchant of certain elements to air their stand by cutting off the lifelines of the people. It is this which is unacceptable. And this is where serious questions may be asked on what the Government is doing.
It is not for nothing why the High Court of Manipur has issued an order to the State Government to ensure free flow of goods and to use available State forces and Central Paramilitary Force if necessary. The ruling of the Court is clear. Use muscle power if the situation demands. This is also a clear indictment that holding the people to ransom by cutting off the lifelines of the place will not stand before the legal eyes of the country. With the Centre maintaining a studied silence, a silence made very audible with its refusal to have a word with the UNC, it is time for the State Government to start acting tough. And acting tough does not necessarily mean going all out with guns blazing but talking to the blockade sponsors in no uncertain terms that cutting off the lifelines of the people is not acceptable under any circumstances. Now that UNC president Gaidon Kamei has been arrested by the police, the UNC has made it clear that the economic blockade will be intensified in the coming days. More intensified than cutting off the lifelines of the people ? Time for sense to prevail for it has become increasingly clear that the blockade seems to have been enforced along certain agenda and that agenda seems to be to make people suffer. This is very different from protesting against the Government. How much more diabolical can the blockade become, is the question everyone should ask now.
Source: Sangai Express