On PLA's 42nd Raising Day
RPF President Irengbam Chaoren's expresses serious concerns on COVID-19 pandemic

Source: IT News

Imphal, September 24 2020: President of the proscribed group Revolutionary Peoples' Front (RPF), while paying respect to all the martyrs who laid down their precious lives in the course of the revolutionary movement showed solidarity to all the people who have been suffering untold misery on account of the coronavirus pandemic.

In his message to the people on occasion of the 42nd Raising Day of its army wing People s' Liberation Army (PLA) which falls on September 25, the RPF leader appreciates and convey his gratitude to all the frontline warriors of COVID-19 namely; health care workers, police, media persons, transporters, NGOs, CSOs, local clubs, student bodies and volunteers who have been battling against the pandemic selflessly.

The President of the RPF stated that for the last 70 years since India forcibly annexed Manipur on October 15, 1949, our people have been leading a miserable life in the face of myriad colonial repressive policies of the government of India.

In this juncture a new virus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) invaded surfaced all of a sudden in March this year and multiplied the woes and suffering of our people.

It is not only Manipur which has been attacked by COVID-19 but the entire humanity living in this planet.

In this Global Pandemic more than 9 Lakh and 70 thousand people have been killed and more than 3 crore and 10 lakh people have been infected by the virus across the world.

In Manipur too, many people have been killed and infected by the virus apart from completely derailing socio-economic life of the whole State.

To tackle and bring the contagion under control is the first and foremost priority for all of us.

Although we do not know everything about COVID-19, everyone is aware of the major factors responsible for widespread transmission of the virus in Manipur.

Yet, we are unable to contain the disease effectively.

The unfolding situation does not warrant putting the entire blame on inadequate health care facilities and other related infrastructure because we have already seen how badly affected are the USA and Europe by the coronavirus although they have the best health care facilities and the most modern infrastructure.

It is of utmost importance for the government to take up appropriate and sufficient measures and at the same time, public should put complete trust in these measures and follow them strictly.

However, it is highly questionable whether the puppet Manipur government shall ever have the will and sagacity to draw up and enforce appropriate policies to contain the pandemic.

In this Global Pandemic, the top most worst affected countries are the most popular democratic countries respectively.

Whereas these countries have no concrete policies and are unable to enforce effective measures to control the pandemic upon their citizens, the citizens think they have the right and freedom to choose whether they should wear face mask or not.

If we look up to citizens of these countries, the pandemic will overwhelm us more and more and it would ultimately become an insurmountable challenge.

For a numerically small nation like Manipur, we must look up to those countries which have successfully contained the pandemic, particularly China, the policies and methods they adopted and the responsibilities shared by citizens of these countries, and work collectively to save the nation.

We must always keep in mind that the Government of India and its self-centric leaders would never ever sincerely work to control the pandemic effectively because all the actions of Indian political leaders are always driven by consideration for electoral gains.

Moreover quest for higher positions of power, polarization, forging alliances and counter-alliances to wrest political power and mudslinging against each other to misinterpret the very essence of democracy are intrinsic and common characters of these politicians.

The Indian democracy which does not have a solid foundation is only a namesake where some super-rich people, at their own whim and fancy, entrust political power to a handful of people handpicked by them while the common masses are incapacitated and reduced to mere vote banks.

As per a report published by the Association of Democratic Reforms, 265 out of the 301 MPs of BJP and 43 out of 51 Congress MPs are crorepatis.

Maximum numbers of MPs of other political parties are also crorepatis.

Of all the incumbent MPs, 44 per cent are indicted in criminal cases.

It is hard to believe that the government of India which is predominated by such self-centric, super-rich people and criminals would ever pay full attention to tackling diseases like COVID-19 which would affect the poor masses in much larger scale and higher degree because they joined politics primarily to amass personnel wealth and abuse political power to serve their personal interests.

Forget about ever taking the pandemic seriously, the government formed by such people never ever thought for the welfare of the poor masses.

As a result, there are around 20 crore people in India including 6 crore children who cannot afford a square meal a day.

But the government of China which is often termed as anti-people by Indian political leaders, took bold and successful steps to make whole China a moderately prosperous society by lifting 1 crore 37 lakh people out of extreme poverty every year since 2012 .

Such efforts of the government of China to eradicate poverty from China by 2020 deserve widespread appreciation as against the United Nation's objective of eradicating poverty from all over the world by 2030 .

In the midst of the critical situation brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, there are many issues and challenges which we must face at present.

The Framework Agreement which is a direct attempt to polarize communities, the Suspension of Operation pact which makes our own people collaborators of the Indian military forces, the proposed delimitation based on erroneous census data, the Citizenship (Amendment) Act which threatens demographic balance despite enforcing ILP, the diabolic policies of HINDIA to obliterate and destroy our language and identity, the imminent environmental degradation on account of exploitation of underground natural resources, the sinister ploy to render Manipur completely dependent on mainland India for all basic requirements in the name of promoting trade and commerce, the drug war aimed at demoralizing and negating productivity of youth, the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act which gives freedom to the Indian military to oppress the masses, the repercussions of India's military challenge to China etc are some issues which we must face while battling the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, if we are not careful enough in tackling these issues, the situation may turn out to be contradictory to what Chairman Mao said, "Cannons and bombs fired by enemies awakened the people of China to a new dawn of freedom".

If our conscience is not clear enough, some sections of our people may become more Indian than the Indians themselves and this would be a serious setback to the liberation movement which will determine the future of Manipur.

When we launch any mass movement, we must have clear understanding of the issue at hand and all related matters, and we must also be fully prepared if the movement much achieve its objective or at least move forward.

This would not only help in overcoming all contingencies and exigencies that may surface in the course of the movement but also ensure that vanguards of the movement receive support of the people.

Otherwise even a minor setback may derail the movement and push its vanguards who are working selflessly for the cause of the Nation into social oblivion.

Moreover, any movement launched without understanding the core issue may prove to be disastrous in the long run.

It is a common knowledge that most of the commentaries and analyses published in newspapers and broadcast through electronic media based in mainland India are either fabricated or based on their own assumptions.

Some commentators and analysts, being spokespersons of the government of India, have been consistently circulating volumes of false propaganda to discredit the legitimate revolutionary movement of Manipur and sow seeds of discord among different communities.

For all these reasons, it is advisable for all the people, particularly CSOs and student bodies, to study in advance all civil movements together with experts/intellectuals and march collectively on the right path.

Although the World Health Organization (WHO) claimed that COVID-19 may be eradicated within two years, many experts have opined that the virus may persist for a long time if people do not abide by the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) .

This is something which we must see with utmost seriousness.

When the COVID-19 per day spike infection rate in India has exceeded the total infections recorded in China since the outbreak of the virus till date, the government of India, citing high recovery rate and low fatality rate, is claiming that it is successfully tackling the pandemic.

If the government and people of Manipur, influenced by such misleading claims, show any laxity in tackling the COVID-19, the situation may further aggravate in the direction of Herd Immunity and it may prove to be quite disastrous for a small nation like Manipur.

Even if the recovery rate is high, but the recovered patients may develop Post COVID-19 syndrome (Long Haulers), so we ought to focus on controlling community transmission as all daily activities will never regain normalcy as long as there is transmission of coronavirus at community level or otherwise.

China's Wuhan where the deadly virus surfaced for the first time has already returned to normalcy because Chinese people have effectively controlled any further transmission of the virus.

Manipur, being backward in most aspects of development, a very grave situation may emerge in the society if the COVID-19 pandemic lingers longer in the State and such a grave situation may produce serious repercussions in future.

So we must all concentrate on controlling the virus.

At the same time, there are many areas where the government must frame concrete policies and programs and work together with our people in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.

Augmentation of health care facilities, requisition of more health workers, creation of conducive atmosphere for education, restoration of art & culture and sports activities to normalcy, initiation of welfare schemes for workers and peasants, introduction of effective mechanism to check criminal activities, promotion of trade and commerce (including cross-border trade) etc.

are some areas where the government and the public must work together while battling the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government must introduce new policies which can give jobs to the maximum number of Manipuri people who have returned from different parts of India, facilitate return of non-Manipuris to their native states and hand over the jobs they thus vacated to local people.

It is of paramount importance for the government to formulate a visionary and effective policy to make Manipur self-reliant in production of food grains even if it is dependent on imports for other requirements, and our people must take pro-active roles in this endeavor.

Given the possibility of scarcity of food in future on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to cultivate a habit of frugality by avoiding any form of prodigality.

China which is the second richest country in the world has already re-introduced its traditional 'Clean Plate Campaign' to ward off any possible scarcity of food in future.

The World Bank has already predicted that the COVID-19 pandemic will add 10 crore to the world's population of poor people.

For all these reasons, we must avoid any form of wastage of food and revive our tradition of not leaving any food on our plates.

Let us all share our responsibilities to realize the idea of making Manipur self-reliant in food grain production and transform the State into a prosperous nation.

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