Beyond any doubt, Covid-19 poses the biggest threat to mankind today. As in a greater part of the world, India along with the Northeast is confronting the killer virus squarely and effectively. The fight to defeat Covid-19 began in the right earnest with a good deal of confidence and public support in the Northeast sometime in March.
All of a sudden and most unfortunately, the difficult but fairly smooth Covid-19 landscape in the north-east seemingly turned topsy-turvy with the fair face of humanism eclipsed by dark bolts of inhumanism.
It was not just with awe and disgust but also with a bleeding heart that the Northeast witnessed the unfortunate incident of a Covid-19 patient who succumbed to the killer virus being denied a decent burial at several locations in Shillong, the capital city of Meghalaya.
It was indeed a horrendous time before a final resting place could be found for the deceased. While some local tribal individuals and organisations rightfully condemned the inhuman attitude of some local authorities denying a burial place, it was highly unfortunate that some eminent persons of the capital city tactfully avoided speaking a word against those who brought a bad name to the simple tribal community and the state.
Likewise, around the same time, some migrant workers, reportedly from Assam, were brutally beaten up by some Naga residents at a location in Nagaland purportedly without any rhyme or reason. The video of the savage assault on the helpless workers had gone viral and made its way to the television screen of several news channels.
It may also be stated at this juncture that a similar incident took place in Arunachal Pradesh about the time the nation-wide lockdown was announced. In this case some migrant workers were beaten up black and blue by some locals and video footage of the barbaric act was telecast by several news channels.
That, however, is not the end of the chapter on the recent rise of inhuman and anti-wildlife activities in the Northeast. In the midst of the lockdown, a gang of suspected poachers and others in Nagaland celebrated a lockdown feast after gunning down deer and other wildlife. In this case too, a video on the incident went viral, serving as hot stuff for many news channels.
In a similar manner, several new channels telecast footage of some natives of Arunachal Pradesh having killed a rare species of King Cobra which they consumed as pre the version of forest officials made before the camera.
In the backdrop such inhumanism and savagery witnessed in the last few days in the Northeast, the question arises as to where have our human values disappeared? Is it not a black bolt on the fair face of the concerned regions or for that matter the entire Northeast?
It may be noted that these incidents with footage have come to the notice of the entire nation with much dismay and disgust. This in turn may put the respective regions where the incidents took place in bad stead.
On the other hand, the people of the Northeast should not forget that quite often instances of people from the region being assaulted or ill-behaved in some metros of India hit the headline in the media. Some NE state governments have also taken up the issue with the Centre.
May one ask as to where lies the difference between natives of another state being assaulted in an NE state and people being assaulted in mainland India? No one can support one and condemn the other.
Both are equally wrong and condemnable and must be stopped. The people of the region must be just towards their brethren from the neighbouring states to be able to fight unitedly against injustice meted out to the Northeast people in some other parts of the country. Mere political statements of unity are devoid of any meaning. The happenings in the Northeast only serve as fuel for hate mongers against the peplum of the region in some other parts of India.