Monday, May 31, 2021

Victims of Discrimination

Deccan Herald T S Haokip


     

 

    A YouTuber from Punjab recently remarked that, ‘Arunachal Pradesh ain’t India enough’ and went on to call a Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) from the state of Arunachal Pradesh,“Chinese”The storywent viral and created a social media stormThere could be many such incidents unreported and silently withstood. Racial discrimination against North-Easternpeople in mainland India is nothing new, though new incidents keep occurring. How could one forget Nido Tania, the boy from Arunachal Pradesh who was beaten to death by shopkeepers in a fight sparked by taunts on the hair colour of the Arunachalee boy in Munirka Delhi? Memories of a few North Eastern guys being denied entry in a supermarket in Bangalore allegedly for physically resembling the Chinese and therefore carrier of Covid 19, though they wore masks and showed them their Identity cards are still fresh even after a year of its occurrence. The obvious question that comes to the mind then is, ‘what initiative has been taken to curb the menace?’ or to put in a different perspective, why is no effective step taken by the concerned to eradicate racial discrimination against the Northeasterners? 

 

The  discrimination case involving the YouTuber from Punjab reveals an uncomfortable trend among some miscreants hailing from mainland India to use discriminatory words to humiliate and subjugate their North Eastern counterparts. These discriminatory psyche and misconducts stem from the comfort in the belief that such incidents do not attract any fearful consequences. It is thence commendable on the part of the Arunachal police to pursue the case with utmost seriousness to book the culprit and thereby send a stentorian message to the public. This effort of the AP police in collaboration with the Punjab police should be emulated by other states to give nothing away in cases of discrimination against the North East people if the intent is to sincerely address the issue. Geographical and physical differences should not be allowed to be misused as an opportunity to divide the people of India; discrimination has the dangerous potential of sowing seeds of disunity and could knock for six the integrity of the country. 

 

It is worth remembering that a year ago, an animal activist had called Nagas ‘Chinki’ and was booked by the Nagaland police and brought to Kohima to face trial. The accused did apologised and appeared remorseful and seemed to have learned her lesson. She was later released and it is highly doubtful the person will repeat the same mistake again. But the crux of the matter is if the punishment awarded exemplary enough to discourage others from committing the crime. It is in this aspect the effort of the Arunachal police to nab the YouTuber despite his apology, that deserves adulation. Racial discrimination is too serious a matter to be dismissed with a note of apology. More stringent actions should be awarded to discourage potential discriminators. 

 

At a time when the nation is reeling under severe impact of the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is unthinkable as to how a feeling of hatred and enmity could be developed against one’s own countrymen at this juncture. We should all hang our heads in shame and introspect. The challenge now is to find a solution to put an end to these humiliating culture for goodNot all victims have the blessing like the MLA of Arunachal Pradesh whose case has the close supervision of Union Minister Shri Kiren Rijiju. That timely intervention of the minister could be the main reason for the swift punitive actions. Should all incidents of crime against North-Eastern Indians be then allocated to ministers for timely action? The Government has taken a commendable step of forming North East helplines to specifically attend to the concerns of North Eastern people in a few metropolitan cities. Considering the rise in crime against NE people in various places, is it time to ponder the possibility of installing NE helplines in all states?

 

Being one personally affected by the unending wave of racial discrimination based on appearances and the type of food chosen to put on my plate, I remember the psychological trauma and anguish so much so I had at one point questioned if NE Indian are considered bonafide citizens of the country at all. Many victims of racial discrimination will harbour the same anguish.Also, racial discrimination spawns regional enmity as is evident in past incidents. Such episode of racial discrimination against Northeasterners has in the past fuelled regional enmity and resulted in the attack on people belonging outside the region and vice versa. It is a dangerous trend detrimental to the idea of unity in diversity

 

 

While the Government is spending its time and energy to thwart off China’s claim of a part of a state in North East India, calling names like ‘Chinese’ to our North Eastern brethren, in addition to it being a crime, is tantamount to promoting China’s propaganda. Ironically, there are sizeable Northeasterners among the Indian Army personnels valiantly manning our borders to avert external aggressions including that of China’sIt is a tragedy that Northeasterners, despite rendering their selfless service to the nation are rebuked and not treated as ‘equals’ by many people.  

 

To rein in the menace of racial discrimination in all sincerity, it is time discussionon the matter is given a centrepiece in our social sphere to spread the awareness of it being a vicious social evil. Endowing paramount importance to the issue is a pressing necessity that merits the collective endeavour of concerned authorities and the general public. The initiative warrants policies and actions devised by taking into account the grave ramifications racial discrimination has, beyond the concerns of North-Eastern Indians. In all the cases involving discrimination of NE people, the victims are not just those directly affected; India as a country that celebrates diversity is the main victim.

 

(The writer is an author and freelance writer based in Mumbai.)

Friday, May 28, 2021

A question I ask myself: How long can one stay positive in times of COVID?

 East-Mojo


   ~T S Haokip



     (Representational image/EastMojo)

 

Who is to be blamed? China and its Wuhan lab or myself for failing to abet the disease? Personally, I would not curse myself though, as I have meticulously followed all advisories and painstakingly adhered to preventive norms since the onset of the pandemic; the whole commitments will see no better results even if the whole effort is to be repeated. Who else then? Had the crucial period of the months after the 1st wave been utilised for a war footing vaccination drive, the situation could be much different. Also, the precious opportunity to develop infrastructure to tackle another wave was consciously lost as the absence of oxygen supply and hospital beds became the hallmark of the second wave.

 

Four days of azithromycin antibiotics and paracetamol failed to douse my fever. Fatigue was an understatement to describe the difficulty I had in walking even a step. When the result of my test came, confirming Covid-19 positive, my blood-oxygen saturation was in the 80s. I was then expectedly advised by the doctor to get admitted as the chest infection could result in complications. We went to a hospital and were asked to wait for a bed to be vacant. So many patients were bought in, all but one symptom- difficulty in breathing. I have seen in papers and television regarding COVID patients struggling to get oxygen. But the actual experience was frightening and outrageous to think that even after so many months, we could not have enough seats for the sick and enough Oxygen condensers and ventilators. 

 

The news of several dead bodies being discarded unceremoniously is only an inadmissible pain the patients of Covid-19 endured psychologically in addition to the physical complexities they harboured as death appears nearer both in dreams and reality. Among the many thoughts, the questions of will I am accorded decent burial and will my loved ones be able to mourn over my body are the two uncomfortable questions that do not escape the mind of the affected patients.

 

On the 3rd day of hospitalisation, as I was moved to the ICU of Covid care, an opportunity many patients are robbed and one which owed me a few people to thank for, there were a couple of patients whose conditions were much serious. The patient just opposite to me failed to continue his fights even as the Doctors and nurses tried everything to save him. The unfortunate event all unfurled in front of my eyes; the patient gasping for breath and eventually slipping into an uneasy quietness and the doctor commanding his colleagues and nurses to perform the many procedures till the man felt no discomfort permanently were no pleasant sight that replayed in minds often. Everyone in the ICU was silent for a while. Then the doctors turn to another patient with the same vigour and commitment to save live.. They did save many. And it is in this unfortunate trivial, that the efforts of the healthcare staff stood out as the exemplary human sacrifice beyond the call of duty. We owe a lot to them.

 

As my situation improved and my blood-oxygen concentration steadily remained at 93 above for two days, I was advised by my doctor to recuperate at home to make way for patients with more severe complications. The only concern in my case was the shooting up of my blood sugar level, in one instancerising to above 600, as a result of steroids administration. It is ironic because Covid treatment requires steroids and steroids increase blood sugar level which worsens the disease and hence the requirement for more steroid treatment. It is a dangerous cycle and one that makes Diabetes management a key component for Covid care of patients treated with steroids. 

 

The need to eat healthy and energy enriching foods post-Covid is punctuated with the requirement to manage blood sugar level and therefore the need to watch out for foods containing sugar and carbs. To achieve favourable readings, I have avoided all sugar-containing foods albeit salivating thoughts to relish just a cup of tea with biscuits. Without steroids though, the blood sugar level tends to improve in a week with a proper diet. Regular management will however be required for a while and the situation could be more tasking for the aged individuals. The headache for Covid affected individuals does not end here. The black fungus has mercilessly preyed on the recovering Covid patients and the state of Rajasthan has declared a pandemic. And to matter worst, there is now white fungus in fray as a scary disease to watch out for covid recovering patients. The question now is how well are we prepared and most importantly the extent. 

 

Covid recovering patients need psychological support from the extrinsic factors as well as from within. The belief that the worst is over is important to rebuild the mind and body. While the efforts of personal emotional-boost is an individual concern, there is no better source of hope for the affected, than improving our medical infrastructures that will result in manifold covid recovery rates and their full recovery thereon. That positivity cannot be mustered by mere thoughts. It has to be seen, heard, and witnessed. Government should thus have a system in place for the Covid recovering.

 

As all record tumbles in second wave and lockdowns are enforced yet again throughout the country, one hopes the required lessons are learned at least now. Eventually, lockdown will be relaxed and we will have to start working again, and with it comes the responsibility of the Government to focus on the all-important duty of securing the lives of its citizens. Already talks of third-wave having the potential to affect children have been reported. Unvaccinated and oxygen-deprived, thousands died in the second wave. What beholds in the third wave will surely have uncertainties for which we as mankind has to research develop and strive towards finding the solution. But what is highly unfortunate would be to have the same known misgivings robbing us of precious lives over and again. 

 

(T S Haokip is a freelance writer and author)

 

The paradox of being positive

OutlookIndia 

 

   ~T S Haokip

   (Representational Image/PTI)


Who is to be blamed? China and its Wuhan lab or myself for fail
ing to abet the disease? Personally, I would not curse myself though, as I have meticulously followed all advisories and painstakingly adhered to preventive norms since the onset of the pandemic; the whole commitments will see no better results even if the whole effort is to be repeated. Who else then? Had the crucial period of the months after the 1st wave been utilised for a war footing vaccination drive, the situation could be much different. Also, the precious opportunity to develop infrastructure to tackle another wave was consciously lost as the absence of oxygen supply and hospital beds became the hallmark of the second wave.

 

Four days of azithromycin antibiotics and paracetamol failed to douse my fever. Fatigue was an understatement to describe the difficulty I had in walking even a step. When the result of my test came, confirming Covid-19 positive, my blood-oxygen saturation was in the 80s. I was then expectedly advised by the doctor to get admitted as the chest infection could result in complications. We went to a hospital and were asked to wait for a bed to be vacant. So many patients were bought in, all but one symptom- difficulty in breathing. I have seen in papers and television regarding COVID patients struggling to get oxygen. But the actual experience was frightening and outrageous to think that even after so many months, we could not have enough seats for the sick and enough Oxygen condensers and ventilators. 

 

The news of several dead bodies being discarded unceremoniously is only an inadmissible pain the patients of Covid-19 endured psychologically in addition to the physical complexities they harboured as death appears nearer both in dreams and reality. Among the many thoughts, the questions of will I am accorded decent burial and will my loved ones be able to mourn over my body are the two uncomfortable questions that do not escape the mind of the affected patients.

 

On the 3rd day of hospitalisation, as I was moved to the ICU of Covid care, an opportunity many patients are robbed and one which owed me a few people to thank for, there were a couple of patients whose conditions were much serious. The patient just opposite to me failed to continue his fights even as the Doctors and nurses tried everything to save him. The unfortunate event all unfurled in front of my eyes; the patient gasping for breath and eventually slipping into an uneasy quietness and the doctor commanding his colleagues and nurses to perform the many procedures till the man felt no discomfort permanently were no pleasant sight that replayed in minds often. Everyone in the ICU was silent for a while. Then the doctors turn to another patient with the same vigour and commitment to save live.. They did save many. And it is in this unfortunate trivial, that the efforts of the healthcare staff stood out as the exemplary human sacrifice beyond the call of duty. We owe a lot to them.

 

As my situation improved and my blood-oxygen concentration steadily remained at 93 above for two days, I was advised by my doctor to recuperate at home to make way for patients with more severe complications. The only concern in my case was the shooting up of my blood sugar level, in one instancerising to above 600, as a result of steroids administration. It is ironic because Covid treatment requires steroids and steroids increase blood sugar level which worsens the disease and hence the requirement for more steroid treatment. It is a dangerous cycle and one that makes Diabetes management a key component for Covid care of patients treated with steroids. 

 

The need to eat healthy and energy enriching foods post-Covid is punctuated with the requirement to manage blood sugar level and therefore the need to watch out for foods containing sugar and carbs. To achieve favourable readings, I have avoided all sugar-containing foods albeit salivating thoughts to relish just a cup of tea with biscuits. Without steroids though, the blood sugar level tends to improve in a week with a proper diet. Regular management will however be required for a while and the situation could be more tasking for the aged individuals. The headache for Covid affected individuals does not end here. The black fungus has mercilessly preyed on the recovering Covid patients and the state of Rajasthan has declared a pandemic. And to matter worst, there is now white fungus in fray as a scary disease to watch out for covid recovering patients. The question now is how well are we prepared and most importantly the extent. 

 

Covid recovering patients need psychological support from the extrinsic factors as well as from within. The belief that the worst is over is important to rebuild the mind and body. While the efforts of personal emotional-boost is an individual concern, there is no better source of hope for the affected, than improving our medical infrastructures that will result in manifold covid recovery rates and their full recovery thereon. That positivity cannot be mustered by mere thoughts. It has to be seen, heard, and witnessed. Government should thus have a system in place for the Covid recovering.

 

As all record tumbles in second wave and lockdowns are enforced yet again throughout the country, one hopes the required lessons are learned at least now. Eventually, lockdown will be relaxed and we will have to start working again, and with it comes the responsibility of the Government to focus on the all-important duty of securing the lives of its citizens. Already talks of third-wave having the potential to affect children have been reported. Unvaccinated and oxygen-deprived, thousands died in the second wave. What beholds in the third wave will surely have uncertainties for which we as mankind has to research develop and strive towards finding the solution. But what is highly unfortunate would be to have the same known misgivings robbing us of precious lives over and again. 

 

(T S Haokip is a freelance writer and author)


PS: Also published by #ImphalFreePress #TheSangaiExpress #TheMorningBell #PeoplesChronicle and #NagalandPost

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