Ill-timed demand for autonomous council

As the state, particularly the Itanagar capital region, grapples with the constant rise in the number of cases of the novel coronavirus infection, a strange demand by the Mon Autonomous Region Demand Committee, calling for early creation of the Mon Autonomous Region, has sent ripples across the entire state. This demand, coming at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic is hitting the state hard, has caught many by surprise. Although it is an old demand, bringing it up at this moment was really uncalled for. The priority now should be to defeat the coronavirus which is threatening the very existence of humanity.

The demand was put forward during a meeting of the Monpa Mimang Tsogpa, the apex body of the Monpa tribe. Also, such meetings should have been avoided when the coronavirus infection is spreading. Further, the meeting, which was reportedly attended by some of the legislators, can send out a wrong message to the society. Large gatherings are strongly discouraged by the health department. The department’s efforts will be hit hard by such a meeting. In our state people look upto the politicians as some kind of role models. If they see the leaders breaking the social distancing norms, they will try to follow a similar path. At this juncture, when the battle against Covid-19 is entering into a decisive phase, the politicians should be careful with their public behaviour. Further, it is time Chief Minister Pema Khandu comes back to Itanagar and takes charge of the situation. His presence will boost the morale of the officials and will help in the battle against Covid-19.