Monday, July 26, 2021

Collective responsibility

There is no doubt that drug addiction is on the rise in Nagaland. It is no more an urban phenomenon and has also spread alarmingly to the rural areas. Such assertion may sound as nothing new, as we are now familiar with such things. But that is where the problem is stationed. We now take any news related to drug addiction as just another news. We read it and flip the page or scroll down the screen. Our level of sensitivity has dipped, and it is not a good sign for us as a society. This is a severe problem that needs to be addressed at the governmental and as well as societal level with missionary spirit. There was a time when such things would cause great consternation and people would express their anguish in many different ways, but no more today. It is true that we had to face much at a collective level for the past some time, and we are still reeling under the effects of the events that we have gone through. In fact the latest in the series is still not over as the pandemic is putting an unprecedented pressure on the economy at individual and household levels. That was bound to crowd out certain other issues that were otherwise very crucial for us to address. But now it is time to reset our priorities as a society. We must involve all departments and the general public in fighting the abuse responsible for the rise in crimes, moral degradation and death of young adults. Setting up drug de-addiction centre in various parts of the state is a good idea. But for removing the stigmas surrounding the problem, there is a need for earning social acceptability for these centres by launching a sustained awareness campaign and winning mass support for the initiative by involving the community. It is no secret that there are havens for drug peddlers in many parts of Dimapur or for that matter in every towns and villages. It is time the administration initiate an all-out crackdown against the culprits. While it’s true that sometimes too much of talk about any issue has a danger of misleading us, but here the issue at hand is such that even if the alarm is little extra, it will only benefit us as a society. However, we need to keep in mind that we shouldn’t be self flagellating. We shouldn’t demean ourselves, and start looking at our youth as criminally disposed. If we ensure that we approach this problem with wisdom and rationality we will attain the desired objective without getting frustrated, and without making wrong conclusions. Here it must be understood that our society is like any other human society. We have good elements and bad elements in us. We come forward as a society, when there are challenges. But at the same time we break under the pressure of outward conditions and start yielding to wrong activities. Again, the trends globally have an impact on us, and we also draw from good practices around the globe. So there is nothing that can stop us from being a good society, and there are always dangers that lurk behind. Hence we need to approach the problem methodically. If there is substance abuse it must have some concrete reasons. Without making moral judgments can we expose those reasons, and work on addressing the problem accordingly. Now there are two different ways of responding to this crisis. One is to enter a blame game. A section of our society always tends to blame government and they never exhaust in criticizing government on this. While it is true that the government agencies must flung themselves into action, the civil society cannot walk away from its own responsibility. The other form of response is we come forward ourselves and do our bit. And never forget the crucial role of parents. It is here that we need to gear up. On top of it we need to map the problems that lead to this menace. Indeed an early intervention at the level of families, localities, and schools can deliver good results.