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Coronavirus Exposes Complex Nature of Indian Society

For close to three months now, we have been fighting the battle against the pandemic of COVID-19, with our doctors, medical staff, police, security guards, social workers and the government working day and night to ensure our safety. By and large, people followed “Janta Curfew”, an appeal by PM Modi on March 22 to people of the country not to go out for 14 hours, and lockdown of 21 days across the nation, which is highly likely to be extended for some more days, commenced from March 25. It was astonishing to see how such a large population kept itself inside the home.

Having said that, this period, marked by many unfortunate, unwanted and distress-causing events, has also brought out and highlighted precisely our vulnerabilities and complexity in society as a whole. We always demand the government of the day, the system or others to do something for us, while we as a society seem to be reluctant to entirely meet the needs of the government to achieve a shared goal, in this case, eliminating coronavirus.
I strive to bring up weaknesses prevalent in society causing damages to governance and to ourselves as well:

We get carried away   


While their intentions are novel, a large number of people came out, crowding streets while clapping, banging pans and blowing conchs in response to PM’s call to show solidarity and pay respect to those doctors, police, garbage collectors and everyone out there for their commendable work. The PM, wished to get us involved in this act together to awaken the sense of unity to fight this virus, explicitly suggested doing it from the balcony. Those taking to streets in flock represented all sections of society: the educated and uneducated, the rich and poor, the employed and unemployed.

The reason behind this, and we all may have observed it, is very simple: Most of us fail to control our emotions.  Just as we were doing this act, our emotions were overflowing with joy and happiness and with the fact that despite being at home alone, we are all together and united for this cause. The point to ponder over here is how the hell this worked when it was not planned. Again we know: we get influenced. When some were going out to demonstrate their support, others felt, who otherwise might be wise, how they could hold themselves back from joining them; This instant feeling completely overpowered and suppressed all the other ideas of maintaining social distance, staying at home. This instant emotion again won many of us over when PM Narendra Modi called invoked to lit candles for the same reason as before, many again came out and fired crackers to make this thought-provoking act a mockery.
We are to learn to avoid decision-making when overwhelmed by emotions or instant feelings, be it in our own life or when doing something for social and moral cause. It is also our responsibility to stop those indulging in such acts to raise awareness.

Lack of awareness


A few unfortunate events were unfolded in which some people attacked doctors. One such incident took place in a slum area of Indore where stones were pelted on a medical team. In Delhi, more than 2500 , Muslims from the Tablighi community were found to be staying inside a mosque. Later, it was found that many of them had already gone to preach about their religion across 17 states and UTs of India despite there being lockdown and gathering of more than 5 people prohibited. Still many people from the community are hiding, and those captured-and-quarantined are misbehaving with nurses and doctors by roaming around naked and passing obscene remarks. This religious fundamentalism should go away at the earliest. No religion can and should prefer to adopt religious dogmas over science. They were heard to be claiming that coronavirus was meant to take away lives of those not practicing Islam or “Kaafirs”. Even in the Hindu community, many people claimed that drinking cow-urine would either cure this disease if infected or prevent the transmission. 
Only education and awareness on science can wash away such mentality. Health ministry claimed that almost 40% positive cases are linked to Tablighi community.

We lack national character


If we are not amongst those essential service providers, all we were told in the interest of our nation was sit at home. I guess that was not pretty difficult, given that we could go out to meet our basic needs; sadly, even that turned out to be a herculean task for police to accomplish. However, by and large, we stayed at home following guidelines. But I am afraid a great number of people have not chosen to follow self-quarantine. As many go out for absolutely no reason, not at all fearing what it may cost, they produced excuses pathetic to hear, hard to believe. Police get frustrated with such repeated reluctance of not cooperating, at many places, they indiscriminately and brutally beat people, including the innocent who actually had genuine reasons.

Many of the shopkeepers, especially in villages and small districts, started selling commodities at higher prices for the only reason they could make some more money out of this panic. Police too in many areas showed its inhuman approach to control the situation, which can’t be justified. In almost all areas across the country, as I said, by and large, people were inside their premises. I understand some going out, making a mockery of the guidelines, but it does not provide police any prerogative to beat anybody black and blue; It should be the last resolution that too when the situation demands it.
The moment incidents of Tablighi Jamat spreading the virus, again, most of us were trapped into thinking that this is what Muslims do, which even we know deep down is not true.

We banged thalis and blow conchs as loudly as conjunctionally as enthusiastically as we did. But still, a large section of those part of these event surely fail to do it on the ground. For them, their freedom even in the times of crisis is all that matter.  
National Character
Img Souce : https://flic.kr/p/fv4cSn

Though the country is home to many religions, beliefs, traditions, caste, creed, culture, thoughts and ideas, we have miserably failed to associate  ourselves to  a national identity or character which may invoke us to stand up tall when the nation is down on knee; be followers when the nation serves as a leader;  devote our mind and soul when the nation asks for it; shout and come forward in one accord when the nation needs us. Nothing but our promise and national character not to let country down can empower and drive away all the vulnerable elements in our society.

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