Dr. Arshed Iqbal Dar
With all humility let me begin by saying that all of us humans are under the persistent threat of coronavirus. Without any discrimination, this invisible being has taken its toll on every human being across the world and is now following us even in our dreams letting us know that we are weak not only physically, mentally and spiritually but scientifically and socially too.
It has exposed our self-centred approach to life in which we have constantly tried to use others for our own self-interests. We were the part of this interconnected system and we were trying to break it apart, sometimes by cultivating the seeds of war and sometimes by bombing each other in hundreds of thousands.
Without knowing our own existence, we were going against the laws of nature, breaking the bonds of ethics by sowing the seeds of war. It seems that we have lost touch with our humanity and lost sight of things that matter the most. It is an extraordinary moment in the cycle of history that we humans, who boast about knowing everything that there is to know, are meekly standing against a virus that is devouring us in thousands each day.
We don’t know the exact origin of this virus as doctors and paramedics around the world fight it with insufficient resources. Even the most advanced countries, which kept billions of dollars and pounds for healthcare, have been brought to their knees by coronavirus. All they have to offer to their people is an advice to wash their hands and maintain physical distance until they find a vaccine, an anchor to halt this gigantic wave of death and depression. The whole world is waiting for the person who will bell the cat and come up with a cure.
Elliot Ackerman, the American author, has rightly mentioned in his opinion published in the New York Times that there is an antidote to our fear and that antidote is called leadership.
He writes: President Trump called himself a “wartime” president and if Mr Trump aspires to a legacy as a wartime president, then why he has failed the most essential test while dealing with coronavirus pandemic. T
The painful truth is that despite repeated warnings from the experts after SARS, our leaders were making use of autocratic way of leadership and their intoxication of power blazes up at the slightest disturbance. Their work was striving and pulling, their talking stirs up dispute and their thoughts were tormenting, injuring and pestering.
It is unfortunate that when the alarm of the Covid-19 pandemic knocked on our doors, many in the country found a way to activate communal thoughts as they went on witch-hunting Tablighi Jamaat, who, like thousands of others including the country’s leadership, under-estimated the threat until it was too late.
Surprisingly, instead of putting all its resources into use and ensuring the subjects of a country have the confidence in the leadership, the novel approach used by the government to disarm this virus is limited to banging utensils and burning candles. Such allegorical forms of unison are best practiced when one wins or loses a war. We are in the middle of probably the greatest wars since WWII. The fight is on. The warriors in gowns and masks don’t need our allegories. They need PPEs and ventilators, drugs and solid researchers. This is not the time for political correctness and metaphorical unity. This is the time to show that humans haven’t lost this battle yet, that they are here now, tomorrow and forever.
(The author is Assistant Professor, Govt. Degree College Sumbal Sonawari, Jammu and Kashmir. Views expressed are his own. Can be reached at [email protected])