India is one of the oldest and most prosperous countries with a rich 5000-year-old history to back it. However, in all its years of existence, the people that inhabit it have never come to face the horrors of the first half of 2020. During these troubling and pandemic times, it is quite common for people to blame a group of people or find one particular reason for all its source. All the more for the political, religious, or more bluntly superstitious perspective of an individual, the government has been the topic of much heated debate for many.
With the start of a new year and end of the celebration, the world quickly got wind of the Covid-19 that was spreading worldwide. Even when WHO formally announced that countries are to be cautious and large gatherings are to refrain. “Despite such warning [from WHO], “Namaste Trump” was planned for political gains, and permission was also granted by the Gujarat government.” Says Mr. Amit Chavda (Member of Gujarat Legislative Assembly). This quickly raises many eyebrows as another source claims that the government builds walls ahead of President Trump’s visit to Ahmedabad to hide away the slums.
Further adding the negligence towards the poor and underprivileged and allowing many foreigners to bring the highly infectious disease into the country. The allegations stand that while India was tearing itself apart from the North East Delhi riots in which of the 53 people killed, two-thirds were Muslims who were shot, slashed with repeated blows or set on fire, the government sends large funds and support in building ravishing roads and completing pending projects which made many Gujarati and other Indians alike to comment that the Indian government will fulfill its duties only when coming under the limelight or visited by a VVIP all the while neglecting the highly sensitive protests in the capital city. This has made many Indians reach out on social media asking trump to visit their street so that they can have a proper road and facility to live with. Questions arise, is our Indian government only willing to serve the people when showing off? Was “Namaste trump” more important to the government, than funding and helping to stop the Covid-19 disease?
The spread of Covid-19 has reached an all-time high with all the countries blocking their borders and having their lockdown to minimize the effects. The first case of COVID-19 in India was reported on 30 January 2020 and it was well known that it was originated from China. As of 10 June 2020, the MoH and FW have confirmed a total of 276,583 cases, 135,206 recoveries, and 7,745 deaths in the country. India currently has the largest number of confirmed cases in Asia, with the number of total confirmed cases breaching the 100,000 mark on 19 May and 200,000 on 3 June. However, the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker (OxCGRT) noted the government’s swift and stringent actions, emergency policy-making, emergency investment in healthcare, fiscal stimulus, investment in vaccine and drug R&D.
Although it gave India a score of 100 for its strict response, it couldn’t be further from the truth as many people were seen marching down the streets shouting “Go Corona Go” with the superstitious believes that it would be afraid of such a huge gathering of people to tell it to shoo off like a cat or dog on the street or lighting up firecrackers just for the need to lightened the mood of the public at the expense of causing more damage and noise and air pollution. It seems that the strictness has worn off, as India has announced the Unlocking of the country from 8th June during a time when the cases have increased and need stricter restrictions to control it. Various videos have gone viral on social media of people pushing each other and rigorously moving in crowded areas even when directed to maintain social distancing. In one way, it can be blamed on the people for their lack of understanding and discipline but also the government is equally responsible for not being able to understand the mentality of the Indian society and how to control the public for their actions that could lead to repercussions. Many have questioned the real motives to unlock the country when COVID-19 cases have risen at an extraordinary rate but the government is yet to deliver a strong statement.
One particular group that has come under majority scrutiny is the Tablighi Jamaat, which is an Islamic missionary movement that organized a large gathering of Muslims in the narrow lanes of New Delhi’s Nizamuddin area with hundreds of worshippers streaming in and out of the five-storey building. But, on March 22, authorities shut its doors – with about 2,500 worshippers still inside – after it emerged that a religious gathering organized by the group on March 13-15 caused the biggest coronavirus spike in India. This has led to many accusing and scrutinizing the movement for their carelessness. And in the pursuit of finding a scapegoat, India seems to have found it to be the Muslims where they are relentlessly blamed and harmed for it. Sahimuddin aged 49, felt a rope thrown around his neck. The attackers tightened the noose until he fell unconscious, the complaint said. He was later rushed to a hospital coughing blood, where doctors performed emergency surgery on his ruptured vocal cords and damaged trachea. It is said that he will require furthermore two operations in the weeks ahead. This is one among many cases where people have resorted to hurting a particular community and blaming them for all the problems during a time of crisis. This is senseless because if one particular group is to be blamed for the spread of COVID-19, people should maintain distance from them but many have begun using it for other ugly means.
This eventually shows the ugly side of society during pandemic times, where instead of helping each other with understanding regardless of religion, caste, or color, people are finding more ways to blame and push such groups as an outcaste. All the more, aided by the governments motives of unlocking the country where it could lead to more harm than good. 2020 for the world has been the worst and has also brought out the ugliest side of an individual during the crisis. Especially affecting the poor and lower paid individuals who have no means of earning their food with the downfall of the economy and increase in unemployment or people stranded in a different state unable to reach their families.
The government should take effective means to first eradicate the possibility of COVID-19 to spread on a largescale as it is well known that people of Indian would not abide to keep social distance. Other cases also blame the hospitals that take advantage of the situation and have begun charging unnecessarily to the people who don’t show any signs of the disease and are forced to stay. A proper laid out plan of locking and unlocking the country should be implemented with the sole purpose to stop the spread of disease along with the discrimination of people who are not to be blamed for it in any form. The government should also begin executing programs that can aid and help people in dire need. Also, find ways to minimize the failing economy that would have the whole country behind the goal of improving the lives of oneself and the neighbors to which the whole country can benefit overall.