It may be obvious, but often we seem to forget that it is not the endeavour of few people but the hard work of the many that makes the country great and prosperous. We are passing through a new revolutionary phase in our history and all the people should stand united as one man, as they have done before in the hour of peril. Let us then resolve this day to meet the challenge of our time with fortitude and determination and with a sense of national unity and national purpose” ––Lal Bahadur Shastri, The Challenge of Our Time, Broadcast to the Nation on October 19, 1964, on the eve of the National Solidarity Day
When we were just hoping for flattening the curve pertaining to the cases of Chinese Coronavirus infections, we witnessed a sudden spike in numbers due to the irresponsible and adamant behaviour of a fundamentalist group. The way Tablighis have turned themselves into super-spreaders has suddenly vitiated the atmosphere on communal lines, completely obliterating the hard work and sincere efforts of the Government and society at large in the war against Corona. If we analyse the overall global situation, clearly, rejuvenating our collective will, is going to be the key in order to be victorious while following the healthcare protocols at the individual and family levels.
While the cover-up and authoritarian attitude of the Communist regime became the source of this crisis, the flawed conception of ‘freedom’ based on the fake ‘liberal’ ideas, led to the spread of the Virus in the Western world. Even after a rare kind of argument through an op-ed by Bill Gates, where he called for ‘Shutdown anywhere means shutdown everywhere’, the capitalist lobby is still concerned about business and profit. And the left-liberals are still trying to be politically correct, with their obnoxious movement like ‘hug a Chinese’. As if their theatrics is going to change the fact about the root cause of the Pandemic. Japan, Taiwan and South Korea are honourable exceptions where due to their past experiences with the Chinese originated Viruses, they have an inbuilt mechanism to deal with health emergencies based on the State-run systems.
Bharat, despite a dense and much larger population, has not only contained but also ensured democratic and participatory means to deal with the Pandemic. The usual nay-sayers among left-liberals are chanting the ‘poor are dying’ mantra, without contributing anything for the cause. But, the way our society - villages, socio-religious organisations and urban localities –has shown a remarkable sense of responsibility towards the less privileged, which is truly commendable and worth emulation. There is still hope because of this inherent social strength.
Here, a constructive and innovative leadership with high legitimacy quotient is critical. Whether Janata Curfew or lightening of a lamp may not eliminate the Virus, but goes a long way to eradicate the darkness and gloom that tend to develop in an atmosphere of negativity and confinement. In 1964, Lal Bahadur Shastri also gave a call to all the citizens to take a pledge and asked them to fast every evening for a week. He knew very well that this small step was not going to solve the food crisis or increase our military strength in the war against Pakistan but it created a unified resolve to deal with trying times. We, the Nation, contributed individually to the collective fight then; we have to do the samenow in this different kind of war. This strategy can present a new society-centric model to the world in dealing with the emergency.