COVID-19 (Coronavirus December-19) the name itself is self-explanatory that the eruption of virus had well been taken note of in the month of December 2019 by WHO. The mysterious calamity has firstly been thrust upon mankind emerging in China but at a very fast speed travelled to almost all parts of the globe which thereafter was introduced with a new way of life of lockdown starting from Wuhan. The entire World including the most developed countries, has lately felt that being unprepared meant excruciating medical challenges of the COVID19 pandemic and then its aftermath in the form of social and economicchanges. The first and foremost victims of pandemic as usual are the oldies ,poor and deprived people in every country. India though had suffered with its first case in January itself yet the government mainly faltered and couldn’t rise to the occasion due to political reasons as it miserably failed to timely act seeing clear writing on the wall and continued normal functions till 21st of March a day before the infamous “Janata Curfew.”
President Donald Trump meanwhile ,having left his own country in the mid of an ensuing pandemic travelled all the way to India on a hospitality tour of Ahmedabad at the show of a gathering of one lakh people on 23rd of February openly flouting the conditions of physical distancing and on the next day reaching Delhi during fierce communal riots in the North East of the Capital along with thousands of suspect carriers of the virus from his country as entourage of American fellows and his security staff. It is said that some among these American guests also went on picnic tour to Agra. All three cities subsequently happenedto become hotspots of the virus in the very first phase in our country. The session of Parliament, had intermittently continued and member after attending a party of film celebrity carrying virus from UK risked the spread of virus among other MPs. The Lòk Sabha finally could be adjourned on 23rd of March in glaring default of instructions of the circular of Union Government dated 9th March, prohibiting meetings and other public gatherings in view to imminent dangers of pandemic by maintaining physical distancing. The word social distancing is context to India is misnomer and has long been existed as a way to keep away fraternity and brotherhood among different groups of people in India
We don’t comparatively have a good structure and facilities of public health carein India in proportion to the size of population even in normal times so in this challenging period when there lurks possibility of a long and dark tunnel of lockdown as only the inevitable, subtle and preventive measure to save the humanity in lack of curative devices as it is guessed that the vaccine may be the earliest available not before the end of this year for public consumption so in giving situation, Governments may not risk of lethal phase of community transmission of the Virus by resorting complete removalof lockdown in our country.
The world, after pandemic 1918 when countries lost crores of population in such a calamity after a gap of hundred years again faces a world-wide disease. our generation in above circumstances, appears to be destined passing through a process of paradigm shift. We, as generation, may not afford to be indifferent, stoic or unaccountable to the emerging challenges so all of usare called upon to afresh and revive moral values for readjusting ourselves to the new way of life. We have to reset our political and social agenda re-addressing our priorities and to reaffirm our empathy and parameters of life to save lives and dignity of human beings. The challenges have multiple dimensions keeping in view of the existing political bewilderment , economic disparity and social injustice in our country. It is a time, we have to urgently put ourselves in top gear of collective responsibilities. Since the lockdown, we have been witnessing the scenes of despair, desperation and deprivations. The daily wagers, laborers in unorganized sector and petty business persons are already at the brink of starvation while the hardest days are in the reckoning of happening. We can not leave every responsibility to the shoulders of the government. The volunteers of a number of organizations have courageously been discharging their social responsibilities in various fields but there persists a lack of coordination in efforts and actions. It is also required to devise a mechanism ensuring that dignity of the marginalized and deprived people may at any cost be safeguarded.
It is urgently required to respond to social responsibility putting aside other items of agenda. The resources at hand as well as by procurement, must be pooled together to distribute among the needy, helpless and poor in a disciplined manner. The form of positive politics today is to shoulder responsibilities in view of new and changing circumstances or demands of society to arrange delivery of every and maximum possible help subsist those persons who are in dire need of help in existing circumstance. It is high time,while maintaining the highest possible physical distancing, may try our hard to uproot wide-spread disease of social distancing along with Caronavirus by our collective actions for social responsibilities. Social distancing historically created with social division, caste and communal hate, political opportunism and immoral media may be removed if it is conjoined in our fight against pandemic in India
Advocate Sharfuddin Ahmad
Lawyers Council Of India