The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge." -Isaac Asimov
Knowledge is power.
We know how to defeat the disease. We have done better than many places so far, and we step into the extended version.
As the day draws to a close, the lock-down has been announced as extended to the 30th of April.
As we lose track of time at home, and we let moments of frustration and fear take over our better sensibilities, a few recommendations based on these observations: 1. This is the first time after Independence that all of India regardless of political affiliations has come together for a cause. 2. I heard a politician say, “economy can recover- but we cannot recover lost lives”, putting in perspective what can be done if there is political will. 3. The police who have not exactly been a well respected lot, have stood up to the challenge and are monitoring and enforcing quarantine. 4. Most religious places and meetings have been prudent about this. Some have not have been prudent. They have been in the blazing limelight of indignation arising out of the righteous fear of self-preservation, and the unavoidable penumbra of intolerance that additionally accompanies it.
India has encouraged a traditional multifaith culture. Prayer, religion and spirituality are supposed to be part of our upbringing.
This is a time for reflection.
For all worshippers and believers, this is the time to reflect on how important certain meetings and get togethers can be.
Now is the time to reflect on preventive measures during social gatherings and religious festivals- have we thought of this seriously? About maintaining decorum in lines when we go to religious places? Or refraining from this- pushing each other so that divine attention can be focused on us for a little longer?
Now is the time to understand that all religions stress on the sanctity of human life- and we would need to keep a respectable distance from one another when we go to such crowded places.
Now is the time to understand that those who wish to pray can do so from home as well while not endangering others and oneself.
A lot of people will come out of this lockdown poorer, hungrier, desperate and troubled.
Those who believe will pray to God for help.
We have to be the help that they ask God for.
It is not impossible. We can change our world for the better.
"Dukh mein sumiran sab hi kare Sukh mein kare na koi Jo sukh mein sumiran kare Usse dukh kaahe ko hoi" Everyone remembers God during sorrow, but none remember God during good times; those who remember God during these good times, why will they ever know sorrow"
Stay safe, stay kind