To quote the prime minister: “On 5 April, I urge all of you to stand on your doorways or balconies and for nine minutes light a candle, diya, torch or your mobiles with an aim to fight the darkness spread by coronavirus with light.”
It breaks my heart that at a time like this our PM is expected to talk about the current predicaments amid soaring cases of Covid-19 in and around the country. Our PM is expected to address the issues that are being faced every day by our nation and the citizens.
We are supposed to talk about medical care workers facing issues every day while trying to provide necessary medical care. A staggering number of people are fighting every day to meet their daily ends, to buy essentials, to buy basic medical gears to protect themselves from the virus. We are supposed to talk about the migrant labourers who are homeless and stranded and in direct danger of catching the virus at this period of time. Our nation is deprived of necessities such as masks, sanitizers and medical centres dedicated to Covid-19.
We should talk about the dogmas that directly and indirectly affect the health sector, research centres, healthcare system, adequate testing centres (free tests, if possible) and isolation wards with proper medical facilities.
Today, the state government has decided to segregate the state into eastern and western zones and the people from the respective zones are not allowed to intersect the so-called ‘Lakshman rekha’. Today, patients from the eastern zone are compelled to go to the neighbouring state, Assam, where the risk is higher, because the eastern zone does not have adequate functioning facility to check the virus. Who do we look up to? Do we blame the state government for the insufficiency or the central government?
I cannot help but wonder how lighting candles – the ‘mahashakti jagaran’ – going to help us overcome this. In times like this, when we look up to our PM as a gleam of hope, when we wait with anticipation for the PM to address the nation and give us rational morality, this is what we are clouted with – a ‘mahashakti jagaran’.
The darkness we have adhered with will only lighten up with proper precautionary measures, a concrete plan for the health sector and the citizens around the nation and not by mere candle lighting.
I’m sorry, but I won’t entertain the notion and I won’t be among those who believe that a certain ritual, certain religious act would help us get through this. I believe our people deserve better than this!