By Salil Gewali
Even a child knows that we should not play with fire. But amidst the raging heat of the pandemic, the government certainly played with fire. More than anything, it has hastened to lift the restriction on “mass social gathering”.
With the benefit of hindsight, one believes, it is one of the biggest mistakes for which we might have hell to pay in the future. Is not our tomorrows staggering in the darkness of uncertainty? The recently held innumerable election rallies in several states in India and the mass gatherings expose the height of the hypocrisy of our leaders.
If we seriously analyze the exponential rise in the COVID cases in the last 2 weeks in the country, it has its roots in mass social gatherings and election campaigns. The Election commission of India should have deferred the election during this pandemic crisis. What is heart-rending is that the second avatar of the Wuhan virus is with still a sharper sting.
What will be the consequences if another round of “similar lockdowns” is imposed as in the last year? In fact, it is a very serious thing. How will the poor people, such as vendors, hawkers, daily wagers, drivers, rikshaw-pullers, tea-sellers, barbers, carpenters etc survive?
So, imposing the lockdowns again will be like forcing the people in poverty to die without food. So, before the situation turns from bad to worse, social gatherings of all kinds must be strictly prohibited. No joking, if we don’t postpone our election rallies, merrymaking, and festive celebrations, the virus might prepone our “end” on this planet.
(A Shillong-based writer and researcher, Salil Gewali is best known for his research-based work entitled ‘Great Minds on India’ which has earned worldwide appreciations. Translated into Twelve languages, his book has been prefaced by a world-acclaimed NASA Chief scientist – Dr. Kamlesh Lulla of Houston, USA. )