Truth, Power & Grace

By on July 05, 2021
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Truth, Power & Grace

Testing times or not, good karma is the key

Last year, the Earth was struck by a strange phenomenon. At precisely the same time, it came to a halt with offices closed, markets shut, trading stopped, malls empty, public transport, taxis and rickshaws not operational and even airlines shut down. This will certainly be treated as the world jostling, to get over the incident that shook them. The onslaught of the pandemic continues even today.

Last year, numerous astrologers uploaded videos claiming that the pandemic would end and COVID-19 would disappear by a certain date. These so-called astrologers could not predict the catastrophe itself and instead of the virus vanishing, they themselves disappeared for some time.

Astrology is a great science and I have the highest respect for it. But the cheap gimmicks practised by such pranksters solely to accumulate wealth is deplorable. A genuine student of astrology would endlessly strive to learn from the infinite ocean of material in the cosmos and enrich knowledge.

This second wave of the pandemic hit India in April-May and the surge was pretty bad, scaring everyone. There were no hospital beds, shortage of medicines and oxygen supply. India went through this terrible phase for almost four to six weeks until it started improving a little.

With such singular failure of the health services and its infrastructure, there naturally was a chorus demanding the heads of government, including the prime minister and many chief ministers, resign. The worst affected states included Maharashtra, New Delhi, Goa, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, and Kerala. To top it all, West Bengal, Assam and Tamil Nadu held elections for their state legislative assemblies. Naturally, this invited all political parties to conduct rallies and campaigns seeking votes through large gatherings. Such huge gatherings of thousands of lakhs of people are fertile breeding grounds for the virus.

The reason for these consequences of the surge are multiple. There is no point simply blaming the prime minister or a chief minister. The pandemic or virus is not manifested by them. It was for each one of us to take care and remain unaffected by following Covid-appropriate behaviour and maintaining proper protocols.

Going out without reason, attending parties, hosting dinners, celebrations, going to market places, malls or other crowded places all had to be avoided and along with proper mask-wearing and maintaining social distance. Truthfully, none of these was followed in letter and spirit. This is the main cause for the great surge which came.

Our political leaders must certainly be blamed for the lack of appropriate health facilities and the total collapse health infrastructure despite the first wave hitting India last year. Unfortunately, some people miscalculated and ventured into even claiming that COVID-19 was defeated.

There was complete mismanagement by various governments. People died for lack of oxygen. In Goa, the government filed an affidavit that oxygen could not be ensured because there was no driver available to turn the tractor carrying it! The Chennai High Court, in my opinion, rightly observed that some authorities must be charged for murder as they were negligent in preventing citizens from dying. Every death due to failure to supply oxygen is a death caused on account of the negligence of the health authorities and for this, the government must take the blame. What was required during this time was to effectively ensure complete lockdown if not in April, then at least in May so that a further surge was avoided. This is another failure of the government which led to many contracting the virus and dying. These are areas where those occupying and building power ought to take responsibility and remain answerable for.

Lockdown or curfew, by whatever name it is called, came too late and too little. The holidays because of lockdown had to be used well by everyone. We ought to have learnt from the examples readily available in the great Indian texts. What comes to my mind is Droupadi’s example from Mahabharata.

Despite the greatest difficulties, she displayed patience, tolerance, forgiveness, calmness, resilience, gratitude and above all unswerving faith in divinity. This emphatic character, who found herself overwhelmed with fear, anger and hunger, could surely have a burning desire for vengeance. But she dealt with all these urges by simply redirecting them into different compartments that led to self-realisation.

Read the full article in 'Viva Goa' magazine copy.

Viva Goa magazine is now on stands. Available at all major book stalls and supermarkets in Goa.

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