Wishing the corona away. Go Corona GO

The facts as they stand now are clear: diseases are not cured by faith alone!

They need medicines to cure and a vaccine to prevent!

Both the World Wars, the first and second, had far more deaths than the global statistics of those killed by Corona. Yet, it seems much larger a calamity than the world wars. When we pass through this phase and begin to rebuild ourselves, are there ways in which we can recover what we have lost?

It is not the number of deaths that has caused deep perplexity. Human beings thought that they are in perfect control of everything under the sun, but Corona has proved, you are not!

Mecca to Vatican to religious places in India- narration is the same! Everything is on hold. People are not communicating with god. Priests in temples are putting masks on idols. Religion has deserted coronavirus-fearing people. When in peril all have fled! Businessman of religion are nowhere to be seen.

If anyone who is not on hold, it’s the Medical scientists, doctors, nurses, paramedical workers, who are busy trying to test, treat and track and to find a vaccine and a cure. Are we not curious today as to why the religious institutions, the ones that are supposed to help find refuge against disease, have gone out of bounds and shut their doors? Is serving the common people not the actual purpose of these religious institutions?

Gods are saviours, the ones they pray to all their lives for protection. But when humanity is in peril, why religions were first to flee? Coronavirus has been on rampage in Vatican, mecca and religious places in India! Why no one is taking the lead in divine intervention?

It’s been nearly 160 years since Charles Darwin put forward his theory of evolution. Humans were not made by a Creator. They evolved from apes. Most people in the world have continued to believe in the divine. Their invisible gods have remained invisible, but blind faith has persisted.

And now with the coronavirus pandemic spreading from one person to another, country after country, one religious gathering to another to seek protection from illnesses and diseases, people have nowhere to go — except hospitals and isolation centres and quarantining at home!

Wishing corona away!

While the crisis is human, solution was thought to be divine and cosmic. It has turned out to be cosmetic. An all-India organisation of priests has requested to reopen temples and pilgrimage centres to help combat the Covid-19 outbreak, saying the novel coronavirus is an “Assur- demon” and can only be killed by divine forces. Akhil Bhartiya Tirth Purohit Mahasabha national president Mahesh Pathak said India is perhaps facing the “wrath of deities” as they have been treated “at par with factories” during the ongoing lockdown.

Modi’s Janata Curfew was a major success. The gesture was symbolic. The response was tremendous. From the balconies of big apartments in metropolis to small villages, people were seen banging their pots, plates and pans while doctors and nurses kept banging their heads about the shortage of basic facilities in hospitals.

The people who have attacked the doctors and thrown out the nurses and medical staff from their houses also participated in the rituals of banging pots, plates and pans with the nation.

The attacks exposed the empty nature of the gesture. It showed our hollowness and wickedness. It showed that we are only symbolic in our solidarity. May be some are mean! It has nothing to do with the affirmation or the authenticity of the concerns on hand.

It was April 5, 2020. As soon as the clock struck 9 pm, the nation that was locked down lighted bright with Diya’s’ to ward off the demons. The event showed the secular state has fully reached its mythical state.

From warding off evils to dispelling the darkness, from lighting candles to banging the pans and pots, from calming the virus with shouts of Corona Go away- to give marching orders to the Corona demon. Corona Go, Go Corona”. India’s response to COVID-19 is so far is not only unique but showed symbolic mystic way.

It seems India has resolved to fight the pandemic on cosmic, divine and mythical planes also. Perhaps the divine nation does not believe in human intervention. There is very little scope for human intervention in the absence of either treatment or Vaccine! But it’s truly amazing how the pandemic has made its way into a ritual of the auspicious and the inauspicious.

It is a show in progress. The show that is captivating on the media channels. In this show, citizens have been voluntarily surrendering and willingly participating in the ultimate act to unite the nation. One mega show happened on March 22. The second was on 5th April.

They are pure performances. It is the psychology of the spectacle that really holds the key against any concrete plan in response to the crisis. There is no doubt that several countries have failed to tackle the crisis. The uniqueness of India’s response lies in the fact that it celebrates its failed system in such a ceremonial way that no one asks about the failing of the system. But they desire to participate in the celebration.

It is equally important that within the nation, politics has reduced unity in thought, word or deed to resolve national problems, to abysmally low levels. Divisions within our polity in virtually every aspect is more the rule than the exception. Some unscrupulous politicians display a propensity to accentuate societal fault lines. Why should it be so in a nation, the largest democracy in the world?
Let posterity and history recall in the future, that when this monumental tragedy had struck India in early February and March 2020, India’s 130 crores people rose as one, and by synergetic endeavour set an example to the entire world. Let India show the way to the world to cure and prevention the scientific way!

Dr N Prabhudev

Former Director Sri Jayadeva institute of Cardiology

Former VC of Bangalore university

Former Chairman Karnataka state Health Commission

nprabhudev@gmail.com

Former director of Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiology, Former VC of Bangalore University and former chairman of the Karnataka State Health Commission