22 March was an amazing day- a day like never before. It reminded me of childhood days when parents would lock us up so that we don’t go out and carry out mischievous deeds. Those days we used to escape by certain pretext or the other. In fact, there were days when we used to flee in the pretext of going to the loo. Such were the days when we were young. But, when we remind of those days as adults, perhaps they come across as some of the most cherished days. There were some bitter-sweet taste to these confinements.
Now, we have grown up. No more do we make excuses like kids. As responsible citizens we take upon ourselves to give a safe environment. Prime Minister has caught this nerve of ours and urged people to follow the Junta Curfew. He did not put compulsion on the people. It is this sense of understanding that makes him a remarkable leader. Whether one agrees with him on other issues or not is altogether a different matter.
Some who often tend to oppose whatever Modi says, have tried to criticise this move of the
Government also. But, their criticism went in vein as people have en masse supported the
Government. Even those who were on the streets a few weeks back over CAA and NRC went on to celebrate this move by the Prime Minister. After all, it is not about electoral politics, but about safety of all.
It reminds me of a great saying that when responses are compulsive then one feels stressful and when responses are voluntary, one feels pleasant. It is this plank that is at the core of governance in the modern society. People often tend to show obligation to the authorities when they are pleaded. But, when they are thrust upon by certain wishes of the authorities regardless of their wishes, people tend to protest.
Prime Minister Modi has applied this on a number of occasion and he is well aware of that.
However, it is hard to understand why he is so adamant with CAA and NPR/NRC. While it was on the agenda of the party manifesto, here the Government entirely fails to apply this rule of democratic governance. While the government has all the right to implement or not to implement a particular law, the Modi led government should take lessons from such incidents.
For the last few weeks, there were so many things happening in the country. There were protests against CAA, NPR/NRC, communal riots, mob killings etc. They all were man-made hazards perhaps taking more lives than Corona have yet claiming in the country. Only in recent Delhi riots, 53 people were killed and hundreds were injured. A number of people fled from their houses and villages to escape death.
But thanks to Corona, all have united against the alien enemy to save one another. It feels as if nobody was an enemy of anybody earlier. The common enemy is the novel virus, a Chinese enemy called Corona or Covid-19. One Indian brother is saving another Indian brother without being concerned about who belongs to which religion. Covid-19’s fear has made us into a one family whose gotra is Indian.
I wish this unity survived even if Covid-19 dies down in the face of formidable unity among Indians.
But, former Prime Minister a legendary statesman Atal Bihari Vajpayee once said on the floor of the Parliament:
Pata nehi is desh par kaysa abhishap hein. Pata nehi hum kis rog se pirit hein. Jab kabhi sankat ki ghari ati hein, tab to ye desh ak ho jata hein. Lekin jayse hi sankat ki ghari tali, hum ek dusre ko girane ke, ek dusre ke mahatta kam karne ki anavashyak, aprasangik mamle khade karne me lag jate hein…sarkar ka har asoran, har neeti pardarshi, pramanikta se prabhavit hona chahiye.
(I don’t know what kind of curse spells upon this nation. I don’t know we are a victim of which mentality. When crisis befalls, we become one. But whenever problem goes away, we start to pose unnecessary and irrelevant issues in order to pull down one another… Every conduct and principle of the government should be fraught with transparency and authenticity.)
Although he said it in a different context and at a different time, these words have timeless
relevance. When people started drumming their utensils from their balconies across the nation, I felt a sense of unity- a unity that can be seen in the face of crisis (sankat) as Vajpayee said. Had Vajpayee ji been alive, he would have slightly smiled at the scene. His heart would have filled with an uncanny sense of joy. I could sense how correct Vajpayee ji was.
But I wish this sense of belonging remained longer. If politicians behave responsibly, this could have been possible. No, why should I blame only politicians? Are common people not responsible for that? What is the need of buying communalism in parliamentary democracy? It is because we buy the politics of polarisation, they sell communalism, casteism etc.
Dear country men, when politicians fail, it is incumbent upon us to keep the good will, brotherhood and fellow feeling alive. Follow the dictate of Shri Vajpayee ji. When you remain united and co-operate with each other then formidable virus like Covid-19 also fails. United we stand, divided we fall. I wish this unity survived the test of time.
Next time, when you go out to fight a communal war for your religion on the roads, please
remember: In the moments of crisis, you visit a doctor and you don’t enquire whether the doctor is a Hindu or Muslim, this caste or that caste. Neither the doctor does enquire about your religion. He/she stands for humanity. One human being puts his/her life in risk to save another.