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Mainstream, VOL LIX No 29, New Delhi, July 3, 2021

Pandemic, India and The Hope! | Sparsh Sharma

Friday 2 July 2021


by Sparsh Sharma*

As a student in a premier Indian institute, my agony till yesterday surrounded the fact that the colleges are unable to reopen  [1] as they are incapable of taking the obligation of students’ healthcare for the simple reason that they lack adequate health facilities and thereby exhausting the very purpose of a “university”, i.e, the students, the teachers and the atmosphere. [2]

But today, it saddens me even more, albeit I have not lost any of my family members due to the second wave of the virus. And this is simply because it is no less than a personal loss when I see thousands of people dying  [3] and their family members being unable to even provide the departing soul with bare minimum health care or perform their last rites. The state of affairs is pathetic, and authorities utterly failed to control the spread.

Be it a congregation or some mega event of a political rally; all are equally responsible for it. The events were planned as per the “COVID protocol” but executed most irresponsibly. [4] Hence the legitimate question arises, why on Earth are these congregations needed in the first place when it would ultimately result in a catastrophe (past examples weren’t plausibly enough)? The Election Commission of India, a constitutional body with a wide amplitude of “plenary powers”, portrayed itself as a new member in the caged parrot family, so much so, that the courts had to remark that they ought to be booked with murder. [5] Therefore causes of the mass spread are attributable to several such reasons and lacunae. To put the events and present state of affairs into perspective, the following anecdote may justify the situation we are living in.

After a lot of gatherings and political drama,
All the COVID warriors are in trauma;
What is the use of any dharma,
When even death today is without any ritualistic karma.
People at their homes are fully locked,
Without even oxygen, the country is mocked;
Ambulance and hospitals are awfully docked,
Cries for help leave everybody shocked.
Helping each other in this time of need,
People coming forward on their social media feed;
To not let further virus breed,
As it sees no caste, sex or creed.
When the lives are uncertain,
And health infra is under a huge burden,
Request the govt. to keep no curtain,
And come out open, be it rural or urban.
Now is the time that we unite,
By not meeting each other but divide,
By following all protocols and the guide,
We shall sail through, and victory will be on our side,
As one nation, we will not let the virus preside.

*(Author: Sparsh Sharma is a Law student at Rajiv Gandhi School of IP Law at IIT Kharagpur who dabbles in all areas that relate to law and policy)

[1Chopra, Ritika. “Explained: When Will Universities and Colleges Reopen in India?” The Indian Express, 4 Mar. 2021, indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-new-ugc-rules-out-who-can-return-to-college-and-when-6966227/

[2“Bureaucracy Forgets It Is Staff and Students That Make a University, Not Exams.”

[3Banaji, Murad. “The Importance of Knowing How Many Have Died of COVID-19 in India.” The Wire Science, 8 May 2021, science.thewire.in/health/how-many-died-covid-19-india-undercounting-underreporting-prevent-next-surge/

[4“Maha-Kumbh Mela Vs Tablighi Jamaat: Not Comparable, But Not For The Reasons Rawat Thinks.” The Wire, thewire.in/health/kumbh-mela-haridwar-covid-19-protocol.

[5“Election Commission Should Be Charged With Murder for Allowing Rallies: Madras HC.” The Wire, thewire.in/law/election-commission-should-be-charged-with-murder-for-allowing-rallies-madras-hc.

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