The whole world has come to a pretty pass because of COVID 19 pandemic. The so-called super power countries like China, America, Italy etc.  have surrendered. They are not able to control and contain this miniscule virus. This virus has already done lot of damage to the human and economic capital of the world. The latter can be compensated and managed, but compensation of the former is as impossible as is impossible in itself. People are the real assets of every state. We should be serious about the safeguard of this asset. We should be more serious about this viral menace. But instead of being serious, we are greatly lax and irresponsible. The sad part of the story is that: we the people of Kashmir do not care a fig (as we do the same in most of the matters). From time to time the state and the district administrations have published the advisory for the containment of this virus but alas! we do not follow that.  The question arises why we do not follow the advisory? Is it our arrogance or ignorance about the lethality of this viral menace? The answer is very obvious.  Majority of the people are arrogant. Arrogant people like the ignorant ones always perish. Most of the villages in the valley have been declared ‘Red Zones.’ The reason for this is only the arrogance of the people. Why have the villages been declared ‘Red zones’? Because the administration suspects more cases in these villages. Acting upon the medical advisory, can save us and we can prove ourselves as responsible and respected citizens.

We can easily avoid physical proximity with the people for some time. There are lots of things with which we can engage and busy ourselves. The best and lucrative one is:  book reading. The recitation of the holy books. But most of us are not habitual of this. If the book reading seems hectic and not so interesting, there are many others means to busy oneself at home. The un-lettered class can also busy itself in other entertainments like listening to radio, and watching TV and all that.

Curtailment of social and physical proximity is the need of the hour. This virus is friendly to none (as most of the Kashmiris falsely believe its opposite). Pandemic has no religion, region. The sole inimical aim of the pandemic is the decimation of the world population. But the irony of the fact is that: we Kashmiris have an arrogant optimism that this pandemic cannot have any effect on us, when it has already infected many people in the valley. Had the people acted responsibly, the infected cases could not have the ripple effect. Every day, we have a rise in the count of COVID 19 positive cases. Inspite of this, some people still do not believe. Let’s be responsible. Let’s shun this doubting Thomas syndrome for time being.

Arrogance and ignorance in this pandemic like situation is neither an excuse nor any poetic bliss. We must believe how much havoc this pandemic has done to the population of the world. We Kashmiris are not the endeared people of Allah (as most of us believe), and the others are not His detestable people. We must realize that the virus does not discriminate. We can meet one another if we will survive from this pandemic. And we know what will happen, if we cannot survive from this.

Let’s come out of this arrogantly false belief system and save ourselves. Let’s avoid congregating unnecessarily on roads, public places. Let’s distance ourselves physically from one another for some time. Distancing oneself physically from someone doesn’t mean an emotional segregation. . If we will not shun our arrogance, ignorance, carelessness about this pandemic, the results would be adverse and dismal.

Bilal Ahmad Dar is Phd, Research Scholar, Department of English, AMU, and can be mailed at: bilalbismi89@gmail.com


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