Friday, March 26, 2021

Social distancing under Corona

Social distancing under Corona

India is a unique country where post independence the Constitution of India has granted fundamental right of equality to all but a sixth of its population was considered untouchable and had been kept away from the main stream society by social distancing for centuries.

Who brought untouchability, nobody knows, may be an outcome of some viral diseases outbreak, and some of the rituals were scientific but codified by religious books, supposedly condemned a section of society by their sins in a previous incarnation, and was followed so strictly that at the slightest contact with them had to be removed by a ritual and purifying bath. Their foot prints and shadow could defile the upper caste. Visibly they were made invisible. Many temples and public places were closed to them. Their children were not accepted in schools. Even in death they were not allowed to use the common cremation ground. Invariably too poor to buy logs for their own funeral pyres, their dead were usually buried rather than cremated by flames.

Muslims in India were convert Hindus from all castes and were not declared untouchable but every time a Hindu shakes hands with a Muslim he had to go wash his hands. There was no confluence of these two though they were in coexistence for centuries. Within upper castes society, there were divisions, and social distancing was maintained.

Social distancing is our culture. And therefore, it is not difficult to maintain social distancing when a common threat of Coronavirus comes over us. We are always one against a common enemy. We were little relaxed under the influence of foreign culture, but shall once again maintain personal hygiene of very high standards. However, when it comes to social hygiene, we shall make our surroundings full of dirts where the local bodies workers have to remove our wastes and the PM has to run the cleanliness campaign for years.

For these historical 21 days (from Chaitri Gudi Padva of Vikram Samvat 2077), India is writing a new chapter of social distancing to fight against a common enemy Covid19. All temples, mosques, churches, gurudwaras and public places are shut down. Entire population has been locked down in their homes and are untouchables, not shaking hands but greeting each other with Namaste, washing their hands frequently and maintaining a safe distance of 1 metre from all humans.

What has Corona done? It has united us on a common platform of Social Distancing from all.

हाथ धोते रहो, कोरोना भगाते रहो।

26 March 2020

NB: Prince Charles caught Coronavirus despite Namaste greeting and social media is messaging that villagers in Punjab still wondering who the hell is Social Ditan Singh😊


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