Pandemic and our Soul

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A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.           – Mahatma Gandhi


Hearts and soul of people defines country’s culture and values. Mahatma Gandhi emphasize for non-violence , peace and love for humanity.  These are core values of INDIAN WAY OF LIVING . However it is said that their is no better test of values and culture than CRISIS . Coronavirus pandemic has posed multiple challenges to India in the form of 1st and 2nd wave.

Challenges to India with respect to biological virus includes inadequate health infrastructure (145th out of the 190 countries as per Lancet study ) , High population density , poor hygiene , poor health awareness , highly socialised society and many more. Thus this crisis is real watchdog of our values , attitude and vision .

Let us discuss our handling of virus with adherence to Indian soul and heart . Beginning with the social values , India is one of the richest socialised country . Our SOCIAL DHARMA like following rituals and tradition , societal collectivism instead of individualism and religious nature holds importance.

However social distancing has posed direct challenge to our social DHARMA. Many families , relationship has broken down . Many of us have seen some hidden faces .We have seen helplessness even in most socialised country . News like family/Relatives stays away fearing covid , social workers perform last rites were daily on our timeline .

Moreoever BHAGAVAD GITA advocated for selflessness and good KARMA , but in this crisis , we have seen cases of BLACK MARKETING of life saving medicines and healthcare . We have experienced exorbitant prices , scams and fake news in India. It is unfortunate that Indian SPIRITUALISM has been overshadowed by MATERIALISM.

However this is not the end of picture.  Could we imagine common sentence in our society ” AAPSE HAME KYA MATLAB ” can be changed to “MEIN AAPKI KYA HELP KARU” ?. Yes this happened. We have seen CHARITY as well as SACRIFICES for TOTAL STRANGERS .

Millions of people are working to help each other. If a old man could leave his oxygen bed for the young life , young one is selling jewellery to save life . #SOS , #HELP , plasma , leads are some new ways of getting new relations . In the world of strangers , now some strangers are our new family. Like Sonu Sood can not play role of villain as he is now member of millions of families .

Another aspect of society is our divisions from VARNA SYSTEM to modern day untouchability and patriarchy . Crisis has paved way for the unity . There is no one asking SURNAME in extending helping hands. People eating and living together in isolations centres without discrimination. If women are receiving respect (Doctors, Nurses and ASHA workers ) , they are also facing domestic violence ( NCW report – High number of cases ). This shows the hollowness in our feminist spirit. There can be no better teacher than Crisis. We have understood need of contribution of our half of the population (women ). Women potential have been recognized in health sector and other sector.

In addition to our social values , economic life is also important . Coronavirus led lockdown has caused massive blow to economy . Huge poverty , loss of livelihood and unemployment ( WORLD BANK report – poverty numbers could be doubled )are negative consequences of it . However there is not all darkness .

Some sectors like pharmaceutical have made big growth . (economic survey 2020 -21 says India as Pharmacy capital of the world in coming years ). IMF projected for 12.5 % growth rate in 2021 . Structural reforms by government ( ATMANIRBHAR BHARAT ) were all need of the hour .Also digitalisation of Indian economy have got big boost.  For instance Gujarat Anand district Self help group crafts is excellent example of Digitalisation during pandemic .

In addition to the social and economic life , we can not ignore political life . India is place of Ashoka’ DHAMMA which places values of love and respect in political life . However We have seen political blame game , political rallies and elections during pandemic. Political violence and lack of Cooperation were remained continued. Various High courts have to take cognisant of it .This shows the narrow political values in our country .

But as said earlier , crisis is best teacher . Indian voters have been realising importance of vote and real issues . Many political thinkers like Pratap Bhanu Mehta are hoping that communalism will be overshadowed by human development in coming elections. This will help in enrichment of indian democracy .

Thus Indian soul and heart with respect to coronavirus have been discussed from social, economic and political perspectives . Indian values are remain intact to this crisis with some challenges. Every value system faces challenges , what important is it how value system emerge stronger.

As pandemic is direct challenge to our happiness and health . Ending with the hope is important . Belonging to the spiritualistic country , I would say Believe in God and positive spirit.  EVERYTHING WILL BE FINE .



                                      Sarve Bhavantu Sukhina (May all be Happy)

                                     Sarve Santu Niramaya (May all be without disease)


The article is written by Sachin Nema

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