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  • Raghav Sand

Why Indians Should Stop Living in Denial

To Whom it May Concern: the article you are about to read neither attempts to give a clean chit to those who are charged with the responsibility of keeping us safe, and nor does it try to blame an individual or an organization for the growing number of cases of COVID-19. In a reasonable and accountable governance model, the buck must stop with someone. At an appropriate time, we may try to decipher the factors that lead to the second wave of infections, but for now all of us need to adhere covid-appropriate behaviour and protocol.

First and foremost, we need to stop living in denial. Sometimes, when an individual or society is ill-equipped to handle a situation, it may start to act dumb. We have finally become a nation of risk-takers (pun intended). Hopefully this trait will come handy in post-corona life and lifestyle. Let us try to understand the current situation in India with the help of an analogy.

When an inexperienced or inattentive driver takes the vehicle into fast moving rush hour traffic, he or she may put more faith in fellow motorists than themselves. The novice would hope that his or her shortcomings would be overlooked by other more experienced drivers. What if too many such hopeful people take the road at the same time?

India’s weekly cases of Covid-19 since the beginning of pandemic Source: World Health Organization

This is exactly what is happening right now in India or probably the world. Way too many people are going about their lives with a notion that the people around them are wise enough to bypass an impending danger. Is it lack of awareness about the rules or are people knowingly jumping the red light? Either way, those who are not following simple and inexpensive ways to keep the virus at bay, are putting themselves and those around them at risk.

Playing the Blame Game

Blaming the government, either state or central, for all the miseries and mishaps is a favourite pastime for most citizens of our republic. The comical manner in which we conduct our affairs can easily make an outsider believe that the dearest game for Indians is the blame game; cricket, football or kabaddi don’t even stand a chance. By repeatedly taking this course of action we have lost the collective sense of responsibility. Undoubtedly, there is profound lightness in shrugging off responsibility, but when the outcome of our irresponsible behaviour can no longer be denied, regret can make us feel heavy, very heavy.

India’s Role in an Equitable World

The union government is being urged by a select few to put curbs on the export of COVID-19 vaccine. India has a large population of its own, but it has not shrugged of the responsibility to cater the needs of countries which have little or no access to the vaccine. Being in the opposition and running the government are two completely different things.

India had a moral responsibility to share the vaccine

Had the central government kept all the vaccine for domestic consumption, those same commentators would have labelled the government as an inward-looking nationalist regime. We have a bigger task on our hands and no resources should be wasted to soothe hypocrites who are fighting for relevance. It is important for India to start vaccinating the young. Keeping vaccine diplomacy aside, it is even more important for India to rise to the occasion. Though, the central government will be seen as more humane if it is more receptive to suggestions and feedback.

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