The Week that was  - and the Threat that still is

The Week that was  - and the Threat that still is

March 2020 will be remembered globally  and specially in India for three main reasons - COVID, Nirbhaya, Scindia-Kamal Nath
The Week that was  - and the Threat that still is
  1. The COVID-19 and Janata Curfew
  2. Nirbhaya culprits hanged
  3. Fall of MP Govt prematurely
By Mahendra Kumar Kothari - Honorary Correspondent, UdaipurTimes - Ahmedabad

The month of March, 2020 shall be remembered for long. The week that concluded yesterday (Sunday) has been an eventful week. It witnessed so many unequaled happenings and shall remain live in memory for a long time to come.


First reported in Wuhan city of China in Dec'19 has taken the entire world in its fold and now the danger of community spread is looming large and in this hour of crisis the only slogan to be borne in mind is that prevention should be the only goal. We are a thickly populated country and a disciplined approach only can save us. Recent experiences witnessed by Spain, Italy and Iran are enough to guide world community that it has to be stopped and carelessness is devastating.

This promoted authorities to call for a nation-wide, a self-proclaimed bandh or Janata Curfew. The netizens have risen to the occasion and as can be seen on media and other resources, it has been a great success as we abided to the slogan that prevention is better than cure. The next week is vital for India. We have to arrest its spread and this can only be achieved when we are committed to our safety and follow strict do's and don’ts. We have limited medical resources and no definite drugs are known to prevent or cure this epidemic and therefore social distancing is best recourse to thwart the epidemic.            

Airliners have withdrawn services, Indian Rail is on stand still. Buses are off the road. I reside very near to a busy section of the rail track, the whistle, blowing engines and sound of passing trains has been part of my life. The feelings today was as if I am away from home as the railway tracks gave an abandoned look. Such a withdrawal of rail services was only noticed in 1974 when the late socialist leader George Fernandez gave a call for rail strike in 1974 with a slogan ‘Better jail than rail’. His call had mustered support of rail employees and it was one of the major railway strikes in Asia in 1974. In its efforts to control the situations emergency was declared by Govt of India and same is history now.

Today’s rail disruption is due to altogether for a different cause but the services shall continue to remain suspended till end of financial year on 31st March, 2020. In my child hood I had experienced self-restrained black out during 1965 Indo-Pak war.  During night time “Blackout” was enforced and any light penetrating from our windows of house was restricted. We used to cover the glasses of windows by thick paper and bulbs of minimal power were used. Those days there were no tube lights. In the open courtyard of house, no lamp was lit. The exercise was self-disciplined in the hour of crisis for safety of one and all. The janata curfew observed was just to remember those days of 1965 and 1971. Temples, Mosques, Churches and Gurudwaras are closed and order of the day is to keep distance and keep secure from possible spread of epidemic.

In major cities and metro cities today residences are deserted in day time and working couple with fast pace of life and their children meet only at night. Sunday is always preoccupied with many domestic commitments and longing for a day of joy remains a far cry. This Sunday was different, where everyone was indoor. Just beyond imagination. Hope that we rise to the occasion and jointly and severely thwart the threat of corona-19. An economy already in bad shape needs a bit of sacrifice from everyone and we can save it from getting bad to worst. This is only possible, if we stop community spread of deadly corona-19. 

Nirbhaya Culprits Hanged

After a long drawn battle four culprits of Nirbhaya gang rape case were hanged on 20 March,2020. The last minute tactics to avoid and delay hanging failed. The famous Tihar Jail of Delhi witnessed the hanging of four convicts at a time, for the first time. This was made possible after protracted legal proceedings of more than seven years of the brutal rape and murder of physiotherapist on a moving bus.

The crime they committed was a national shame and in a democratic set up like ours, the question of woman safety became a big concern. The hanging of four culprits gave a big message that there can be delay in justice but justice is imminent. Their hanging is a big message for everyone that refrain from some ghastly act.

Congress Govt out of power prematurely in MP

The other debate going on for over 10 days had ended in Madhya Pradesh with Chief Minister Kamal Nath’s resignation from the top post on Friday. After the Order of Apex court for floor test, the Congress government, which was reduced to a minority resigned before the vote of confidence. Earlier, the Supreme Court, on Thursday, had ordered the Congress-led state government to prove its majority on the floor of assembly.

The entire episode is bound to dilute our faith in system. MLAs are most unsafe and most unreliable citizens, who had to take shelter in other states from possible poaching. An elected Govt can fall due to defection and changing of loyalty. The mandate of people has been taken for a ride. The anti-defection law needs to be reviewed again. Such episode would undermine the verdict arrived at through ballot box in our democracy. 

In all it was an eventful week, which entrusted us with many responsibilities and hope that as a society we can prove ourselves.

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