What we have learned from the Covid-19 crash: analysis
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to all to light a candle on April 5 to show solidarity in the fight against the coronavirus drew a notable response. The lock has allowed us, even forced, to turn the reflector in. Based on the conversations I’ve had, the anecdotes I’ve heard, the social media posts I’ve read, and the emotions I’ve experienced, there seem to be three crises that confront society.
The first is the crisis of purpose. One of my political friends wrote on his Facebook wall: “At first I was afraid of emptiness. But I soon realized the power of doing nothing. And in the process, questions arose in my mind: Was my busy busy person really productive? Were the meetings I attended, the events I ‘graced’ and the series of formal interactions really designed to be results-oriented? Were the “hectic schedules” fundamentally decided? “
The time that we all have for ourselves in this period has made us redefine the nature of our life’s goals and ambitions. It has made us realize that there is a greater common good, which is beyond temporary individual achievement. This period forces us to introspect the broader purpose we have in life.
The second is the relationship crisis. This has two separate elements, of authenticity and depth. The current situation has made people realize the need for relationships based on trust and integrity. This is possible when there is authenticity. Otherwise, as a journalist friend wrote, in her publication on social networks, suspicion and skepticism infiltrate. If you want social institutions, including the idea of the family, to remain intact, there is no substitute for authenticity.
An interrelated element of this is the depth of relationships. A popular movie personality told me that she struggled to make at least a dozen calls every day to cultivate relationships. He claimed that confinement had taught him the futility of artificial emotions and the futility of maintaining ties with people who were unimportant or who were “spurious.” “I have noticed the emptiness of hundreds of greetings,” he emphasized.
The third is the property and liability crisis. A government official, interacting in a video conference, spoke about how the situation has made him look inward. “I am ashamed of my habit of refusing to consider things in their entirety. We are used to shrinking responsibilities and to that end we always only think compartmentally, “he confessed.
The pandemic has made us realize the interconnectedness of everything around us. It has made us realize that until we take responsibility and ownership of our actions, across the board, we are all at risk. Some individuals and groups were irresponsible; they did not appropriate their actions and, in the process, put everyone at risk.
All three aspects of this challenge: the crisis of purpose, the crisis of deep and authentic relationships, and the crisis of property and responsibility are important to shaping the future of our society. This is an opportunity for all of us to consider a set of questions; Why do we do what we do; why we work the way we do; How do we channel our time and energy? What are the relationships that have some value and in which we must continue investing? What are our roles and responsibilities and are we prepared to take full responsibility for them? The blockade will end and the pandemic will be contained. But the questions of these difficult times have raised an introspection of merit.
Vinay Sahasrabuddhe is a deputy from Rajya Sabha
The opinions expressed are personal.