Skip to main content

Coronavirus fear: Recalling Gandhi as Pak refuses to bring back its citizens from China

By Prabhakar Sinha*
The worldwide panic following the outbreak of coronavirus has further strengthened my belief that Gandhiji was one of the greatest human beings in human history like Christ and Buddha. He was so great not because of his politics or political ideology but his great humanity.
Pakistan is not bringing back her citizens from China fearing an outbreak in the country. Thousands are not being allowed to disembark from the ships coming from China. Anyone returning from China to his country is being quarantined and tested to ascertain whether s/he is infected .The precaution is legitimate for savings others from infection and death.
But the worldwide panic takes me back nearly 115-120 years ago to South Africa, where Gandhiji had gone to help Gujarati businessmen with their cases, but ended up taking up the fight against injustice and their humiliation.
It was in March, 1904, that Gandhiji received information that 23 poor Indians (who were freed indentured labour) were down with black plague in a ghetto near Johannesburg. He rushed there with four of his Indian assistants (who were bachelors ). An Indian doctor helped and a white nurse was provided by the authorities. They shifted all of 23 plague patients to an unoccupied building and nursed them day and night.
With the permission of the doctor, Gandhiji tried his 'earth treatment' on three of the patients. Out of 23 patients only two survived (who had received his earth treatment). The white nurse also died , but Gandhiji and his team of four or five Indians survived. Of course, Gandhiji must have attributed it to God's grace.
Think of Gandhi ready to embrace death to nurse 23 poor freed indentured labour living in ghettoes, who were hardly likely to survive
There was no treatment for plague and death was a certainty .When plague struck a locality,the villages or towns were deserted and the people shifted to hutments erected far away to escape almost certain death. But if one was infected, death was inescapable.
Think of Gandhi, a 35-year-old young man with a wife and several children, ready to embrace death to nurse 23 poor freed indentured labour living in ghettoes, who were hardly likely to survive.
Think of the moral influence he exerted, which inspired other young men to rush to nurse the dying men at the risk of losing their own lives. And ,in 1904 , Gandhi had not become a Mahatma. He was a failed barrister in India, who had gone to help Indian businessmen for making a living.
It was his humanity which made this ordinary, conservative Hindu evolve into a great human being in history. Gandhiji used to nurse lepers when there was no treatment for the disease. It was a highly contagious disease, which was also considered a stigma.
---
*Former national president, People's Union for Civil Liberties. Source: Author's Facebook timeline

Comments

Riya Singh said…
In this time of crisis, we all need to have the essentials from medical products but we cannot go out every time and buy them. So get all the essentials like corona face masks, sanitizers, etc at one platform bisiworld.com which is a medical device supplier providing the medical equipment online in India. Online corona face mask India
tibou55 said…
thanks for the information and god with us against corona virus corona live

TRENDING

India's GDP down by 50%, not 23%, job loss 200 million not 122 million: Top economist

By Our Representative  One of India’s topmost economists has estimated that India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decline was around 50%, and not 23%, as claimed by the Government of India’s top data body, National Statistical Organization (NSO). Prof Arun Kumar, who is Malcolm S Adiseshiah chair professor, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi, said this was delivering a web policy speech, organised by the Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi.

Youngest of 16 activists jailed for sedition, Mahesh Raut 'fought' mining on tribal land

By Surabhi Agarwal, Sandeep Pandey* A compassionate human being, always popular among his friends and colleagues because of his friendly nature and human sensitivity, 33-year-old Mahesh Raut, champion of the democratic rights of the marginalised Adivasi people of Gadchiroli, Maharashtra, has been in prison for over two years now.

India performs 'poorly' in Quality of Life Index, ranks 62nd out of 64 countries

Counterview Desk “Expat Insider”, which claims to be one of the world’s most extensive surveys about living and working abroad, in a survey of 20,259 participants from around the globe, has found that of the 64 destinations around the globe, has found that while Taiwan is the best destination for persons living outside their native country, closely by Vietnam and Portugal, India ranks 59th.

#StandWithStan: It's about Constitution, democracy and freedom of expression

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*  It is more than three weeks now: On the night of October 8, 2020, the 83-year-old Jesuit Fr Stan Swamy was taken into custody by the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) from his residence in Ranchi to an undisclosed destination. According to his colleagues, the NIA did not serve a warrant on Fr. Stan and that their behaviour was absolutely arrogant and rude.

Stan Swamy vs Arnab Goswami: Are activists fighting a losing battle? Whither justice?

By Fr Sunil Macwan SJ* It is time one raised pertinent questions over the courts denying bail to Fr Stan Swamy, who was arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), and granting it to Arnab Goswami, editor-in-chief of the Republic TV, arrested under the charge of abetting suicide of Avay Naik, who ended his life in 2018. It is travesty of justice that a human rights activist is not only denied bail but is also made to wait for weeks to hear a response to his legitimate request for a straw to drink water, while Arnab Goswami walks free.

Human development index: India performs worse than G-20 developing countries

By Rajiv Shah A new book, “Sustainable Development in India: A Comparison with the G-20”, authored by Dr Keshab Chandra Mandal, has regretted that though India’s GDP has doubled over the last one decade, its human development indicators are worse than not just developed countries of the Group of 20 countries but also developing countries who its members.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Namaz in Mathura temple: Haridwar, Ayodhya monks seek Faisal Khan's release

By Our Representative As many as 23 members of the Hindu Voices for Peace (HVP), including the founder president of the well-known Haridwar-based Matri Sadan Ashram, Swami Shivananda Saraswati, and a one of its top monks, Brahmachari Aatmabodhanand, have expressed their “dismay” over the arrest of Khudai Khidmatdar chief Faisal Khan and three others on charges of “promoting enmity between religions” and “defiling a place of worship” after they offered namaz in Mathura’s Nand Baba temple premises on October 29.

Government of India 'refuses' to admit: 52% of bird species show declining trend

Finn's Weaver  By Our Representative The Government of India has been pushing out “misleading” data on the country’s drastic wildlife decline, says a well-researched report, pointing towards how top ministers are hiding data on biodiversity losses, even as obfuscating its own data. It quotes “State of India’s Birds Report 2020” to note that of the 261 out of 867 bird species for which long-term trends could be determined, 52% have declined since the year 2000, with 22% declining strongly.

Dalit, Adivasi protest in Jharkhand against 'illegal' transfer of land for development

By Rishit Neogi Displacement and eviction are not new terms. It is surprising that they are still continuing and have become a tool in the hands of state backed corporates to forcibly occupy lands in the name of development.