Skip to main content

Kovind on coronavirus: Govt is 'unwilling' to consider basic philosophical facts

Ramnath Kovind, Prof GD Agrawal
By Sandeep Pandey*
The President of India Ram Nath Kovind has written an article on coronavirus reminding us that we are merely biological organisms, dependent on other organisms for survival and that humankind’s craving to control nature and exploit all its resources for profit can be wiped out in a stroke by a minuscule organism.
Further he reminds us that our ancestors used to consider nature as mother and asked us to respect it but we forgot the ancient wisdom. He suggests that it is time to pause and think where we lost the way and how may we make a comeback. Finally he reminds us how for nature we are all equal and how this little virus has erased all human created differences in the society.
The President is pointing out some basic philosophical facts which our government is not willing to consider. Professor GD Agrawal of Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur fame, who became a saint in 2011 and since then was known as Swami Gyan Swaroop Sanand, used to consider Ganga as his mother. He gave up his life fighting to save Ganga at the end of a 112 days fast in 2018 after having written four letters to the Prime Minister, none of which elicited any response.
Professor Agrawal was highlighting the damage caused to Ganga by big dams, illegal mining, deforestation in its valley and flow of massive volumes of sewerage into it all along its length. He had discovered that a virus called bacteriophage present in Ganga was responsible for keeping its water clean by destroying harmful bacteria like Escherichia Coli. Bacteriophage travels with sediment which stops once water encounters the wall of a dam.
But in the end government’s decision to protect the interests of dam builders and mining mafia, out to exploit natural resources for profit making, contractors building Sewage Treatment Plants, whereas Swami Sanand was of the opinion that sewage, unclean or clean, should not flow into the river, and other vested interests superseded the concern for Swami Sanand’s life and Ganga’s health.
As this article is being written two saints, Sadhvi Padmawati, presently admitted in Intensive Care Unit of All Indian Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi and Swami Shivanand, at Matri Sadan, Haridwar are sitting on fast to fulfill the unfinished agenda of Swami Sanand.
However, the insensitive government, busy pretending securing people’s lives from coronavirus, doesn’t care about the lives of saints willing to offer sacrifice for protecting the nature. So far four saints, including Swami Sanand have sacrificed their lives for Ganga.
This raises question over government’s intent. It is using the coronavirus crisis to serve its own purpose, the prime among which is to wind up the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act, National Register of Citizens and National Population Register protests being carried out throughout the country especially by Muslim women.
When Lucknow police issued a notice to women at Ghanta Ghar site to wind up the protest, the women advised them to worry about themselves as the women were already wearing veils which protected them. On March 19, 2020 a heavy posse of police personnel tried to get the site vacated. They outnumbered the women present at that point and it fails to register how large numbers of police personnel gathering will keep them safe from coronavirus.
After a scuffle, the police realized that women were not going to move and withdrew, leaving some of the women injured. Uttar Pradesh health minister, without applying his mind, has suggested that people who’ll not cooperate with government efforts to control the outbreak of coronavirus will be sent to jail, which will result in overcrowding of already crowded jails posing increased risk to inmates.
Insensitive government, busy pretending securing people’s lives from coronavirus, doesn’t care about lives of saints willing to offer sacrifice for protecting the nature
The central government is also guilty of allowing communal violence to go on in national capital for over three days in the last week of February, in which over 50 precious lives were lost, again with the intention of winding up the anti-CAA-NRC-NPR protests. In Delhi the government has been successful in reducing the number of protests to half.
But it clearly shows that government is least interested in saving lives of people. Steps taken to check spread of coronavirus is a public relations exercise meant for international consumption. Otherwise how is the religious ritual of shifting of Ram idol in Ayodhya going on? Could it not wait for a future date?
The government is shamelessly using its official machinery as well as the cadres of Rastriya Swayamsewak Sangh to achieve its political objective. Now it is also going to use the excuse of coronavirus to lament the sorry state of economy which was already been badly hit because of its misdirected policies.
Swami Shivanand says that coronavirus pandemic is because we’ve destroyed nature’s self defense mechanisms like the bacteriophage in Ganga. We destroyed one virus beneficial for us in Ganga, now another sinister one threatens to destroy us!
Swami Sanand also, in his letters to Narendra Modi written before and during his fast, had warned that in case he died while fasting he’ll hold Modi responsible for his death and would appeal to Lord Ram to award punishment to Modi for having ignored the interest of river Ganga. How can we expect a government which did not save the life of Professor G.D. Agrawal to be serious about saving people’s lives from coronavirus?
If President Kovind sincerely believes in ‘vasudhaiva kutumbakam,’ meaning whole world is a family, and that ‘nature is reminding us to acknowledge, with humility, our quintessential equality and inter-dependency,’ then he should recommend to the government to withdraw the CAA which discriminates among human being based on their religion and nationality.
---
*Magsaysay Award winning social activist, vice-President of Socialist Party (India)

Comments

TRENDING

Mallika Sarabhai releases speech she was 'not allowed' to give at NID Convocation on Feb 7

Counterview Desk
The National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad, a Ministry of Commerce and Industry body, landed itself in controversy following its decision to put off its 40th convocation ceremony, where noted danseuse Mallika Sarabhai was invited as chief guest. The ceremony was scheduled to be held on February 7.

Modi, Shah 'forget': Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was against citizenship law of South Africa

By Nachiketa Desai*
Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi once on January 30, 1948 but his followers raising the war cry of ‘Jai Sriram’ are killing the Mahatma every day. In his home state of Gujarat, Gandhiji was killed a thousand times in 2002 when over 2,000 Muslims were butchered, their women raped, homes and shops plundered and set on fire and even unborn babies ripped out of the wombs of their mothers.

Across the board, among Muslims, Hindus, there's enormous fury at Delhi Police: Report

Counterview Desk
A quick report, prepared by Delhi's concerned citizens, "Let Us Heal Our Dilli", based on one-day visit (February 27) to several areas and mohallas of North East Delhi affected by the riots that gripped the country's capital -- Bhajanpura, Chand Bagh, Gokulpuri, Chaman Park, Shiv Vihar, Main Mustafabad (including Bhagirathi Vihar and Brijpuri) -- has said everywhere there is "zero trust" towards that the police.

As corona virus 'travels' to rural areas, NGO begins training tribals, marginalised women

By Souparno Chatterjee*
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared corona virus a pandemic. Originating from Wuhan in China, it has traversed the entire globe, almost, and claimed more than 16,000 lives already. That’s largely the urban population. In India, despite all the preparedness and war-like promptness to safeguard against the pandemic, several lives have been lost , and hundreds of individuals have tested positive.

Rani Laxmi Bai, Tatya Tope 'martyred' by East India Company, Scindia's forefathers

By Our Representative
In an email alert to Counterview, well-known political scientist Shamsul Islam has said that was “shameful for any political party in democratic India to keep children of Sindhias in their flock” given their role during the First War of Indian Independence (1857). In a direct commentary on Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia moving over to BJP, Prof Islam has quote from a British gazetteer to prove his point.

Big 'danger' of NPR: A babu can tag anyone as doubtful citizen, Jharkhand meet told

' By Our Representative
People in large numbers from across Jharkhand gathered at the Raj Bhawan in Ranchi to demand that the Hemant Soren government reject National Population Register (NPR) and stop all NPR-related activities. The people’s organisations which participated in the dharna under the banner of the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha (JMM) resolved to intensify their struggle, insisting, NPR is not a Hindu-Muslim issue but is essentially anti-poor.

COVID-19: Dalit rights bodies regret, no relief plan yet for SCs, STs, marginalized

By Our Representative
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the National Dalit Watch-National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, endorsed* by several other Dalit rights organizations, have insisted, the Government of India should particular care of the scheduled castes and tribes, trans folks, persons with disabilities and the women and children from these communities, while fighting against COVID-19 pandemic.

Gujarat govt plan to 'banish' Gandhian activist anti-democratic, unconstitutional

By Rohit Prajapati*
The current Central and Gujarat governments, and their bureaucracy, have been and are still unable to answer and address the concerns raised, with facts, figures, and constitutional provisions, regarding the terror of tourism in the name of the Statue of Unity and tourism projects surrounding it.

Haridwar Swamis lead Khudai Khidmatgar peace march in Delhi 'riot affected' areas

By Our Representative
A Khudai Kidmatgar team, which visited the riot-affected regions along with Swami Shivanand Saraswati and Swami Punyanand, has insisted that India's true heritage is the lesson of ‘vasudhaiv kutumbakam', and it is the responsibility of all to carry froward this legacy. Originally founded by Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan in 1930, also known as Frontier Gandhi, Khudai Khidmatgar is claimed to have been revived by young Gandhian activist Faisal Khan in 2011.