Skip to main content

Post-Covid-19 human survival 'critically depends' on new political, economic models

By ID Khajuria, Sandeep Pandey*
As the humans stayed inside for close to a month and a half since the announcement of lockdown in the wake of coronavirus threat, most people observe that life seems to have start breathing in nature. The air is fresh, trees look greener and rivers are cleaner. It is a further and direct proof that human interference is responsible for environmental degradation.
Important message in this is that man is not the master of nature. Neither can he or should he ever try to conquer it. In fact, survival of human beings is dependent on nature. The nature provides sustenance to them and therefore controls their life as well as death. Human being is merely one small part of complex web of life and non-living matter.
Numerous interactions are taking place which maintain the balance required to support human life. Nature is a wonderful example of unity in diversity concept. That seems to be the ultimate truth emerging from the present crisis. Human beings should learn to respect unity in diversity in larger universe as well as within their species. Their lifestyle should be in harmony with nature and not which disturbs the delicate balance.
This implies that any activity beyond fulfilling the needs of human beings which involves large scale, larger than what would be required for fulfilling the need of a community, would interfere with the natural systems and as an extension becomes a cause of problem for human beings too.
The great rush of life, mostly driven by motives for material gains and which seemed to be inevitable till the other day, has come to a screeching halt. People who traveled by air and would have thought train journeys to be time consuming are not even stepping out of their homes.
Money matters but is of no use if you can't buy things which you would like to buy from the market. Realisation has also dawned that we don't really need all that much money or resources for survival.
Coronavirus threat has been a great equaliser. It has put all human being on par as it doesn't discriminate. Rich and powerful are feeling as vulnerable as the poor. There is a message in this. All human created categories of identity and especially any associated hierarchies have no meaning. Conflicts and triumphs in those have no value. One human being may conquer another but both will have to surrender before the deadly virus.
Hence equality of human beings and equal rights for everybody are nature ordained principles. Everybody has an equal right to survive is amply clear and accepted now as never before. Hence, democracy is the only way we can function in which everybody has equal right to participate.
Equality of human beings implies that this earth and its abundant natural resources are meant to be shared by everybody in an equitable manner. Anybody, especially private corporations, cannot be allowed to exploit natural resources to maximise their profits. This model of development which fuels growth has come to naught. It is not sustainable in the wake of challenges like coronavirus threat.
Animosities, rivalries must be given up, no-war pacts should be signed through UN, stockpiles of arms, armies should be dismantled
Now nobody is bothered about Gross Domestic Growth rates. Everybody is worried about their survival. In the period of lockdown human beings have learned to live with fulfilment of bare basic needs. The lesson is, a consumerist model will have to pave the way for a need based fulfilment model. Profit maximisation will have to be replaced by enough for survival.
Cooperation will be the guiding human spirit not competition. If people had not come forward to provide relief to their fellow human beings, the lockdown period would have witnessed more misery. Hence compassion should guide all policy making, not realpolitik or economics.
The politics of confrontation and hatred among different identities -- cultural, ethnic, religious, nationalities -- do not have any meaning and should be rejected in favour of camaraderie and solidarity. 
Militarily the most powerful nation on earth, United States, saw the most number of deaths due to coronavirus. A country which would have never dreamt of so many casualties in any war was helpless against the virus. Of what use is the huge defence expenditure if country's cannot save their own citizens? The most powerful of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons are ineffective to save people from a virus.
Clearly not preparedness for war but willingness to work with each other is what will save humanity. Hence all animosities and rivalries must be given up, no-war pacts should be signed, if possible collectively through the United Nations, and stockpiles of arms and armies should be dismantled.
As identities of nations become less contested, the idea of nationalism will concede to that of internationalism. UN should become the important form for global governance for countries with democratic participation.
Security Council and veto power will have no need in the new global order and every country and communities not necessarily identifying themselves with any country or which could be living in more than one country should have equal vote in UN. 
Various bodies like the World Health Organisation, World Bank, World Trade Organisation, International Monetary Fund (IMF), UN International Children's Fund will have to be fully equipped to handle natural and social challenges. In the present pandemic crisis when governments are expected to increase spending for social welfare why are Word Bank and IMF or various UN agencies behind?
In summary, just as a new economic model of development based not on profit maximisation but fulfillment of basic needs of all humans will have to be evolved similarly a new model of political governance based not on competition and one-upmanship but on co-existence and working together will have to emerge. Human survival critically depends on such a transformation.
---
*ID Khajuria is with Internationalist Democratic Platform, Sandeep Pandey is Magsasay award winning social activist and is with Socialist Party (India)

Comments

TRENDING

Nobel laureates join international figures, seek release of Bhima Koregaon accused activists

Nobel laureates Olga Tokarczuk,  Wole Soyinka Counterview Desk  As many as 57 top international personalities, including Nobel laureates, academics, human rights defenders, lawyers cultural personalities, and members of Parliament of European countries, have urged the Prime Minister and the Chief Justice of India to ensure immediate release of human rights defenders in India “into safe conditions”.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

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".

Russia, China to call the shots in Middle East, as Muslim nations turn into house of cards

By Haider Abbas* Only a naive would buy that the ‘situation of ceasefire’ between the State of Israel and Hamas would continue, as if the foiled attempt to demolish Al Aqsa this time, is not be repeated, if not in any near future then in sometime to come. Israel already has spurned the ‘ceasefire’ by storming Al Aqsa after the Friday prayers on May 21.

Hunger, lack of food security behind India's 'slip' in UN's sustainable development rank

By Dr Gian Singh*  According to a report released by the United Nations on June 6, 2021, India's ranking of achieving Sustainable Development based on the 17 Social Development Goals (SDGs) set by the 193 countries in the 2003 agenda, which was 115th last year, has slipped to 117th position this year. India ranks not only the lowest among the BRICS countries -- Brazil, the Russian Federation, India, China, and South Africa but also below the four South Asian countries -- Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh.

Collapse of healthcare system? Why 90% of Covid patients treated at home survived

By Bobby Ramakant, Sandeep Pandey* Well known Hindustani classical singer Padma Vibhu shan Channulal Mishra, chosen as one of the proposers of Narendra Modi in Lok Sabha elections, lost his wife and elder daughter to Covid in private hospitals in Varanasi. Younger daughter has accused Medwin Hospital of charging Rs 1.5 lakh for treatement of her sister and not being able to explain the cause of death. Pandit Channulal Mishra has asked for a probe into his daughter’s death from the Chief Minister. The family has also asked for the CCTV footage of the ward where deceased daughter was admitted for a week.

Rooted in mistrust? Covid-19’s march into rural India is a very different ball game

By Sudhir Katiyar* As the Covid-19 virus penetrates rural India, the rural communities are responding very differently from their urban counterparts who rushed to the hospitals. The rural communities are avoiding the public health facilities and any mention of the disease. The note argues that this supposedly irrational response is based on a deep-seated mistrust of the state by the rural communities. It can not be resolved with routine Information, Education and Communication (IEC) measures suggested in the Government of India SOP for tackling Covid-19 in rural areas.

Courageous, in-depth attempt to confirm common spiritual values of Christ, Buddha

By RB Sreekumar, IPS*  All religions, both theistic and atheistic designed conceptual and practical architecture, for holistic and comprehensive elevation and enlightenment of humanity. PK Vijayan, in his novel “Nirvana of Jesus Christ” (Notion Press, 2020) through creative imagination portrayed personality evolution of the two progenitors of God-centric and sagaciously logical major religions – Jesus Christ of Christianity and Gautama Buddha of Buddhism.

Why hasn't Govt of India responded to US critique of freedom of religion under Modi?

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ* About two weeks ago, on May 12, 2021, the US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken released in Washington the ‘2020 International Religious Freedom Report.’ This official annual report of the US Government details the status of religious freedom in nearly 200 foreign countries and territories and describes US actions to support religious freedom worldwide. Mandated by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, this report highlights the fact that ‘religious freedom is both a core American value and a universal human right’.

Covid fear? Cremation rituals gone upside down, Dalits asked to do Brahminical rituals

By Abhay Jain, Sandeep Pandey*  As Covid consumes human life in a very conspicuous way we are confronted with additional problem of disposing of human corpses. Cremation grounds are lit with continuous pyres, graveyards are running out of land and now Ganga has become a mass grave potentially polluting its water.