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  • Writer's pictureTarun Das

The C-Virus: A Learning for India?

The C-Virus, C for Corona not C for China, can be a learning for India. And, before people start reacting, let me explain why. Sometimes, the learnings come in round about ways which we, initially, do not understand. We think learnings are direct and straightforward and clearly identifiable. But, the C-Virus is very different. Its a new kind of learning but it can be a learning. And, Indians will thank the C-Virus if we handle it right.

What are two of the characteristics of Indians (and, perhaps, others, too): highly individualistic and indisciplined. These aspects are already showing in the current health crisis with people avoiding testing, not going into quarantine, escaping being put into isolation and, generally, showing thoughtlessness towards other members of the family, friends and the people around. As a result, increasing the possibility of transmission of C-Virus through contact which could be avoided. The self-centeredness of the Indian is very much on display.

The Central Government is clearly doing well in a very difficult situation. Managing the domestic C-Virus situation and the transport of Indians stranded abroad. But, the initial message of the government “No need to Panic” is perhaps counterproductive. Some “Panic” is needed, some fear needs to be injected into the minds of the people of India. Otherwise, the attitude is – nothing will happen to me. And, do I care about what happens to others.

So, this is a time for “Discipline” amongst all Indians. Starting with self-discipline. And, the C-Virus gives India an opportunity to bring in a new level of Discipline never seen, except in wartime (and, that was a long time ago).

In wartime, when enemy planes are about to attack, sirens would go off, to warn people to take cover and seek safety.

In the C-Virus time, it maybe a good idea for the siren to re-surface because everyone can hear it and it serves as a reminder to Danger. The siren needs to be sounded at least twice a day across the country to warn of this new Danger – the C-Virus. Danger to health, Danger to Life.

Danger will bring Discipline, a quality deeply needed in India for all Indians, rich and poor, for all, without exception. No VIP or VVIP exceptions. The C-Virus can take lives if care and treatment, in time, is not done.

70% of India’s problems and challenges would be addressed if Indians had Discipline. And, there is no other way to get this going than the Danger of losing life. So, my suggestion to the Government, in regard to messaging to the people, is that there is real Danger from the C-Virus, that there is Danger to Life and that Self-Discipline has to be the order of the day.

If Indians listen, absorb and implement this message, India will be a much better place. The degree of thoughtlessness, selfishness, carelessness, denial of reality, may well be a thing of the past. The C-Virus would have served a very large national purpose.

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