Corona virus has been holding up the mirror to us as a society, especially these last few weeks. There has been a deluge of cases that has overwhelmed our healthcare system; amidst all the pain, fear and suffering, we have seen shameful examples of profiteering, politicking, opportunism and deep-rooted biases. In parallel, we have also witnessed many heart-warming instances of individuals, institutions, and organizations coming together, of their own volition, to fill the gaps in the “system” and help save lives.
People, especially youngsters, are sourcing real-time, verified information, so that panicked caregivers do not waste precious time on wild goose chase. Gurudwaras are running oxygen langars and distributing food to covid patients in their vicinity; corporates are chipping in with resources to fill critical gaps in the production and supply chain, those with real estate to spare are converting them to care spaces…the list of people coming together is long.
Collaboration has been the only silver lining in the otherwise dark cloud that seems to have settled over the country. We need to build on this and make it a part of our culture going ahead.
Every country exists at two levels – as a nation, defined by its constitutional framework and as a society shaped by its history, culture, heritage and beliefs. Both levels provide ample space for collaboration.
Our democracy thrives on a co-operative approach between the State and the Centre; we need to strengthen this further to multiply the impact on ground, across all areas of development. Better co-ordination, more political will and a common goal are key to effective collaboration. Two levels of governance at odds with each other will always render the most effective of systems inadequate.
As a people, our life philosophy is best captured by the phrase Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, which translates into the world is a family. India’s kaleidoscopic society reflects its people’s ability to include, adopt and nurture each other. In recent times, a society in transition has somewhat dulled this worldview but, the pandemic appears to have brought out the best in us.
The present has taken away the luxury of status quo.
Frames of reference are changing from one day to the other. We now expect tomorrow to be radically different from today. Our collective response to the present will determine the quality of this difference.
What should that response be? Let’s all come together and answer that.
Author – India@75 Foundation
Previous Blog given below: