Corona is a great leveller

Have just come across a Pakistani channel clip doing rounds on social media in which noted Pakistani journalist Hasan Nissar is being interviewed by a TV anchor. To a question posed to Nissar that as per the Forbes magazine, in this current Coronavirus pandemic, more than 226 billionaires have lost a significant part of their wealth, the response by Nissar forms a quotable quote:

“ How does it matter whether 226 or 2260 or a few thousands of billionaires have become poorer? Nothing will happen if all these billionaires, landlords, bureaucrats, politicians, artists, anchors and all others “so called” important people are to overnight vanish into thin air? It will not make any difference and the world will evolve soon with new people fitting into the slots vacated by these important people!” However, the next part of his response is even more penetrating. He goes on to say, “ however, if barbers, cobblers, domestic helps, public transport drivers, milkmen, vendors of daily household goods and above all, farmers are to be affected, this world is going to be be under siege and incapable of surviving beyond 15 days.”

It’s a stark truth that all of us noisemakers, who are living in utmost comforts and luxuries of our homes, eating the best of food and having access to all amenities during this COVID lockdown do not matter at all! The real sufferers , who as per Nissar “ whet their appetite by hunger and thirst by frugality” , are the ones who are important and actually are “Corona warriors” .

As Nissar says, “ the wealth hoarders and scamsters earn sobriquet of Sahab, Janab, Seth, sir etc, while those doing menial yet hard jobs, who deserve our best respect, are looked down upon by us”. While Nissar’s disenchantment with this class of people is understandable, in India, we have come across the instances of generosity of several of these wealthy people- Akshay, Ratan Tata, Azim Premji , Sachin, Gavaskar, Film stars ( for entire film world fraternity), Prabhas, Mukesh Ambani- the list is quite long- who have stood by the nation and it’s people in this difficult times. But Nissar’s views clearly bring out the order of importance in the society!

At the end, I will like to mention a similar thought that I came across yesterday, where a speaker, an eminent medical practitioner with holistic approach says that the two things after which all of us run but which in reality are lifeless are- Position and possession! This Coronavirus has established the above truth conclusively that when faced with such pandemic that’s a great leveller, the things that matters least are one’s position and possession. These don’t rescue us from lockdown nor give us any additional immunity from Coronavirus. But those who are coming to our rescue are the Corona warriors – our sabzi and milk wala, BEST staff, Clean Up Mumbai staff, medical workers, police , bankers – the faceless, untitled heroes deserving our unfettered respect!

3 thoughts on “Corona is a great leveller

  1. These situations bring to the fore certain ground realities that we, the well heeled, normally sweep under the carpet.
    Put crudely, this exploitation of the blue collars by the white collars and the ultra rich is what drives people towards the principles of communism (the practice of course is a whole other thing ! )
    It is a pity that the multi crore buildings are constructed brick by brick by people who do not even get enough wages to buy two square meals a day (despite existence on paper of all kinds of laws protecting their lives and their interests ). It is now apparent that because of the lock down the lords and the ladies of the households are learning new trades, ie to sweep floors, to dust, to swab to cook, to wash clothes, to clean windows and utensils… Soon we shall grow up to be independent adults who can take care of their needs without having to employ a retinue of domestic help.. We will also learn how to cut each other’s hair, repair clothing and handle other household things like plumbing, fixing electrical problems and so on… at least as long as the lockdown lasts…
    Let the billionaires go wherever they want to. They are surplus to the greater scheme of things…

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