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!