COVID-19: A silent murderer of Humanity
If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other
― Mother Teresa
This very quote by Mother Teresa tells us a lot about the spirit of common brotherhood that we have lost in the present world. World is a small place and it is important to help each other out in difficult times. As we all are currently in state of self quarantine, safely locked down in our very own houses due to the novel Corona Virus outbreak. This is the time to show compassion towards the people who are not able to get a livelihood for themselves, but are we doing? It is quite easier to blame someone for the wrong that has happened; people are blaming the Chinese and Asians, attacking them as if they are the one’s spreading the disease. India a nation known for its unity in diversity, the north-eastern people were attacked verbally as well as physically also over this pandemic, it is not anything new but this time it has gone too far, the New Age Racism.
Events corroborating such New Age Racism
The Corona Virus originated in Wuhan city of China in the early December of 2019, it spread like a fire to whole world, since then people started naming it as “THE CHINESE VIRUS”. People started linking the virus with the whole race of Asians. Even Donald Trump and his leaders of the party named the virus as ‘Chinese’. He was silent on the attacks which were on the Chinese-Americans recently; in California, a lady from Thailand working at a restaurant was bullied and abused as she looked like the Chinese, an elderly man jogging was attacked by two men and they spat at him yelling “Go Back to China!” These are just a few of the innumerable incidents that took place in the US, we can decipher from this that people are turning xenophobic to Asians. These people are living in a constant fear of being assaulted as the people there are prejudiced that this outbreak is somehow the fault of china. The Asian American advocates in the US have firmly decided to raise their voices and criticize any such racist comment passed, once we are out of such danger .
Here the situation is no different from the US, people considering the Asians and Chinese as disgrace to their society. As the coronavirus spreads over the world so does the xenophobia against the people of Asian descent; Jonathan Mok, a UCL law student originally from Singapore, was walking in London recently when he heard someone shout: “Coronavirus!” He was then attacked so brutally that he may require facial surgery. The British police are now pursuing another case in which attackers allegedly tore the clothes off a University of Glasgow PhD student from China . A 24 year old Thai taxi driver was attacked and robbed by two masked men, while they kept yelling “coronavirus” at the man.
Growth of Anti-Asian racism
Above were the examples of racial attacks in the developed nations. Over 650 such cases were reported in the United States according to the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council. This is not the first time Asians are targeted for and outbreak of a pandemic. 100 years ago also white labeled Chinese as “dangerous to whites”. Let’s take an example of small pox which spread during the 19th Century, the ports were ordered to appoint officers to keep people quarantined and then also the Chinese were blamed for the outbreak for a period of 20 long years.
North-east Indians facing atrocities in their own country
Recently the students in Delhi University were attacked and abused by some goons and they even spat on them, bullying them and yelling at them as if they were solely responsible for the corona virus. There are many such incidents even before this period of COVID-19, they have always been facing the atrocities and people just don’t want to accept them as fellow Indians. Their rights are protected under the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989 and it keeps amended by the government from time to time. Things went out of hand when residents filed official complaints against the northeast Indians in Ahmedabad. In the furtherance of such attacks the Chief Minister of Mizoram asked the Prime minister and Home minister to look into the matter and take appropriate actions against the offenders. The MHA on March 21 issued an advisory to all the states as well as Union territories to act strictly against such racial attacks.
Suggestions for a better future
We know that these are the tough times for us; we are not used to sit in our houses like we are under some house arrest. But this social distancing is the only cure to this disease until we find a vaccine for the same. Let’s all show some love and respect to the people around us and make world a better place amidst all this chaos. Instead of blaming a particular nation and a race, let them help and make us help them. Theodore Roosevelt rightly said and it suits the situation: “The spirit of brotherhood recognizes of necessity both the need of self-help and also the need of helping others in the only way which every ultimately does great god, that is, of helping them to help themselves”.
Image Courtesy: A Little Escape and Wikimedia Commons