Coronavirus, the Indian lockdown

Coronavirus, the Indian lockdown

India, a country very close to China, with more than a billion inhabitants side by side with each other. How is the lockdown being applied and how are citizens reacting?


India: one billion inhabitants in lockdown

Until now , the epicenter of the drama represented by the coronavirus has been in Europe , and it was astonishing to see an immensely overcrowded country like India, so close to China, or the first outbreak, not to suffer a real shock wave due to the virus.

Yet now, after a couple of months, the lockdown has also been imposed in India with unique reasons and methods, because despite the demographic and geographical similarities between India and China, the differences are many and substantial.  

India is currently experiencing the lockdown since the end of March 2020and no one knows how long it will last. But is it possible to impose such a status on a democracy that holds more than a billion people together?

Differences between China and India

In fact, this is the first pivotal point. China was the first country to have to deal with COVID 19 and, although China also boasts more than a billion inhabitants, it is a single-party dictatorial regime that can afford to suspend the rights of citizens and impose itself rigidly. .

This is not applicable in India, as it is a federation of twenty-nine states, the most populous democracy in the world which must take into account the opinions of an infinite number of parties.

And this, in moments of critical emergency, can be difficult and slow, two conditions in which the elements of crisis tend to get out of hand, especially if the element of crisis is a contagious virus.

India is not just Hymalaia

Despite the geographical proximity to China, India was not immediately affected by COVID 19 , because, between the two countries, there is the largest mountain range in the world (the Hymalaia) with minimum temperatures sometimes below -30 degrees centigrade, and viruses and bacteria dislike these types of environments.

The first recorded cases originated from Italian tourists visiting India , and immediately quarantined and contained. But in such a densely populated country with a very low average level of hygiene, preventive measures should have been higher and more stringent.

But India is not just Himalya.
Thus, after the first cases, the central government has imposed a total lockdown that extends from week to week.

Details of the Indian lockdown

What is meant by total lockdown? Nobody can leave their city or village , well guarded by checkpoints held by a police who do not go to the subtle and are authorized to use hard ways to prevent an individual from causing the ruin of entire villages.

Within villages and cities , only one member per family is allowed to go out, maximum twice a week , to shop in the very few shops open.

Nobody can go out without a mask and the food is rationed. In addition to the food and basic necessities shops, only the banks are open and the farms, which continue to produce.

The lockdown does not discount anyone and all companies have been forced to physically close their doors.

The wheel of dharma and the “acceptable” lockdown

Due to the brutality of law enforcement, the lockdown is widely respected and many volunteers and NGOs distribute food to those unable to leave their homes.

On the other hand, in Indian megacities there are large shanty towns where the most destitute, often not even registered, live (and die) stacked on top of each other and it is impossible to predict these areas.

Many individuals and ethnic or religious groups complain about a suspension of human rights while on the other hand many others are aware that India could represent a world atomic bomb if COVID 19 spreads freely .

It should be noted that, unlike Western countries,India has a natural attitude of withdrawal and silence, typical of contemplation , and an attitude of acceptance which, although it appears fatalistic to us, represents one of the pride of the national spirit.

The equanimity of the yogi who accepts the fruits of the Dharma wheel and does not let the results of life affect his inner state. Thanks to these characteristics, it is easier to accept the lockdown without feeling the need to go out, have fun, let off steam and give freewheel to your ego.

As they say: ” if you can’t go outside, then dive inside “, and in this India only has to teach.

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