There seems to be no end to the coronavirus pandemic as it affects millions of people all over the world and exacting a daily death toll in the thousands. Despite having a huge population, India has a relatively low death rate for which both the people and our government deserve credit. However, the challenge of confronting the spread of the pandemic will remain with us for a long time to come for which we need to prepare ourselves with all the strength at our disposal. Even as we grapple to find a vaccine for the virus and the optimum strategy to minimize its spread for restarting our daily lives towards normalcy, it is also important to step back and reflect on the possible reasons and causes for the sudden eruption of this horrendous and global pandemic and the hidden message it brings along.
One important cause for the birth of this virus is our disregard for the laws of nature and ignoring the fragility of our precariously balanced ecological system. We did not exercise the required patience and care that was mandated for the utilization of natural resources. We perpetrated ecological imbalance. Whenever the quantum of this imbalance exceeds a particular threshold, there is a natural and opposite ‘scientific reaction’ by the forces of nature. This ‘reaction’ by nature assumes the form of earthquakes, floods, cyclones, droughts, locusts and epidemics that usually results in death and destruction on a massive scale. It can be termed as the ‘collateral damage’ we incur for our war against nature.
While the above-stated reason is not difficult to fathom and accept, there is another significant moral reason for these cataclysmic events. One cannot refute the existence of a moral force that governs humanity. It is also undeniable that it manifests itself in a way that is both scientific and rational. This ethical force derives strength from moral values and adherence to universally cherished goals such as peace, justice, equality, liberty, and freedom. A large section of our society believes that these moral values and ethical systems have been transmitted by the Creator and Sustainer of this universe to us through prophets and divine scriptures. Whenever there is a major digression from adhering to this divinely ordained ‘moral compass’, with the pervasion of violence, injustice, inequality, and tyranny; the Creator of this universe sends us some signals and signs to take notice and become alert of impending danger. This is analogous to speed breakers installed on highways that are meant to dissuade reckless driving. The pandemic is a subtle warning signal from our Creator to mend our ways and observe both moral limits as well as the boundaries set for utilization of natural resources.
One may argue and question as to why these ecological disasters and lethal pandemics impact the entire population. If they are divinely ordained, they should touch only those who crossed all moral-limits and were deserving of divine retribution. However, we find not only the general populace but even the pious and god-fearing being impacted by these calamitous events. If one ponders deeply over this phenomenon, then one cannot but conclude that our Creator does not like people to be mute spectators to the widespread injustice around them. Whenever there is violence, oppression, cruelty, and persecution, the citizens must stand up to this despotism and prevent the influential and powerful from committing repression. Allowing injustice without any opposition or efforts to confront it is to indirectly condone it. This contention is found in all Holy Scriptures and the teachings of religious preachers and prophets. They exhort the people “to enjoin good and forbid evil” as a matter of religious duty. The natural calamities like COVID-19 are not the punishments but the awakening calls.
Today, the exploitation of the poor, the marginalized, the minorities is widespread with violence, discrimination and oppression becoming normalized to a degree where there is very little outrage over pervasive lawlessness and even the most heinous crimes that are becoming a daily occurrence. The society becoming insensitive, permissive and sometimes trying to justify and considering all this as new normal is an alarm for a bigger danger knocking at the door.
This is a time for introspection, reflection, assessment and correction of our life-style, thoughts, worldview, and behaviour both at the individual and social levels and of course by the government(s), who are responsible to assure safety, security, dignity, equality freedom and Justice to all citizens. If we do it honestly and with courage we would certainly realize that we have wronged ourselves, abused nature, and showed ingratitude towards the countless blessings and enriched resources that have been gifted by our Creator, then it is time to accept our faults and start treading the path of course correction. We must seek repentance from our Creator and resolve not to repeat our mistakes and improve our approach and behaviour. It is true that mankind has done more damage to the earth and killed more of its own species in the last 100 years than all of previous human history. Nevertheless, this is a good time to make a fresh start by turning a new leaf. However, this is only possible if we decipher the hidden signals of this pandemic and tread the path of course-correction before it is too late.
All copyrights for this article are reserved to this source