Coronavirus: Time For Elite To Take A Cue From Chaiwala
India’s elite and Jihadi class are turning into a potential time-bomb amidst cornonavirus scare.
Bollywood singer Kanika Kapoor is not the only person who belongs to this elite class, but there are others.
Let us know the utter chaos and panic, created by the singer, not only in the entire Lucknow where she stayed, but also in Parliament.
Kanika, as per reports, had returned from London some days back. After her arrival, she allegedly hid her travel history, defied self-isolation protocols and also evaded screening at the airport.
Kanika then stayed in a five-star hotel in Lucknow and threw a dinner party, where few elites and politicians attended. Not only that she also attended two more parties in Mumbai and Pune.
After some days, the singer posted a tweet revealing that she has been tested positive for the virus and had attended a party defying self-isolation protocols.
Thereafter, former Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje tweeted confirming her presence in the party thrown by the singer in Lucknow along with her son.
She, however, said she and her son and BJP MP Dushyant Singh, quarantined themselves and are taking all necessary precautions. Singh later was tested negative.
Next day, Singh attended the Parliament and interacted with fellow MPs raising serious concerns about chances of lawmakers being contracted with the deadly virus.
Reportedly, Singh had sat next to TMC Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’Brien and had a long chat with him. he also sat with Surendra Nagar Nishikant and Manoj Tewari in the Central Hall on March 19. Former Union Minister and Congress leader Jitin Prasada also reportedly attended the party.
Another elite, who recently returned from UK, defied all screening norms and was tested positive for the virus, making it the first case in Kolkata. He is son of West Bengal Home Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay.
Yet another example of elite class callousness are the two women, who recently returned to Kolkata from abroad. They were found guilty for disregarding the advice of home quarantine and were found to be strolling near their apartment.
On a complaint filed by the residents, the police swung in action and took them to the hospital and quarantined.
Another example of sheer insensitivity of elite class came to light in Bengaluru.
The Times of India had reported that a woman, who got married to a Bengaluru-based Google employee in early February, had traveled to Italy, Greece and France and arrived at Mumbai on February 27 and flew back to Bengaluru.
On March 7, her husband tested positive for coronavirus and both were quarantined in Bengaluru. Later, she informed to her parents about her situation and allegedly at her husband’s request, escaped to Agra on March 8. She booked Bengaluru-New Delhi flight and later a train to her parental home.
This highly educated woman did not realise that she could infect the passengers sitting near to her in two rows back, front and side of the flight, and also the train she took to Agra from Delhi.
Because of her insensitivity and mindlessness, the woman forced the Agra railway authorities along with district administration to start the process of sanitizing the railway station and coaches.
Not only this, her family also misbehaved with health officials who had visited their house. They could move all the eight members of the family to isolation wards, only after police and district magistrate’s intervention.
These elite class are those who hold a disproportionate amount of wealth, privilege, political power, or skill in a society.
According to sociologist Charles Stuart Mills, the power elite is a loosely connected group of individuals who dominate nations’ policymaking.
This group includes bureaucratic, corporate, intellectual, military, media, and government elites who control the principal institutions and whose opinions and actions influence the decisions of the policymakers, Mills writes.
So, enjoying such powers, the elite class behave consistently worse than others in a range of situations, with a greater tendency to lie, cheat, take things for granted and endorse unethical behaviour, as a per a report published in The Guardian.
The Jihadi Mindset
Another dangerous mindset amidst coronavirus scare are the people having Jihadi mindset.
Over 160 students had returned from Bangladesh, but refused to undergo isolation and created a ruckus at the airport. They did not cooperate for the quarantine process and started a protest. They broke window and glass panes of airport arrival area. Later, the police herded them to the quarantine facility.
The Jihadi Shaheenbagh model protests also have dangerous portents.
The elite and Jihadi class, who spew venom on almost on policies, should learn from a “Chaiwala” (poor class) about the merits of self-restraint at a time of grave crisis.
Modi has been advocating social distancing, but his own party colleagues, including Shivraj Singh Chouhan, have defied his health advisory. He had scheduled a dinner party, which was cancelled after receiving public flak.
Modi is Modi and elites are elites – uninspiring and dangerous.