Kashmir, COVID-19 and Globalisation

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Masood Ali Mir

Kofi Annan, the former Secretary General of the United Nations, once said, “Globalisation is now a universal truth, to criticise the globalisation means to criticise the nature”.

The society we live in is modern, the 21st century society. It is the society which is civilized, educated, developed, techno savvy and  globalised society. The man has done a tremendous job in each and every aspect of  life and has reached the heights at which he has been never before. Through the science he has made life easy by different inventions, through economy  has made the life comfortable and decent and through politics has made it honourable and worth to live.

All these processes led to the new process that is the process of globalisation. The globalisation is the idea of borderless world, the widening, deepening and speeding up of worldwide inter-connectedness and the shaping of the idea that the whole mankind is one. The world in which we exist is purely a global village, everything is within reach and nothing exist beyond borders.

Globalisation has brought many comforts to the human beings as there are many positives of it like it has made borders soft, provided the opportunities for economic development, minimised the distances, led to the rapid increase in knowledge and many more.

But it has also many negatives like the diminishing of state sovereignty, erosion of cultural and national identities, religious extremism, exploitation of the poor and the spread of diseases beyond the borders.

In ancient times diseases too used to have nationalities that the African diseases, Arab diseases, American diseases etc but as of now when the economy and technology knows no borders, the diseases too have become global and have global reach. The Noval Coronavirus too has shown it’s global character. It originated in Wuhan (China) but has spread to about 185 countries in no span of time. Each and every corner of the world is suffering the devastation wrought by the virus.

The people of the world are so much interlinked and inter-dependent perhaps the common man was not so aware of before the outbreak of COVID-19. First when the virus developed there in Wuhan, people used to call it the “China Virus” but when it reached to our backyard everyone is equally frightened and equally responsible for its further spread.

In one region it was carried through the business, in the other region through education, somewhere through the entertainment, somewhere through the sports  and in other regions of the world  through the religion. The carrier has walked the distance and carried the virus with himself or herself.

At present it has created the choas and confusion allover the wold. It has derailed China, trembled Iran, devastated Italy and humbled the United States. It has led to the worldwide lockdown and the downfall in the share markets. It will definitely force the world for shocking economic slowdown and may lead to an unprecedented global economic recession.       

As already mentioned that everything today is global so is the virus and to limit its reach is very very difficult, if not impossible.

There are people who criticise the carriers of this virus. Somewhere they are criticized on being careless and ignorant and in other places these are criticized for being selfish, cunning, lathergic and motivated. In our part of the world mostly two groups are facing the wrath of critics. These two are the people who were on a religious pilgrimage or tour and the students studying in the foreign territories. Among these too, the  two particular groups have been the focus of criticism that is the “Tablighi Jama’at” and the medical students. Although the virus may have reached through other means too, that is diplomacy, trade, sports, culture and other forms of globalisation. But the common man here is of the view that it has been brought by these two and hence is rebuking them. He is of the opinion that if these two had not travelled we may have never seen this virus amongst us. They are mistaken because it was bound to reach here given the wide nature and affect of the globalisation.

The administration of the Jammu and Kashmir tried its best (in theory ) to deny the entry to the virus and remained mostly concerned with the people with foreign travel history. But the virus made its entry despite tight borders because to limit the influence of globalisation is beyond the control of any modern day administration be it authoritarian or democratic.

It hardly matters now that whether you have a foreign travel history or not when the virus is already in Jammu it can not be far away from Srinagar, Budgam, Bandipora, Rajouri etc etc. It has already trampled and erased man made borders. In the territorial limits of India, it is in the east, it is in the west, it is all over.

The deadly virus, neither discriminates on the caste, colour, status or gender nor is enmye of any particular religion but has equal approach for all. Although it is more fatal to the aged but has also killed the young.

The scientists allover the world tried their best but are yet to have the vaccine which is 100% relevant to the COVID-19. The doctors are tireless in their duties and their efforts depict the true meaning of professionalism (pure to their Hippocratic Oath). The entire fraternity along with the WHO, after good research, devised some precautions and are expecting from we to follow such precautions. The most important in it is “social distance” and  “physical distance”.

We as the responsible global citizens, more than criticising any particular group or section of people, must strictly follow the necessary precautions most importantly the ” keep distance precaution” and for this we have to stay at home, avoid gatherings, shun the unnecessary travel. If we will follow the precautions only then we can break the chain. Let us break the chain.

#Save yourself from the virus save humanity#

Stay home, stay safe.

Masood Ali Mir is a social activist and a freelancer and can be mailed at masoodalimir@yahoo.co.in

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