When Social Distancing Becomes Social Discrimination
Addressing a social issue of India
It has been on my heart to write a post addressing a social issue in our country that involves social discrimination that has arisen in this time of crisis.
During this pandemic, as the whole world trembles in fear of catching the Coronavirus, our Indian government has decided to lock down the whole country except for a few essential services to remain operating and ordered the citizens to maintain social distancing with vigilance to avoid the widespread effect of the virus.
There is no doubt that we, as the whole nation, are experiencing a huge crisis. However, I feel greatly distressed hearing news reports on Corona effects leading to social discrimination in different parts of the country, especially targeting the people from the Northeastern states of India.
As every other demographic in India, are scattered throughout the nation because of work, business, job, charity or carrier settlements, so are the people of the Northeastern states. They are afflicted because their appearance is akin to the Chinese people.
“There is no doubt that we, as the whole nation, are experiencing a huge crisis.”
People in our society from all parts of India, except the Northeast states, seem to have developed a mindset that the North-easterners are carriers of COVID-19 because they look like the Chinese.
Now, we all know that China was the first country to be exposed to the Coronavirus pandemic. They were the first nation to experience crises and deaths of thousands due to the outbreak of COVID-19. There have been rumors that the virus outbreak was caused due to a laboratory accident in Wuhan, China. Nonetheless, there is no concrete evidence that can back up that claim.
The matter has not come to light if the outbreak is a result of a natural disaster, a human error or malpractice in the field of science. So far, scientists from multiple countries indicate the possible cause for the outbreak of COVID-19 is to be an act of nature. Consequently, I am not quite sure if we want to blame the Chinese for our days of trouble. However, I will leave that choice to you.
My objective is not to talk about the cause and effects of the virus, but rather to simply identify how it is causing panic among us and leading us to lose our sense of love and social values that secures our relationships.
“It is in the face of trials, we get to truly discover ourselves.”
In pursuit of eradicating COVID-19, we are turning the idea of social distancing into social discrimination. We are forgetting the people from the Northeast states may look alike the Chinese, Japanese, or Thai people, but they are 100% legal Indian citizens like you and me.
They look much like the Chinese because they are Mongolian descendants, but it is a common misperception that they are Chinese or Japanese. They are Indians and have all the constitutional rights to be so. They are not the carrier of Coronavirus, but rather being the victims of its devouring attack, just like the rest of the world.
Discriminating the people of the Northeast with the blame of being the virus carrier, will not get us to our ultimate victory. Our adversary has great potential to show us who we really are besides many other things.
“In pursuit of eradicating COVID-19, we are turning the idea of social distancing into social discrimination.”
It is in the face of trials, we get to truly discover ourselves and have the opportunity to learn to transform our hearts and mindsets. Let’s not forget that we live in a nation we can be proud of so much and where we celebrate unity among diversity.
I realize change is never easy, but perhaps, the need for it has arrived at our doorstep. We can welcome it inside or chase it away, that is completely our choice. In fact, the pandemic has come with its purpose of not only killing people, which must be stopped, also displaying the nature of humanity. It is exposing some dirty parts of our society.
I say we take this opportunity by faith to transform our society and the neighborhood we live in. So, we will be able to promote love over hatred, harmony over division, social empowerment over social discrimination.
“We live in a nation we can be proud of so much and where we celebrate unity among diversity.”
There is a scripture in the Bible that says, “Consider it pure joy, brother and sister, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know the testing of your faith produces perseverance, and when perseverance finishes its course, you will become matured and complete and lack nothing”.
These are strange days, and we are facing trials of many kinds at the moment. We are seeing what this little invisible enemy called a virus can do to us and our society. Nevertheless, let us not lose our battle against it by socially persecuting the North-easterners and dividing our nation into pieces before we can ever rebuild it. After all, they are our brothers and sisters.
I believe you will find this writing in the right spirit. My love to all of you and your family.