When the average Indian gathered with his compatriots ‘en masse’, to support the fight against the coronavirus, having completely missed the irony of the situation, to offer his/her gratitude with bells, shells and whistles on Sunday, the country’s upper middle-class and the elites from the film industry, sporting world and other assorted socialite types couldn’t help themselves.
There were diatribes and monologues, pleas and exhortations galore, fine tuned to the minute, for instant noodle, social media consumption attention time spans, neatly packaged with the ‘message.’
There were even videos explaining the ‘scientifically proven’ benefits of vibrations produced by clapping and bells that may drive the Corona monster away. Now, any amount of awareness is good, in any shape or fashion, sincere or pandering to the lowest common denominator.
For the general public though, it seemed disingenuous at best, more so, because the real heroes in all of this, healthcare professionals, for whom the whole ‘show’ was put on, have been saying this ever since the beginning. Also, because of the aforementioned irony.
Social media feeds were clogged with videos of people clapping in their balconies, getting onto the streets in sizeable numbers, to form extempo bands and bursting fire crackers.
Yes, you read that right, firecrackers.
As common sense was driven away by the sound vibrations, for a country staring at millions of coronavirus cases, it was something to not be taken lightly.
Indifference in this case, could be the difference between life and death.
So, the nation’s elite took it upon themselves to preach from their beachfronts and gilded rooftops, urging the ‘unwashed’ ignorant masses about the best ways to sanitize themselves and to lock themselves up.
They came bearing Corona
This indifference is actually what they share with the people to whom they are trying to preach. After all, it is the country’s elites who entered the country from high-risk regions, who may or may not have evaded screenings, and who went about their lives, as if nothing had happened, or would have happened to them.
Until, it happened.
The social and political elite, who did not see it fit to cancel their parties in the most crucial phases of the outbreak, got themselves tested at the earliest, while the ‘common people’ have had to get in wait.
Preaching, No Practising
While billionaires, industrialists and Hollywood celebs pledged millions to fight the disease worldwide, India’s elite have been rather conservative with their sizeable wallets.
As industrialists wake up to the seriousness of the situation and gear to provide support, for the social media evangelists, preaching seems to be enough.
One cannot begrudge them for seemingly faking their conscious rap, some would say. After all, it’s what a majority of them do for a living.
The author is Editor-in-Chief at Qrius
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