Prof. Nutan Resutra
The Committee Room of the Chief’s Office was complete with all those who mattered. With long drawn and worry clearly visible on faces of members, everyone looked very anxious to come to some solid conclusion. For, the issue was indeed of such magnitude that it had been declared a national emergency.
All those present were sipping warm tea or coffee and gossiping over bites of rich snacks. Everyone for once seemed to be well aware as to why he or she had been called: and the issue was, what to do now that corona had invaded!
In a lighter vein
Brooding, one of the members asked: I do not know what will the Chief say. The one sitting next to him thought for a moment and said: I know what he will say. The first one asked: What? And the second one replied wisely: He will say what he has to say! The first one also nodded wisely!
At that moment, the Chief entered along with his tight security. All present stood up and waited for the former to take his seat. The Chief looked at all, one after the other, clearly reading worry and anxiety writ large. There was pin drop silence in the room, no one uttering a single word. This situation continued for full four and a half minutes when ultimately the Chief broke silence and said smilingly: Mubarak Ho, Corona Hua Hai! Everyone seemed crest fallen. None understood what the Chief had said, and more so: why? It seemed as if a nurse had come out of the operation theatre and announced, Mubarak Ho, Beta Hua Hai! I know what you are thinking, said the Boss. You all are thinking that the country and our State in particular is passing through the most difficult of times with people dying in large numbers without even getting enough space for burial or cremation; there is scarcity of almost everything not to talk of medical supplies only; and I said Mubarak ho? They all nodded. The Boss again said wisely: Your problem is that you are too much worried about this so called pandemic. Be positive! Do not think it as a catastrophe or pandemic; think it as God sent opportunity! These words brought another veil of silence in the room. With a mysterious smile, the Boss said again: I think I will have to explain everything elaborately now. Listen and understand carefully. Imagine that you are the Shishya of ancient times listening to the Guru Gyan; only then you will understand. All present sat in Bhakti Mudra to listen to the Param Gyan!
The Chief began: we all have read the story of elephant and six blind men in our childhood. I will recall this story again. Once there lived six blind men in a village. No one in village had seen elephant. One day some Sadhus came wondering in the village, who had an elephant with them. Everyone went to see that animal which had been unknown in the area till that time. The blind also went, but since they had never known such an animal in their lives, they started defining it in their own perception, ranging from the statement that elephant was like a pillar to being similar to wall or snake. Since none of the descriptions matched each other, they also started quarrelling, trying to vociferously put forth their individual assertions. In fact, no one was wrong; but none was right either! Same is happening here. Anyone who thinks he is someone is shouting hoarse at full throat in television debates trying to suggest what corona is and how to check it. And those who always fiddle with Whatsapp, Insta, Facebook and other apps in social media have gone even two steps ahead; suggesting hundred percent remedies for the cure of corona virus. They all pose themselves as if they are super-specialist on it, lecturing all others on how- to- do-and – what- not.
He further added: Now I will tell you how this is a God sent opportunity. Till last year before the pandemic started, people hardly cared about their personal hygiene. And suddenly we saw everyone running after sanitizers, washing hands vigorously with soaps. The result was that we found a big spurt in demand for these products which resulted in increased manufacturing of sanitizers, detergents and soaps. I will also make a mention of many companies who have made ‘Immunity’ as their brand word, selling anything and everything in the name of enhancement of body immunity! Look at them also. And while there was just one unit manufacturing face-masks before this pandemic, now we have hundreds of them giving employment to a large number of people. Is this not the growth of industrial sector in the country and in turn growth of income of individuals?
All present there nodded in agreement. No one had ever thought about it. This was indeed growth and development of the country! One of the learned Shishya raised doubt: But Guruji, this year is totally different from the last year. Although the country has been blessed with corona vaccine, we find manifold increase in death rate. There is scarcity of medicines and medical supplies. The situation is more serious in our own area besides another State. How we will we come out of it. The Boss gave his enchanting smile again and said: This is also an opportunity my dear. And this business opportunity is stronger than the last one. So, what if we have been able to launch world’s biggest immunization programme to save people, let me tell you how we can otherwise be benefitted.
Elaborating, he added: Last year there occurred growth of detergent and sanitizer sectors only, there are other items also that have not yet become scare for common man, which needs to be done now. The medicine sector had been lamenting for growth. Hype created by our friendly media regarding increased mortality rate will evoke fear among masses. As we all suffer from mob mentality; people will try to use, and if not possible, store medicines and other items in as much quantity as they can. This will lead to more production of those items. And who will benefit? Obviously, the business class and related middle-men that had to suffer a lot last year. As Jan-Sevaks, it becomes our moral duty to mitigate their sufferings.
Someone again dared: But Sir, would it be fair to create such a situation? More so, if and when this situation does prevail, what will we tell the people; what had we been doing throughout last year? Why we did not learn from the plight of other countries and brace ourselves to meet this situation? The learned one smiled and said: Fair; what is fair? Don’t you know everything is fair in love and war? This is a war against corona and also a multi-pronged opportunity for us. It is a golden opportunity to go in for Centre-bashing, crying full volume that we are not being given our due share, and that a step-motherly treatment is being meted out to us particularly, including all other opposition states, blaming them for not being prepared and we are helpless in saving precious lives; so that people become literally terrified. They in turn start a mad rush for that- so- called medicine which is not even a proven treatment for the virus. People get panicky for oxygen, trying to hoard cylinders that hitherto had been uncared and unbothered medical item by the masses. And this will be our gift to our friendly business class. Besides, during panic time, we will be able to import what-not from whichever foreign nation those scarce, so called much needed medical supplies, without facing any questions.
And yes: you have put an intelligent question when you asked what will we tell the people. And the answer is: Main Hoon Na ! There was again silence. The Boss said affectionately: My first task would be to feature myself in advertisements that will be aired on all channels and all over print media. In all innocence, I will convince people that last year also it was they who had defeated corona not only once but thrice, now also it’s only they who will do the miracle. And when it is the people themselves to fight, what have we got to do? Let the people fight corona just as they had done the year before. Also, it will make our media friends happy as well since in the pandemic they too will be earning! Even those media houses that do not generally favor us would also be benefitted as we would be doling out advertisements to not one but all; thus, winning over all media houses to our camp apart from resorting to image building campaign.
A member did dare ask: But Sir, there has only been one such wave in the last year, how can we talk of defeating corona three times? Again, came the innocent smile: Who is going to question, and whom? After all, it would not be an interactive advertisement that people could question me on conquering corona three times! This actually relaxed everyone present in the room. They fully understood that the situation was no pandemic but God gifted opportunity to not only benefit the media- medical-industry friends but also present themselves as if they had been doing anything and everything only for people! Everyone clapped and cheerfully resounded: Mubarak Ho, Corona Hua Hai !