Citizens have all responsibilities; Govt has power without responsibility

In the name of fighting Covid, our political masters are more focused on curbing individual freedom and civil liberties than taking appropriate steps

Ravi Shanker Kapoor |

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal

From citizens’ perspective, India is becoming the worst of all possible countries in the worst of all possible worlds. Not a single day passes when new restrictions are not imposed on people and government’s powers don’t increase. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s regarding a weekend curfew and other curbs highlight this fact.

Curfew passes will be needed for essential activities, including marriages. While malls, auditoriums, gyms and spas have been order to shut down, cinema halls have been permitted but with a reduced, one-third of the capacity. The announcement came in the wake of 17,282 Covid-19 cases yesterday, the highest single-day rise in the national capital.

I am not arguing against appropriate steps in the face of a growing pandemic; my point is that there is more emphasis on infringing upon individual freedom and civil liberties than on doing what is appropriate. Worse, what powers-that-be are doing is not just scandalous but also incongruous and bizarre.

Our lords and masters have imposed a lot many restrictions on us. For instance, they have mandated that a person can spread the coronavirus even while driving alone in a car. But they see nothing wrong when millions of people congregate at Kumbh Mela in Haridwar or when thousands attend the rallies and road-shows organized by political parties in states where Assembly elections are going on.

Seldom before in Independent India the citizen has been so much oppressed, suppressed, indeed pulverized. He is supposed to check the spread of the coronavirus; when lockdown fatigue sets in, he is accused of being complacent and irresponsible. Not by our political masters but also the mainstream media that has been thoroughly compromised.

It may be argued that the pilgrims at Kumbh Mela are also citizens. That’s wrong; they are Hindus. The sanskaris don’t respect the civil liberties of citizens; they are just appeasing the most ritualistic among the largest community—at the expense of the health of the entire nation. This is little different from Muslim appeasement the Congress and other parties indulged in the past. The target sections remain the same—the most orthodox and benighted.

Demands made on the citizens are many and varied. While the state often fails to, and is often unwilling to fight terrorists, the citizens are supposed to fight them. Till recently, the victims of extortion by Maoists were charged with terror funding. It is only recently that the Supreme Court ruled that a victim of extortion cannot be kept in jail (https://www.thehinduchronicle.com/2021/04/sc-comes-to-rescue-of-extortion-victim/).

Meanwhile the state continues to ‘strongly condemns the dastardly acts of violence’ by terrorists.

In the name of fighting the so-called ‘black money menace,’ honest businesspersons and law-abiding citizens have been punished with innumerable compliances, while there is hardly any action against the real culprits of, say, the Bombay bomb blasts of 1993, 26/11, massive scams, etc.

Leviathan has gone berserk, trampling the citizens in its trail.

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