Hail peoples’ response

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With sharp surge in Covid-19 positive cases all over the country, Jammu and Kashmir too has been recording highest number of cases and infection related deaths. Though the crisis here is still manageable, but the way the virus is spreading its tentacles all over India, both the authorities and the public should do every bit possible to keep it manageable. As a first response to the spread, the Lt Governor administration declared “Covid Curfew” from Saturday evening to Monday morning. The intension was to minimize crowds on the roads and streets to hamper the deadly spread of the virus. It is heartening to note that people of Kashmir cooperated understanding that the step was taken for their own benefit. Kashmiri people by exhibiting, by and large, exemplary lockdown have once again proved that they are responsible citizens and have fully realized the intensity of the situation. While the governments, from here to New Delhi, have been accusing “callousness of people” responsible for the fresh spread of the infection, the Sunday “Covid Curfew” in Kashmir proved it beyond doubt that people are not callous but responsible and just need a little bit of guidance and hand-holding. Though it is no time to debate what resulted into the fresh surge in Covid-19 cases, the governments need to do a little bit introspection and admit that these too were not less “callous” than the public at large. However, the people in Kashmir proved it beyond any doubt that they understand the gravity of the situation and would be more than cooperative if the government takes any further step to break the deadly curve of the virus.

That said, the people should not always look for the government initiatives but make their own decisions for the protection of their life and the lives of their dear ones. There is no further scope for even a bit of complacency. This is a war which the governments can’t fight without the full cooperation of the public. People have to realize that the death in the shape of coronavirus is floating in the air keen to grab whosoever it can. Covid-19 SOPs are a must. People have to decide to stay at home as much as they can and move out only when there is no other option left. While out, they need to avoid crowds and ensure that they are fully masked all the time they are outside their homes. People have to be mindful of the crude reality that in Jammu and Kashmir the health sector is too fragile to bear further burden and thus if the infection spreads more, people would be face to face with horrible situation.

It is appreciable that several Masjids in Kashmir, particularly in Srinagar city are strictly adhering to the Covid SOPs but the fact of the matter is that these religious places are closed spaces and thus very prone to spread of the infection. Keeping this reality in mind, the people, in general should prefer offering prayers at home instead of visiting Masjids and other religious places. Islam is a religion of wisdom, reasoning and logic. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) has already told his Umma how to behave in case of pandemics. Muslims of Kashmir should follow the directions of their Prophet (SAW) and develop a proper anti-pandemic behavior. Almost all Islamic scholars have been, time and again, telling people to avoid crowds and prefer offering prayers at home. These directions should be followed in letter and spirit by one and all.

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