Editorial | Imposing Lockdown!

This is now the most familiar word through out the world – Lockdown. There are hardly a few things that travel so swiftly through all human societies and become a part of life. Since the pandemic gripped the entire globe with an electrifying speed, and the governments from North to South and from East to West flung into action to restrict human movement so that the curve is flattened.

It was an almost unified and uniform response to the crisis, and not just the institutions in a government, but the civil societies also cooperated to make it successful. But as is the case with all human activities and instruments of order, there are exceptions.

These exceptions don’t violate the rule but make it possible to minimise the harmful effects of a rule. In this case also those who were on the forefront to ensure lockdown, keep the supply of essentials available, and treat covid infection cases and other medical exigencies   – exceptions were made to allow their movement from one place to another. In fact arrangements were made to facilitate the movement of goods and people that were needed to fight this crisis.

Now apart from these identified group of people there are some exigencies that are  bound to make people come out of their houses. These are left to the discretion of the officers and field staff who are in charge of the situation. Cumulatively, the margin for exceptions – identified and not so identified – is a norm.

Those who wish to apply law and order blindly, and without regard for exceptions can only complicate the situation and defeat the very purpose of a thing like lockdown. Now the case in point. In last couple of days complaints of uncalled for behaviour from the enforcers of lockdown on the ground came to fore.

This is very disturbing to say the least. Even if law demands that you have to stop people from moving out, it doesn’t allow you to humiliate people, and extend a rude behaviour towards them.

Even in a war like situation professionals have to act within the confines of law, and decency. We can only hope that all departments of the government ensure that their field staff act in accordance with the norms that are laid down for them, and in the spirit of the training that imparted to them.