Thinking of post-covid times

Let us pray we survive, but what could be the post COVID 19 world?
Thinking of post-covid times
GK File Photo/Habib Naqash

Though it would take a couple of decades tounfold the changes in the system brought about by the impact of COVID 19, asdid the demise of the Cold War and revolution in electronic media andinformational technology at the close of previous century; yet there would beinstant repugnance to this paradigm that some countries are freer from fearthan others. This pandemic has cast dark shadows on the powerful, lucrative anddestructive big armaments industry. The futility of global defense,vulnerability to biological warfare and capacity of mutual destructionirrespective of might, size race or religion are wide open. Even, a tinyindividual can create havoc to the entire existence, if the virus would be airborne. Therefore the lessons are: no further change in boundaries, no furtherpoking in history and allow people to live their full lives. Peace and decencyshould be given a chance with disarmament, no war pacts and movements of commonplanet agenda, its survival and well-being of its people. God is in individualand God is universal, there is no contradiction. The conjecture of 'chosenpeople' has ended. Each one on the planet is important and at par with thefellow individual, irrespective of anything. The wisdom is to go with the fluxof science of social, the institution building. Let science be saved fromscienticism and power be for regenerative politics of humankind.

Corona virus besides forcing each one tohome, it has opened up new debates of 'Battle of Books'. How to bring faithback inside with their religious believers. The religious God is battling.After failure of modernity, it was supposed to be God's century. God is back topublic space. Corona has shown that Nature's invisible power is more thanreligious God's power. Abrahamic religions are battling for their superiorityamong themselves. Hinduism is a way of life does not face problem of formalism.It does not have a problem with the time and space contextualization at anystage; those who try to codify it with political power are not doing well toit. It would be another manifestation of formalism, weak in acceptance.Christianity is relatively doing better than Islam in adaptability. Thequestion in the west emerges, as Bernard Lewis puts it, Muslim countries are'profoundly Muslim in the Muslim dominated countries, despite living inimpoverished suburbs, while Christians in Christian countries are no longerChristian' and enjoy better life chances. Areligious China listens to Natureand collaborates with it in population control, in saving ecosystem, inconserving energy and dumping the people who believe in the attractiveness ofthe other world. No wonder, when spring comes to close China announces theinvention of vaccine for Corona virus and its treatment, as new 'Messiah of theglobe' and new Messiah has his own agenda that needs to be understood.

China had announced its arrival with OROB, now it has put its seal of hegemony on the arrival and departure of civilizations datebook. Europe and US are humbled faceless in its mirror, when its big markets, super technologies, surveillance mechanisms, free flow markets and spaces of recreation all have come to stand still. Remain unseen from an invisible enemy. It was in tribal wars that would need guns to settle scores, and then mafias in Europe in the previous century. And now general people in the US who have only worry to save themselves from the post scarcity era, the fear of loot from the fellow citizens. It is happening in the so called advanced and civilized countries. Nukes, fighters and technology could not be of any use. What madness! The last fifteen days have turned the world into a different planet, back to pre civilization era. People to be quarantined, the only agenda! Find the other, who would break this edict, book him or her up. New tribal ethics needs new tribal rules, perhaps pre religion era, pre God's existence. If Nietzsche had 'killed the God', Globalization has done more impairment than reparation. While on one hand, it has linked with the global market with the flow of goods, flow of men, flow of technology and flow of new social consciousness of ecosystem, but on the other, it has demolished our primary groups, exposed our vulnerabilities and made us a part of that consciousness, which is an illusion. Moon has been despoiled, yet we illuminate ourselves with its shines, when in reality it does not have even oxygen, to breathe for life. We worship cows, but care least to starve them in the streets. We value camel, but it does not take us, like machines instantly anywhere. Science codified mixed with power politics is disillusionment and religion codified, mixed with power politics is humiliation and ignorance. Personified God is as misapprehension, like a patient in intensive care unit seeking life, making death ugly in isolation. Modernity had created a social with boundaries where responses to common concerns of freedom and security, morality and market, engagement and attachment were addressed institutionally through public private sphere, an innate core of Modernity. Political religion, scienticism, on one had exposed both religion and science, while on the other; it made each one lonely and vulnerable, a limited life with unlimited sufferings. And no respite alas! Even to think of the world after this, which is an illusion of incomplete knowledge? The moment of hope is alive in collective despair.

Nature is smiling, spring is in bloom, andrivers are clean. Trees are flowering; birds make sounds that are melodious tothe human ear.

Churches, mosques and temples are empty. Inthe name of its own God for retaining power and domination, humanity has beensuffering through these religious and communist Gods. We need a Universal Godakin with nature transforming humanity, irrespective of construed boundaries ofnation, ethnicity, race, religion, caste and gender. To be in home is to spendtime with your family, care to older, and love to the members and to be good toeveryone and to remember fond memories. : "We are waves of the same sea, leavesof the same tree, and flowers of the same garden."

Ashok Kaul is Professor, Department of Sociology, Banaras Hindu University

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