Lucknow, UP, India, 226028

COVID-19: AN UNSEEN BEHEMOTH; FROM THE PRISM OF JURISPRUDENCE

Muskan

It feels like a dream bubble like it was yesterday when people were sitting on their comfortable couch and castigating the Chinese government when the first COVID-19 case was reported. People were taking zero precautions and why would they? It did not appear like a menace or a threat, even the symptoms were merely like seasonal flu; also because at that time the cases were so rare like needle in a haystack and all of a sudden in a speck of time it appeared like the whole haystack was converting into needles. The figures started to skyrocket from a few people to a few hundred and rapidly to a few thousand and rigorously to lakhs and crores. And still, as it was not enough, the tsunami of infected people started infiltrating into other countries. Within days the whole world whether it was America, Japan, Canada, India, Switzerland, Afghanistan, or any country just name it, was reporting the spiralling number of cases. This invisible behemoth was ubiquitous and nobody knew what to do instead of panicking.

Some alleged that it was a bio-warfare while others quibbled that it was a business stunt by some companies to sell their vaccines. But what comfort could these arguments be to the ailing patients and befuddled governments? Where at one place China was ordering for a sheer lockdown and life seemed like it approached a dead-end, at other place Italy was running out of land to bury their dead people.

IT WAS A DISEASE WHERE EVERYONE WAS AN ACCUSED AND EVERYONE WAS INNOCENT.

Now some people might feel that what could be worse and frightening. I feel imagination could be worse, the imagination of what else awaits ahead. In countries like India, it’s dreadful even to consider such circumstances. Countries like India with alarming population density, and limited health facilities, how critical could it get? And the worse scenario is that what we could do against a devil that we cannot see, we cannot touch, we cannot even detect till 5-6 hours later.

 This invisible freak has caused the whole population of this world that considered themselves intellectual to hide inside their homes as rats hide in their bills.

While the governments are trying to do everything, taking every precaution, ordering lockdown, and aggressive testing to tackle this menace, what are we doing as citizens? It is shameful to inform you that what problems India is facing is wholly different from the entire world. We are one of the few nations with the highest number of quarantine runaways, and many people despite careless traveling are trying to hide such information, and not abiding the government rules comes into contact with other people making them infected as well.

What we are groomed with the so-called ‘chalta ha’ attitude which fuels our irresponsibility.

So being a citizen of a nation what are we doing? Are we complying with the rules enlisted by the government? Are we aware of our duty towards the nation? In India where we have limited doctors, nurses, and health facilities, prevention is the best measure. And the utmost important measure is social distancing and quarantining ourselves. What we as people of the 21st generation have forgotten is that every right comes with a price. One person’s right is another person’s duty. Bentham in his principle of civil code states that everything which the legislator is called upon to distribute among the members of the community is reduced to two classes i.e, Rights and Obligations; though distinct and opposite in their nature, are simultaneous in their origin and inseparable in their existence. When you question as to how the rights of commanding are conferred on me? The philosophy behind it is simple, by imposing upon another person, the obligation to obey me. When I don’t know if I have the liberty of doing or not doing any action until I have examined all the consequences. If it appears to be hurtful as a single individual, whether the law permits, or it commands (Austin), I have no liberty to do it. We need to understand that the sole purpose of the government is ‘greatest good of the greatest number’. But we still have witnessed people who break such rules, now they have themself welcomed the criticism and a new term for them have emerged as COVIDIOTS.

Author(s) Name: Muskan (Panjab University Regional Centre, Ludhiana)

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