While India Celebrated Janata Curfew Like a Festival, this Video Broke a Billion Hearts

Coronavirus

While India Celebrated Janata Curfew Like a Festival, this Video Broke a Billion Hearts

Illustration: Robin Chakraborty

PM Modi’s Janata Curfew yesterday was almost a success. When the day began, the lack of people and vehicles moving about made nature glow, with bird songs replacing traffic noise. That is, until the clock struck 5 pm and all hell seemed to have broken loose. While the Thali Bajao event’s theme of solidarity and support could be considered kind, it was also pretty ignorant at its worst. Instead of staying indoors and cheering for the health officials, groups of people took to the streets to seemingly clank away COVID-19, while chanting “Go corona! Corona go!” and posting the videos to social media.

Amid the (literal) clamour of the #ThaliBajao campaign surfaced the most heartbreaking video of the day.

As people beat their bartans with manic fervour, the man as seen in the video above heard the distant sounds and joined in by clapping to the beats. Unlike the covidiots who willingly, and foolishly so, stepped out of their homes, this man likely didn’t even have the privilege to make a choice for himself.

When people with easy access to services thoughtlessly bring harm to others around them — like singer Kanika Kapoor, who recently tested positive for COVID-19 and was seen days before partying at a bash with BJP leader Vasundhara Raje and her son Dushyant — it’s the lesser privileged that face the harsher consequences.

But the people marvelling at the man’s “positivity” even in grim circumstances don’t quite realise that this man, like many people of his economic status or lack thereof, are helpless and are left with no alternative.

The world, however, might not be as dark as it seems. Multiple users reacted to the video with concern towards the underprivileged, and are hoping to reach out and provide them the basic necessity.

The much-publicised Janata Curfew event showed us that while the haves made a mockery of what was being asked of them, the have-nots continue to suffer and yet, stay humble.

As a Twitter user Pallavi Sharma wrote, “Gratitude is a privilege very few are blessed with.”

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