What Should We Do with Kanika Kapoor and Other Irresponsible Indians?


What Should We Do with Kanika Kapoor and Other Irresponsible Indians?

Illustration: Robin Chakraborty

Bollywood singer Kanika Kapoor let everyone know today that she has been tested positive for coronavirus in Lucknow, through a message on Instagram. “For the past 4 days I have had signs of flu, I got myself tested and it came positive for Covid-19,” she posted today. Only if the “Baby Doll” singer would have been as vocal about her travel history, we wouldn’t have had a collective meltdown.

Kapoor returned from the United Kingdom on Sunday and is alleged to have hidden her travel history from the authorities. Instead of self-isolating (that shit is for introverts), the singer went ahead and attended a grand party at a five-star hotel in Lucknow that had at least a 100 other guests including politicians and socialites.

Courtesy our Bollywood singer, we now have BJP’s National Vice President Vasundhara Raje and her son Dushyant Singh, who met her at the party, in quarantine.

It gets only worse from here. Singh met President Ram Nath Kovind, according to a tweet by journalist Barkha Dutt. So basically, Kapoor could be the reason we would have to put the Parliament under lockdown.

Needless to say, everyone on and off social media is appalled. #KanikaKapoor is the top trend on Twitter with 90k tweets surpassing #CoronaOutbreak and #JanataCurfewChallenge.

There’s a barrage of tweets but Dutt seems to be especially livid and rightly so.

“Clearly education is no antidote to ignorance,” she wrote. And she had more to say…

Journalist Shiv Aroor said that Kanika Kapoor’s actions reflect the attitude of India’s apathetic rich.

Something that was echoed by another Twitter user.

Of course, the fact that Kapoor escaped airport officials is also a big, big concern.

And it raises an important yet another question. Should those who collude authorities and don’t self-isolate be penalised?

Multiple PSAs have been doing the rounds for the past days in the light of the recent coronavirus outbreak in the country. People are repeatedly being urged to not leave the confinements of their homes, unless important, and to practise social distancing. Something that even Kartik Aaryan understands. Of course, he had to explain it to us with a trademark monologue. (It’s intolerable, but it’s probably the best thing he’s ever done in his career).

But all this seems to be in vain. Kanika Kapoor is no exception, though she might be the most famous irresponsible Indian right now.

Every day, we are flooded with news of patients and Covid-19 suspects escaping quarantines. It was only days ago that six residents of South Delhi, who had returned from abroad and showed symptoms of coronavirus, fled from quarantine. The escapees have said to have quarrelled with the hospital authorities before bolting out. A man from Telangana, who was to self-isolate, instead decided to get married and invite 1,000 guests to the wedding. Four men who had returned from Germany and were stamped with “home quarantine” instructions decided to board a train from Mumbai.

On Friday, India saw the biggest jump in coronavirus cases. The number of those who have tested positive has risen to 223. We are still in Stage 2 of the outbreak, which means the transmission can be traced. But with every passing day, we are inching to Stage 3, which is community transmission.

What India needs right now is Janata Curfew, not for one day but for weeks. And what we don’t need is Kanika Kapoor and other irresponsible Indians.