WHEN the nation observes ‘Janata Curfew’ on Sunday and stays indoors, it will bring into effect any such move of national scale for the first time. There is every reason to believe that the 14-hour moratorium will work to the fullest and there will be nobody on the streets for whatever reasons, except in the cases that have been specified as essential services. It would be historic day when the whole nation stays indoors for 14 hours in a massive effort to isolate the deadly coronavirus that has shaken the world like nothing has in the past one hundred years.
Going by the overall response to Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi’s call for the ‘Janata Curfew’, it can be predicted safely that the effort would be hugely successful, and the nation will see the world’s first voluntary curfew of this scale. Despite this confidence that the common people will respond to the Prime Minister’s call in the most positive manner, it is incumbent upon us to join hands with everybody else to make a fervent appeal to the people to take the concept of ‘Janata Curfew’ most seriously without playing truant. For, such a compliance is for the sake of our own good, individual and collective. If we really respond positively to the Prime Minister’s call, we will be adding a tremendous strength to the national efforts to restrict the further advance of the scourge.
It is the bounden duty of every citizen to follow the norm of social distancing for full 14 hours as symbolism, and later carry it forward in a sensible manner in the coming weeks. In this duty, none of us must allow neither any slackness nor a ‘I-care-a-damn’ attitude to creep into our system. For, that would only mean inviting the failure of our own nationwide effort. There is a need to recognise at this moment that India has done remarkably well in its fight against coronavirus nationally as well as globally. This effort is being appreciated the world over for the alertness of Indian response to the challenge the like of which the world has not seen for long.
There is a shade of opinion that feels that India should have begun the efforts to combat coronavirus advent at least a fortnight earlier. But an unbiased view of India’s national effort, it must be said that the Government has acted with remarkable alertness. Moreover, India has been offering step-by-step response to a dangerously evolving situation, based on the ‘info’ coming mostly from China. It has also been coordinating the efforts of other countries in a big way and acting as a leader of scientific manner of tackling the deadly infection.
Thus, there is no ground for anybody to complain, but every ground to appreciate the efforts India put in right from the beginning. It is time for all of us to remind ourselves of our sacred duty to join the ‘Janata Curfew’ in full measure with any shirking. Let us also not develop uncalled for doubts about the approach the Government in general and the Prime Minister in particular have taken to combating the global challenge. Let us join hands -- from our own homes -- in a classic case of voluntary social distancing for common good. And after the ‘Janata Curfew’ gets over by 9 p.m. on Sunday, let us thank ourselves for standing together in this moment of national and international crisis.