Compassion, not shunning, is how we fight Corona

Updated: Mar 31, 2020, 07:18 IST | The Editorial | Mumbai

As a society, looking beyond the Coronavirus lens, we have been guilty of the most abhorrent shaming through shunning practices. A person or group may be targeted because of their caste

Picture/ANI
Picture/ANI

The Coronavirus crisis has taught us and is in fact teaching us so many things, prime amongst which is the power of isolation. This isolation does not apply to the self-isolation that suspect cases are putting themselves in. That isolation is necessary and shows care not just for oneself but also for others.

The other isolation, the not-so-laudable shunning of those who are associated with the Coronavirus in some way. People who have had a relative testing positive or are in the frontline of the fight, have reported being treated like pariahs.

So many have been at the receiving end of insults, slurs, distancing — emotional, not social — that the situation has compelled the Prime Minister to speak up on the need to reassess how we are treating some as we fight this battle. It shows us how powerful a weapon shunning is and through that, shaming individuals is.

As a society, looking beyond the Coronavirus lens, we have been guilty of the most abhorrent shaming through shunning practices. A person or group may be targeted because of their caste.

There are individuals who are metaphorically and sometimes, physically too, not accepted socially because of their sexuality. Families are mortally afraid to bear the brunt of that kind of shame.

At times, the family as a collective unit, has been made to feel ashamed of a family member who is guilty of some crime, even if they condemn it. Entire families have, when possible, felt compelled to move out of an area they live in, because they could no longer bear accusatory silences, or feel people's eyes burning into their backs.

Let us understand the extent to which wilful, deliberate ignoring can hurt and humiliate. Be compassionate enough to desist from doing so, in different situations.

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