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Humanity is on its knees and the battle against COVID-19 is becoming scarier by the day. Countries, large and small, are facing an unprecedented halt and nature seems to be proving its dominance – as if to teach us all a lesson. However, in these tiring times, when I look at the trends emerging in India, it looks like the universe is, perhaps, conspiring to limit the damage that can be caused in India.

8 patterns, unique to chaotic India, I believe are playing a significant role. Some in oblivion.

  1. Response: it is now being recognized, even globally, that India, in spite of its size and complexity, has been quick to take the required precautionary measures – specifically the lockdown. We are a chaotic country and it is super important for us to react. And react fast. Yes, there are gaps, yes there are ‘Covidiots’ but by and large, the nation is self-quarantined, and this will certainly yield positive results. The worst scales of damage and death will never be unleashed because a vast majority of Indians are following the social distancing and isolation guidelines. The government has announced a great economic package and multiple social distribution measures that will feed the poor, provide them safety and keep the country safer. Most of us, reading this post may neither depend nor benefit from these measures, but, 800 Million Indians will.
  2. Ecosystem: To my mind, the celestial conspiracy to save the country today, started a few years ago. Millions of poor citizens were provided financial inclusion by opening 380 Million bank accounts. These accounts today are the only and effective way to reach the required financial assistance to these people. Imagine the mayhem, cash distribution could have caused. 80Million households were provided gas connections to ensure that ladies of the house have clean fuel and don’t have to travel miles to get wood to cook – an imperative to enable poor people to stay at home for days. 100 Million toilets were built across the country in every poor household. Imagine the impossibility of social distancing and hygiene if open defecation still existed. Apparently the Covid-19 survives longer in human excreta . These changes evolved the ecosystem much ahead of time as if preparing the nation to deal with this epidemic. Needless to say, the higher immunity that the Indians have developed due to the prevailing socio-economic conditions is providing an effective shield against the virus too.
  3. Learning agility: Inquisitiveness and learning, the two quintessential Indian traits are working to great advantage with people from all walks of life as they learn and adapt, the new, precautionary, way of life. It is amazing to see how disciplined Indians have become, almost overnight. A billion people became aware of all that needs to be done to stay safe, all in a matter of days. This shows that the country very well knows when to be stupid and when to be serious.
  4. Social fabric: the social fabric of this country has remained unchanged even as the citizens have adopted new-age technologies and lifestyles. The value of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ i.e. ‘the world is one family’ is seen alive and dancing around every nook and corner of the country, more than ever these days. People from different religions, cultures and socio-economic backgrounds are coming out, on their own, to help the needy, in a responsible manner, is saving millions of citizens daily. This though is sparingly covered in the media.
  5. Frugality: Like necessity is the mother of invention, frugality is the saviour in crises. As a nation, India has always imbibed the spirit of frugality in abundance. From launching space crafts on shoestring budgets to developing low-cost medicines and creating a daily life on limited exploitation of resources, Indians find a way to make a dollar go a long way. In times like now, the Indian frugality will be a boon to fight the battle indigenously and with a very high per capita productivity.
  6. Leadership: Without being politically prejudiced, one has to admit that tough times call for bold and tough leaders. The current leaders have displayed that in abundance. A host of tough measures have been taken by the leaders of India, creating a mass ripple effect. The citizens of the world’s largest democracy, often even guilty of misusing their democratic rights, today appreciate, admire and adhere to the need for restrained behaviour. It is heartening to see even the toughest political rivals commend the work being done. In the current times, one is clearly seeing the manifestation of the age-old adage of ‘Yatha Raja Thatha Praja’ i.e ‘as the ruler, so the ruled,’ in India.
  7. Spirituality: India is a spiritual nation. Millions of people from all religions and faiths are invoking their spiritual consciousness to help fight this battle. “Sarve bhavantu sukhinaḥ; sarve santu nirāmayāḥ” (, a phrase meaning ‘May all sentient beings be at peace, may no one suffer from illness’, is heard by most, understood by few yet trusted by all. It is this fundamental value that is driving this 5000-year-old nation to the right state of ‘being’. Collective intentions go a long way in defining the outcomes of any battle. Spirituality may not be a panacea but is a placebo for sure. And we all, through scientific research know that ‘Placebo effect’ has tremendous healing power.
Spirituality may not be a ‘panacea’ but is a 'placebo' for sure.

Our mythology has over and over again demonstrated that nature unleashes difficulties for mankind when it needs to and then a new and reinvigorated world is created. The eternal optimist in me is witnessing one such defining moment in the evolution of the human race. I feel grateful that I am alive and that I am in India.

Stay Home. Wash Your Hands. Stay Safe.


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