At this time, wearing masks, maintaining distance and avoiding public gatherings are the only ways we can at least try to save ourselves and others around us from contracting Covid-19.
And despite several awareness programs and restrictions in place, instances of violation of social distancing norms have been frequent in India. From birthday parties to wedding functions, people are hell bent on breaking the rules.
Recently, a family in Bhilwara district of Rajasthan, was fined ₹6.26 lakh for inviting more than 50 guests at a marriage function and violating the restrictions in place.
Apparently, 15 of those guests also tested positive for Covid-19 and 1 even died.
The #Rajasthan government has asked the groom's father to bear expenses of quarantine facility and treatment of these people in the form of a fine.— IndiaToday (@IndiaToday) June 28, 2020
This was a first-of-its-kind order in the country and set an example for others. Also, it is good to see that authorities are finally taking some sort of action against those who are violating the social distancing norms.
But what is sad is no action is being taken against those, in power, violating the lockdown rules.
Why still now no complaints have been registered against karnatka ex cm for violating aal rules of the lockdown??? Are these rules only for common people?? These VIP’s can do whatever they want??— rohit kanwar (@rohitkanwar23) April 17, 2020
In April 2020, pictures from former Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy's son's wedding went viral for flouting the lockdown rules. The politician and his family received a lot of criticism on social media,
While the pictures from the grand event clearly showed that nobody at the wedding wore masks or maintained distance, the police denied lockdown violations.
#nomask, not following social distancing, no rules of lockdown. This Pictures of former Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy’s son’s wedding.— Sachin Prajapati (@SachinP07604522) April 17, 2020
How India will #fightagainstcorona.#lockdown.
Every person should understand own responsibility for nation. pic.twitter.com/4ce1sLA8eJ
The event and all the rules it broke, were soon forgotten, and no legal action was taken against anyone.
Another BJP MLA from Karnataka, M Jayaram, attended an event organised on his birthday with over 100 villagers.
Karnataka BJP MLA Masala Jayaram celebrates his birthday with 100+ attending the function. Well let's see if there will be any outrage over it. pic.twitter.com/HW9In53OuM— Drunk Journalist (@drunkJournalist) April 10, 2020
Again no social distancing and no masks. The event led to massive outrage on social media following which the local police booked 3 people for apparently forcing the politician into birthday celebrations.
And a clean chit was given to the MLA.
Recently, a large number of YSRCP leaders and supporters were also seen violating social distancing rules in Visakhapatnam during the political party's anniversary celebrations.
Despite central government's guidelines prohibiting any public or political gathering during the coronavirus pandemic, party supporters were seen without masks.
And no action has been taken against any of them, yet.
One important question here is: Till when are we going to protect our ministers from the law?
Also, aren't we all governed by the same set of rules?
India's VIP culture may have significantly weakened the ability of #Lockdown to slow and stop pandemic growth.— Gravity 2.0 ! (@Gravity_v20) June 15, 2020
Although, in a welcome step, the Karnataka HC recently directed the state government to ensure strict action against elected representatives and political figures for violating lockdown norms in the state.
The court said that no action against the elected representatives and political figures will send a wrong message to the public.
Inaction on the part of authorities is indeed setting a wrong precedent for everyone and giving impetus to the already existing VIP culture in India.
The pandemic affects everyone equally and it's about time all those violating the rules are punished in the same manner.