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A higher value

Opinion

March 27, 2020

While spending time with my family in self-isolation, I recently read a book in which a story of ancient Africa is narrated in a very interesting way. It is a dark night and an African tribe is very disturbed and in panic. As a result of a lunar eclipse, there is darkness everywhere.

The lost of a full moon, according to this African tribe, is attributed to the anger of God, and thus, every person is praying to seek forgiveness of their sins. After a few minutes, the moon once again appears. The book says that the tribe then starts celebrating with the determination to never ever violate His teachings in the future.

All religions of the world aim to foster high ethical values. In my view, it is very necessary to follow God’s orders while preparing medicines for treatment.

People, prior to the emergence of the coronavirus, were following a robotic lifestyle where family, home and religion were badly neglected. Today, people are avoiding coming in close contact with others but are spending time with family and God. While staying at home, we should recall our past sins to seek repentance and pray for forgiveness. Our faith could provide us yet another opportunity to enter into a new relationship with God.

In order to please God, we should practise charity for providing financial assistance to people in need. This coronavirus has targeted the human population, without any discrimination, throughout the world. China was determined to fight and today, China’s efforts to overcome the coronavirus are laudable. Every nation is required to be united for countering this common threat.

The message to people is very clear and straightforward: despite all technological developments and medical advancements, people are helpless before such threats. We all have witnessed how an invisible virus has pushed back the modern world into the ancient age of caves. This is the reason all countries that have aggressive ambitions against each other should give up all such plans and join hands to fight the coronavirus.

History will never forgive us if we keep preferring our temporarily benefits and blamegame of politics even at such a sensitive time. Today, while sitting at home, we all need to focus on all those factors that brought this on human beings. Some of the reasons I have tried to identify are: rather than focusing on God’s teachings, humans have been unnecessary interfering with nature; and that instead of supporting the suffering humanity, the principle of might is right is prevailing everywhere. Similarly, we failed to build a global society based on tolerance, endurance, brotherhood and equality. Rather than inclusion of minorities in the national mainstream, they are subjected to bias in many parts of the world.

The coronavirus has warned all human beings to stop the brutal killings of innocents, and refrain from snatching the rights of others. Behave respectfully with all segments of society and don’t look down at anyone. God loves one who is beneficial for mankind.

The Hindu festival of Navratri, which consists of nine-days fasting, has started this week. While offering prayers with my family at home, I request God to keep our lives safe from this horrific virus. We must understand that this crisis is the most important time to turn to God.

I also would like to pay tribute to all those scientists, researchers, doctors, medical staff and rescue workers whose own lives are in risk but they are committed to save others. Such great human beings are indeed blessing to entire humanity.

I have blind trust in God that soon we will be able to overcome this coronavirus. However, we must make sure that we learn from our past mistakes, and again focus on prayer.

The writer is a member of the NationalAssembly and patron-in-chief of thePakistan Hindu Council.

Twitter: @RVankwani