By Dr. A.K. Pansari
Corona Crisis: Salute to the Passion within the Khaki Attire- Doctors, though not Gods, have always been considered as angels in disguise. Since time immemorial they have been an epitome of compassion and selfless service. The Corona crisis has been, yet another example of the empathetic attitude of the doctors, the nurses, the health workers and for this, we are indebted to them. A huge number of them have fallen prey to the deadly virus while trying to save us from it.
Nonetheless there have also been some among them who were self-centred enough to coil into the comforts of their homes, even though they were below 60-65 years of age, thus making themselves unavailable to treat even the non-corona patients. They are a blot to this noble profession and such a show of opportunism, after having taken the Hippocratic Oath, calls for strong criticism.
If doctors have been the saviours of our lives, the defence forces have been the protectors, shielding us from all foreign aggression and attack. We owe a lot to them and time and again we have acknowledged and applauded their immense service towards their countrymen.
Mention here needs to be made of one such category of people who can be called the unglorified heroes; the ones responsible for maintaining law and order within the country – our robust police force. We are a teeming population of 130 crores and if the ratio of police personnel to this huge population is to be calculated, it is a shocking 138 police personnel per lakh of population.
This is a hugely understaffed department, yet they have time and again unearthed complex plots and conspiracies in the embryonic stage and have thus saved many lives and properties. The medal bedecked proud chests of some of these brave personnel do tell us that their efforts have been recognized. However, considering the mammoth task entrusted to them, they are worthy of much more praise and respect, but the general opinion about this department has always been negative and dubious.
I would attribute this attitude of the people to some true, but disheartening facts which I am compelled to state at this juncture. Across all ranks of the police, we find considerable instances of corruption. Many among them can be called anti-social and characterless, who by their erroneous activities have tarnished the image of the entire police fraternity. Ironically, as news of such unscrupulous practices by a handful few kept surfacing, people began to lose their trust over that very community, which was supposed to protect it, meant to safeguard it.
It is indeed saddening to witness that for the greed and selfishness of some, the whole department has had to pay a price. The honesty, dedication, selflessness, loyalty, and judiciousness of some of the true sons of the soil in the khaki uniform has been undermined in the face of rampant corruption within the department.
This brings me to the crux of my article where I would like to highlight the outstanding role played by the police since the onset of the pandemic, which might not be acclaimed owing to the general opinion people hold regarding them. The manner in which they have so efficiently shouldered the responsibility of tackling the issues arising out of the pandemic, all of which were unprecedented and for which they were not equipped at all, is indeed worthy of praise.
Transporting the corona infected patients with care to the hospitals, being on guard outside hospitals and quarantine centres, directing people coming from outside the state to quarantine centres, time to time inspection of the people kept under home quarantine, being on duty at the state borders to prevent infiltration, patrolling the red zone areas, and many more such duties brought them under direct risk of being infected with the virus themselves. But by donning the mask and following the other norms, they have done everything that was entrusted to them.
It is indeed very saddening to know that in this process about 2000 police personnel fell victim to COVID 19. More shockingly, people have pelted stones at those policemen who were doing their duty of carrying the corona infected patients from their homes to the hospitals for treatment. Various pockets in the society have not supported the men in khaki when they needed more information for contact tracing.
Nevertheless, the whole police fraternity has shown maturity in handling the sensitive issues that they were confronted with. On a lighter note, the merrier ones could be seen encouraging their comrades and other people on the road by singing motivational songs.
Considering the great sacrifices made by them and their spirit of selflessness, it is obligatory on our part that we show solidarity and support the cause they stand for and whole heartedly cooperate with them to facilitate their work. I think this is the least we can do to show our respect to them.
The quote, “The essence of great leadership is influence, not authority”, is being practised to the core in the state of Assam where the two exemplary leaders Shri Sarbananda Sonowal and Shri Himanta Biswa Sarma have, by their zeal and passion, managed the pandemic situation very efficiently. The police which comes under the jurisdiction of the Home Ministry have definitely followed the footsteps of their leader.
In the area of health, which is facing the real onslaught, we have seen our hon’ble Health Minister, Shri Himanta Biswa Sharma going out of his way to reach out to the victims which is indeed laudable and warrants special mention. State Administrative head, Kumar Sanjay Krishna along with his team, has done a commendable job. DGP Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta has manoeuvred the police department such that they have reached at the right place, at the right time, to the right people. IPS officer of Assam Cadre, G.P. Singh not only understands the dynamics of the law and order situation of Assam thoroughly but also has a rich experience of 6 years in NIA which has made him execute his responsibilities as ADGP law and order so flawlessly, that he has emerged as one of the most efficacious and successful officers in the present day.
The fourth pillar of democracy, the media people, also need to be mentioned as ones who have not bothered about their own well-being but have been prompt as ever in bringing the latest news of the pandemic to the people. Some reporters have even fallen prey to the corona virus while doing their duty which makes them the warriors of this pandemic as well.
Last but not the least, we ought to recognize the contribution of those making and supplying masks in huge quantities so that the norms set by the government could be followed and the people could safeguard themselves from the infection. The manner in which they have so promptly risen to the occasion and fulfilled the need of the hour is praiseworthy.
To conclude, I would say that where on the one hand there are health workers, administrative officers and media people and service providers who are worthy of our respect as corona warriors, on the other we have the Indian police and more specifically the Assam Police who have exhibited courage, resilience and dedication of such a high order, that we salute the passion within the khaki attire.
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