Gandhi would hardly be familiar with the term ‘pandemic’. He never even used the term ‘ecology’. Still, there are very few people who would know the original meaning of these words better than Gandhiji.
Gandhi experienced the epidemic in the days of South Africa, when plague spread in the area near Johannesburg where the mine-workers lived. It was February of 1904. In his autobiography, Gandhi writes, one night 23 mine-laborers returned to their quarters ‘getting sick from the plague’. Gandhi’s aide Madanjit Pragmatik ‘broke the lock of an empty house and kept all 23 existents there’. On receiving the information, Gandhi reached the place by bicycle and wrote to the town clerk (officer equivalent to the corporation commissioner). He told him that under what circumstances this private property was captured and why the need to take this illegal step came up? Subsequently, they both called a Tamil physician, Dr. William Godfrey, who practiced in Johannesburg itself.
Godfrey showed a lot of seriousness. As a nurse and a doctor, he did his best to discharge his professional responsibility. But more help was needed. Therefore, Gandhi asked four Indian youth to come to his law office. All four young men came immediately without a hitch. Gandhi writes, ‘It was a terrible night. It was a night of caution and caring. ‘ Care or nursing was the responsibility in which Gandhi was skilled, but the Black Plague was beyond his experience. But along with Dr. Godfrey, he and all of his colleagues had to get the patients together to ‘give them a dose of medicine according to their will and to keep their bed clean, and to keep their spirits up’. Gandhi writes, ‘The fruitful enthusiasm and fearlessness of the youth was rewarded’ and he was overwhelmed to see it.
If Gandhi showed an example of extraordinary care in this incident of plague, he also showed extreme rigor in another incident. It was in 1926, when Ahmedabad was severely swamped by rabbit-infested stray dogs. Mahatma Gandhi writes in Young India, ‘We understand the duty of germs to kill germs. It is shameless, yet it is our duty … To kill a mad dog is comparatively less violence … The townspeople are entitled to the protection of their lives … If they kill the dog, they will surely commit sins , But if you do not kill, then you will do a great sin. ‘ And then, he gave his clear and strong support for killing mad dogs. Both these incidents provide a clear answer to the question that most people are asking these days that if Gandhi were today, what would he have done?
Like Mahatma Gandhi, we too can be hilarious, because we see that the original weapon with which plague disease was defeated by people in Johannesburg in 1904, today the same weapon is being fought against the corona virus worldwide is. The amazing example of Doctor Prakash Gatta is in front of us. Gatta is a surgeon of Indian origin in Tacoma, Washington. He too was hit by the corona virus, but he took it with full force, returned home from the hospital and then started doing his duty. He tells patients how as a patient he won over the corona virus.
Like Prakash Gatta, many people are working all over the continent. In India, we have many such extraordinary examples as politicians, bureaucrats, medical professionals, health workers, lab assistants, nurses, policemen (also women policemen), sweepers, who cannot be called anything other than heroes. We citizens should consider these real-life braves as heroes, who risk their lives by denying the symbols of trade, market moderators, people who negatively affect our political, social and cultural thinking, and fake lords Today, the corona virus is trying to stop infection.
We should be happy even today, because as a citizen, we have generously accepted the restrictions on ourselves. Sensitive amendments have been made to help people overcome their difficulties to some extent, but the lockdown will still remain, and we will surely follow it, as we believe in the natural duty of the government. This experience will surely create a new culture of personal and public hygiene, which we must apply with seriousness to ourselves and around us.
Mahatma Gandhi’s ecological prudence warned us of materialistic thinking, today this thinking is standing in front of us. What we have consumed also consumes us. Today, market-created, market-driven and market-affected greed does not care much about cleanliness, which is the reason for the birth of this epidemic. Experts like Srinath Reddy have been warning over the years about the emergence of such a disease. Now this greed has embraced us. 
The market in Wuhan is where this greed has spread. But it is absurd to blame him and isolate him, because there is such a market in every city, every town and every region of the world. If seen, the market of Wuhan is inside all of us.


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