The severity of the Wuhan virus pandemic can be gauged from the fact that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has extended the nation-wide lockdown till May 3rd. The number of cases has risen to 10,000 and so has the foolhardiness of some people, in particular the foreigners. A peculiar news has come in from Uttarakhand where a few foreign nationals were caught strolling around in Rishikesh even with the lockdown enforced in the state. But in a rather peculiar turn of events, the police officials in Rishikesh as a punishment made the ten foreigners write “I didn’t follow lockdown rules, I am sorry”, 500 times on sheets of paper for violating the lockdown guidelines.
The ten foreigners hailing from the United States, Australia, Mexico, and Israel were caught taking a stroll in the Tapovan area along the banks of Ganga in the city amid the ongoing 21-day lockdown to curb the spread of the novel Wuhan virus
Rishikesh is a popular haunt, especially for the foreign tourists, popularized in the west by the Beatles who came here to seek spirituality in 1968 and stayed in an Ashram. Around 500 foreigners are staying in the Tapovan area of Rishikesh these days and they are often seen violating the lockdown rules, throwing caution to the wind and therefore with the lockdown enforced, the police came up with a unique idea to send out a message and simultaneously teach them all a lesson.
The ‘sorry note punishment’ was much different from the usual ‘wrath of the laathi’ punishment that the police usually extends to the non-compliers of the law, something which we have grown accustomed to seeing. Sharma said the police could not permit foreigners to go out on strolls while locals were locked up inside, adding that the punishment would send a strong message.
The police further said they will direct hotels in the town to allow foreign guests to step out only if accompanied by local helpers. Hoteliers not following the order could face legal action, they said.
Another incident where a high-profile foreign national was caught being openly defiant of the lockdown orders was in the national capital–Delhi. Last Saturday, a diplomat from the embassy of Uruguay was found cycling on the Paschimi Marg road in Vasant Vihar, where many embassies are situated and also is the residence of many of the diplomats posted in the national capital.
On being stopped, the diplomat was seen arguing with the cops about not being aware of such guidelines issued by the government of India. The diplomat further refused to show her identity card to the officials.
On being asked which embassy the diplomat belonged to, the woman rode off on her bike saying, “You can’t say anything to me. You can’t ask me to wear a mask.” The video of the incident has gone viral and the diplomat is facing flak from all quarters alike.
The White supremacy syndrome that these foreign nationals seem to be suffering from is ingrained since the dawn in the hierarchy of the world. So, naturally, when a lockdown is enforced in the wake of a global catastrophe, nearly the majority of 1.3 billion population willingly sits at their homes but these entitled foreign nationals have to fulfill their whimsy.
A single infection can lead to a chain of infections which in no time can turn into a community outbreak and therefore the foreigners need to understand the gravity of the situation and stay put at their homes. The country has already suffered enough from the ‘single-source event’ (Read; Tablighi Jamaat) and its foreign nationals that came from France, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia to name a few and became the super-spreaders of the virus by hiding in mosques and traveling across the length and breadth of the country with the virus.