All animals are equal, but some are more equal than the other, wrote George Orwell in his brilliant satire Animal Farm. India’s rich and famous too feel that they are more equal than the others, if pictures of a wedding amidst the lockdown are to be believed.
Nikhil Kumaraswamy, son of former Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy, tied the knot with Revathi, the grand-niece of former Congress Minister for Housing M Krishnappa, today in Bengaluru. Kumaraswami had even said that not more than 50 people would attend the wedding, but it appears that there are more than 50 given the population density in those images that have been shared on social media.
According to reports, the venue can accommodate over 500 people. Kumaraswamy, a great believer in astrology, did not want to postpone the wedding because the stars would not align.
He, however, argued that the wedding was not in Bengaluru, but in Ramanagara, which falls under a ‘green zone’ i.e. an area that hasn’t seen a single case of coronavirus in the past 28 days. Bengaluru, however, has been declared a red zone by the Government of India. And the wedding troupe had moved from Bengaluru to the farmhouse.
According to an article in The Print, Kumaraswamy said that the wedding would ‘adhere to COVID-19 guidelines’. This means that 100 guests that were reportedly invited all had to wear masks. But do you see them wearing masks in the pictures? The article even spoke about doctors being posted? If that is the case, what about the doctors treating patients who are actually infected with the novel coronavirus? Are those victims less deserving that a few rich people attending a wedding?
This is how Twitter has reacted:
And yes, the question arises: How did they get permission? There is an answer for this as well. In an order dated 22 March, Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa had allowed closed-door weddings with up to 100 guests. Several weddings have been conducted since in the same manner as the one that has been arranged. Kumaraswamy’s office reportedly got all the necessary permissions for the same.
If weddings are to be continued and large gatherings congregate at such events, then what is the point of issuing a lockdown? Places like Chandrapur, Bhilwara, and Kerala have managed to flatten the curve because no public gatherings have been allowed.
It appears that the so-called educated Indian will never learn from what happened at Tablighi Jamaat, Ajmer, Telangana and Rajasthan’s Ram Navami celebrations or anything that involves large gatherings. Weddings will continue because the stars determine it, and any chance of hoping to flatten the curve amid the lockdown, despite demarking special hotspots, won’t make any difference.
Kumaraswamy’s son’s wedding is being reported today; tomorrow it may be someone else – this chain will continue in an uncontrolled way unless stricter laws are implemented for those who think they are more equal than others. And in his next address to the nation, thanks to these so-called elite, PM Modi may have to extend the lockdown further. And just for that, these individuals deserve a slow clap.