Elusive Vaccine

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Zafar Khawaja
The world is on pins and needles, waiting for the magical drug to step into a post-Covid era leaving an
awful chapter written in pain, sorrow and fear behind. A coveted slot next to Louis Pasteur, Edward
Wright and Green Morton is vacant for another Messiah who would rescue millions from horrible
lockdowns and thousands more from being ended up on ventilators. In the absence of an effective
vaccine, however, nations have been relying on lockdowns and confinements to counter the surge of
virus. It has helped but at a very high cost. Two months long lockdowns have wreaked havoc on
economies; crumbling markets and surging unemployment besides a number of other factors have

caused an unprecedented global recession. On the other hand, lockdowns have taken a serious toll on
mental well-being of the people. Reportedly, psychological illnesses leading to suicides, domestic
violence and separations among the people locked-in have multiplied. The world has realised that
lockdown is not a permanent solution to virus; even benign and brief lockdown is not healthy as it is
unnatural and contrary to man’s very make-up as a social animal. Surprisingly, on the same planet, a
community of 8 million people has been braving an inhuman lockdown since 5th August, 2019 when RSS
inspired BJP Government in Delhi annexed Jammu and Kashmir. The special and disputed status of the
Indian Occupied Kashmir, recognised by international law and Indian constitution both, was changed
unilaterally to a union territory of India ensuring unfettered powers to the Union Government to control
the already besieged valley. A comprehensive enslavement plan encapsulating sweeping administrative
changes aiming at altering the demographic structure of the IOK and stripping its people of their rights
was devised and enforced brutally. The constitutional rampage began with abrogation of Article 370,
which accorded a special status to Jammu and Kashmir and continued with revocation of Article 35 (A);
division of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories; and most recently revision of Hereditary State
Subject laws and implementation of Domicile Certificate Rules 2020. With these substantive and
undemocratic changes, the IOK has been reduced to a colony ready to receive tens of thousands of
Hindus poised to neutralise Muslim majority in the valley. Since the start of the illegal annexation of
Jammu and Kashmir in August 2019, the beleaguered people of Kashmir have been undergoing most
brutal suppression by 900,000 Indian occupation forces. Communication black-out, night raids, physical
torture, sexual assault, forced disappearances and indiscriminate use of pellet guns against the unarmed
people raising voice for their legitimate right to self determination and liberation from perpetual
tyranny of Indian fascism are a few cruel tactics employed by the ultra-national BJP Government to
eliminate Kashmiris