In his 1882 novel The Fixed Period, Anthony Trollope wrote about a fictional island nation called Britannula, a former British colony, in which a democratically elected parliament has passed a law decreeing that all those who have reached the age of 67 must undergo ‘deposition’ – a euphemism for being put to death – as this is considered to be the age, the fixed period, by which humans are considered to have passed their ‘best by’ date, both physically and mentally.
In our own present-day democracy, our democratically elected sarkar is more benevolent in that it does not require all senior citizens – all those above 65 years – to be put to death but merely sentences them to imprisonment to keep them safe from being infected by the coronavirus.
To this end, people of 65 and above are not permitted to enter malls in Gurgaon, and when regular international flights resume, seniors will not be allowed to travel on them. By the same logic, when cinema halls and other public auditoriums start functioning, seniors will be barred from entering them. In the meantime, they are ‘advised’ by the authorities to remain at home and not go out at all for their own safety.
Older people are more likely to contract Covid-19 and succumb to it than those who are younger. However, young people are more likely to be asymptomatic carriers of the disease and could pose a greater public threat than seniors who, if infected, would more readily show symptoms and would be in quarantine or hospital and be no threat to others.
The restrictions being imposed on seniors are for their own good, not for the good of others. But not a few of those affected might feel a life of enforced confinement, a life without liberty, is at best a second-rate form of existence and not worth the effort spent in living it.
Tough luck for all those who feel that way. Because the sarkar has determined what’s best for them, end of argument. And they can seek solace in that, because of their age, the jail sentence imposed on them is unlikely to be of long duration.
DISCLAIMER : This article is intended to bring a smile to your face. Any connection to events and characters in real life is coincidental.