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Saturday, 15 May 2021 | Pioneer

Amid the raging contagion, a handful of politicians are providing comic relief to citizens, albeit unintentionally

Chandler Muriel Bing of the Friends fame said in the series:  “I’m not great at advice. But can I interest you in a sarcastic comment?” Something similar in the nature of an emotion has ostensibly stirred Uttarakhand’s former Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat. The BJP leader, no less adept at stoking controversy as the incumbent Tirath Singh Rawat, has now taken to bat for the accursed Novel Coronavirus because, as it would appear, everybody is only hurling doses of vituperation at the poor pathogen. Choosing to look at it “from a philosophical angle”, Rawat said that the virus is a “living organism which has a right to live”. In the same vein, he warned the human species that despite considering ourselves to be the most intelligent on the planet and out to eliminate the virus, the killer is sensible enough to keep mutating itself. Slipping into some sense midway, he also clarified, to his credit, that people need to outpace the virus to stay safe. So far, so good! By that logic, do we need to go and offer ourselves to a tiger just because it has a life and the right to life? If the virus has the right to live, as an organism, all of us don’t?

And, as most of us would agree, the new-age politicians are nothing less than pernicious viruses. But do they really need to open their trap and prove it? As the old saying goes, it is better to keep your mouth shut and let the world think that you are a fool, rather than open it and remove all doubts! The unusual observation, as must have been the desired outcome of the former Chief Minister, went viral at a time when the entire country is battling a killer second wave of COVID-19. A Twitter user sarcastically said: “This virus organism should be given shelter in the Central Vista.” Another said: “Shri Rawat should invite the virus home, feed it well and stay with it for at least 14 days.” All done and dusted, the statement just goes on to show how devoid of empathy are our political leaders who, in spite of seeing the mass scale of devastation in terms of life, employment and business opportunities, can’t keep themselves away from courting a headline-worth-of controversy. As Chandler said, one more time: “Handle? I can handle it. Handle is my middle name. Well, actually it’s the middle part of my first name.”

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