President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday stressed on the inter-dependency of human beings and noted that the new coronavirus has struck everyone "beyond manmade distinctions of religion, race and region".
In an article for The Indian Express, Kovind said that coronavirus outbreak "has created an unprecedented situation around the world" in which we, the Homo sapiens, now stand humbled by a microorganism which we cannot even see with the naked eye.
"Equality may be a factor less apparent, but Nature tells us that we all are equal. This new virus strikes beyond manmade distinctions of religion, race and region. The world has been busy drawing distinctions and waging wars over us-vs-them. But we suddenly realise that in the face of a grave mortal threat like the present one, we have but one identity — we are human beings," Kovind said.
Urging people to control their greed and respect nature, Kovind noted that humankind's craving to control nature can be wiped out in a single stroke.
"Let us remind ourselves that our ancestors saw Nature as mother, and asked us to respect it. At some point in history, we forgot ancient wisdom," he said.
Stressing on the importance of sanitation and cleanliness, Kovind said they are among the humblest of civic virtues, and it is easy to understand their significance. Remembering Mahatma Gandhi's contribution to making sanitation a foremost concern in India, he said, "It needed a Mahatma to attach the utmost priority to them. In South Africa and in India, his historic campaigns always began with, or ran parallel to, the question of sanitation and hygiene."
Emphasising how the virus has reminded us to acknowledge the inter-dependency of human beings, Kovind said, "It is a lesson — imparted at a heavy price — that will come in handy in mitigating global challenges like climate change as well as in building a better, common future".