Has mankind finally met God?

The author reflects on the evolution of human beings in context of the coronavirus pandemic that has engulfed the world

sihoette of woman against rays from sky: meeting god

Mankind was soaring unrestrained in all fields of life for over a century. Scientists, researchers, astrophysicists, economists, businessmen have all been involved in improving the material quality of life on earth and also trying to build stations in space. Suddenly, with one stroke an infinitesimal, unseen particle appears on the horizon somewhere on earth and rapidly engulfs the entire globe forcing a checkmate! It appears that mankind has finally met god, its creator!

From pins to planes

About three billion years before my grandfather and your great grandfather existed, first forms of life arrived on earth according to most scientists. According to Wikipedia the number of Earth’s current species is estimated at one trillion and less than one percent have been clearly understood and described. Our planet’s earliest organisms were unicellular and over a period of time they evolved into complex multicellular organisms. It is not very clear to scientists whether the first protein of life – RNA or Ribonucleic acid – came from complex interaction of chemicals or they were blasted onto earth by some impact of a large meteor from elsewhere in the solar system.

Modern humans evolved from a lineage of upright-walking apes that has been traced back over six million years. Human beings evolved over millions of years, walked out of the forest, lighted a fire, cooked their meals, grew their grains, developed their machines, rode bicycles and finally flew in their aircraft across the globe. They never looked back as they invented communication technology, gene therapy and what not and they were set to conquer everything forever. The story looks too predictable, right?

After the industrial revolution around 180 years ago the humble farmer transformed into a big manufacturer of a variety of machines which could manufacture virtually anything from a tiny pin to huge machineries which created mass employment. By the beginning of the 20th century the Wright brothers created a flying machine which transported people across the globe and in another few decades the cellphone and internet was functional. Thus, a hungry trader sitting in a remote corner of Meghalaya can watch NASA putting out a satellite into space even as he struggles to push his handcart onto the unpaved mud path in his village.

Meanwhile the affluent class flaunted their wealth and kept globe-trotting without any care-in-the-world even as poorer sections struggled to feed and vaccinate their young ones. This arrogance among the masses gave rise to a generation of people who always expected that the earth could spin the way they decided.

Luxury and corruption

With money in their pockets and a mobile phone in their hand, the youth thought that the sky is their limit, especially with the older millionaires planning rides to space and the relatively less affluent planning trips after foreign trip on terra firma.

It was not long before greed overtook mankind and this also sprouted a generation of corrupt political leaders which spoiled the system of governance in our country. Corruption percolated from the ministers and high-ranking officials to the lowly chaprasi (peon) in government offices. Roads could be laid and metro rail networks could be built across cities with public funds but a share of the loot had to be apportioned to the official who sanctions the project, the party in power as well as the clerk who releases the final cheque!

Paid but not sprayed!

The public gradually learnt that in some cases there was no need to carry out work but just need to ensure that the paperwork is complete.

Government spends huge amounts to spray pesticides in trains but so long as the right persons are paid, there is no need to spray even a can of pesticide. So what if bugs bite passengers or children fall sick? Likewise, there is no need for the flood-affected destitute to get the financial compensation so long as middleman fudges the records accurately!

E-governance, a mockery

Have you tried to make a complaint on the citizen portal of any government or quasi-government department in India? It is very impressive.

The moment one files a complaint the system generates an automatic response and gives a complaint number. Surprise, surprise! Within a week the complainant receives an email that “the complaint has been resolved,” even while the dangerously dug up road remains uncovered or without proper barricades. If the complainant is persistent and repeats the complaint, he gets a message that he is complaining too much! This is not an exaggeration and the author is witness to this.

India is a vibrant democracy, they say. Elections are regularly held but no matter which when party comes to power the conditions on the ground level do not change. People are frustrated but no one really cares as bureaucrats are busy buying swanky cars with taxpayer’s money but the potholed roads remain as bad as the surface of the moon!

The poor were busy making both ends meet while the upper class profited even as they grumbled about poor economy etc. In the midst of such non-governance, government officials keep busy jet-setting across the globe on “study tours” and life is always hunky-dory for them.

Intermission!

Bang! Enter a new version of an old virus, as if straight out of a novel: The Novel Coronavirus-2! A mutant of the earlier SARS virus put on a new cap and has gone out for a kill bringing the entire world to a standstill. What is unbelievable is the scale of its havoc across continents as it spread through travelers from China to Iran, Italy and the United States all in a span of less than a few weeks.

We could never have imagined earlier that an entire nation, leave alone the whole world, could lock its people indoors and shut down all sorts of physical movement outside but allow birds and animals to roam free!

Yet, as I write this, billions of people across the planet are on an international lockdown and this is an unprecedented event in the history of mankind. A tiny bit of RNA has shaken the very core of our existence flattening out billionaires, educationists, scientists, doctors, teachers and everyone! Viruses are such tiny fragments which cannot reproduce on their own unless they find a host cell. Such a speck is probably “not even a life form” according to some scientists.

Now imagine how this tiny, invisible, lifeless crumb has been holding up every aircraft, space shuttle, president, prime minister, man, woman and child on earth, for weeks together and sending everyone scurrying for cover into their mansions or cubbyholes. What is even scarier is that it has just hit Indian shores and cases of suspected community spread are yet being analysed. If the pace of community spread increases, it will be a long and hard battle ahead for our country which is already struggling with so many known challenges.

Oh My Covid!

So what is this invisible force which we call coronavirus? It seems to have opened the eyes of leaders of developed and developing nations, forcing people across the globe to introspect on the wayward ways of mankind, at least temporarily.

As a country, Hindus believe that there were 33 crore gods catering to every sub-community and belief system. Only God could bring the entire world to a standstill and it appears as if, this time we have given God a new name: Covid-19!

Would this new God produce a change in our thinking? Would this global pandemic produce a change in attitude among the ordinary citizen to the highest ranking official the world over? Would there be a transformation among humans to love all flora and fauna as trustees of the planet and not just being owned by the two-footed animal in suit and ties? Would the persons involved in handling social infrastructure be more understanding of the needs of the man on the street? Would governments big and small stop bullying each other? Would the man on the street understand that no one owns this world but we all belong to it—together?

Everyone will agree that like Coronavirus, God too is invisible and people all over the world regard it as a supreme being which has power over nature and on human fortunes. It is a point worth pondering: has God taken on a new avatar to open the minds of homo sapiens who seem to have lost the way from the times of homo erectus or “upright man”?

If Covid-19 manages to make a sizeable change in our mindset from today itself, it would seem that God has appeared on the planet, in disguise. One hopes that the change happens in this generation’s lifetime.

Magnifying lens over an exclamation markSpot an error in this article? A typo maybe? Or an incorrect source? Let us know!

Rajan T D
Dr Rajan T D, MD, DVD, DNB is specialist in skin and sexually transmitted diseases. He is consultant to several large corporations including Air India, ONGC, Larsen & Toubro Ltd and honorary dermatologist at the CMPH Medical College.

47 COMMENTS

  1. Dear Doc, brings a new perspective to old thinking. I am blessed to have read your mind boggling article and start appreciating even insignificant nuances of life which we invariably take for granted. Keep writing. Keep smiling. Regards, Dr Beheram Mehta

  2. Dear friend Rajan,
    what a wonderfull creation from the CREATOR (GOD) ‘s own CREATION.
    In Hindu Belief Lord VISHNU has 10 Avtars from FISH, KURMA (tortoise) , Boar,Dwarf, Half Man Half Lion and some more
    Only to Bring DHARMA on this earth. .
    I hope Lord COVID brings NEW ORDER for Mankind.

    • DEar Gwalia sir,
      What a wonderful thought. You are right, Almighty has appeared in many forms and finally this is f o r m l e s s !
      Sadly mankind remains the same – more inhuman than human.
      Dr Rajan TD

  3. Excellent writeup as always!!!I always loved to read your articles ,which had a touch of adorable humour,enjoyable too.
    You have penned the realitiesdue to misuse of powers by mankind powered by his ego and he has forgotten there is a line drawn for everything crossing which ,the Superpower ,Almighty will intervene .
    That’s exactly what has happened ,God himself onto earth as a tiny virus to teach and remind the whole world of whats going wrong.
    Hopefully it does work and all learn to work together to set it right,to live and let others live too……in harmony.

  4. Well written Rajan. It seems you got a chance to voice your long brewing feelings against human vices and corruption in the present pretext. I have always felt what we call that we have ‘evolved’, actually we have ‘devolved’ ever since the stage of homo erectus, and came too far off, though in all wrong directions. If we have to actually evolve now, we will have to go backwards to where we started, and we will realize we dont need 99 percent of the things we have today, including Money, Marriage and Messiah.

    • Dear Sanjay, thanks for your comments. I liked the way you summed up bout the 3M which is part of our devolution (descent to a lower or worse state.) Coronavirus has put us in our place. Yet, as I see around sadly nothing much is likely to change in our country.. The More Things Change, The More They Remain The Same: the phrase was coined by French writer Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

  5. Very well written article Doctor! 👏👍 Apart from the agonies, brought in by this calamity across the globe, hope the unseen virus will succeed in also teaching the humanity finer lessons and help all of us in readjusting and resetting our thoughts, attitude and concern for the right balance of the total ecosystem. Human species have been exploiting the nature unjustifiably and disproportionately for too long! In a way, when people and the community goes beyond the self centered approach and further beyond the wrong doings of body, mind and intellect, it can be said for sure that they have finally met the limitless “God”, the supreme reality! Thanks a lot for such a thought provoking and informative article! Hearty Congratulations. 🙏🙏🙏

  6. Very true. This pandemic has shown the mankind that how helpless and hopeless they can be. They cannot be the rular of this planet and so many things are beyond there control and imagination.
    Buddy Rajan beautifully penned

  7. As a medical practitioner your thoughts as articulated in your article weigh more. Its very well explained and yes extremely believable, loved your idea of ‘have we met our creator’
    Yes it has struck entire humanity globally which means it has resurfaced to teach us all a lesson. Thank you for an extremely thought provoking article 👍

  8. Wonderfully written ! Makes one introspect ! Hope that this virus changes the future of our planet in a positive manner.

  9. Excellent write up Rajan. It is not the new virus but the mankind discovered it now. Creations are always there some are known while others are unknown. Humans have been bestowed upon with special powers of awareness and if that is used in positive ways it can see the unseen and can come out of such gloomy situations. Those who don’t exercise their power in positive way have to pay the price. So Live and Let Live should be our approach.

  10. Great Thought expressed lucidity. Yes we have met God through our patience and faith in the future. Am certain that we will all be rejuvenated after this period of crisis.
    OM Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.🙏

  11. Superb write up and wonderful analysis of the current scenario with a holistic view.
    Wonderful Dr. Rajan so thought provoking. As always a treat to read what you pe(u)n.

  12. Oh my Rajan! While reflecting on Corona,you have touched upon so many issues on the way and made us think.. think deep into it.
    Kudos to you

  13. Absolutely true.Eventhough if We are Atheist we have to believe that if not God,there is some power who makes the earth spinned.

  14. Dear Sir,
    Your article is very thought provoking ,I am confident that it atleast reignite few minds to think about our real purpose of existence . Covid 19 must be consider as an warning from GOD ,

  15. Incredible! Befits your profession and repute. Very informative invoking deep thinking in to self and mankind.

  16. Very good article,. Let this setback change our mindset. We are part and parcel of this universe and should not act as a superhero and change the ecological balance. ‘He’ has mentioned in Geeta that when everything will go out of control, people will behave wrong and when Adharm will prevail on earth I will take Avtar. Up till now he has taken many avtar which were Macroscopic. This one is Microscopic .

  17. Fantastically expressed as always. Liked your perspective of the new God. Yes this has been a game changer in many ways. What was once normal won’t remain so and shouldn’t be too. It will be a disaster if it exists as it was as we have ravaged or raped every possible economical ecological political religious financial social systems. An urgent reboot or reset will be needed to establish a new normal. What will be the new normal is anyone’s guess but I pray and hope for a better world with better sensibilities for the later generations.

  18. Really appreciate the opportunity to introspect and the argument of the LEARNED people about power to the mankind and belief in one’s muscles and brain shattering to pieces. Good one Rajan.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here