Role of Intellectual Society in Covid-19 Regime

Prof. Medani P. Bhandari

September 16, 2020

10 MIN READ

Role of Intellectual Society in Covid-19 Regime
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The contemporary world is in a difficult trajectory. Humanity is in crisis. The scholarly world is traumatized by the uncertainty created by the coronavirus pandemic.

COVID-19 pandemic has created uncertainty that humanity has ever faced. The impact is everywhere — economy, employment, finances, relationships, and physical and mental health, and not to forget the social equilibrium.

During a crisis, it is normal to lose patience, perseverance and mental strength leading towards hopelessness. However, we live in hope that creates the motivation to move ahead.

Motivation creates inner power to human heart and brain. The current crisis has a direct impact on all of us and we are in a crisis of humanity.

Our regular thinking pattern is deeply disturbed, our regular living style is altered, and all collegial circles are under confusion.

When there is a direct hit on the human brain due to uncertainty and fear, it raises direct pain in the deep-thinking pattern.

Currently, our condition is unstable, therefore, our creativity is disturbed.

As such, we should acknowledge ourselves that we are the knowledge creators, wisdom generators of the society; therefore, one way or another we also hope creators; beauty admirers, and love and respect maintainers.

The established notion of research, development, innovation and contribution to the society at large is in danger cloud due to this pandemic.

People are facing abnormality. This has spread to social, educational, institutional, political, economic, religious patterns as well as in our deep root of knowledge and wisdom patterns.

This abnormality has directly impacted the hope foresee route. Concurrently, when danger surrounds us, it is difficult to remain calm.

Such disturbance directly hits the knowledge production pattern. Despite this, if we can produce scholarly papers (knowledge), that indicates we are strong, we have hope and the power of tolerance against uncertainty.

As a layperson of the society and a student of social science, I believe that togetherness, unity, humanly feelings of connectedness within us and beyond, empower us to be strong and provide the power of tolerance.

When we feel that “I am”/ “we are” not alone, and feel that, we are not only in trouble, that gives an unseen power to look ahead, and prepare for the extreme events, crisis, etc. that we may have to face again and again.

COVID-19 is an example of an extreme crisis. Here, I would like to share my feelings and thoughts.

This has developed distrust especially to the political system (administration). We notice tensions, between governments, governments and citizens or victimized general public.

The innocent poor people are victimized without their role in spreading the virus.

Furthermore, it is hard to forecast what kind of devastating impacts are on the way.

The pandemic has crashed the economies. There is a strong chance of another global economic recession and it may take several years to overcome this foreseeable economic recession.

We have already seen the airline industries, tourism, hotel, recreational industries suffering.

The production industrial sectors are also in trouble and unemployment is rising almost in every country of the world.

Unfortunately, the health sector, the most responsible sector has not been able to cope with the pandemic spread.

These situations have a direct impact on our educational system of all levels.

The research agendas are shifted and there is a financial scarcity in research and development fields.

In such a situation, producing knowledge, writing research papers is not easy.

However, now, we researchers and educators have added responsibilities. We know the meaning of knowledge, wisdom, innovation, discovery and invention.

Therefore, it is our responsibility to produce knowledge and distribute to prove that the intellectual world is still active.

This vigor of the scholarly world can help to maintain hope and motivation within and beyond the academic scholarships. Knowledge generates hope.

Through this note, I would like to urge educators, scholars, scientists and all other knowledge-related stakeholders of the globe that knowledge creators and educators should not stop their research and contribution to the society.

The world has been facing crisis throughout its development processes. The world has already witnessed the pandemic crisis and other kinds of crises including apolitical, political, economic, social, psychological, ethnic, gender, race, color, (human-created) or natural disasters, which had completely changed the face of human civilizations.

It is our responsibility to advocate and to make aware to all concerned stakeholders that this planet does not belong to humans only but belongs to all living beings – who are directly or indirectly related to us.

However, mostly, the saviors have always been knowledgeable persons or change-makers who never stopped working fearlessly.

As such, we should acknowledge ourselves that we are the knowledge creators, wisdom generators of the society; therefore, one way or another we also hope creators; beauty admirers, and love and respect maintainers.

We should take our responsibility in a way that other stakeholders also realize that this is not the end of the world and they also need to feel that, together we can bear the risk, tolerate the uncertainty and maintain the hope of an anxiety-free world.

Here, I would like to state that, as knowledge creators, educators and responsible citizens of this planet, we need to think how this world can be a better place for all living species of the various ecosystems.

There is an idea of Bashudhaiva Kutumbakam (meaning – we all humans – wherever we live, whatever color, race, gender, ethnicity or religion, or political alignments we have- primarily- we are human and we are related and interconnected, similarly, all bio-diverse living beings are our relatives and the physical structure – including all ecosystems – of the planet is a house for all of us combined).

This notion advocates that each of the living species has the same right for their survival as we humans have in this earth and its ecosystems.

Humans have witnessed disturbances of planet ecosystems (due to anthropogenic disturbances in the planet ecosystems we are already facing climate change, biodiversity loss, sea liven rise, weather variations, flood, landslides, erosions, pollutions, etc.) has direct negative impacts on human as well as to all living beings in the planet.

Therefore, it is our responsibility to spread the philosophy of Bashudhaiva Kutumbakam and use all expertise to protect or maintain the ecosystems where each species can enjoy their existence.

As knowledge practitioners, it is our responsibility to advocate and to make aware to all concerned stakeholders that this planet does not belong to humans only but belongs to all living beings – who are directly or indirectly related to us.

Therefore, as scholars, our topmost priority should be to protect the planet and its biodiversity- ecosystems.

In other words, we should first accept and realize that if we humans have the human rights of survival, other living beings, too, have their rights.

Wisdom is the proper utilization of acquired knowledge. As knowledge practitioners, we are aware that we are by nature social beings and enjoy ourselves in society.

If we believe that we are knowledgeable educators, knowledge producers and practitioners; we should not be influenced by greed, ego, anger, prejudice, and arrogance.

We should not be trapped within the individualistic bubbles; instead, need to realize we all are directly or indirectly connected within humans and other living beings of the planet.

We need to explore ways out ‘how societies can remain in the harmonious relationships’ as well as ‘how we can maintain the harmonious relationships with nature and other living beings,’ who share the same house for survival.

We should and can begin this kind of relation- through the service to humanity and extend that service to the other living beings by using our knowledge and wisdom.

Knowledge is the key to resolve problems and helps to realize or to understand the facts.

Wisdom is the proper utilization of acquired knowledge. As knowledge practitioners, we are aware that we are by nature social beings and enjoy ourselves in society.

This notion applies to the large house as well as “Bashudhaiva Kutumbakam”. It is a kind of extended family- where all living beings share the same planet.

(Prof. Medini P. Bhandari, Ph.D. Globally known Environmentalist and humanitarian. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the global journal – the Strategic Planning for Energy and the Environment, professor – at Akamai University, Hilo, Hawaii, USA and Sumy State University, Ukraine)

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