By Noor UL Shahbaz
The malpractice of inflation of prices during this Covid-19 pandemic is having the potential to undermine progress towards the “Sustainable Development Goals” and could even spark social unrest.
Once upon a time a Faqir entered in the darbar of a king and said to the king, “there is no values of these thrones, do always remember your world hereafter, this life is only an examination”. The king replied, you do not know the charm of this throne _ the soldiers all around waiting for my order, public coming before you and the king sitting on his throne _ ordered to throw the faqir out of darbar. One day the king went out for hunt on his royal horse and the horse got out of control, left the king in a lonely place. The king felt very thirst and was in dire need of a cup of water to save his life and incidentally he saw a faqir roaming and speaking aloud, “pani lay loo, pani lay loo”. The king called him and asked to give a cup of water, faqir relied do you have the price to pay for my water, vehement reply was I am the king of this state and faqir replied, “may be so, I have nothing to do with that” _ I only sell water. The king said, faqir I am dying, give me some water to save my life, for it faqir relied it needs half of your kingdom as a price of cup of water and the king done the deal. When the king took the water in haste it stuck in his throat and became another trouble for king. Faqir said I am also a hakeem, if you will ask I will cure you and the king replied surely, I am in dire need, faqir said but I cannot do it without remuneration it needs another half of your kingdom and the second deal was also done, the cure was successful, king took more water and took a back ride on his royal horse towards his sold kingdom. After a gap of long time the king was on his throne and the same faqir with different attire presented himself in darbar and advised the king, “there is no value of these thrones, do always remember world hereafter, this life is too short and only an examination”. The king gave the same reply; you do not know the charm of this throne, the soldiers all around waiting for order, your subjects at the disposal of your discretion and the king on throne _ the king ordered to throw the faqir out of darbar. Faqir put out the sale deed of the kingdom from his bag and said to the king, “Oh! King this is the price of your throne, only a cup of water”. Leave the fictional pride and submit your will to Almighty Allah, better late than never, repent before the Almighty Allah at present so Almighty may relieve you in world hereafter:
Waqt par Kaafi Hai aik Qatra bhi Aabay Khush Hangaam Ka
Jal Gaya Jab Khait, Barsa Nahi tou kis Kaam Ka
The central idea of the story is interlinked with the current situation from which this world is suffering I-e, Covid-19 in a mutated form. Some say to others this is the most difficult time of our lives, some say it is a disaster and will ruin this world, some say it is torment from Almighty Allah, some say it is complete destruction, some say it is proxy war on our economy, some say it is tribulation of Dajjal, but whatever is it _ it is proving a loss for humankind. All around this situation we are in loss and one of the important losses that cannot be compensated I-e, loss of precious human lives. Irony is that the ignorant human being is like the king of my story who does not know the value of this precious life, the role that must be played by Ashraf ul Makhluqaat, but is adamant for his delightful life. Since the beginning of the pandemic in 2019, an increasing number of people have lost their day-to-day work; either it may be the labor class, or the employees working in private sector, thereby experiencing a drop in income. As lockdown measures were put on board by governments, no means of income were available for the people and it affected the day-to-day needs of their families. Some of the ignorant business class people adopted an inflation of prices that is also at its peak in present times. From one side people were in dire need of daily use products and from the other side stockpiling food and medical supplies, also personal care products, cleaning products and their prices increased substantially. This increase in food prices is having a strong adverse impact on the living standards of lower-income households, which generally spend most of their income on food. Even a small increase can confront the members of such households with difficult decisions. This mal practice of inflation of food prices and job losses triggered by Covid-19 pandemic which is presently in a mutated form is having the potential to undermine progress towards the “Sustainable Development Goals” and could even spark social unrest. The time will be remembered and the conscious people will engraft the deeds of humans particularly of Muslim Ummah who at the verge of one’s death or in danger like this pandemic played a wolfishness role. One life saving face mask which amounts only around 3-5 rupees is being sold by some ignorant business class equivalent to gold price. The above story of faqir and king enunciate one part of life I-e, realization by faqir that being a materialistic human being or without etiquette yields nothing in your favor and same lesson is for us that we must not take adverse benefit from our fellow people when we all are in a life and death struggle. One of my dear students namely Tajamul Hussain B.A LL.b 7th semester Enroll No. 43 from sopore send me a message which I must quote here, “We fell asleep in one world, and woke up in another. Suddenly Disney is out of magic, Paris is no longer romantic, New York does not stand up any more, the Chinese wall is no longer a fortress and Mecca is empty. Hugs and kisses suddenly become weapons and not visiting parents and friends becomes an act of love. Suddenly you realize that power; beauty and money are worthless and cannot get you the oxygen you are fighting for. The world continues its life and it is beautiful, it only puts humans in cages. I think it is sending us a message _ you are not necessary, the air, earth, water and sky without you are fine. When you come back, remember that you are my guests, not my masters”. This is the message which has intrinsic quality of revolutionizing our society if one pays calm heed towards it.
Conclusion: Inflation in prices during this pandemic cannot yield much more to you, selling of a normal 3-5 rupees face mask at its triple or more rates although that is a lifesaving product at times cannot give you much more in this world but I am sure will become the hell fire for you. Inflation in essential food items which a poor and needy takes to relieve his hunger cannot allow you to live a delightful life but am sure will prove a miserable and nasty life for you in this world as well in the world hereafter.
Noor UL Shahbaz (MA, LL.M GOLD MEDALIST) is a Lecturer and former acting Principal at Sopore Law College, can be reached at [email protected]