Living and dying with COVID in India’s caste system – By Mona Mohan
COVID is rampaging through the top civil servants, bureaucrats, politicians in Patna. While the elites are scrambling for hospital beds and oxygen cylinders, everyone below them in the social order has been left to die.
As the elite dead get cremated first, upper-middle-class families wait in mile-long lines, for over 24 hours, cremating relatives on rationed woods, with two or sometimes three others on the pyre. And even that’s a privilege.
Tides of death are burying our town. It will only get worse. It always does. And we wonder: How many of us will make it to the other side of the pandemic? Where will our dead loved ones end up – at cremation grounds or in the Ganges, tossed into the river or buried in a sand pit?