The urgency of wearing a mask has been reiterated countless times by the WHO. While masks have become something of a non-negotiable issue while in social situations, there are some who have decided they are too cool for this. The anti-mask campaign crusaders have gone on to tell us just why masks aren’t a solution to the pandemic.
The anti-mask campaign
In a video that has gone viral on the platform bitchute, a glimpse of the anti-mask movement in its utter ignorance can be seen. The video portrays an individual ranting against masks, saying “I am registering my protest by burning this mask. We will not wear any mask, neither will we pay any fines to the Police. We are burning the masks. Because wearing masks lead to the spread of diseases. We are being made to wear masks to shut us up.”
He continued, “We are seeing patients, they are developing problems because of wearing masks. This is a huge conspiracy underway at the world level. We will organise a movement against this, we will take to the streets. This is our first ‘Mask Jalao Abhiyaan’ that we are starting on the 15th of August.”
The man then goes on to burn his mask, followed by the group of other anti-mask crusaders. The anti-mask campaign started by a self-proclaimed doctor, Biswaroop Roy Chowdhury, focuses on how masks have an adverse impact on health and thus should be shunned.
The belief that there is a grave conspiracy underway at an international level through the use of masks, is what provoked the movement. Anti-maskers claims that the mask is about getting people “used to these restrictions” in order to gauge how far people can be controlled. “Today it is a mandatory mask, tomorrow it’s a mandatory vaccine, a digital ID and the list goes on! We have to stop things from becoming mandatory! Do not give up your freedom and rights for the illusion of Health and Safety.”
Wearing a mask: a psychological operation
The #MaskSeAzaadi campaign was linked to the Indian Independence Movement, wherein one person in the video calls it a “psychological operation” to control the masses. The man in the video goes on to further state how he feels Indians are still being controlled, ‘Gore Angrez chale gaye hain par kaale angrez satta pe baith gaye hain jo ki desh ko khokla kar rahe hain, toh hum unke virodh bhi pradarshan karenge.’ (The fair Englishmen have left but the Dark Englishmen have occupied the positions of power, so we will protest against them as well.)
This, as slogans of Vande Mataram and Jai Hind are chanted. The video goes on to underline the adverse effects of wearing a mask, stating ‘developing asthma’, ‘difficult to wear spectacles’, ‘carbon dioxide entering the body through the eyes’. While these absurd claims were made by a group of rural folks, there are well-informed people too, who link wearing masks to slavery and loss of freedom. According to them, the masks “are about taking your freedom away, manipulation and control because this does not work.”
Borrowing ideologies from the West?
The anti-mask campaign in India seems like it is borrowing its origins from the libertarian strains of American polity that has been campaigning hard against a mandatory mask policy. In order to change this mindset, Democratic Party presumptive nominee Joe Biden had recently called for a nationwide mandatory mask mandate.
"Every single American should be wearing a mask when they're outside for the next three months, at a minimum," Biden said. “Every governor should mandate mandatory mask-wearing. The estimates by the experts are it will save over 40,000 lives. We absolutely need a clear message from the very top of our federal government that everyone needs to wear a mask in public, period. It's not about your rights; it's about your responsibilities.” The former vice president said he would use the power of the executive branch to do everything possible to make mask-wearing in public a requirement.
The anti-mask crusaders might have their illogical claims, but well, you know better.