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Why the Telangana HC compared Covid-19 to a Trojan horse?

Why the Telangana HC compared Covid-19 to a Trojan horse?

Context: Last week, the Telangana High Court pulled up the state government over its low rate of coronavirus testing.

It also said, not testing in large numbers is almost like inviting the Trojan horse. 

What it means?

Used as a metaphor, the term “Trojan horse” refers to any person or thing that deceives or misleads a target in order to attack it from the inside.

It is derived from the ancient Greek story of the Trojan War — an epic that has for centuries influenced western poetry, art and literature.

About Trojan War:

Fought after the ancient Greek state of Sparta invaded Troy, a kingdom located on the western shores of modern-day Turkey, after the Spartan queen Helen eloped with the Trojan prince Paris. According to some versions, Helen was abducted by the Trojans.

  • Distraught, Helen’s husband, the Spartan king Menelaus marched with his brother Agamemnon, the King of Mycenae (another Greek state), to rescue Helen. The Greek side was supported by other powerful allies, and included the fabled warriors Achilles, Odysseus, Nestor, and Ajax. The Greeks crossed the Aegean Sea and laid siege to Troy demanding Helen’s return.
  • A bloody battle raged for more than 10 years, after which the Greeks made a show of retreating from their positions, while leaving a large wooden horse inside which some of their soldiers hid at the gates of Troy. 
  • The unsuspecting Trojan people decided to haul the wooden horse that they ostensibly took to be a gift, into their city. At nighttime, the Greek soldiers led by Odysseus emerged from the horse and opened the city gates from inside, through which a larger force entered, leaving Troy to ruin.
  • As per Homerian classic Odyssey, Helen returned to Sparta with Menelaus.

What HC’s reference to Trojan horse means?

The High Court was comparing asymptomatic coronavirus carriers to the Trojan horse.

Similar to the story of Troy, we could be interacting with asymptomatic carriers, talking to them, inviting them over, while suspecting nothing, and before we know it, the virus would have transmitted to us.

Since a person has no symptoms, it is not possible to know if they are coronavirus carriers unless they are tested.

Facts for Prelims:

In 1998, UNESCO designated the Trojan remains at Hisarlik in Turkey as a World Heritage Site.

Sources: Indian Express.