The Need for Amendments in the Lockdown and a Call for Reasonable Flexibility of Approach

coronavirus
Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered a "complete"india lockdown for 21 days | Image Source - Screenshot Youtube @BJP

An environment of palpitation surrounded the length and breadth of our nation when people gradually began to anticipate that the lockdown will be further extended from 14th of April till an unknown period of time. This expectation was obvious as we all know that most of the provisions made by the State to tackle the effects of COVID-19 have been made for three long months. The government, nevertheless, intervened without delay and assured that nothing as such is going to happen. But it appears that even our journey till 14th of this month seems to be tremendously troublesome. Let me tell you why:

  1. The allocation of goods and services are not in tune with the promises made by the State while declaring this lockdown. This, in turn, has not only disrupted the everyday life of those who can afford to work from home, but has jeopardized those who cannot even imagine spending a day without working.
  2. The improper mobilization of resources, and the excuses following them, manifest the fact that the government is incompetent in providing even the basic requirements needed for keeping the situation under control. These things include medical equipment, uninterrupted supply of grocery, vegetables & fruits, electricity, internet, and water. 

Without doubting the effort of the State in alleviating the hardships of this situation let us retrospect certain things that would make our mistakes clean and clear. Being the head of the State, the knowledge about the accessibility of resources & its allocation lies with Mr.Modi like nobody else in this country. Corona had already entered India, and was declared an epidemic in China, when Modiji was busy decorating Sardar Patel Motera Stadium. If he was a visionary then he would have prepared himself for this outbreak in advance.

It’s absurd to blame those who probably will die because of hunger & anxiety, if not with Corona. I would have done the same thing, what they are doing now, if I were a migrant labourer. Meanwhile, it appears that the only amicable solution is to provide them with all the commodities necessary for protecting themselves from Corona, and to arrange a proper transportation facility for them. They are the ones who build the buildings in which we are safe at this moment – taking the pleasure of expressing our opinions on Facebook, and other social networking platforms. They run the unorganized sector of our economy, which is the sole cause of our livelihood, as we all know the condition of our organized sector at this moment. Let us not forget, “The life of a single human being is worth a million times more than all the property of the richest man on earth”, said a Cuban revolutionary whose face and name became synonymous to the idea of revolution around the world. 

If Modiji can spend on renovating the Parliament, he can, I guess, provide all the amenities to them as well to maintain the sanctity of this democratic institution. And I believe that if Modiji can afford to spend on statues and foreign trips, he can also make arrangements for those who consider Modiji as an incarnation of God on earth. 

Our beloved parliamentarians didn’t find a strong excuse while bringing their kith and kin back from abroad. The political elites of our nation didn’t give a second thought while partying and proliferating the virus.  Yet, ironically, they somehow managed to create a wide range of arguments while helping the migrant labourers reach their homes. They, for the sake of humanity, must not forget that there are many migrant labourers in Delhi who stay inside small congested rented rooms along with their friends from a common village. They are, therefore, as much prone to Corona in Delhi as they might be in their villages. Sadly, the Centre can neither provide them with the basic amenities of a dignified life nor can it make the arrangements for them to travel back safely to their homes. What guarantees their life in Delhi, and in other regions of our nation, and not in their homes? There cannot be any statistical explanation in the answer to this question – an only prejudiced hypothesis.

Hence, with proper safety precautions, awareness & management the state can definitely help them reach their homes. But apparently, the coy from the State is a clear indication of its feeble political will to resolve a problematic situation. They can make arrangements for their survival in their villages. Most of the agrarian labourers migrate to Urban areas in search of certainty and a better standard of living, which our agrarian sector lacks. All they want now is to be with their families. Are they asking for too much? 

As far as our total workforce is concerned, it is understandable that everybody cannot be allowed to work outside at this moment – specifically because our interconnectedness makes the contagious nature of the virus far too lethal. Further, we have to accept the fact that we have a meagre response system that forbids us from taking any sort of risk against this invisible enemy. But an important question that arises here is, “For how many days we can allow this to perpetuate?” Not for long, I suppose. Hence, in order to keep our economy running, we need to develop an alternative system of modus operandi that could facilitate the cycle of production, distribution and consumption. Those who can afford to stay inside must stay, but those who cannot afford to do the same must work with proper precaution.

Furthermore, to begin with, we can focus upon our Health Sector – the lifeblood of hope and expectation to get out of the situation.

If our politicians keep aside their thought of reaping electoral dividends, and recreate our economy from its base, then they have to concentrate on this sector. As we all know that recently ICRA predicted that the GDP of India for the present quarter will be 2%. So, it is inevitable now that we have to work upon our economy from scratch from here onwards.

Focus upon our Health Sector will not only strengthen our foreign exchange reserves but will also prepare us for a similar calamity in future. Also, it’ll help the doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers to cope with this situation at this moment. Unfortunately, the budgetary allocation for Health had remained substantially absurd, which is why we are unable to determine our course of action with confidence today.   

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