May 7, 2020 | By Jaspal Singh Sidhu & Khushhal Singh
With no perspective and organic link with people, ‘Hit and Trial’ measures the Delhi Durbar resorted to, failed to break the chain of corona-transmission. Positive cases touched 46,000 with death reaching 1688. Around 4000 new cases and 199 deaths were reported on Tuesday.
On March 20 one-day ‘Janata Curfew’ was clamped enthusiastically to break the corona infection chain. Rather 236 cases on that day got nearly doubled at 538 on March 24 when the PM suddenly announced a 21-day lockdown. Punjab went ahead with curfew to be enforced by the police rod. Corona transmission could not be broken.
Lockdown was to be used for strengthening medical infrastructure in ramshackle government hospitals. Official red tape-ism and corruption, however, scuttled early import of testing kits and protection attire for protesting doctors/ medical staff. Hundreds of medical staff got infected and sent to quarantine. Fear of corona stalking public hospitals, 300 plus doctors have run away from duties. Costly private hospitals built on the destruction of public hospitals with politicians’ support have not been officially asked to treat corona patients.
Official short-sightedness has resulted in: unforeseen distress to 12 crores migrant laborers (a) Earlier, they were not allowed to go home. (b) After 40 days of bad publicity, they were allowed to travel as some trains were arranged with many riders. (c) Businessmen/ industrialists are woken up “how to run units without workers” and they are forcing the governments to cancel the trains from Karnataka, Goa, and other places. As of today—uncertainty prevails ‘how workers shuttling in between could reach their homes’ and ‘how industrial and business will resume functioning’. Alienated laborers have no trust in officials. Could they be treated as ‘bonded labor’?
Lockdowns/curfew have achieved a little. But we got the economy broken-down while delivering untold distress/ starvation to poor/migrant labor along with humiliation and mental agony to the general public. Rulers demonstrated insensitivity towards the poor who now form half of the Indian population. Already on the slide for 7 quarters, GDP is going to be negative next financial year.
Official publicity/ propaganda has built a ‘Superman Persona’ and concentrated unlimited powers in the hands of ‘Executive Head’.
– Jaspal Singh Sidhu & Khushhal Singh
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