India – Corona Virus Response
The conflicting instructions from India’s PM Narendra Modi to Indian audience on the one hand making public announcement for people to observe self-curfew on March 22nd, Sunday while asking every Indian to come out and show their solidarity to health care workers at 5.00 p.m.by clinging utensils, ringing bells and other musical instruments on the same day of Citizens’ self-imposed curfew is something only PM Narendra Modi and strategists behind this bizarre display jeopardizing this one day non-mandatory curfew could explain.
Since any form of legitimate necessary constructive assessment of India’s economic, political, social and now health status is persona non grata – unwelcome and dealt with abusive personal attacks and vitriolic innuendoes as well as insinuations suggesting cowardly practice from Indian political class per their foreign masters order, insolence and incessant assaults are carried out by government media, IT sleeper cells embedded in diverse social format including print media.
Indian political class hypersensitivity in this regard raise genuine questions on the system being anything but a democracy.
Nonetheless, the voiceless and vulnerable segments whether Indian Muslims or the so-called Dalits and lower caste and poorest Hindus as well as other minorities subject to state sponsored violence witnessed in late February from 22nd through 25th last month in North East Delhi reminiscent of Gujarat Godhra violence in 2002 deserve attention.
The last month’s state orchestrated Delhi violence resulting in at least 60 or more deaths per official count though unofficial toll exceeding 100 or more innocent children, women and men predominantly Indian Muslims and some Hindus in the targeted killings with their homes, schools, hospital and public premise gutted down in arson left all those residents homeless in the state involved senseless hate crime.
Having lost their homes, the Delhi violence victims and families had no accommodation and were housed in a large tent organized by local civil society considering central and Delhi state government apathy to the entire incident amidst corona virus peak in neighboring China with flow of traffic across the borders on land and sky happening without any travel restriction.
The political class run media house i.e. mainstream and the supposedly alternative independent media in disguise along with news organizations airing political power disinformation round the clock, the ground reality on Delhi violence victims, families and lucky survivors not reported concealing the appalling conditions experienced by them with no means of shelter in place.
PM Narendra Modi and home minister Amit Shah granted impunity to offenders being BJP minister and party members directly responsible for Delhi violence closing the chapter on communal murder of Indian Muslims and Hindus in different neighborhoods in North East Delhi in late February.
The spate of violence did not cease with North East Delhi claiming many residents lives but also launched at the women participating in peaceful non-violent protest against the unconstitutional, undemocratic and the most controversial CAA, NPR and NRC in Shaheen Bagh, New Delhi.
The citizenship act from PM Narendra Modi and Amit Shah was to deflect public frustration over long ailing economy and when these issues attracted massive dissent, the government maneuver to silence protesters using brute force not barring petrol bombs reportedly thrown at the crowd represented by women and children in Shaheen Bagh recently got distracted with corona virus dominating headlines and news briefing at present.
Under these circumstances, PM Narendra Modi decree on March 22nd for self-curfew to Indian citizens nation wide beckon the following query.
Where and how did the Delhi violence victims observe the self-curfew with their homes burned down without any alternative arrangements in place until now?
Similarly, what is the exact status on Kashmiris in Kashmir enduring indefinite lock down and corona virus preparedness in the once autonomous state transformed into Union territory under New Delhi Central government direct control?
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi government utter failure to revive economy declined long before the corona virus onset and currently exacerbated with global pandemic has no plans or policy in terms of economic stimulus or emergency aid to protect millions in the workforce representing formal and informal sectors expected to experience severe economic woes among overwhelming population.
As for corona virus mitigation – the contradictory relay of messages from government represented media and social platforms continuously mislead Indian public and rest of the world with denial and suppression of data on actual carriers – both symptomatic and Asymptomatic vectors concentrated in the densely populated nation.
The misrepresentation persists despite India’s medical expert close to government authorities acknowledgment in public interview on India having reached communal infection stage 3 at least two if not three weeks earlier this month with no concerted efforts to curb the contagion effects portends a major catastrophe for India in the health and economic front for nation with 1.35 billion population of which overwhelming majority live in small confined space and slums who in return are employed in households for domestic and variety of jobs in the economy.
Again transparency on corona virus facts and figures ominously missing, the guesstimate in India could lead to false resignation on lower impact of the pandemic potentially endangering millions of lives even in the light of 80% recovery arguably necessitating medical treatment to achieve such outcome. The remaining possibly becoming dependent on urgent intensive care to save lives unaffordable in the present Indian health care facility with limited resources and capacity.
The governments approach to contain virus require testing, treatment and expeditious preventative measures to identify and isolate affected victims in areas with constant stream of traffic which in India is almost everywhere.
The safe bet for citizens is to adhere stringent self-protection such as hygiene in washing hands using soap, sanitizing homes and items in daily use, social distancing and addressing symptoms specific to corona virus widely published and available in public domain that should entail further consultation with medical professional for appropriate intervention.
Self reliance, individual discipline and commitment is the most trusted option together with immediate medical care than anticipation from government or other sources miserably lagging in stymieing the highly infectious organism.
Author & Presenter