India – Transparency is Oxymoron
Indian diverse media pre-occupation in finger pointing foreign nations especially intense reporting on United States corona virus handling rather mishandling per Indian media perspective reflecting Indian government stance fail to focus on serious problems in own backyard.
Indian government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has successfully demolished Indian economy long before corona virus onset with record unemployment, businesses reporting heavy losses, plummeting stock market from capital flight among offshore investors, massive corruption leading to fugitives fleeing overseas after bankrupting banking sector with every one of them granted impunity on the worst financial fraud in Indian economic history. The distressing economic avalanche is mere tip of the iceberg.
Meanwhile, the nation under PM Narendra Modi remains oblivious to corona virus pandemic in India comprising 1.3billion population despite sharing border with China, the origin of the virus, viz. Wuhan, China.
Narendra Modi’s lack luster response to the pandemic led the country to a new dimension with dismally minimal testing downplaying the numbers affected in the virus and the data on actual deaths and those left to succumb to the disease.
The vast majority living in the densely populated areas as well as congested environment without basic facilities like drinking water let alone water supply to comply with hygiene code in terms of washing hands at regular intervals, the key safety guideline in combating the virus.
Above all, the central authority in New Delhi headed by PM Narendra Modi is yet to provide the urgently required economic relief leaving the States in the Indian Union to fend for themselves and manage anyhow somehow amid extended lockdown nationwide.
The repeat requests from State governments including the central government political allies in the States to release the GST taxes revenue at least three years or more in arrears due to the States have been ignored thus far.
Having been depleted of funds with no sign of any monetary assistance from New Delhi under Narendra Modi’s governance, some states in Southern India and other parts of the country adopted drastic revenue path to open liquor shops inviting customers in droves from rural and urban areas flocking the liquor shops making up for the forty days dryness in liquor consumption from national lockdown.
There went the lockdown, social distancing and quarantine efforts to contain the virus at the very sight of liquor distribution to population prioritizing booze over essential food as many forced into alcohol addiction by state rulers alternating terms in office relying on state owned alcohol sales targeting the poor and vulnerable sections in society speak volumes on the state of affairs in Tamil Nadu and neighbors in South and rest of India.
The central government in New Delhi under Prime Minister Narendra Modi unheeding migrant workers plea to organize safe return home to their villages and towns in the country resulted in preventable deaths and tragedies with no attention whatsoever even in the aftermath of the events.
The migrant labor force stranded in different parts of the country deprived of food and basic existence needs en masse driven towards risking their lives with many set on arduous journey to their villages and small towns entirely by foot in the absence of any public transportation like train, buses and other means of transport also fell victims to extreme economic conditions and died from heat exhaustion and starvation.
The other migrant workers recently lost their lives upon being slaughtered by the fast moving train on the rail tracks that some had woefully chosen in the hope of reaching destination earlier.
The poisonous gas leak from South Korean polymer plant near Southern coastal city Vishakapatnam, Andhra Pradesh on Thursday, May 7, 2020 reportedly consumed 8 lives and at least 300 hospitalized exacerbating the health and economic crises in India. The news about this incident published in foreign press reminiscent of Bhopal gas explosion in 1984 would not have been noticed with Indian media busy highlighting United States pandemic situation as ‘out of control.’
The deaths of celebrities in the entertainment world attracts endless sympathy and exaggerated coverage from far and wide.
In comparison, the loss of ordinary lives bear no significance and often not even mentioned in the statistics.
These episodes reveal the reality and societal superficial status.
New Delhi central authority silence and inaction to alleviate dire economic strait having severe impact on India’s poorest of the poor to the middle class is dereliction of responsibility and utter failure in pandemic management.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration having received donations in quid pro quo on taxes and black money to PM Care fund from the wealthiest in the country, additionally the National Disaster Fund and Emergency Relief Fund available to the government to address extraordinary times like these choosing to turn a blind eye raise questions on government’s disturbing debacle in this regard.
Narendra Modi government declining any financial aid to States struggling to mitigate infectious disease disaster is inexcusable and deserves valid explanation for government apathy to citizens plight.
Furthermore, United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in the latest State Department briefing on May 6, 2020 stated that United States tax payers contribution to corona virus global health fund $2.2 billion allocated by Congress of which $130 million to reach various countries such as Indonesia, Bangladesh and India to help them fight the deadly virus and stabilize the unprecedented pandemic should facilitate Indian government in disbursements to Tamil Nadu and counterparts desperately seeking financial provisions to combat health and economic challenges in the respective domain.
Ultimately transparency critical to win trust and public confidence in domestic and international matter.
Author & Presenter