DailyPost 1659

Lockdown is not an answer is bandied around all over the media, then what is the answer. This is in the context of the second avoidable COVID surge, we have been put into. What is the answer then? Why was the  answer / solution not made known to the population at large. If the imaginary / non-executable / not willing to execute solution has failed, why should people pay a price and for how long? No indefinite agenda works in a pandemic, only decisions and swift execution matters, things we are extremely bad at. Procrastination kills. The tragedy of the whole situation is that somebody (the decision makers) play the procrastination game and the mostly the middle, poor class and ill-fated pay a price.

*If lockdown is not an answer, then is indiscipline, endless elections and mad festival celebrations the answer.* Trump cannot be our role model, why lockdown, even wearing a mask was an anathema for him.  He moved out after facing an impending election battle, the country still battles with COVID-19. Corona times are also witnessing the longest state election in India’s history. Is law & order the only consideration for the conduct of the elections? With overriding powers which the Election Commission has, who would run the Corona Management during elections. In the first place, all elections during the pandemic should be devoid of physical campaigning. Where is the welfare of the people even before government  formation? Don’t we need professional COVID-19 Election Observers?

The crisis /emergency forces the response, it is not decided. You swing into action lock, stock and barrel. Think of a natural disaster, an accident or a fire, what is your response? Making lockdown a political tool will serve nobody’s purpose. Is right to life not a fundamental right?  Let the Disaster Management Act provide for the response, dictating only by facts, figures and experts. Impacts cannot  be factored in at this juncture. The same Act should provide for criminal action against decision makers who don’t act in haste. Let the Act provide for no hospital beds or vaccination for such decision makers and then see the change of heart. Is the Indian welfare state incapable of taking care of basic food necessities of its population, in dire need? Govt. doles have been the checkered tradition of our democracy from Canteens to Chawalwale Babas.

What does lockdown mean? A battle for life between the frontline warriors, patients and the hospitals. Who cares for the welfare & wellness of this ecosystem. Fight for humanity becomes their personal battle. We have seen and heard agonizing stories last year. All the distractions of governance and of political executives should be totally buried. Lockdown means closing down everything to put all energies and focus to pull off the much needed victory against the virus. No repeat of migration blues this time. No government ads and no TV tamasha, for once they should also put in their might beyond the crocodile tears. Not a penny / resource should be wasted. The lockdown period should coincide with a universal immunization program. The connect between the two  is well known. The Disaster Management Act should provide for the culpability for those not providing measurable outstanding medical / govt. services. The whole exercise will deliver, if it is fully data driven, data of integrity and seamless in all its operations.


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