By the Editor: Siddharth Sehgal
Unchecked power is a dangerous thing; sometimes it creates unintended ramifications that become the undoing of the very people or governments that exercise it. Our current political leadership is a good example of this fact; they act without impulsion or thought while taking a decision or making policy and then try to unload the responsibility of their actions onto others.
Our government likes to take the credit when things are going well but viciously reviles anyone who criticizes them when things go wrong. Had the government made a plan or thought through economic or social consequences before implementing a nationwide lockdown then we might not have been facing the worst economic disaster of independent India. The salt on the wound is the fact that the whole lockdown charade came to naught we are now number two in Covid-19 cases in the world. So now, we are struggling both with the virus and a crippled economy that is nowhere near recovering, and every day we are reading about bankruptcies, foreclosures, ruined businesses, and lives. The crime and suicide rate is up, there is daily news of robbery and burglary and people are afraid to leave homes after dark. There was a time when Delhi NCR used to have a vibrant nightlife but now people are more comfortable within the confines of their home. There are numerous reports in papers of violent crimes committed by first time criminals who resorted to crime because of loss of job or income due to lockdown.
The other day my family members went shopping in a famous New Delhi market that is well known for wedding related shopping. Empty, deserted streets and closed shops told the ugly tale of COVID and lockdown impact on the clothing business; it was scary to visit that market place even during the daytime. Several kindergartens and playschools have been closed and many students have to unenroll from schools because their parents can’t pay their fees due to job loss. Cinemas, eateries, gyms, tourism are just to name a few sectors that have seen massive layoffs or closures due to lockdown. Every day there are one or two news reports of people facing food shortages and starvation in different parts of the country.
What was the use of nationwide lockdown then? We could have built dedicated field hospitals for Covid-19 patients so that regular hospitals can take care of non-Covid-19 patients, there is a reported shortage of ventilators, ICU beds, and medical oxygen in different cities all over the country but no one seems to care. Our leadership does not think or want to hear new ideas; it is simply content with blindly copy, pasting procedures from other countries.
We have become one big Potemkin village where government, the PM, and his ministers are trying to paint a rosy picture of resilience and recovery but as it is with all rotten structures, it’s hollow and empty from the inside.