By the Editor: Siddharth Sehgal
Sometimes I wonder which is the easier part, shedding tears or shedding moral responsibility. Does public outpouring of grief free a government of accountability? As a gesture of owning up to mistakes and doing a course correction for the future, ministers in the central government should have resigned but instead, day after day, excuses are being given for the dead bodies washing up in the river. The Government seems more concerned about its image and the elections in UP next year rather than telling people facts and preparing for future waves.
The government that turned Kumbh Mela into a spreader event through its mismanagement and lack of wisdom now want to hold the 12th board exams. Do they (the government) think that organizing exams for lakhs of students will not jeopardize the lives of the students and their families? Do they know that before, during, and after the exams, students will be at risk of exposure? Do they know how many students who will appear in the 12th board exams are eligible for vaccination? What if a student who appears for the first exam, gets exposed and is unable to sit in subsequent papers? What if a student being an asymptomatic carrier infects his family members, wouldn’t that distract the student and add to his exam pressure?
See, the point here is that I am not convinced that the center or any of the state governments can safely conduct board exams, in the wake of a deadly wave which is still not over yet, it is not wise to hold a mass, public gathering, it is against common sense but how would you expect sense from a government that refuses to believe the expert or good counsel.
Do we have the vaccination plan sorted out? Do we see medical oxygen generating plants being installed in cities across India? Have we ensured that there will be no black marketing of oxygen cylinders or vital life-saving drugs such as Remdesivir? The PMO just recently announced a corpus fund to help children who lost their parents to Covid-19 but what if the death certificate of the deceased parents does not mention Covid-19 as the reason for death, even though they may have died of Covid related complications? Would the aid be given to such kids as well because we already know that deaths are being grossly underreported?
Are we even learning from our mistakes or going round in circles? Does our Prime Minister realize that it is insensitive to build the house while the nation is in mourning? Does our health minister know that a self-proclaimed godman is mocking our doctors and Covid-19 patients in order to promote his untested drug which the honorable minister so readily endorsed?
Emotionally, personally, and financially, this pandemic has taken its toll on a lot of families. Some lost jobs, some lost loved ones, some lost precious savings, and some lost all. In this ordeal the government was absent. We live in a strange society where people have become vote banks, image building has replaced governance and tears have replaced accountability.