THE INDIAN COVID POLITICS

THE INDIAN COVID POLITICS

Written by: Vigaas Singh || Graphics by: Vigass Singh

The Covid-19 cases continue to rise in India but Indians and politicians continue to defy the norms and continue to ignore the pandemic. The politicians also are continuing to play dirty politics over the pandemic and its effects rather than helping the people.

Social and Religious gatherings

In India, people have started to ignore the Covid-19 and have started to gather in huge numbers for protests, religious fairs, and meetings, and politicians have started carrying out rallies in huge numbers.   

  • Farmers’ Protest: Farmers’ are protesting for the past 4 months without following any covid norms. Recently, as the cases are rising the Indian Government asked the farmers to get up saying, ”The Indian Government is glorifying Covid-19 to use it as a political weapon”. The question is: Is the government using coronavirus as a political weapon? After long conversations, the farmers’ have now decided to follow the covid norms and they’ll start vaccination at the protest sites.     
  • Kumbh Mela: Recently, the Kumbh Mela which is a religious fair took place in India. In Kumbh Mela, there were over 31 lakh people who took a dip in the holy waters of Ganga together. This was a strange moment and the fact is that the government promoted this event on their official website. With recently this being in the limelight we heard some strange statements from our prime minister where he asked to end the Kumbh Mela which I think was a wise step but the statement by Tirath Singh Rawat caught me off guard, where he proposed that they didn’t need to wear a mask in the Kumbh Mela because as u take a dip in the Ganga, the holy waters of Ganga will wash away coronavirus which was stupid.
  • Ramzan Gatherings: At the starting of Ramzan this year there were large gatherings in mosques in Hyderabad and there were no major measures taken but as a surge was seen in covid cases, the heads of mosques had shown some responsibility making masks compulsory and also making social distancing a norm in the mosques. Some states like Karnataka and UP have even banned large gatherings of Ramzan.
  • Political Rallies: Earlier last month elections in 5 states were announced by the ECI and so the rallies had started mostly in West Bengal where recently there was a spike of cases. None of the political parties had some courage to show some maturity and call of the rallies or at least make the covid norms compulsory for everyone attending. It was a shame to see the political parties not taking the responsibility for which we elected them and there was no social distancing and there were thousands of people making the people more prone to have covid-19. Recently, Rahul Gandhi tweeted about stopping rallies in Bengal which was a great step but I believe that this maturity should’ve been shown earlier.

Covid Healthcare Crisis

Nearly the whole country is right now struggling with the second wave of covid and not only this but now the coronavirus has become even more infectious and is spreading faster but the main problem is that to fight this our country has a shortage of medical supplies and medical workers. Let’s do some state-wise analysis-:

  •  Gujarat: The government of Gujarat is facing a credibility crisis right now and is on a warpath with ground media on covid deaths. In Ahmedabad, for instance, the state government had officially declared just 20 Covid-19 deaths on April 12. But Sandesh, a leading Gujarati newspaper, claimed that at least 63 people had died in just one government-run Covid-19 hospital in the city on the same day. People believe that the government is hiding the true figures and making a fool of the people.
  • Delhi: The condition of Delhi is worsening day by day as the covid cases are rising at a faster rate now and the healthcare system is unable to take the load and is becoming weak. Now there are nearly no ventilators in Delhi and there’s also a shortage of oxygen supply in the hospitals. No doubt that the Delhi government is trying its best to cater to the needs of the people but they’re not able to make some necessary equipment like Remdesevir available. On 18 April, the chief minister of Delhi wrote a letter to the prime minister of India sharing his concerns.
  • Maharashtra: The cases in Maharashtra are rising faster than the speed of flash. Nearly 60,000-90,000 new cases are being reported in Maharashtra daily and as we speak the condition of the healthcare system of Maharashtra is even worse than the condition that of Delhi. There’s nearly no oxygen supply, no covid beds in hospitals available, and even important drugs like Remdesevir have almost finished but the opposition and ruling party in Maharashtra continue to play politics over it.
  • Uttar Pradesh: The cases in UP are continuously exploding, the cases have been increasing 226 times since the past 5 weeks which is a scary number. The UP government is trying to take strict measures to stop the second wave in the state but as of now the government has failed to do so and the burden on the healthcare there is increasing suddenly due to which the healthcare system there can collapse.
  • Madhya Pradesh: The state faces a sudden covid crisis as the Chief Minister of the state said after seeing the number of cases and deaths. The positivity rate in Madhya Pradesh is currently 21.7% which is a lot and the problem of hospital beds, oxygen supply, and lack of medicines continues to be the same in the state. Now the government has released a protocol to be followed for the people returning from Kumbh Mela which is a wise step but still not enough to cure covid in the whole state.
  •  

 SECOND COVID SURGE (Increase In cases in a week %wise)

  1. BIHAR – 334%
  2. UP – 281%
  3. UTTARAKHAND – 175%

Covid: An Economic Crisis??

This pandemic has hit us hard and not only us but also the economies of all countries. The World economy has taken aback and not only the world economy but also the Indian economy has seen a massive downfall. The Indian economy had been hit so hard that last year our GDP had gone as low as -23.9%. Let’s take a look at the current scenario:

  •  Rich Got Richer: During this pandemic, the rich people have seen ups and downs but at last, they have only seen their wealth increase. When the pandemic started, the World’s top 100 billionaires got poorer by $408 billion but they recovered from their massive losses in just a short span of 9 months. After this recovery, the top 100 richest men in India have seen their wealth increase by a massive amount of 13 trillion rupees during the lockdown. Not only this last year 38 new millionaires emerged in India during the lockdown and if we accumulate and calculate their wealth it is about $600 billion.

So, the overall experience of the rich people in this pandemic has been great but now let’s take a look at the poor and the middle class-:

  • Poor and the Middle class got poorer: We saw migrants get on the road and businesses shutting down but we saw nothing about the middle-class strata of our society. Last year about 3.2 crore middle-class citizens have been pushed out from the middle class and have become poor. Not only this but over 7.5 crore people have also shifted below the poverty line in India in just a year. Unemployment was already 45 years high when coronavirus hit India and then layoffs and salary cuts became the “new normal” which made the condition worse but the irony here is the companies still made huge profits and this was done by increasing the workload of employees.
  • An Overview of the condition: Basically, if we look at the stats and recent incidents the rich have grown richer as always by pressurizing the poor and as always the poor have been under pressure and their condition has been worse than before. The condition has been so poor that we saw thousands of migrants walking hundreds and thousands of kilometers to reach their homes without any facilities by our government. Then we saw hashtags like “Modi_Job_Do” on Twitter spreading awareness and showing concerns over the unemployment crisis in India.

Is/ Was Lockdown a Solution To COVID-19???

  •  Impact Of Lockdown On Mental Health-: As the lockdown had been imposed last year we heard about many cases of depression, mental illness, and suicides. We’ve seen that mental illnesses emerged as the main issue last year because of no social interactions and the world being virtual. The World Economic Forum says that India only has 9000 official psychiatrists for a population of over 1.3 billion which is not enough because the cases of mental illness are rising day by day but the no. of psychiatrists is not. Due to the lockdown, cases have risen by 20% in India and suicides have become more prevalent. Mental illnesses have been more prevalent among youngsters rather than older people.
  • Impact Of Lockdown On Indian Economy-: As we’ve already discussed above the main problems being faced by the middle class and the poor and how the Indian economy is facing a downfall. The Lockdown 1.0 and 2.0 have alone cost us lakhs of crores of rupees and due to this condition over 14 crore people have lost their jobs and over 45 percent of households across the nation registered a decrease in income compared to the previous year

Conclusion

Coming to an end about whether lockdown was a solution or not we’ve seen that it was not a solution. A lockdown can only reduce the transmission for a short period and considering lockdown as a solution is shortsightedness. It has many ill effects which need to be seen and we need to come with a more farsighted and reliable solution than Lockdown.

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