MyVoice: Views of our readers 06th April 2020

MyVoice: Views of our readers 06th April 2020

MyVoice: Views of our readers 06th April 2020

Corona panic is quite unwanted

For all we know, we might have been living with this novel coronavirus for a long time already. India has never been out of touch with China, Italy or any of the other virus hotspots in Europe. Many of us had to take to our beds in January and February because of a ghastly 10-day 'flu', the worst of our lives, which sent some of our old relatives to hospital ICUs with pneumonia and looked too close to the Wuhan virus for comfort.

Have many of us had this disease already, but as it didn't announce itself, we thought it was just another bug, though a particularly nasty one? Every day, in 'normal' times, 25,000 people out of India's population of 1.3 billion die —and more than 1,000 people (4,00,000 in 2018) die of tuberculosis, for which we do have a cure, but have not eradicated because it only afflicts the poor.

A thousand Indians, mostly children, die every day of other respiratory ailments, and 500 die of malaria. But almost all of us will recover from viruses as bad as Covid-19 and live to chalk up the experience as a major milestone in our lives. So why the unprecedented panic? Why the scenes of police with lathis frog-marching hapless migrant workers, making them hop like schoolchildren being punished for breaking bounds? Of men, women and children having to walk on the highways to get back to their villages, because the government is only concerned about providing transport for Indians stranded abroad?

Shravan Kumar K, Hyderabad

The poor at the receiving end

When one looks at pictures of hundreds of thousands of daily-wage workers walking with their meagre belongings on the highways, the unplanned and sudden lockdown seems like political suicide. This, however, does not take into account the political opportunity such disruption gives to the Modi government. India's economy was already floundering well before the coronavirus came to mess with it.

The Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (Coronavirus, Nationwide Lockdown, CMIE, Narendra Modi) employment data from the first four months of last year showed that employment in agriculture had increased by 51 lakhs, though the total number of jobs had gone down by 15 lakhs. On the other side, 46 lakhs jobs were lost in construction. This means that a reverse migration of sorts had already begun one year ago.

The push factor for this was the slowdown in the housing and real estate sector. However, there was possibly a pull factor as well — government schemes such as the PM-Kisan, money given under the PM Awaas Yojana, some hope of work under MGNREGA. In the absence of an economic environment that creates jobs, the poor had no option but to take whatever the State was willing to give as handouts.

Ravi Kumar Ch, Kakinada, AP

Biased editorial

This is with reference to your editorial 'Stop hitting out at Modi, strive to contain corona' (April 4). Unfortunately, in your editorial one finds an excessive emotional pitch. You sound rather intolerant. You are at liberty to say what you like to say and love to propagate.

Speaking about Leftists, despite your adjective honourable (satirical), you went to the extent of saying that they mislead the people. I am sorry to say it is not correct. They might have been electorally pushed to the margins.

Yet, it is not right to dismiss a serious political opinion, on the basis of electoral win or lose. If my memory serves me right, even the veteran Kuldip Nayar was not ideologically on the page with the Leftists. Yet, he was balanced in his attitude, when it comes to Left spectrum of public policy matters.

Yalamudi K, Khammam

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