From where shall I begin?
The views expressed in the below post are personal, anyone reading them is free to disagree.
Everyday is a challenge now. Everyday is filled with not just one but many different challenges. People are worried for their loved ones. I guess this is the first time politicians are also worried for the people, because this virus spares no one.
Let us see the events chronologically to understand the points where the government did fail and then later on decided to cover up for its failures. But soon they realised it’s a little late now.
So this year there were legislative assembly elections in four states of India. Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. Of the four states the elections of West Bengal made the most headlines. The voting dates ranged between March to April for all the four states. Now let us recall that it was from the month of March that India especially, in my state of Maharashtra started experiencing a sudden spike in the number of covid cases.
I googled about the trend of covid cases from the end of February till date. Because I clearly remember we were having an almost a normal life in February. I found the below data from the WHO website. Click on the below images to enlarge,
It is evident that from 1st March 2021, the policy makers should have started taking measures. But the news channels and everyone else was busy forecasting if Mamta Banerjee would lose her power in West Bengal.
Now we do have a legal body regulating the country’s elections, called the Election Commission. The Madras High Court blatantly blamed the EC for the “current situation”. An article from the Indian Express quotes the statements of Madra High Court as below,
“The court had told ECI on Monday that “you should be put on murder charges probably”, that “you are the most irresponsible over the last few months in not stopping political parties from wanton abuse of the Covid-19 protocol” and that “you are the only institution responsible for the situation that we are in today.”
Link to the article: https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chennai/madras-high-court-raps-election-commission-of-india-refuses-to-gag-media-on-oral-observations-7297388/lite/
In response, the EC then banned any post victory ceremonies, link to the article: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.indiatvnews.com/amp/news/india/election-commission-bans-all-victory-processions-on-result-day-amid-covid-19-surge-700746
I had expressed the same concern in one of my previous blogs. Why this mandate of holding elections during such a huge crisis. The more important question is… should the honorable Prime Minister of the country participate every time during the election rallies? I mean I don’t understand politics, they might have their legit reasons to show up at election rallies. My only concern is the crowd and chaos such rallies accumulate putting local security systems at pressure. And should the rallies be held, what precautionary measures must be taken by the concerned authorities while the country is dealing with a pandemic?
The Kumbh Mela
I won’t say much about this fiasco, this article by Hindustan Times is enough to showcase the facts. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/dehradun-news/91-million-thronged-mahakumbh-despite-covid-19-surge-govt-data-101619729096750-amp.html
According to the WHO website, India was already experiencing the spike in cases right from 1st March 2021 and yet the protocols were not followed.
Am I saying that The Khumb Mela is solely responsible for the spread of the virus? No. But it is definitely one of the reasons.
Let’s see what happened in April
Two back to back incidents shook the state of Maharashtra. One related to the fire that caught the intensive care unit of Vijay Vallabh Hospital in Virar. And second the oxygen leak at Dr Zakir Hussain Hospital, Nashik.
The two incidents proved that people could die not only because of the virus but because of ill infrastructural facilities. The state and central governments offered monetary compensation to the families of the deceased as well as the injured. The state government also ordered special investigations and audits. They did show an immediate response but my question is why should anyone die in such a manner? Why should the families endure such unexplainable pain of watching their loved ones die in front of their eyes! These incidents were unintentional. A mishap. An accident.
My question is how will the government, state as well as central ensure such incidents won’t happen again? What more help can they offer to the broken families apart from the one time monetary help?
Questions asked by the supreme court.
The questions asked by the Supreme court reassures our faith in democracy.
Below is the link to articles citing questions asked by the Apex court to the government of India:
I feel these are the type of questions the opposition party should be asking the government. I don’t know if the opposition party are ignorant or are ignoring the current crisis. Apart from a few tweets and letters, today the president of Indian National Congress Sonia Gandhi has released a video on Twitter urging the government to wake up and devise a national policy on the crisis.
Link to the video: https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/sonia-gandhi-on-covid-spike-in-india-government-should-wake-up-2425840
The big promise
Vaccine for all! For everyone above 18+ age. A huge daunting task. To vaccinate a billion population twice! Okay sounds good! But how? We don’t know. The policy is not yet clear. Yes we can expect it to become clear in the coming days..and there will always be a huge difference between the demand and supply. After all the vaccine is being made in a highly regulated environment which might have its own production limitations. So I don’t think it would be reasonable for any of us to think that vaccines will be readily available all the time for everyone.
If there are production limitations then shouldn’t the government import them. The central government has left this decision to the state governments. According to one article at Hindustan times, “Govt. aiming to support domestic vaccine-makers by guaranteeing purchases from them, say sources
The Centre has decided to leave the import of COVID-19 vaccines to State authorities and companies, two government officials told Reuters, a decision that may slow the acquisitions of shots as a second wave of the pandemic rips through the country.” link to the article: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/centre-may-put-onus-on-states-to-import-covid-19-vaccines/article34417400.ece/amp/
As far as my own State of Maharashtra is concerned, I think the state government is doing a pretty good job by at least addressing the issues at the right time. I’m not saying they have absolutely achieved all the targets but I can say they are constantly keeping track of the situation right from March 2021 when the escalation in cases had begun.
Link to the article: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/coronavirus-maharashtra-govt-gives-nod-to-free-vaccination-of-citizens-above-18-years/article34430709.ece/amp/
I’m not saying that the government is doing nothing. It’s doing everything in its capacity to handle the situation. I only wish they had done it on time..I wish they were a little bit prepared for it. This situation is a lethal onslaught on many many families.
So what happens after we are done with vaccinating everyone?
Will it be easy to forget the hardships endured by the common man of this country?
I hope we remember it.