Hello, friends! I know many of you support the 21 days’ lockdown. I do, too.
But I also think it is important to remind you that the government has announced no financial help for the poor who are losing their daily wages. Absolutely nothing.
There is hardly any real conversation on increasing the number of hospitals for treating COVID-19 patients, or facilities to increase the number of test centres. Some private facilities that were allowed to test, are charging 4,500₹ per test.
While the Union Government of India has announced a 15,000 crore ₹ financial package for ramping up medical facilities, it has also gone ahead with a 20,000 crore ₹ futuristic project of building a new Parliamentary building (Amid COVID-19, Centre’s nod for Rs 20000-cr central vista revamp raises eyebrows).
While it has approved yet another package to buy more arms from Israel (Arms over masks: India buys weapons from Israel as coronavirus cases spike), a country desperately requesting India for masks, it has announced no financial benefit for the poor. Absolutely nothing.
While you glorify “social-distancing” over physical distancing (India cannot fight coronavirus without taking into account its class and caste divisions), there are numerous reports of labourers trying to go back to their hometowns but are stuck in inter-state borders, having to spend all their savings on just that one travel back home.
As you finally start waking up to what a lockdown really is, your favourite land whose integration with the mainland you celebrated, laughs at you; while you read this article on 4G network to which you are now constantly glued, doctors there cannot access important documents because the entire region still operates on 2G (‘We’ll die like cattle’: Kashmiris fear coronavirus outbreak).
The majority of Indians do not have enough savings to last themselves 21 days, even if ration is available, whose price-rise is evident to everyone. People will die. Probably more than those from COVID-19.
What has the government done about that?
You are not interested to talk about the horrible conditions of government hospitals. There is no conversation about why governments are not taking over private hospitals.
So, friends! I know many of you support the 21 days’ lockdown. I do, too.
I am just trying to tell you that your safe homes are a luxury that most Indians don’t have.
India is not a land, being Indian is not merely about holding a RoI passport.
Be Indian today.