CAN HUMANS BE HUMANE WHEN CRISIS STARES US IN THE FACE?
Published 31-03-2020 10:08 GMT-0000
Introductory note: The capitalist economy has produced a type of human being who, in moments of crisis such as these times impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19), is capable of buying everything, leaving others who need the same items with nothing. —Dagoberto Gutiérrez
WHEN VIRUSES INSPIRE ‘JANTA CURFEWS’ & OTHER LOCKDOWNS
Published 31-03-2020 10:01 GMT-0000
The humanitarian crisis that Covid-19 has unleashed cannot be underestimated. It has changed our world for the foreseeable future and its echoes will reverberate even after normalcy has been restored. Underlying the pandemic, however, are serious questions that impinge upon our human rights and civil liberties, which at the best of times we take for granted, and at the worst, like in the situation now, we are not mindful about.
TRADE UNION BODY SAYS RS 5 LAKH CRORE CORONA SUPPORT IS NEEDED
Published 31-03-2020 08:56 GMT-0000
New Delhi: The All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) on Friday termed the government’s economic package inadequate to tackle the situation arising from COVID–19 and said it includes already running schemes. On Wednesday, AITUC demanded Rs 5 lakh crore-package for the needy to deal with the lockdown in the wake of the coronavirus threat.
WEST BENGAL CM MANAGES CRISIS AMONGST THE PEOPLE
Published 31-03-2020 08:52 GMT-0000
Tom Landry is not a familiar name in India. He was not a great politician either. He was an American football player. But what he said once is a quotable quote: “Leadership is a matter of having people look at you and gain confidence, seeing how you react. If you are in control, they are in control.” Judging by this criterion, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is a leader par excellence.
OPPOSITION WITHIN RIGHTS TO CRITICISE GOVERNMENT’S HANDLING
Published 31-03-2020 08:48 GMT-0000
Is the opposition supporting Modi government’s efforts to contain the coronavirus pandemic? Is the government doing enough? One should not raise eyebrows if the opposition parties do not praise the government’s effort, though they are forced to give lip-support reluctantly. Even in the United States despite the pandemic outbreak, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has accused the President Donald Trump of “playing politics” with the virus, to which the latter responded by calling her “incompetent.” The Speaker hit back saying, “Lives are at stake. This is not a time for name-calling or playing politics.”What both said applies to Indian politicians also.
THE SOCIALIST MOMENT ARISES ONCE CAPITALISM’S FAILURES BECOME CLEAR
Published 30-03-2020 10:25 GMT-0000
In a new and dangerous twist to the coronavirus crisis, Donald Trump is now calling for an end to social distancing perhaps as early as Easter. His goal is to restart the economy and avoid the worst impact of the coming recession.
WHAT ARE THE STATUTES INVOKED TO COUNTER COVID-19?
Published 30-03-2020 10:22 GMT-0000
Some state municipal authorities like that in Delhi have invoked the state municipal legislation that empowers the municipal commissioners to take special measures in case of outbreak of dangerous or epidemic diseases. Such measures can include requiring private establishments to follow certain rules, eg. In case of Delhi, market and trade associations, resident welfare associations, restaurants/eateries, banquet hall owners, mall managements, hotel/motel/guest houses were to provide proper sanitation facility (washing with soap and water/alcohol-based sanitizer) at the entry point of respective establishments and to ensure no gathering at one particular site. A violation of these requirements could be punished under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code.
AS SALARIES CUT TO PROCURE MASKS, DOCTORS RISK EXPOSURE TO COVID
Published 30-03-2020 10:19 GMT-0000
LUCKNOW: Salary deduction from doctors and other members of the staff of the prestigious KG Medical University to buy the necessary three-layer protective masks is a sad commentary on the preparations, or lack thereof, to fight Covid-19 in Uttar Pradesh.
AMID PANDEMIC, AUTHORITARIANSIM STRENGTHENS ITS GRIP GLOBALLY
Published 30-03-2020 10:15 GMT-0000
After Deng Xiaoping launched his four modernizations drive in the 1970s related to agriculture, industry, defence and science and technology to extricate China from Mao Zedong’s personalized ideological straitjacket, a pro-democracy activist, Wei Jingsheng, put up a poster on the so-called “democracy wall” in Beijing, calling for the democratization of China. He called it the “fifth modernization”. According to him, “the only form of modernization worth having should bring democracy and freedom”. He was arrested and spent 18 years in jail before being deported to the US.
LET BUSINESS DECISIONS BE LEFT WITH MANAGEMENT
Published 30-03-2020 10:12 GMT-0000
It is high time that central ministers and top bureaucrats stop meddling with commercial decisions of the management of their departmental undertakings, especially at this difficult time. In the past, such interferences have led to financial misery of many public sector undertakings (PSUs). The worst of them were two former national airlines — Indian Airlines and Air India — under the ministry of civil aviation. Most public representatives in the government holding ministerial portfolios are generalists and not management experts. The same is the case of bureaucrats. They would probably do well by refraining from giving unwarranted commercial advice to the management of departmental undertakings at this juncture when large PSEs are fully engaged in fighting coronavirus within their plants and establishments, employing thousands of people, and those living close to their factories, while running their operations. The government should also see that such advices are also not showered on PSU management by their departmental secretaries or top bureaucrats. The latter could give wrong signals.