A furtive finger is placed on the lips of dissent in India. The government does this through malicious FIRs for sedition and defamation. In the Supreme Court, the government called its critics "prophets of doom". But such censorship is also done by fellow citizens.
Has the lockdown truly prevented COVID-19 from gripping India – or has the ‘cure’ been worse than the disease? Stories from the ground suggest that the livelihoods of millions of Indians have been harmed, perhaps irreparably, with no coherent policy framework for their revival.
Former Supreme Court Judge, Justice Gopala Gowda, writes that the Supreme Court's infamous response to the migrant worker crisis during COVID-19 will be remembered as its darkest moment – even superseding its actions during the Emergency.
Kerala’s success in the fight against COVID-19 is due to its unique participatory governance model. People have worked hand-in-glove with the government, each complementing the efforts of the other, through community engagement platforms.
Even with rapid testing and trials, a vaccine against COVID-19 will only be available by the end of this year or by next year. But the next 12-18 months will be critical for countries. They must prepare themselves for an extensive immunization program.
If the Indian Army Chief believes that Nepal needs to be told by China to counter India, he is wrong: Nepal has long wanted to counter India. China only became a factor because of Nepal’s distrust of India. For years, hegemonic behaviour from New Delhi has been compromising India’s interests.
Technology has helped preserve some normalcy during the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing us to stay connected with each other and to work from home. But violations of privacy by various service providers has shown that we need to reimagine how our data is used by industry and government.
Central Asia has been an important part of Indian history for centuries. But in the modern era, India has struggled to compete with Chinese money and Pakistani intransigence. Now, India finally has an opportunity to build influence in the energy-rich region by using its own unique advantages.
Media reports suggest that there is an outbreak of anti-Muslim hate during the nationwide lockdown. But even in this political season of hate, there are several exemplary stories of human compassion and inter-religious harmony being reported from different states.
The coronavirus lockdown has reinforced the merits of a basic income scheme. But apart from alleviating distress, the replacement of wasteful subsidies by a basic income scheme would even be financially prudent. It would make economic reform more viable and the public sector more efficient.