Coronavirus lockdown: The Congress leader said that the number of poor people in India who are dependent on a daily income is simply too large for the government to unilaterally shut down all economic activity.
Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Sunday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to seriously consider the devastating impact a nationwide coronavirus lockdown would have on the people society and the economy. He said it was critical for the government to understand that India’s conditions were unique and may be total shutdown may not be necessary as it was likely to create more trouble. “We may be required to take different steps than other large countries who are following a total lockdown strategy,” he said in a three-page letter to PM Modi.
The Congress leader further said that the number of poor people in India who are dependent on a daily income is simply too large for the government to unilaterally shut down all economic activity. “The consequence of a complete economic shut down will disasterly amplify the death toll arising from the covid-19 virus,” Gandhi said.
— Congress (@INCIndia) March 29, 2020
Last Tuesday, Prime Minister Modi announced a three-week lockdown across the country to break the transmission chain of highly contagious coronavirus. While a shutdown was necessary keeping the rising positive cases in mind, it pushed lakhs of migrant and daily wage workers across the country out of job in one stroke. With no money in hand and no hope for work for another few weeks, migrant and daily wage workers started going back to their native places.
It is in this backdrop that Rahul Gandhi has suggested that the government should consider a more nuanced a targeted approach that takes the complex realities of Indian people into consideration. “Millions of India’s elderly live in villages. A complete lockdown and the resulting shut down of our economic engine will almost certainly ensure that millions of unemployed youth rush back to their villages, increasing the risk of infecting their parents, grandparents and the elderly population. This will result in catastrophic loss of life,” Rahul Gandhi said.