A 100 years after the Spanish Flu, another global pandemic could end up with a high body count; possibly even 90 million deaths, if a recent research-projection done at the Imperial College London proves correct. The pandemic has accelerated political and economic processes; some that were already in motion. In January, the IMF had warned of the possibility of a global slowdown (even a worldwide recession was not ruled out) and by March, Covid-19 has made that recession reality.
Against this background, it is important to understand how this pandemic has added momentum to India’s inertial slide into a full-fledged Hindu-fascist state. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu-nationalist government has seized upon this public health emergency as an opportunity to strengthen its hold over society. The Covid-19 pandemic has provided the BJP government a fertile ground for advancing its totalitarian project.
Far from the pre-emptive and proactive responses of South Korea and Taiwan, India appeared to be laying the foundation of a prolonged suspension of civil liberties.… earlier this week, the Centre told the Supreme Court that the NPR and NRC are inter-linked exercises. This is exactly what the protesters at Shaheen Bagh have been saying—and opposing. However, every time they did so, BJP leaders labelled them “anti-Indian”. In this way, the BJP has fostered social schisms to shore up its own constituencies. The Hindutva outfit’s responses to the pandemic serve exactly the same purpose. By playing along, the State is denying the catastrophic danger that Covid-19 poses to Indian society, if it is left unrestrained.
Coronavirus: Why is India testing so little? – By Soutik Biswas (Mar 20, 2020, BBC)
Why are patients fleeing India’s coronavirus isolation wards? – By Shoaib Daniyal (Mar 17, 2020, Quartz India)
‘Clap our hands,’ says Modi, but India needs more to tackle coronavirus crisis – By Leela Jacinto (Mar 20, 2020, France24)
India Needs to Loosen Purse Strings as Coronavirus Recession Looms Over Already Ailing Economy – By Sindhu Bhattacharya (Mar 21, 2020, News18)