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Modi’s Hasty Coronavirus Lockdown of India Leaves Many Fearful for What Comes Next – By Abhishyant Kidangoor

Modi’s hasty announcement of the unprecedented lockdown gave hundreds of millions of Indians less than four hours to prepare. Modi assured Indians that essential services would continue, but was vague regarding how people would be able to buy food and other necessary items. As a result, people rushed to shops to stock up before the decree took effect. People were seen lining up outside stores late into the night and traffic congestion was reported from across the country.

The lockdown has also triggered a massive exodus of migrant laborers and wage workers from cities back to the rural villages they are from—where many won’t have to pay rent and food is cheaper. Many migrants were seen defying the curfew. Some have told news outlets that they are walking up to 500 miles to get back home. Videos of chaotic scenes at train stations showed people struggling to get on their last train home, some crying uncontrollably as they missed them.

But for the majority of Indians, social distancing is a luxury they can’t afford. Many face hunger and starvation in the absence of daily wages that have been disrupted as the world’s seventh-largest economy grinds to a halt. Most of those who come under the purview of the new scheme belong to India’s massive informal economy, which employs about 424 million Indians… Auto rickshaw drivers, milkmen, vendors who sell vegetables and snacks from carts are all part of this economy, Most live on daily wages, do not receive any benefits and work jobs that do not exist on paper.

SEE ALSO

‘I just want to go home’: the desperate millions hit by Modi’s brutal lockdown – By Hannah Ellis-Petersen and Shaikh Azizur Rahman (Apr 4, 2020, The Guardian)

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/04/i-just-want-to-go-home-the-desperate-millions-hit-by-modis-brutal-lockdown

India’s Lockdown Helps Its Rich but Ignores Its Poor – By Ravi Agrawal (Mar 31, 2020, Foreign Policy)

COVID-19 and India’s Nowhere People – By Neeta Lal (Apr 1, 2020, The Diplomat)

https://thediplomat.com/2020/04/covid-19-and-indias-nowhere-people/

India is enforcing the harshest and most extensive Covid-19 lockdown in the world – By Shoaib Daniyal (Mar 31, 2020, Quartz India)https://qz.com/india/1828915/indias-coronavirus-lockdown-harsher-than-china-italy-pakistan/

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