Politics Over Pandemic

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As the country faces an emergency like situation the opposition parties instead of trying to finds faults with the government should extend their hand of cooperation. This is certainly not the time to engage in either blame game or score political points against one another.

There is no denying the gravity of COVID-19 situation in the country. But unfortunately the ruling NDA and the opposition continue to spar over the situation instead of putting up a united front. Considering the gravity of the situation they should stop looking at things only through the political lens because it restricts their vision and makes them biased. Besides it sends out a wrong message.

And the pandemic has been impacting the country in several ways. It is not just a health crisis, it is also an economic crisis which will have long term repercussions for India. The Indian Premier League (IPL), a huge money spinner which used to fill not only the coffers of the BCCI but also provide economic opportunities to others, had to be suspended midway through its latest edition with several players and support staff of various teams testing COVID positive.

The BCCI, nonetheless, continues to justify its decision of organizing the latest edition of the world’s most watched limited overs cricket tournament within the country despite the challenge that the pandemic posed. Board top shots have maintained that a lot of thought had gone behind organizing the tournament with maximum possible precautions. Venues were chosen carefully and the Board, in all likelihood, will also compensate the Indian domestic players irrespective of the fate of 2021 IPL season.

There is no denying that IPL’s suspension will affect not only the Board and the players but also other stake-holders who had hoped to cash in on its success. It has been a blow to the game and, in some respects, to the economy as well. The economy has been suffering even otherwise with NDA government having to spend not only on controlling the pandemic and strengthening country’s health infrastructure but also on protecting livelihoods. COVID-19 has claimed lakhs of jobs in different sectors across the country. The worst hit, of course, has been the poorest class that comprises mainly of daily wagers. A majority of them form part of the unorganized sector and remain the most vulnerable.

The government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, however, has been doing its best to bring relief to them and to protect their livelihoods by launching fresh schemes and strengthening the existing job schemes for them. Efforts are also being made to extend economic support to small and medium scale industries which have been badly hit by the pandemic.

The Prime Minister has been against lockdowns right from the beginning of this second phase of the pandemic because such measures trigger job losses and hit the poor the most. But sometimes resorting to such measures, even though for shorter durations, becomes inevitable in the larger interest of protecting public health.

As the country faces an emergency like situation the opposition parties instead of trying to finds faults with the government should extend their hand of cooperation. They should also stop gloating over TMC’s victory in West Bengal and Samajwadi Party’s performance in UP panchayat polls. This is certainly not the time to engage in either blame game or score political points  against one another.

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