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Covid-19: ‘Dharma Sankat’ for the government on the blockade, says Gurcharan Das | India News


NEW DELHI: Eminent panelists at Bennett University’s global online conference on Covid-19: Fallout & Future, held on Thursday, unanimously said that a partial blockade is the need of the hour to save the Indian economy and its people , given the data currently available on the number of cases, mortality rate, and serious implications of a prolonged block.

India has imposed the world’s strictest blockade in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. To shed some light on the enigma currently facing the government about getting out of prison, the author and commentator, Gurcharan Das, referred to the Mahabharata.


“If you save 100 lives from illness but lose 200 lives from unemployment, then you must choose where you lose fewer lives. But when I thought about this personally, what would I choose if I would let my own son die from Covid-19, then my moral intuition was clear. I would choose to save a present life rather than worry about future lives, ”said Das.

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“Vidura in Mahabharata, who was a royal adviser, said he would have made the opposite decision. He said that he would sacrifice a person to save a village. It is a ‘Dharma Sankat’. Either way it is lost,” he added.

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“During this confinement, a poor migrant from Bihar said that if the crown does not kill me, hunger will,” said Das, adding: “Who should live and who should die is the question facing the Modi government.”

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Multiple blockades will bring a brutal recession, a quarter of a billion wage earners will starve and the pandemic could push India back for decades, Das warned.

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“When I thought about this dilemma, I also wondered if it was worth saving lives if the result was a world full of lives that was not worth living,” said Das. “The cure is worse than the disease is the dilemma.”

“The government should go to a partial and selective closure. We have tested so few people that we don’t know how bad the situation is, “Das said.” But with rigorous testing we will have data in two weeks. But with the current data, we should make a cautious bet and move towards a partial closure. ”

“It would continue the India-wide ban on older people and would not allow more than five people to gather anywhere,” he added.

“About a sixth of the economy, which is a digital economy, is also working. But 50-55% of the economy is closed. This gives me an assessment that about 6% of GDP loss will take place within a month, “said former finance secretary Subhash Chandra Garg.

“This virus will not go away. Any assumption that the lock will remove the virus is not correct. We can reduce the impact of the virus and isolate affected people and keep them away from unaffected people. Some nations have shown that this can be done, ”he added.

Arvind Virmani, former chief economic adviser to the Government of India, proposed the cautious opening of some industries. “If the blockade extends until the end of May, it could cost the country around 9% of GDP,” he said.

“Urban workers stay in confined spaces where infections are much more likely to spread and could be worse than going to work,” he said. “Extensive testing of such a huge population is impossible in India. International travel should be banned until June and there should be some restrictions on domestic travel. ”

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