Editorial

Health is No Priority Still

THE Covid-19 pandemic has brought out the stark inadequacy and abysmal neglect of the public health system in India.  Even after 50 days of the lockdown, the Modi government seems to have not learnt from the experience of tackling the deadly virus.  In state after state, government hospitals are overwhelmed by the number of patients and the lack of treatment facilities.  The state of government hospitals in the hotspot of Mumbai provides a grim illustration. 

Authoritarianism Reinforced

THE Covid-19 pandemic has intensified and reinforced the authoritarian set-up which had been ushered in by the Modi government. The authoritarian trend had begun with the Modi government being installed in office in May 2014. It got consolidated with its return to power in May 2019. Now one year hence, the extraordinary situation created by the Covid pandemic has been fully utilised to strengthen the authoritarian regime. 

War on Workers

THE war on the Covid-19 virus is quickly transforming into a war against the working class in India. In parliament, in March this year, the government had stated that there are estimated to be around 100 million (10 crore) inter-state migrant workers. A vast majority of them would have lost their livelihoods with the lockdown being imposed. They have lost their places of stay and were driven to desperation by lack of food and shelter for their families.

Trump’s Game: Scapegoating China

THE coronavirus global pandemic is still raging with its epicentre in the United States of America. It is during this time that President Trump and his administration have launched a frontal campaign against China, blaming it for the creation of the virus and its spread going to the extent of demanding compensation for the damage caused.

Twin Plagues Afflict Kashmir

NOT much is heard about what is happening in Jammu and Kashmir in these times of the pandemic. But even when the people there are seriously concerned about the spread of the coronavirus, the Hindutva rulers are busy designing what is now called the “union territory” of J&K. For the people of the Kashmir valley, there is no let up in the repression and suppression of rights they have been experiencing since August, 2019.

Don’t Handicap the States

THE fight against the Covid-19 pandemic in India requires a big effort by the states as they have to bear the main expenditure and mobilise the human resources to combat the disease and its economic and social effects. The states have had to scale up health-care facilities, provide free foodgrains and essential supplies and give income support to working people and other sections of society as the lockdown enters its fourth week.

The Politics of Pandemics

EVERY global pandemic must be seen in its political, social and economic context. The Covid-19 pandemic is occurring at a time when neoliberal capitalism has ravaged all the basic services which are vital for the well-being of people. Privatisation has denuded or dismantled the public health system in many countries; the State has abandoned the responsibility of providing for the basic needs of the people – food, housing, education and public transport.

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