The country, which is seventh largest in the world and the second most populated country housing more than 1.3 billion people, is set to have a government that strongly keeps tracks of its people and their needs. Well no, this is not quite the case in India. People of this country often forget that they have not elected leaders who are capable enough to provide them the answer to this question, unfortunately. These types of remarks may sound vague but these are true and honest. How?
The union government told the parliament that it does not have an account of the deaths that occur during the lockdown while the pandemic continues to rage upon the people of India. Not only this, they do not have the data related to farmer’s suicide, data on migrant workers, and the downfall of the economy. If you were to call someone irresponsible you might want to look at the plight of the Indian government for once. To this situation, Shashi Tharoor, the opposition minister, from congress, took to twitter to highlight the same incident to the people of the nation. His tweet read ” No #data on migrant workers, no data on farmer suicides, wrong data on fiscal stimulus, dubious data on #COVID deaths, cloudy data on GDP growth — this Government gives a whole new meaning to the term #NDA!” followed by a cartoon.
It is no doubt that the government has been negligent in controlling the coronavirus situation. But things went out of hand when the simply shrug off their shoulders from the responsibility to maintain records of poor migrant workers who died due to the strict lockdown. Not only the migrant workers but the farmer suicides were not even counted. To this, the union minister of the state for home, G Kishan Reddy, said that the center was unable to provide any information about the farmer’s suicide because the collective data was not issued by the state and the union territories. Well if someone was to ask them whose responsibility would that be?
According to G Kishan Reddy, the national crimes record bureau has even reported “nil” on the data for the farmer’s suicide and agricultural labors. He gave a written reply that it was due to this reason the collective data about the farmer’s deaths were untenable and were not published separately.
The migrant workers had no better situation. Lakhs of laborers were stuck in the lockdown away from their homes, many of them tried to reach back to their native place. Thousands of them died and you might be wondering that such a powerful government would at least take responsibility for people who work hard day and night, well you are in for a big surprise. The government does not even know how many of them passed away, let alone getting them home back safely. The nation went into complete lockdown for 75 days and still is in motion for some parts. To this also the government took off saying no data was available.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted on Tuesday” you did not count, so no one died?” There have been no replies to the statement as of yet. The thing that might shock you the most is when the government was asked about the compensation for the deaths caused they stated that the question of compensation did not arise if no data was maintained. This is just sad on the government’s part.
The government even failed to provide records of the workers and the laborers working in the unorganized sector and no such proposal was even in consideration, to begin with. The economy hit a major low in the first quarter of FY21, the former RBI governor Raghuram Ranjan shared the concern for the same mentioning that the numbers are bound to get much worse once the reports on the informal sector are released.
If you think that it is just the farmer suicides and the migrant workers that have been outcasted from the government data. You are completely wrong. The worst is yet to come!
The government does not even have records for the health workers, nurses, doctors, and ASHA workers who lost their lives protecting others from the deadly virus. According to the Indian Medical association’s COVID-19 data reported that as many as 2,238 doctors were infected to which 382 lost their lives. The IMA even frowned upon the government on not maintaining the statistics and records of the doctors and workers who sacrificed their lives protecting people who lost the moral authority to administer the epidemic act 1897.
The list does not stop here there was no data available on the deaths of ‘safai karamchari’ who were infected and died while cleaning the hospitals or medical wastes. The ministry of social justice and empowerment told Rajya Sabha. As worse as it gets there are no records of police personnel that died during their service in lockdown. This would mean the same for them no date equals no compensation for their deaths.
Though there is no known cure for the novel coronavirus there are patients that showed positive signs with the plasma treatment. The ministry of health stated that if required to set up more plasma banks the government would come forward with a solution ASAP but with no central database for it. This simply means no data to blame someone in the coming future.
Adding to the above mentioned there is no data for the extreme measures taken by the police that led to the harassment of people and even deaths in extreme cases, no data on political prisoners, the murder of RTI activists, and India’s position on world corruption list. There is no end to this list.
This is just devastating to know that we are blindsided by the government that we chose to protect us. The government can’t protect people when they can’t even provide the exact digits for the people who lost their lives during the pandemic. This is a wake-up call to all the citizens of India to know the situation they are living in. After all, it is them who elect the government and the power to make or break anything solely lies in their hands.