Coronavirus: Mr Prime Minister, Please Speak To Us About Unlock

Respected Prime Minister

My five-year-old daughter raised an innocuous query: Why is Mr Narendra Modi not speaking to us about coronavirus? She has a valid point. From speaking to four times in a short span, you have gone completely silent.

Every Indian deserves an audience

Every Indian who listened to you in March and April need to be answered by you. We felt that the nation requires our support and adhered to the lockdown measures announced by you. All of us showed our commitment to the nation by following your directions whole-heartedly.

The migrant workers faced the utmost hard-ships and bore the maximum brunt of the lockdown, including deaths. The daily-wagers lost their income. The blue-collared self-employed missed their earnings. In short, the masses suffered. The Government was of no help to any of them, for the simple reason that it does not have any data about the Indians that carry the weight of the country.

Yet, everybody (barring highly privileged) supported the lockdown. Now, we feel let down by all your press releases about unlock.

If lockdown was a mistake, own up

You announced the lockdown when the cases were 500 odd. Now, the cases are touching 5 lacs, and you are talking about unlocking, rather already unlocked. We are unable to understand what is driving your decision-making? Weird India’s coronavirus strategy of relaxing lockdown, as cases rise is beyond any logic.

In a single breath, you talk about saving lives and reviving livelihoods. We are unable to understand your visualization. Coronavirus is wreaking havoc, people are scared and primarily thinking “Jaan hai to Jahan hai” (quote from your first speech). Suddenly, you surreptitiously ask all Indians to get back to work.

If you feel lockdown has not worked, at least tell us. Please explain to us how your new strategy of unlock is going to save lives. If you are clueless, tell us that you are trying to do your best, we will back you up. But, what is this changing of course silently after hard-selling the virtues of lockdown?

How unlock is going to ward off coronavirus?

European countries have reduced the coronavirus cases drastically basis the lockdown. New Zealand claimed the coronavirus-free status, albeit for a couple of days, basis the lockdown. There is not a single country until now that has reduced the coronavirus cases without the lockdown.

Iran reduced the case-load, opened up and the cases are again rising. The US reduced the cases, is opening up and the count is increasing. With all these visible examples, what is driving your unlock strategy?

If unlock is what you must do, please give us free testing. Kindly put up the number of empty isolation beds, empty ICU beds, empty ventilators district-wise daily. Please tell us the number of doctors and nurses available to treat the patients and the number of PPEs available to protect them.

All these will go a long way in assuring us that the Government is on the job and is taking the task of protecting the citizens seriously. You want us to come out and work, simultaneously you also tell us the measures in place (numbers, not just lofty sentences) to save our lives. Without all these, unlock is just asking people to become a needless martyr.

You said in the Chief Minister’s virtual meet, “Every life is important to us and we mourn all whom we have lost to the disease”. If you care so much for the citizens, why the single-minded rush for unlock?

If Government is broke, admit that too

What could be the reason for unlock even though the coronavirus caseload is only increasing by the day? What was all the mumbo-jumbo about Aatma-Nirbhar Bharat in the middle of a health crisis?

The relief package announced by Nirmala Sitharaman is a rehash of measures that have spectacularly not yielded any results in the past. The Supreme Court is also scratching the head about what is the relief in the EMI moratorium announced by Shaktikanta Das. The failure of Prime Minister Garib Kalyan Yojana can be gauged from the exodus of the migrant workers.

With this entirely ineffective hotchpotch, the only insight presumable is that the Government is broke. The Government neither has the money nor the bandwidth to care for the citizens in their hour of need. Else, what is this mad scramble for unlock?

Please tell us what is going on with the finances.

Unlock

My five-year-old twin daughters are at a loss to understand that even with coronavirus around, why is the lockdown lifted? One of the girls asked if people keep moving around like this, how will coronavirus ever leave India? I have no answer to her enquiry. Request you to clarify her doubt.

Please speak to us about unlock.

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