Heart-rending visuals of masses of migrants walking desperately to their villages hundreds of kilometres away after the sudden lockdown were not enough to move the government to unleash a more substantive, generous and meaningful set of measures to alleviate the suffering.
While Modi Government failed to test and trace, which was best illustrated by its “screening” system leaking like a sieve, particularly at the busiest airport in the country, Delhi, it also ignored the elementary rules of planning for the lockdown.
As the expert virologist T. Jacob John asked a full two weeks before the lockdown “Where is the war room?”

Almost a month later, one may well add the question: Where indeed is the war chest to conduct the campaign against the virus and its effect?
The first required the management and coordination of the productive and distributive capacity of the economy in order to smoothen the impact of the lockdown.
The second aspect of planning required it to ensure that speedy relief was provided to the most vulnerable & that the productive capacity temporarily shut did not collapse permanently for financial reasons.

It is evident that the Modi Govt failed miserably on both these fronts.
If the regime had paid attention, it would have been aware of this possibility. The Railways, for instance, ran special trains in the days before the lockdown in which thousands of migrant workers travelled in heavily overcrowded conditions.
The fact that migrant workers, just back in the cities after exhausting their savings following the Holi festival in early March, had no other option but to try to return home as they were outside the scope of the public distribution network for their basic food supply.
The reports of widespread police brutality against ordinary citizens can perhaps be traced to this utterance since a policeman’s understanding of what a curfew is very different from what the Prime Minister may have intended.
It would appear that a nationwide lockdown would have called for a central coordination team, starting at the apex level with the Prime Minister & his key Cabinet colleagues. Instead, every possible decision appears to have been left to Modi, with the rest nowhere in the picture.
"We are well-positioned to move goods over short distances because we have a countrywide presence, and in coordination with the Railways, this would appear to have been a viable option if only it had been planned,” a senior Army officer stationed in north India told!
One of the biggest failings of the Modi Govt's handling of COVID-19 crisis relates to its failure to coordinate measures with States on the health emergency & its economic fallout.

It placed the onus on States to check outflow of migrant workers without providing them support.
This, despite the fact that States have to undertake almost all the health-related measures apart from providing relief in terms of supplying food and shelter.

Many States such as Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Odisha have undertaken significant measures.
Modi regime’s lethargic response to the biggest national emergency since its birth as a nation means the ongoing collapse of national output is likely to be followed by a further collapse when capacities fail to fire even when the situation improves.
A third order impact could come from the utter collapse of demand in national economy because of widespread unemployment & resultant loss of incomes.

Every country in the world sees the current expansion of the fiscal space as an insurance against a future drop in output.
Put another way, the thinking goes like this: if governments can generate fiscal handouts now, there is at least the possibility that output in the future may not drop as severely as it would in the absence of relief delivered now.
This is not the time to worry about the fiscal deficit, seems to be the consensus. After all, a well-directed package that would ensure the greatest bang for the buck would be worth it if it prevented the collapse of national income to the tune of 50 per cent.
Moreover, even after the lifting of the lockdown, demand in a range of sectors like travel & tourism and many others are likely to be subdued for some time. 

States like Kerala should suffer immensely, in the above areas, which is a great component of its revenue.
As every major economy comes to a grinding halt, the adage that in a recession everyone is a Keynesian has given way to another, that is, in a pandemic, everyone is a socialist.
Financial Times, in an editorial, calls for “radical reforms” that are needed to “forge a society that will work for all”.
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