Tuesday, 28 June, 2022
HomeThoughtShotCovid-19: Abhinav Kumar on police cooperation & Vir Sanghvi says liberals wrong...

Covid-19: Abhinav Kumar on police cooperation & Vir Sanghvi says liberals wrong on Jamaat

Today’s political, economic & strategic punditry from L.S. Sathiyamurthy, Aakar Patel, Vir Saghvi, Rohini Nilekani and many others.

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Policing a lockdown

Abhinav Kumar | Serving IPS Officer

The Indian Express

On the nationwide lockdown and the hurdles it poses, Kumar notes, “There was never a scarier time to be in uniform. There was never a more inspiring time to be in uniform.” For the lockdown to achieve its intended goal, the police force needs to work in tandem with healthcare, civil administration and other essential services, he notes. Acknowledging the instances of “reckless non-compliance with lockdown guidelines” and “high-handedness by the police”, Kumar argues, “Not by force, but primarily by consent.” Kumar adds that, “We are having to learn completely alien tactics and protocols on the fly. Every day brings new challenges, new heartbreaks and new acts of inspiration.”

Quarantine and the law

L.S. Sathiyamurthy | District Judge, serving in the special court for CBI cases in Chennai

The Hindu

Sathiyamurthy details the legal aspect of medical isolation and how it is a legal measure “forcibly enforced to prevent or reduce the wider spread of disease…” He adds, “Even if there was a conflict between the right of an individual and public interest, the former must yield to the latter.” However, while the need for quarantine is justified by law in times of an epidemic, “the rays of justice from the courtrooms have the powers to intrude in them (quarantine rooms).” He notes that “every order under the sun” can be reviewed judicially, including quarantine orders.

The world after Covid-19: Unless we are alert, the pandemic could become the last nail in individualism’s coffin

Rohini Nilekani | Philanthropist

The Times of India

Nilekani argues that individualism has been under threat in the past decade for three reasons, primarily — terrorism combined with economic collapse, the rise of the internet giants with their massive social platforms, and a world that has become even more interdependent. With the coronavirus outbreak, Nilekani believes it to be, “the last nail in the coffin of individualism, unless we are alert.” With the nationwide lockdown, Nileakni notes that people have rightfully “been willing to give up our individual freedom”, but this shouldn’t lead to the loss of positive individualism. She ends with, “Samaaj must act quickly and creatively to recover the balance between individual agency and the collective good.”

Why secular liberals are wrong about Nizamuddin

Vir Sanghvi | Journalist

Hindustan Times

Addressing the Tablighi Jamaat incident, Sanghvi states, “[It] was criminal in its behaviour. Don’t defend it just because Hindutva extremists are communalising the episode”. Elaborating on the nature of our political dialogue, Sanghvi states, “Many secular liberals believe they must respond vigorously to everything that Hindu communalists say.” While valid questions such as “Why didn’t the police break up the gathering?” “The IB was keeping a watch on the Markaz: why did it allow the foreigners who had attended to travel around India?” are justifiably raised, to exempt the Jamaat of all and any blame is incorrect. Sanghvi succinctly states — “A murderer is no less responsible for his actions because an inept police force failed to capture him in time.”

Slash dividend & prioritise shoring up balance sheet

Amit Tandon | Author is with Institutional Investor Advisory Services

Business Standard

Tandon comments on the impact of the coronavirus on Indian companies. “Companies must consider the im­pact of the Covid-19-related risks on their financial position”, explains Tandon. He suggests that companies “must review their financials to ensure that enough cash is available for meeting the business needs to restart business and a sufficiently far-sighted pool of capital is available to meet the company’s needs till the economy stabilises”. He argues that SEBI needs to relax “both preferential allotment and qualified institutional placements (QIPs)”. He says “this will enable companies to raise capital to meet their survival and other funding needs.”

Upside of a crisis

Aakar Patel | Executive director of Amnesty International India.

Business Standard

Patel comments on India’s defence spending and explains, “India’s defence budget is Rs 4.3 trillion and the Union Home Affairs, of which by far the largest component is the paramilitary, is another Rs 1 trillion”. The National Education Mission gets Rs 38,000 crore and the Health Mission, rural and urban combined, gets Rs 33,000 crore. He asks why the strategic threat to India requires it to spend its resources in this fashion and whether something can be done to alter it and argues that more money could be spent on other things.

China’s 36-day ride from mask deficiency to a spare

Namit Choksi | Schwarzman Scholar from Tsinghua University.
Akshay Shah | Graduate of Columbia University, and is a Schwarzman Scholar from Tsinghua University.

The authors comment on the usage of masks in tackling the coronavirus crises and how well China has done in the production of these masks. The authors explain, “China, in a matter of 36 days, moved from a deficit to surplus”. On 28 January, Japan donated 1 million masks to China at the peak of its crisis, and on 4 March, China was able to return the favour by donating 1 million masks to Japan. China today makes over 200 million masks per day, over 20 times the number it made at the beginning of February. The authors argue that China was able to achieve this by mobilising electronic, automobile and other manufacturers to produce masks. In the first two months of the year, a staggering 8,950 new manufacturers started producing masks in China, according to business data platform Tianyancha. The authors warn that masks are essential for health workers to fight the pandemic and India must ramp up its effort to produce and distribute them.

The covid crisis could help us create shock-proof companies

Jaspreet Bindra | Expert on blockchain & was the Senior Vice President- Digital Transformation


Bindra writes on what may be a good outcome of the coronavirus crises: companies are “rapidly distributing work as millions of employees work from home (WFH) and are decentralizing decision making to make this work”. We are using technology like Zoom, Slack and Microsoft Teams extensively for collaboration, therefore, creating a distributed ecosystem, rather than centralised office-work and decision making. He says companies are “tolerating small mistakes and large inefficiencies as long as they allow for business continuity and the larger goal to be achieved”. He argues that this will end up making businesses stronger and less fragile. Bindra argues that the coronavirus crises “will not turn companies completely resistant to shocks, but make them resilient enough to recover much quicker from sharp blows.”

Today’s Editorials

Hindustan Times: The health workers in different parts of India are being tested positive or are developing symptoms of coronavirus. This will lead to the spread of infection in a time when India already has a shortage of health workers, argues HT. Health workers getting infected is equivalent to deleting resources, it notes and adds that sourcing and supplying PPEs seems like the only solution now.

The Indian Express: The daily argues that the new domicile criteria in the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir has done nothing to reassure people on the issue of demographic change. The criteria have now become expansive but the timing of the rule is disquieting, writes Express. At the time when the entire nation is fighting from coronavirus, it is ‘inappropriate and insensitive’ to push something that will directly impact the lives of the people in the valley, it comments.

The Times of India: Prime Minister Modi’s interaction with the chief Ministers of states is a welcome move, the daily comments. He emphasised on the need for coordinated action during the lockdown and focus on testing, tracing and isolation. The Centre is better placed to play an overarching role to flatten the curve, it notes.

With inputs from Unnati Sharma

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  1. Whatever may be the criticisms on lockdown, Today’s India is surging towards total digital world as PM Modi desired. Right move by BJP government. Jai Hind!!!

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