‘Coronavirus A Shock Amid Self-Inflicted Unrest’: Manmohan Singh
He stated that it is futile to point past instances to justify present violence.
As the Novel Coronavirus spreads across countries, India too, grapples with its impact on trade amid social unrest and economic slowdown. Addressing this concern, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh elaborated on the drastic consequences of the virus on the economy and how the government can address the situation in a more effective way, in an opinion piece for The Hindu.
The former PM stated that the social unrest and economic ruin are self-inflicted while the health contagion of COVID-19 disease, caused by novel coronavirus is an external shock.
He also mentioned the deadly violence that consumed Delhi over the past couple of weeks, leading to the death of nearly 50 citizens.
"University campuses, public places and private homes are bearing the brunt of communal outbursts of violence, reminiscent of the dark periods in India's history," Singh wrote, adding that the institutions of law and order, justice and media have also failed the people.
'Futile to Point Past Instances to Justify Present Violence'
The former PM stated hat citing historical instances to justify the present violence in the country is uncalled for.
"Every act of sectarian violence is a blemish on Mahatama Gandhi's India," he added.
Pointing out to the dearth of investments in the private sector, he stated that the current social disruptions and communal tensions will only "compound their fears and risk aversion."
Dealing With Coronavirus
Singh stated that we could learn a thing or two from countries like China, Italy and America who have embarked aggessively on measures to quarantine people and find a cure.
He stated that there are reports of the disease greatly impacting China's economy, which if it happens, will be the first time since the Cultural Revolution of the 1970s. And this is sure to impacy small and medium business in India, he cited.
Singh has laid down a three-point plan for the government as follows:
- Focus all energies and efforts on containing the Coronavirus threat and prepare adequately.
- Should withdraw or amend the Citiszenship Act, end the toxic social climate and foster national unity.
- Putting together a detailed and meticulous fiscal stimulus plan to boost consumption demand and revive the economy.
He also pointed out the balance of payments crisis in India in 1991 which India was able to succesfully turn into an opportunity to reinvigorate the economy through drastic reforms.
Similarly, he adds, the virus contagion in China can potentially open an opportunity for India to launch second-generation reforms to become a larger global economy.
(With inputs from The Hindu)
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