Exploring the Indian context’s lockdown gave us many take-aways and illustrations at the level of plan control and policy administration, execution, and implementation. Revisiting the assertions, claims, and commitments on the part of the role and responsibility of the state as a purposeful negotiator, facilitator, and mediator whenever a conflictual situation arises.
It is but natural for the state to take centre stage in mobilizing and mapping the allocation and distribution of valuable resources to the deprived and destitute. The past run central government schemes like Jan Dhan Yojana, Ujjwala gas cylinder scheme, and MNREGA are some of the most delicate illustrations of Indian state’s welfare character and composition.
However, as states continue to retreat, there is every possibility that the rights and guarantees of the individual will be violated. They will be rendered vulnerable if we were to recap the lockdown for putting the argument, as mentioned earlier, into perspective. I understand that lockdowns were necessary and needed to combat and check the menace of Corona, but at what cost? Shouldn’t arrangements have been made for the migrant labourers and workers who, in the first place, wanted to return to their homes and settings encouraged by the convenient mobility benefitting from the imposition of the lockdown?
When demonetization was announced in November 2016, they were the ones who were primarily impacted and hit the most by this bizarre policy action intended to do more harm than good. In my opinion, it is essential for the centre and the states to enter and engage into dialogue and consultations through which they can co-systematically ordinate their efforts and resources for the legislation of any policy program, through which they will also get an opportunity to regroup their strategies for plugging the loopholes.
Had the centre taken states into confidence before the imposition of nationwide lockdown, the situation would have been way too different from what it looks now. In this regard, the centre will have to give up on the profound disbelief and suspicion on the part of the states instead of working in tandem towards ensuring the betterment of prospects of the people, as is the case with a city-state like Delhi.
Both the Centre and Delhi government have joined hands in their resolve against fighting to contain Corona as the figures of Covid-19 are on the rise in the capital. Delhi being a semi-state, requires support, assistance, and cooperation from both the government. Thus, the governments must hold the spirit of federalism high, giving up on political and ideological differences and disregard as people’s aspirations should matter rather than the way beyond anything.
I don’t understand why the governments act by the sheer logic of their majority and mandate in elucidating their responses to outcomes and objectives. We require a Universal National Crisis Policy to set the distinctive guidelines and goals to be adopted keeping in view the scale and size of the situation apart from the National Disaster Management Policy that is existing and automatically comes into effect in the event of such crisis, but this alone won’t do.
It is up to the policy planners in effecting any transition.