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Why Vishal Dadlani is angry!

April 04, 2020 16:48 IST
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'Sadly, the government has completely neglected daily wagers and the poor.'

IMAGE: Homeless people take refuge inside a school in New Delhi, April 3, 2020. Photograph: Manvender Vashist/PTI Photo

Musician-singer Vishal Dadlani is very angry and upset with the plight of the under-privileged of India who are reeling under the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

"They -- the poor -- are us," he tells Subhash K Jha. "It's not a different society. The privileged have to understand that first. All our fates are interlinked. Sadly, for all its words, the government has completely neglected to provide facilities, infrastructure and relief for the daily wagers and the poor, leaving them without basic necessities."

Vishal isn't overlooking the efforts of state governments to help the financially bankrupted sections of people.

"State governments are doing what they can, but it will take a coordinated national effort, which is missing," says Vishal.

"Once again, we are facing a disaster that will arise from a lack of planning and understanding the situation," Vishal warns.

"Mere gestures are not solutions. Where Germany has put 20 percent of its GDP towards its corona relief package, India has not even allocated 1 percent. We need to fix this and provide for the health of our country."


Regarding the generous donations from the film industry, Vishal wonders if the money is going to the right place.

"We have no way of knowing," he says. "For this, we have no choice but to go on faith. India has a long and checkered history with misappropriated relief funds, and that's clearly not going to be solved today."

"Personally, I never donate to any government charity. I donate via charities, who I know are doing amazing work and are transparent about how the money they receive is deployed. But if people are enamoured by the PM and his call to donate, that's good too, and I'm all for it. Whatever helps the poor, and the country as a whole, has my support."

Confined to his home, Vishal says he is working and exercising at home.

"These are two things that will keep us sane. Introspection, yes. I'm reading a lot more than watching films. This period of confinement is also prodding me to realise the pointlessness of a lot of things that seem immediate and urgent in the world, and the importance of a lot of stuff we take for granted."

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