The leadership needs to put all other government business aside, control the pandemic and save human lives.
Searchlights are going to be held by the world community in the weeks and months ahead as the fatality rates start shooting up and Indians die like flies, warns Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan publicly acknowledged on Friday, July 17, that community transmission has begun in certain coastal regions of the state.
In essence, Pinarayi 'declassified' what must be a 'top secret' at the all-India level. The chief minister has chosen to be upfront on a sensitive issue, when his peer group is playing safe and is in denial mode.
But how can a pandemic be fought when the rulers are in denial mode?
The fact of the matter is that community transmission began quite some time ago in our country and has begun appearing lately in Kerala too.
Pinarayi has been personally conducting the daily briefings on the march of the pandemic in his parish to educate the public opinion.
Indeed, how do you fight a pandemic unless the public is aware of the gravity of the crisis?
In Kerala, community transmission is limited at present to the fishing villages where social distancing norms are difficult to enforce, as fishermen are also 'migrant workers' who go wherever there is good catch.
So, 'triple lockdown' has become necessary in select coastal areas to prevent the fishermen from travelling to neighbouring states where the pandemic is raging.
Hasn't the time come for PM Modi to announce that community transmission has begun? Of course, it is unpleasant news.
But the number of infected people crossed the 1 million mark in India on Thursday, July 16.
At this rate, how can one take lightly the prognosis by the hugely prestigious Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru that the number of infected cases will exceed 3.5 million by September 1 and could rise as high as 12 million (over 3 million 'active' cases and half a million fatalities) by November 1?
The IISc study by a group of noted scientists says that by New Year, January 1, 2021, India would have possibly close to 30 million infected cases (over 6 million 'active' cases and 1 million fatalities).
The pandemic is not expected to 'peak' before March next year.
This is an apocalyptic scenario. The international community anticipates a massive crisis spiralling out of control and is closely watching India which counts for one-sixth of humanity.
The Newshour programme on BBC Radio World Service gave top billing to the pandemic ravaging India. The highlights of the discussion were as follows:
If this account is anywhere near the truth, our leadership is behaving like an oligarchy by twiddling their thumbs, revelling in video conferences and Twitter exchanges at a time like this.
Who are they kidding? The world community must be aware that the Indian people are grappling with an existential crisis and for a foreseeable future, the Indian economy will be in the doldrums, and its capacity to perform on the 'global commons' is severely restricted.
To my mind, the leadership needs to put all other government business aside and begin to work on controlling the pandemic and saving human lives. All resources available with the central government must be deployed to this end.
India's credibility as a democratic country is at stake here. The IISc study becomes a benchmark to judge the performance of the government.
Searchlights are going to be held by the world community in the weeks and months ahead as the fatality rates start shooting up and Indians die like flies.
p>Feature Production: Rajesh Alva/Rediff.com