Monday Oct 26, 2020
India’s economy is passing through a historic low since its independence more than 70 years ago and the country stands isolated in the region, writes an Indian journalist for Dawn.com.
In his opinion piece, Sanjay Kumar states how India projects a pale shadow of its former self due to its dwindling economy and poor decisions in tackling the coronavirus pandemic.
He warns that India’s COVID-19 situation may worsen over the coming days and months, predicting that very soon, the country will have the highest number of coronavirus cases in the world.
The journalist writes that India’s coronavirus response reflects a “complete lack of imagination and planning” as the pandemic continues to affect thousands in the country each day despite imposing early on one of the longest and strictest lockdowns in the world.
Kumar also talks about how India’s border dispute with China has worsened, and how the conflict has strained its economy further. The piece refers to the row with China dealing a “heavy blow” to the trust New Delhi had attempted to build with Beijing over the past four decades.
He states that India’s geo-political strategies and its divisive domestic politics have isolated the country in the region. The journalist says the BJP government’s “majoritarian politics” have had a dismal effect on occupied Kashmir and other Indian minorities.
Kumar laments how secularism in the country is disregarded and dissenting voices are attacked. He further portrays a dismal state of affairs as far as the media is concerned, adding that freedom of expression in the country is being throttled.
He mentions how a section of the Indian media that enjoys ideological proximity with the country’s current regime, attempts to distract masses from the real issues plaguing the nation.
For instance, he cites the example of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput and how the media kicked up an unnecessary storm over his death. Kumar states that the media projected a new theory about his death and painted a new villain each day in its attempt to distract the masses.
Kumar says a careful assessment of the situation reveals that this is all part of the BJP’s ploy to contain secularism in the country and promote its majoritarian agenda through a “pliant media”.
The journalist laments the government’s treatment of Indian non-profit organisations and cites the recent move by the BJP to freeze Amnesty International’s bank accounts.
He speaks of how renowned global journalist bodies such as the International Press Institute (IPI) and the Belgium-based International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) urged the Modi-led government to take notice of the alarming trend of silencing journalists in India with sedition laws.