At the time of writing, we are unaware about the contents of the Prime Minister’s second broadcast in as many weeks on the dreaded coronavirus.
Though we keep our fingers tightly crossed, thus far the government has handled the existentialist crisis well. By and large, people too have cooperated with the authorities.
The extent of economic hit is hard to estimate. True numbers will come after we have overcome the challenge. Meanwhile, the Centre and states have wisely relaxed demands and deadlines for payments of GST and income tax and other levies.
Steps have also been taken to help people in delayed payment of EMIs and LIC premiums; railways have decided to refund without cancellation charges full value of journeys not taken due to the stoppage of train services.
Several governments have announced payment of monthly cash compensation to workers in the informal sector. These are humanitarian concerns and no government can shirk its responsibility.
However, it is unacceptable that sections of the Opposition still continue to see the crisis through the prism of partisan politics. Issuing statements suggesting flaws in the government approach in dealing with the corona crisis does not redound to the credit of anyone at a time when unity is the need of the hour.
In this context, we cannot but congratulate the NCP leader Sharad Pawar for joining millions of Indians in expressing gratitude to the caregivers on Sunday afternoon.
That viral picture on social media uplifted the mood. There are still some politicians who have the grace to put aside partisan interests to come together in the larger national cause. In sharp contrast, the Gandhis with their sullen reaction to daily developments continue to display pique at the loss of power.