ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Fifty Days of Lockdown in India: A View from Two Villages in Tamil Nadu

Villagers in Tiruppur district in Tamil Nadu, India’s largest knitwear manufacturing and export hub, face different levels of hardship due to the lockdown in the wake of COVID-19. This article details the coping strategies of garment, power loom, and agricultural workers in two villages—Allapuram and Mannapalayam.

COVID-19 and Infectious Misinformation

In these times of pandemic, we are witnessing the continued dissemination of pseudoscientifi c misinformation about the disease as well as dubious claims of alternative cure. In some instances, such claims appear to be getting offi cial endorsements. Enabling people to identify unscientifi c claims and hoaxes, is the way forward to build rational immunity to halt the infectious spread of misinformation.

Reading A Journal of the Plague Year during the Lockdown

There are striking similarities between the Great Plague of London and the COVID-19 pandemic—in Daniel Defoe’s historical fiction, we see literature’s power to vividly capture human behaviour in times of crisis.

A Dilemma for the Government

The response to the pandemic has aggravated both the economic as well as the health crises.

Parliaments in the Time of the Pandemic

Democratic accountability demands that the executive decisions and actions during the pandemic need to be subjected to legislative scrutiny. However, this process is absent as the Parliament is adjourned and even the parliamentary committees are not functioning. Taking a cue from the parliaments worldwide that are functional during the pandemic, modalities to ensure the functioning of parliamentary institutions need to be devised.

Economic Implication of a Novel Disease Outbreak

Novel disease outbreaks have a history of ravaging the regional economies. The world economy has taken a massive hit due to COVID-19 and is expected to go into a recession by the next quarter. As such, it has become highly imperative to invest in total epidemic preparedness involving health and non-health interventions, research and development as well as capacity building at all levels.

Marginalised Migrants and Bihar as an Area of Origin

Outmigration from Bihar in search of livelihood has been normalised over several decades, with Bihar being one of the topmost states of origin for the migrants. Unemployment rate in Bihar remains higher than the country average. Agriculture has become unviable over the years due to low yields, increasing landlessness and lack of financial support by the state. The return migration to the state in the wake of COVID-19 necessitates that the state generate farm and non-farm employment to address the crisis situation.

Challenges in the Midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated a rethinking of the contours of state intervention, especially in social sectors like health. The argument for rolling back the state has become questionable even among mainstream commentators. Kerala’s experience shows how public investment in healthcare and a participatory mode of governance with empowered local governments can help in pandemic mitigation. A truly federal set-up with shared responsibilities between the centre and states is better suited to deal with situations like the present one rather than a centralised system.

Migration Commission

The Migration Commission must listen to the workers’ voices and their concerns.

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