To

Shri A K Bhalla
Union Home Secretary

Dear Shri Bhalla,

I write this in continuation of my previous letter dated 26-3-2020 regarding the need to comply with the lockdown restrictions in order to prevent the spread of COVID.

It is unfortunate that several persons occupying high positions have time and again violated the lockdown restrictions laid down by your Ministry under the national disaster management legislation. Your Ministry has been a passive spectator to this. This has encouraged the public to defy the restrictions in different parts of the country, leading to India becoming one of the highly COVID infected countries in the world. The number of infected cases has crossed the mind boggling figure of one million and the daily increase in the reported positive cases has since crossed 40,000. Thousands of the affected persons have lost their lives. In almost all districts in the country, the medical infrastructure is bursting at the seams and if the spread of the virus is not controlled immediately, India is going to face a serious health crisis.

Against this background, I am surprised that the UP govt has scheduled the foundation-laying ceremony for the Ram Temple at Ayodhya on August 5th and, as per the news reports, the Prime Minister will be attending that function.

The guidelines on Lockdown2 issued by your Ministry vide 40-3/2020-DM-I(A) dated 29-6-2020 prohibit “religious gatherings” even outside the “containment zones”. This is understandable as the characteristics of COVID19 are still not known fully, except that it is highly contagious and can be fatal. Looking at the extent of the virus spread, one gets the feeling that its community transmission has already started. Would it not therefore be prudent for your Ministry to advise the UP govt to defer the function and also advise the PMO of the need to comply with the lockdown restrictions in the public interest. I am sure that the Prime Minister will appreciate the concerns of the public in this matter.

UP has already reported 51,160 infected cases and the number is going up undeterred. There have been 1192 deaths due to COVID so far in that State.

I feel that India cannot afford to expose its population any further to the COVID infection and everyone, irrespective of their status in public life, should respect the need for social distancing and prevention of social/ religious gatherings. Those at the helm of affairs should set an example to the public, rather than yielding to sentiment.

I would strongly recommend that all gatherings including the one proposed at Ayodhya be deferred indefinitely. What is urgently called for is a collective campaign against COVID19. Short sighted violations of the lockdown restrictions will adversely affect the health of the people in the long run. As a nation, we should refrain from such violations.

Regards,

Yours sincerely,

E A S Sarma
Former Secretary to GOI
Visakhapatnam


SIGN UP FOR COUNTERCURRENTS DAILY NEWSLETTER


 

Comments are closed.