- The country is in the grip of an unprecedented situation courtesy of the pandemic needs no further elucidation. The pandemic-induced economic debacle has ravaged every category of citizens, more specifically the poor and the marginalized, who are grappling with a suffocating environment unable to come to grips with the unraveling situation. Successive lockdowns and the uncertainty surrounding the future Covid waves have not only rendered planning to stay afloat a casualty but also created a great ambiguity amongst the enterprising citizens not knowing what would befall in days to come. As such, ordinary citizens look up to the government to provide support and relief to lead a dignified existence in times of duress.
PC: Ryan Woo
- On its part, the Government of India has unleashed a slew of mitigating measures in the form of fiscal stimulus packages offering a glimmer of hope to revert to some semblance of normalcy, sooner than later. In a vast country like ours, whatever measures are announced are tantamount to too little too less, and hence, the grumbling of not doing enough keeps growing. No wonder, the opposition parties are vociferously calling the government’s efforts a monumental failure in handling the entire pandemic issue leading to lakhs of loss of lives and livelihood. The inability of the government authorities to ensure adequate availability of vaccines has only strengthened the opposition’s chorus against the former.
- Against this backdrop, the winter session of the Parliament underway now presents a unique opportunity for the elected representative -both in the treasury as well as opposition benches – to debate meaningfully and arrive at a consensus that would go a long way in cushioning the hard-fall experienced by the common man. As the country is going through tough times, political parties should let go of the usual preoccupations of scoring brownie points and concentrate on devising workable solutions. Alongside Covid, increasingly worrying unemployment scenarios and sky-rocketing fuel prices are burning issues that should take precedent over superficial controversies ruling the MP’s verbal jousts.
PC: RICHARD HOLDEN
- Treasury benches are expected to essay a constructive role by actively participating in crucial debates rather than run away. Likewise, opposition insisting on disrupting the proceedings by staging an unyielding walkout should desist. Ideally speaking, emphasizing governance at all levels should be on everyone’s mind. The government should be brimming with newfound confidence with a major cabinet reshuffle giving a much-needed facelift to move ahead with a renewed vigour. Key portfolios having new ministers may also help blunt to an extent opposition criticism of government failures. In a democracy, the opposition should ask tough questions, and government should be responsible enough to answer them.
- Make no mistake, the Parliament should extensively focus on debating over the seamless availability of vaccines by strategizing ways and means to inoculate all adults by December. The country cannot afford yet another devastating Covid wave and the accompanying economic turmoil owing to enforced lockdowns. Thus, vaccination drive assumes a critical component, and every effort to ensure the production and availability of the jabs should be prioritized. As informed to the Supreme court about the vaccination plans through affidavits, the government should inform the Parliament and seek honest inputs from the opposition to further strategize plans as well. Let us hope our elected representatives measure up to our expectations.