The India We Know And Cherish Is Slipping Away Fast, Writes Manmohan Singh In Op-Ed

by GoNews Desk 7 months ago Views 2624
The India We Know And Cherish Is Slipping Away Fas
Former Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, in an op-ed in The Hindu newspaper, has warned of the danger the country is facing from the "trinity of social disharmony, economic slowdown and a global health epidemic.”

“India faces imminent danger from the trinity of social disharmony, economic slowdown and a global health epidemic,” read the opening sentence of the article published on Friday. “Social unrest and economic ruin are self-inflicted while the health contagion of COVID-19 disease, caused by the novel coronavirus, is an external shock. I deeply worry that this potent combination of risks may not only rupture the soul of India but also diminish our global standing as an economic and democratic power in the world", Dr Singh wrote.

Also Read: Government Update: Coronavirus Screening Now At 30 Airports

“It is not my desire to offer a dire prognosis or to exaggerate fears. But I believe it is our solemn duty to speak truth to the people of India. The truth is that the current situation is very grim and morose. The India that we know and cherish is slipping away fast. Wilfully stoked communal tensions, gross economic mismanagement and an external health shock are threatening to derail India’s progress and standing. It is time to confront the harsh reality of the grave risks we face as a nation and address them squarely and sufficiently,” stated the former PM, referring to the deadly violence that had rocked the capital recently.

Referring to the “vicious cycle” arising from the blend of “floundering” economy and social unrest, he wrote, “At a time when our economy is floundering, the impact of such social unrest will only exacerbate the economic slowdown."

"It is now well accepted that the scourge of India’s economy currently is the lack of new investment by the private sector. Investors, industrialists and entrepreneurs are unwilling to undertake new projects and have lost their risk appetite. Social disruptions and communal tensions only compound their fears and risk aversion. Social harmony, the bedrock of economic development, is now under peril. No amount of tweaking of tax rates, showering of corporate incentives or goading will propel Indian or foreign businesses to invest, when the risk of eruption of sudden violence in one’s neighbourhood looms large. Lack of investment means lack of jobs and incomes, which, in turn, means lack of consumption and demand in the economy. A lack of demand will only further suppress private investments. This is the vicious cycle that our economy is stuck in,” Dr Singh wrote.

He further addressed the threat of coronavirus in the country, saying: "Adding to these self-inflicted woes is the real threat of the COVID-19 epidemic that has originated in China. It is still unclear how far this global health hazard will spread and impact the world. But it is very clear that we should be fully prepared and ready to counter it. A health epidemic is one of the most dangerous threats that a nation can face. It is imperative that all of us collectively prepare to face this threat. We have not faced a public health crisis in contemporary times at the scale that the current crisis threatens to unfold. It is therefore important to launch a full-scale, mission-mode operation to counter this threat immediately."

Dr Singh also said PM Narendra Modi must convince the nation, not merely through words but by deeds, that he is cognisant of the dangers we face and reassure the nation that he can help us tide over this as smoothly as we can. He must immediately provide details of the contingency plan for the threat of the COVID-19 scare.

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