Written By Rakesh Kotti
The Indian Overseas Congress, (IOC) USA is organizing an interactive session with senior Congress leader and spokesperson Manish Tewari on today at 8:30 pm (IST), which will be presided over by Dr. Sam Pitroda. Expats from across the USA, Canada, Europe, the UK and Australia will get a chance to interact with Manish Tewari and pose questions to him.
As the pandemic continues to hinder normal life across the world, there are several anxieties regarding the future. In India, with the number of cases crossing 1,20,000 and over 3500 people losing their lives to the pandemic, it is clear that the BJP government has failed to contain the contagion effectively, despite imposing a complete lockdown for over two months. The decision to impose a lockdown was not only taken late, but it was also unplanned as a notice of only 4 hours was given to people to prepare for it. As a result, millions of people have been stranded across India and the plight of poor people is particularly heartrending.
In addition to the challenge of tackling the disease itself, India also needs to brace itself for the impending economic disaster. Due to the ill-planned policies of the BJP government, the country had already witnessed seven quarters of GDP decline prior to the outbreak of Covid-19. The government ignored several suggestions and warning from the opposition parties and continued with its flawed policies.
Even when the pandemic broke out, the BJP government ignored and even mocked the Congress party’s cautions. If only it had been less arrogant and listened to the Congress party, India would have been in a much better position to deal with the pandemic and there would have been fewer deaths. In addition to the public health contingency, the BJP’s poor—or no planning at all—has resulted in unprecedented hardships for the poor. Serpentine lines of migrant labour have been walking thousands of miles back to their homes as the BJP government could not provide adequate facilities for their travel back home. Hundreds of people have died in accidents or due to fatigue as they make the arduous journey back home. In an incomprehensible act of cruelty, the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh denied permission to the 1000 buses organized by Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi to ferry migrant labour back home.
Such gut-wrenching realities have disturbed Indians living abroad and they have been deeply anxious about what the future holds. Various national units of the Indian Overseas Congress have been contributing to relief measures back home. Further, they have also been involved in assisting the Indian community, particularly the students who face hardships in their host countries.
However, there are several questions about the future and what our challenges and priorities must be in the post Covid-19 world. Thus, the IOC is organizing interactive sessions with prominent leaders to discuss and deliberate upon the world we live in. These sessions are conducted via a video conference and are open to all. The details of the sessions can be found on the social media accounts of the Indian Overseas Congress.