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

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Lawless Lawmaking in a COVID-19 World

India’s management of the COVID-19 global pandemic has been marked by excessive centralisation, lawless lawmaking and non-consultative decision-making processes at the union government level. This has created an atmosphere of confusion in the management of the disease, leading to India becoming one of the global hotspots and cases fast spiralling out of the control of local authorities.

The present article was part of the remarks given by the author at the webinar on Human Rights and Democracy organised by the Social Sciences Department of Trinity College, Dublin on 27 May. The full talk may be viewed here:

In June, a COVID-19 comparison chart became popular on social media thanks in no small part to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi (2020) having tweeted it. In it, different countries’ lockdown start and finish dates have been compared to the daily detection of new cases in each country. India stands out as the only country to have lifted its lockdown when new cases were still on the increase with no peak in sight.

As a criticism of the union government’s strategy at preventing the spread of COVID-19 goes, there could not be a more damning statistic—the union government imposed one of the harshest lockdowns in the world (India Today 2020) too soon, for too long, and lifted it chaotically, resulting in a widespread humanitarian crisis and poor control of the spread of COVID-19. As of 14 June 2020, India has had 3,33,012 confirmed cases, with 1,57,330 active cases as on date and 9,519 deaths,1 making it the country with the fourth highest incidence of the disease with the lowest testing rate among the 10 countries with the highest disease burden.2 Though the mortality rate has been lower than other countries, the quality of record-keeping across the country does not inspire confidence in the veracity of these statistics (Sharma 2020).

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Updated On : 24th Dec, 2020
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