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60% rural, 80% urban unorganised workers jobless, yet political mudslinging 'rampant'

Counterview Desk
In a statement, the NREGA Sangharsh Morcha, a network of civil society organizations seeking better living conditions for poorer sections, even as asking India’s political class to “stop political mudslinging”, begin providing relief and restore right to life to the vulnerable sections, has said that Union government has particularly “completely failed” to respond to the public health and economic crisis engulfing the country.
Endorsed by over 40 representatives of people’s organizations, they said, “The current situation has put the entire political systems in the country under the scanner. The ruling party at the Centre is busy in creating trouble for elected governments, working tirelessly to shut the opposition and form their own governments at the state level has made the whole political situation derisive and shameful.”
Regretting that Parliament and state assemblies are not being called to take stock of the situation, the Morcha statement said, they should be immediately be called to urgently “put priority to policies to deal with the present predicament related to health, employment, food and nutrition security and livelihoods at large.”

Text:

The nation is going through an unprecedented health and economic distress and the current pandemic has exposed our economic capacities, institutional arrangements as well as administrative abilities. The country is failing to deal with this pandemic which is having widespread implications on public health and the economy at large. We entered the pandemic with a failed health system and great economic slowdown.
The Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) in 2017-18 had shown that the country’s unemployment rate stood at 6.1% which was the highest in the last 47 years. The authoritarian state completely ignored the public issues and pushed for regressive social divisions through majoritarian political moves . The broken political and administrative systems are now out in the open.
Independent researches suggest that 6 out of 10 workers in rural areas and 8 out of 10 workers from the unorganized sector in the urban areas have lost employment during the lockdown. More than 100 million people are still being excluded from the Public Distribution System (PDS) but these seem to be non priorities for our Political system.
The Union government has completely failed to respond to the crisis. Not only that the relief packages announced so far are inadequate and delayed but are impractical considering the depth and vastness of the problem. . Moreover, most of the numbers cited by the Government are incorrect and actual allocations are far less than what is projected. The first economic relief package announced worth Rs 1.7 lakh crore actually had a major share of it already accounted for in the budget presented in February 2020-21 and the second announcement of Rs 20 lakh crore too had very little fresh allocations.
The whole management of the pandemic and the economy thereafter has been unsatisfactory. The current situation has put the entire political systems in the country under the scanner. The ruling party at the Centre is busy in creating trouble for elected governments, working tirelessly to shut the opposition and form their own governments at the state level has made the whole political situation derisive and shameful.
While the whole drama of power hunger is led by the ruling party at the centre, states that are ruled by parties other than the ruling party at the centre are ought to follow it to safeguard their territories. In between this, the economic and social distress of the people is only increasing by each day. The political system of the country has failed us when we needed our politicians and bureaucrats the most.
The political drama in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan ,West Bengal and Bihar is only making us realize the priorities of the political parties in general and the union governments in specific. According to news reports several other states too have been going through political turmoil with the leaders engaging in unethical exchanges.
With the Covid-19 situation worsening in the country we have reached a stage where more than 50,000 people are getting infected by the virus each day in India. The fragile public health system has been exposed. 
The unilaterally imposed lockdown had already created panic among the people of the country with lakhs of migrant workers facing starvation and millions of others belonging to non-privileged socio-economic backgrounds going through a horrid time with major income cuts and rampant loss of employment. However, the political system remains untouched and unashamed by it’s terrible failure in the whole process.
Parliament remains non-functional, when it should be debating public issues and come out with adequate policies and financial allocations to help citizens tide over these testing times
Different states are facing natural disasters such as cyclones, heavy rainfall, floods which only add to the vulnerabilities. However, the priorities of the political establishment lies in toppling elected governments and futile political blame games. The whole situation and the indulgence of the political groups and leaders in this drama reflects upon the non-serious and callous attitude of our elected representatives. 
Dissent is being suppressed everywhere, using the pandemic as an excuse. Dissenters have been put under detention or arrest and their bail pleas are not heard since Courts are not regularly functioning and judicial processes are indefinitely delayed.
The bureaucrats are only following the diktats of their political masters. The role of the police and the administration at large in the whole process have disempowered the citizen further.
In such grave situation, there is also no respite from the so called fourth pillar of democracy - the media. Media houses themselves are involved in partisan coverage of the pandemic and the distress caused because of it.
The Parliament of India remains non-functional, when it should be debating public issues and come out with adequate policies and financial allocations to help citizens tide over these testing times.
The nation is experiencing a major crisis which can only be dealt by effective policies and smooth governance. However, what we see today is a great policy paralysis wherein central and state governments are issuing direction less guidelines and no major reformatory actions have been taken.
Moreover, the political turmoil and violence in different states and shameless political muscle flexing for gaining power and authority has left the common citizens in dismay. The political executives are doing a great disservice to the citizens of the country and remain non accountable for their actions and conduct.
Therefore, we the concerned citizens of this country and the members of the civil society, want to convey our collective anguish and disappointment on the political and administrative systems in the country.
We condemn the political inaction and the irresponsible behavior of the so-called leaders of the country. We strongly convey our mistrust on all the major political parties and political representatives for failing us and leaving us stranded in the middle of the crisis. We denounce the politics of power and fear played by major political parties in the country and we strongly disapprove of the politics of greed and the idea of the political system that is getting promoted through such dreadful political actions.
We appeal to the political fraternity to stop this obnoxious mudslinging at this time of distress and focus on the innumerous issues that citizens are facing.
We demand that all state assemblies and Parliament should call for special sessions and put the priority to policies to deal with the present predicament related to health, employment, food and nutrition security and livelihoods at large. The civil society and working people have been voicing their demands which should be fulfilled through immediate political actions.

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