On political acountability : Pandemic issues
Dr Krishnamangol Singh
The present article makes a quick attempt to briefly spell out a new redefining role of the State represented by the Government in combating the spread of the covid-19 or coronavirus infections. It is observed that, in the present context of the global pandemic of covid-19 or coronavirus disease, there is now the greater role of the State in its efforts to fight against the coronavirus infections.
While the World Health Organization (WHO) has also been taking an active role in combating the covid – 19 or coronavirus infection since the emergence of its outbreak, the political role of the State is also more important in containing or checking the spread of coronavirus towards human beings. Here, in the present article the term political accountability in the context of the coronavirus pandemic is used to imply that the State has now assumed active responsibility to fight against the coronavirus disease in a collective (socialistic) way.
In fact, they have assumed or taken up their active roles for protecting/preventing the people from the covid-19 or coronavirus disease in different parts of the world including India. Coming to the critical issues of covid-19, it is now observed that the Government of India has followed and taken up strategic measures to fight against the deadly coronavirus disease for saving the lives of the people. Thus, in this critical hour of covid-19 pandemic, the Government is now making the people aware of the various rules and practices to deal with the covid-19 or the coronavirus infections.
In fact, it attracts our attention that all Government efforts are intended for saving the lives of the people. However, it need not be forgotten that the key persons like doctors and medical staff, and also other frontline workers are now seriously engaged in the activities to fight against the covid-19 or coronavirus infections. Thus, not only the political accountability of the State for saving the lives of the people against the covid-19 but also whole frontline workers and people force are really challenging the battle against the coronavirus infections. But it is observed that the State has certain limitations in the implementation of the Covid control programmes which are already known that while the States have their main roles in combating the covid-19 political role of the State for fighting against the coronavirus infections is also accountable to the Central Government for fighting against the coronavirus infections.
It is in this context that the Centre need to immediately extend adequate finances to the States for fighting against the coronavirus infections and (against) the spread of the disease. Thus, the State is politically accountable for the people in a collective way and it is also accountable to the Centre for the people of the State in its efforts in combating the coronavirus infections.
Here, we may brieftly touch on the critical role of the State in the context of covid-19. In fact it is necessary to redefine the role of the State in order to combat the covid-19. In this critical hour of global pandemic, it is considered necessary that the States need to launch or implement the various public action programmes or State oriented action programmes that are expected to fight against the covid-19. In fact, the structure and framework of policies of the States that seek to tackle the outbreak of the coronavirus infections have resulted in a new role of the State for the purpose of combating covid-19. Thus the new role of the Government implies that the Governments have now directly participated in combating the spread of the coronavirus disease. In fact, the various activities taken up by the Central and State Governments already known and cannot be enumerated here. However, it is observed that they are intended to contain the spread of covid-19. Again, the efforts of the State Government of Manipur are directed towards protecting and treating the people from coronavirus infections Thus, in Manipur the entire medical staff including doctors, nurses, paramedics and all others are actively engaged in the process of the treatment of the coronavirus infections with full dedication as humanitarian service in the critical hour of covid-19 crisis.
And, the entire relevant machinery of the State Government is also engaged as humanitarian service in containing the coronavirus infections. Again, in the hotspot of coronavirus infections, there is the presence of the relevant or concerned Government machinery in order to save the lives of the people and check the spread of the coronavirus disease. In fact, the announcement in terms of containment zone is a device for identifying the corona patient and checking the march of coronavirus towards the general population. Thus, there is now the active role of the Government in containing the corona virus infections. In yet another particular interpretation, the infection is that there is now the presence of the State and also maximum governance in checking the spread of coronavirus.
In fact,there is now direct participation of the State in controlling the spread of coronavirus infections. And the role of the State is now redefined in terms of strengthening the public action programmes in the fight against covid-19. Thus Keynes’s or Keynesian model/prescription of State intervention in countering the economic crisis of the working of the capitalist economies or countries (known as Great Depression in the 30s) is considered to be helpful or relevant when it (the policy of State intervention) is applied to the public action programmes that seek to fight against the emergence of widespread coronavirus infections as pandemic In fact, the present covid-19 or coronavirus crisis is extremely serious (in terms of health cricis) in the human civilization just like the capitalist crisis or Great Depression that happened in the 1930s. Thus, the role of the State is highly essential in combating the covid-19 crisis or coronavirus crisis.
We are aware that the two situations are different in nature or in terms of the nature of the crisis and that they cannot be compared. However, it is true that the present generation of the world or the present global peoples are now facing serious socio-economic hardships and disorders in daily life or day to day life as happened during the Great Depression that happened in the thirties (1930s).
Thus the direct role of the State in terms of State participation, regulation or in terms of public action programme based on the daily or actual needs and requirements of the people is highly necessary in order to deal with the Covid crisis or coronavirus crisis. In fact it is highly essential to regulate and manage the new political economy of development by the State in order to protect or avoid any ills or adverse effects of economic growth, development and changes. (The writer is a distinguished economist, researcher and author)