Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
As the Prime Minister’s dramatic Janata-Curfew on March 22 metamorphosed into tyrannic lockdown on March 24 arbitrarily overwhelming the Article 19 (1)(d) of the Constitution of India to deny the people their fundamental right to return to their homes from outside their home-States, we had strongly objected to the political mischief of taking the people suddenly for a ride under the cover of democratic concern.This was on March 29.
The surprise-shock devastated the people in their working/studying/touring States. As we watched their unprecedented plight, we appealed the PM again to keep in abeyance the lockdown for at least a week, so that the people stranded outside their home-states may return to their homes. The PM didn’t budge and Orissa CM didn’t bother.The result is: our people not at all affected by the virus at that time have been made vulnerable to its attack.
The PM has extended the lockdown till May 17. This notwithstanding, the stranded people have been allowed to return w.e.f May 1, when virus positive cases have multiplied umpteen times. If they are allowed now to return, what was the justification of denying them the opportunity to return when the virus was not that ubiquitous? As we had regretfully noted, by unplanned, mindless imposition of lockdown, the vires of which could not stand the test of time, the PM has made the country a laboratory of death.
More heinous is the fact that, the receiving home-States are treating these innocent people as criminals,suspected to be carrying in their bodies the virus that may affect the rest of the population.
The way these oppressed brethren have reacted has given fodders to mainstream newspapers of Orissa to feed on the pathetic plight of our people. These papers, as the extracts would show, are projecting the heroes of labour that have returned to Orissa as unruly, when, in fact, they have never questioned the mischief of whimsical dismantling of the mandate of Article 19(1)(d)by the PM and the mysterious collaboration therewith by the CM of Orissa.
Bellow are a few photo-copies for records. They are from the Samaja, Sambad, Nitidina, Prameya and Sarbasadharana. They and their likes should introspect and say, why were/are they so shy about saying the imposition of the lockdoown was mindless and whimsical and undemocratic and in reality more hazardous than COVID-19.