India’s response to COVID-19 has emerged as one of the talking points in the global battle against the pandemic. The neoliberal government has taken the lock down route putting millions of unorganized workers out of employment triggering off a massive bout of outward migration. A forced lockdown – though perhaps beneficial in the long run in addressing the spread of the disease – has completely exposed the grim underbelly of India’s unorganized economy, an ill-equipped medical sector and raised more questions than answers.
All these questions were answered at this brilliant, first of its kind webinar that took place on 18.04.2020 organised by Sindhuja Sankaran and Roshni Senngupta who are part of a local initiative in Krakow – Indians for democracy ! This discussion brought together political and social scientists, activists, politicians and journalists to lay threadbare the marked complexities in India’s engagement with this global health crisis. The speakers carefully delineated and systematically broke down India’s response to the pandemic.
1) Dr. Roshni Sengupta: an activist, a visiting professor at the Institute of the Middle and Far East, Jagiellonian University in Kraków. She received her doctorate in Political Science from Jawaharlal Nehru University.
2) Nitin Sethi: an Investigative journalist who is part of the Reporters’ collective will be speaking from the journalistic perspective.
3) Kavita Krishnan: an activist, the secretary of the All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA) and a member of the politburo of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) (CPI-ML) will be speaking about the situation in India concerning COVID-19 and the role of the Indian government in addressing the situation.
Anna Mikulska,a local independent journalist from Poland,drew some parallels between India and Poland in their responses towards handling the pandemic.
Dr. Sindhuja Sankaran: an activist, researcher/lecturer of social psychology at the Institute of Psychology, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland.