THUS SPAKE
Thus Spake

THUS SPAKE

Pennews

This is not a time for indifference, because the whole world is suffering and needs to be united in facing the pandemic……indifference, self-centredness, division and forgetfulness are not words we want to hear at this time. We want to ban these words forever.

__ Pope Francis, Pope’s Easter “Urbiet Orbi” (to the city and the world) message, delivered from an empty St. Peter’s Basilica.

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It could have been stopped in China before it started and it wasn’t. And now the whole is suffering because of it….. If it was a mistake, a mistake is a mistake…But if they were knowingly responsible, yeah, there should be consequences.

__ Donald Trump, US President.

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I have left hospital today (April 12) after a week in which the NHS has saved my life, no question… The reason in the end my body did start to get enough oxygen was because for every second of the night they were watching and they were thinking, and they were caring and making the interventions I needed…. There were times last week that were very dark indeed.

__ Boris Johnson, British Prime Minister in a five minutes video message posted on Twitter.

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We don’t have a king. We have a President. That was a big decision. We ran away from having a king, and George Washington was President, not King Washington. So the President doesn’t have total authority.

__ Andrew Cuomo, New York Governor

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The infection is, of course spreading and the battle is far from won. Yet, we have reasons to feel confident, because of the break has been very limited in India, compared to the numbers in other parts of the world.

__ Rajnath Singh, Home Minister

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As if its peremptory commentary on religious freedom in India is not enough, the USCIRF is now spreading misguided report on the professional medical protocols followed to deal with spread of Covid-19 in India….It must stop adding religious colour to our national goal of fighting the pandemic and distract from larger efforts. No segregation is being done in civil hospitals on the basis of religion, as clarified by the Gujarat government.

__ Anurag Srivastava, MEA spokesperson

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It was a wakeup call for India. The US was inundated with case and there was an urgent need to ramp up testing in the US. All the test manufacturers were focusing on US….We know that it involves the primers, the probes and the viral collection and how to interpret them. . It is interesting to know that we had the capacity. My labs came up with the kits and later many other companies pitched in.

__ Kiran Mazumdar Shah, Executive Chairperson, Biocon

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK

I may disagree with PM Modi, but this is no time to fight; it is time to fight the virus unitedly.

__ Rahul Gandhi, Congress leader

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Centre can’t leave states to fend for themselves at this point.

__ Capt. Amarinder Singh, Punjab CM

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The recent experiences of the successful containment of Nipah outbreak and management of the two post-flood health situations have provided, if I may so, a kind of herd immunity to the health workers to crisis situations. Once news of the Wuhan pandemic came, the Kerala health system scrambled to readiness—the control room was set up, mock drills were organized and the first influx was contained. Once migrants from the Gulf and Europe began to return, things began to get out hand. But now this battle has also been successfully concluded.

__ T M Thomas Isaac, Kerala Finance Minister

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One wonders whether the lockdown announcement by the Prime Minister on March 24 was the decision of the NDMA in the context of a National Plan prepared under the provisions of the Act of 2005. It clearly was not, given the absence of prior consultation with state governments. Had there been a National Plan, it would have catered to the requirements of migrants before such announcements. The fallout is that lakhs of Indians are now without food, and other necessities.

__ Kapil Sibal, Congress leader and Senior Advocate

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The poor have been left to fend for themselves for 21 + 19 days. Their survival does not appear to be the priority of the central government. Chief Ministers are at their wits’ end. Hunger is widespread, malnutrition is entrenched. Why the government cannot allocate up to Rs.65,000 crore (out of an expenditure budget of Rs.35 lakh crore) to provide cash support to up to 50 per cent of the families, is a mystery.

__ P. Chidambaram,former finance minister

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What is needed is a scheme which will help tide over the transition between jobs. The person/household, rendered destitute, needs short-term unemployment benefit which will tide them over till the principal earner gets a job again.

__ Meghnad Desai, British economist, Member of House of Commons and Labour politician

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Risks exist whether we lift the shutdown gradually or fast. Rapid easing will check the economic disaster but may worsen deaths (thought this is uncertain). I prefer this to gradual easing that may give India the worst of both words.

__ Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar, Economist and Columnist

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All over the world today prime ministers and presidents face the ultimate test of their leadership and Narendra Modi is no exception. His problems are bigger because he is forced to rely on a bureaucracy devoid of both compassion and competence.

__ Tavleen Singh, Columnist

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There is no shortage of grains. We now have a bumper rabi harvest and our estimate is that we will have adequate stock for up to two years.

__ Ram Vilas Paswan, Food Minister

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The massive economic slowdown has weakened many Indian corporates making them attractive targets for takeovers. The Govt. must not allow foreign interests to take control of any Indian corporate at this time of national crisis.

__ Rahul Gandhi, Congress leader

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Our Assembly Speaker in his wisdom had adjourned the session to March 26 in view of the lockdown but he was mocked at……..The Centre didn’t take any action as they were waiting to topple the government.

__ Kamal Nath, former Madhya Pradesh CM

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Many analysts have estimated that just the loss of revenue due to the economic shutdown will take the combined fiscal deficit of the Centre and States beyond 10 per cent of GDP. The borrow and spend programme will be on top of this. Unlike rich countries which can throw the kitchen sink at the crisis, we can’t afford to ignore the risks of fiscal excess of that magnitude, no matter the compelling circumstances. There will be a very high price to pay down the road by way of inflation and exchange rate volatility.

__ Duvvuri Subba Raao, former Governor of RBI

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This is a crisis like no other, and there is substantial uncertainty about its impact on people’s lives and livelihoods. This makes the Great Lockdown the great recession since the Great Depression, and far worse than the Global Financial Crisis.

__ Gita Gopinath, Chief Economist, IMF

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What we need from the state is not compassion it is a minimum sense of justice. In fact, the appeals to compassion destructively depoliticise social policy by appealing to the sentiment. By contrast, genuine solidarity that speaks the language of justice will ask hard questions about rights, institutional obligations, processes and accountability. Compassion to the language of subjecthood, justice speaks to the language of citizenship. Justice allows you to be angry at the state when you see injustice.

__ Pratap Bhanu Mehta, Contributing Editor, The Indian Express

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GEM OF THE WEEK

If India had unleashed this pandemic through a coverup, China would have been in the lead to hold a Security Council discussion and inflict punishment with UN sanctions.

__ Brahma Chellaney, Author and Geostrategist

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The biggest experimentation we have from the government is a $100 billion fiscal stimulus package. Every country in the world is foregoing its fiscal deficit target.

__ Venu Srinivasan, Chairman, TVS Motor

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I am also hopeful that the government will ease the burden faced by the migrant labourers, give more money in the hands of those at the bottom of the pyramid.

__ Harsh Goenka, Chairman, RPG Enterprises

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I support the honourable PM’s move to extend the lockdown till May 3rd, with topmost priority being the safety and wellbeing of the citizens of our country.

__ Pavan Munjal, Chairman, Hero Motorcorp

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Describing an outbreak in Delhi as the “Tiblighi spread” is inherently divisive, inflammatory and counterproductive. Stigmatisation makes fearful and they shrink into the shadows, leading to concealment of cases and delays in detection.

__ Sandeep Kumar, Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School, and Sumit Ray, a critical care specialist in a private school

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More than the food, it is the urge to go back home or home-sickness that is troubling the migrant labour force….It is not easy for any state government to cater to such a huge number of workforce……We have already deposited money into the accounts of 667,000 people.

__ Sushil Modi, Bihar Dy. CM

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THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

No culture can live if it attempts to be exclusive.

__ Mahatma Gandhi

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