Time for both govt, citizens to act responsibly

Updated: 26 March, 2020 07:06 IST | The Editorial | Mumbai

The lockdown decision was bold and definitely needed, yet, one thought that a re-emphasis on essentials available should have been said at the start of the address

Narendra Modi
Narendra Modi

The prime minister's address to the nation naturally sparked pandemonium and chaos. Panicked citizens, clogged roads, social distancing be damned. As stores juggled with the frenzied rush and frustration reigned, several fights broke out, with the crowds looking for veggies, medicine and milk.

The lockdown decision was bold and definitely needed, yet, one thought that a re-emphasis on essentials available should have been said at the start of the address.

In this way the uncertainty would have been cleared right away, and the dangerous and counterproductive crowding would have been avoided.

People did not even wait to hear the second part of the address, but rushed out in a blind panic.
If PM Narendra Modi had begun by first stating that essentials will be available and medication will also be accessible, we could perhaps have seen a drop in the mad rush that followed.

Having said that, it is now imperative that we become even more non-negotiable when it comes to social distancing. The people must play their part, there is a big onus on authorities to see that there is no hoarding. We are already hearing complaints about vegetables being sold at twice the price.

When there is desperation and fear, it is open season for the unscrupulous.

Similarly, some unprincipled sellers will seek to make big and quick bucks. Here, police must act with a very tough hand and each state should have a dedicated complaint number and task force to tackle this black marketing. Police personnel in cars going around warning people to stay at home, must warn against these practices which should be dealt with swiftly and strictly. Publicise widely that let action will be taken against offenders. We want to see that being enforced right away.

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First Published: 26 March, 2020 06:35 IST

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