Rahul Mukherji, Jai Prasad and Seyed Hossein Zarhani, Heidelberg University, Germany
This article argues that COVID-19 management has undermined democratic governance central to the idea of India and close to the heart of founders of modern India. These values were undermined in a number of ways. First, sub-national states and politicians were not adequately consulted before the lockdown on 24 March 2020, even though Kerala’s spectacular performance was well known. Moreover, it is the states that would have to deal with issues such as health, migration and general wellbeing. The imperial and sudden lockdown impacted migrant workers from the oppressed classes and castes most severely. Second, the lockdown of 24 March need not have been sudden since opposition politicians had raised this issue in the Parliament since mid-February. Democratic values were undermined during the lockdown to the detriment of the Indian citizen.
Barbara Weinstein, New York University, USA
Back during the Obama years, a prime accessory in the right-wing bag of tricks designed to sour public opinion on what would become the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was the idea of 'death panels'. Even though the final version of the ACA relied entirely on private health plans, the slightest hint of a role for the state in regulating costs and eligibility for procedures raised the alarm that finite resources would mean certain people might be ruled too old or too impaired to be worthy of expensive medical treatments, and would be 'terminated' by panels of experts.
The Viral Condition: Identities