"India faces imminent danger from the trinity of social disharmony, economic slowdown and a global health epidemic, " wrote former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh in a column in The Hindu on Friday. He said that while crisis due to coronavirus (Covid-19) was an external shock for the country, the riots in Delhi and worsening economy were self-inflicted injuries.
Writing about communal riots in the national capital, the former PM wrote that the situation reminds of "dark periods in India's history". He wrote about the failure of institutions of law and order, justice and media.
In the column, the former PM wrote that social unrest will only worsen the economic slowdown in the country. Calling social disharmony and economic slowdown, self-inflicted wounds, he also pointed to the threat posed by Covid-19 epidemic.
He said that India needs to be prepared to deal with Covid-19 regardless of the magnitude of the impact and must brace itself for the economic shock emanating from it. He listed out a three-point plan for the Narendra Modi government to deal with various sorts of crisis prevailing in the nation. He said that first and foremost the nation must prepare itself to deal with Covid-19. Second, the government must either withdraw or amend the Citizenship Amendment Act and end the toxic social climate in the nation. And lastly, the government needs to put together a detailed and meticulous plan to boost consumption demand and revive the economy.
He said that PM Modi needs to assure the citizens with actions and not mere words, that he is aware of the dangers the nation faces today and he can take care of the situation.
He recalled the crisis of 1991 when the nation faced economic slowdown due to balance of payments and the rising oil prices due ti the Gulf war. He said that people at the helm then were able to turn the crisis into an opportunity by bringing in drastic reforms to revive the economy.
He said that he did not want to spread panic but it was his duty to speak the truth. He said the situation in the country was grim and the India that all of us knew and cherished was slipping away.