It’s not wrong to criticize government, its policies and politicians in both ruling and opposition when they are on wrong side. In democratic system, criticism always makes state to run efficiently; also criticism just for the sake of criticism is of no use, giving alternatives is also necessary for the smooth functioning of state. Different parties may come in power and go, but the policies, acts, rules will be continued which directly affect or help its citizens.
As most part of the world is under lockdown due to Pandemic, such situations are not new in human history. Human generations faced it, came out from it and developed the nation in better way. Post lockdown, there may be crisis in every sector either it may be farming, textile, technology, medical, etc. Knowing the fact, crisis is going to occur and it has large impact on common citizens, especially governments should plan accordingly and private stake holders should contribute their parts.
Before discussing on crisis management solutions, let’s have a look on “Crisis”
What is Crisis? It’s a hardship or severe danger or hindering or pitiful state or dominant disorders.
How Crisis occurs/expands? Because of carelessness of the state and its stake holders about the early warnings, not utilizing resources in handling the crisis in early stages and setting the priorities before it expands and harms at larger level.
Crisis Management: It’s an ability to protect or save either individual or an organization or a state from the troublesome time and to handle the crisis one must be free from whims and desires which humankind usually suffers, also one should guarantee the credibility, impartiality and transparency during handling crisis.
Handling Crisis: If individuals or communities or state failed to handle the crisis in a proper way, this failure may results in catastrophes and calamities. With respect to COVID-19 an unexpected crisis with the hope of escaping it with best of results and making no better solutions for handling the crisis may produce slow, incomplete and temporary instantaneous like painkillers; the matter which gives access to their occurring again, perhaps in a manner which severer than they were before.
- Share resources rather than being protectionist: A simple narration from the life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) will help us to understand crisis management in lucid way, the example of the person abiding by God’s commandments and restrictions in comparison to those who violate them is like the example of those persons who drew lots for their seats in boat. Some of them got seats in the upper part and the others in the lower. When the latter needed water, they had to go up to bring water (and that troubled the others), so they said, “Let us make a hole in our share of the ship (and get water) saving those who are above us from troubling them. So, if the people in the upper part left the others do what they had suggested, all the people of the ship would be destroyed, but if they prevented them, both parties would be safe”. Helping neighbors, daily wage earners, private employees, etc to be supported in this hour of crisis due to lockdown.
- Reforms in Crisis with Limited tools: The Prophet Yusuf introduces a reformist policy based on a long term plan to confront a crisis in Egypt long ago. The planned program was balance between four economic operations: Production, Consumption, Saving and then Re-invest (part of the saving). He defined the objectives of each economic process; along with determined policies, means, procedures and plan schedule (for execution), without neglecting the ethical angle.
The Philosophy behind the Prophet Yusuf’s solution to President of Egypt was, “You will cultivate land for seven consecutive years as usual. During this period thrash out of the harvest you reap only that much grain that might suffice for your food and leave the rest in the ears. Then, after this, there shall come upon you seven hard years. Then you will eat up all that corn you might have kept for that period except that you will have reserved in the store.” (Al-Quran)
- Protection of Agriculture Sector: Food is the basic need of every individual and it’s a backbone of economy in many states. Apart from larger cultivation and farming, due to lockdown people need to start the home based farming at low level, either it may be vegetables, fruits, grains etc. Many people may have fertile land especially in villages; it can be used for cultivations which will not only fulfill the short term goals but also a contribution in economy. Sonia Gandhi to Prime minister of India suggested, “The 21-day Lockdown comes at the peak of the harvesting season. The agricultural crop is ready for harvesting in most states by the end of March. With nearly 60% of India’s population being economically dependent on agriculture, it is imperative that the Union Government should take necessary steps to enable harvesting and procurement of crops at MSP. This is also the right time to suspend all recoveries from farmers for a period of six months and to consider indebtedness relief liberally.”
- Supporting Small Scale Industries: Small businesses will also face a significant economic impact due to the COVID-9 pandemic. The government should ensure that the impact is cushioned with steps such as providing more favourable terms of loans to SMEs by SIDBI. Large firms could also find a way to channel funds to small suppliers by raising money in bond markets and passing it on – Raghuram Rajan (Former, RBI Governor). Interest free loans to farmers, small vendors, businessman’s and industrialists will be big relief to get stable in less time period post pandemic with all possible bonds, like on profit and loss basis, share holders etc.
- Proper utilization of available resources: The need of hour is austerity measures to divert the funds to fight against COVID-19, in which (a) Funds allocated for various events, travel expenses (with in state, country and foreign trips) of Ministers and Government officials of both state and center during the lockdown period to be diverted. (b) Funds being utilized for promotion of central and state government schemes on road side hoardings should be stopped with immediate effect as public are not on roads. (c) Impose a complete ban on media advertisements (electronic, print and social media) by state and Central Governments and PSU’s for a period of at least two years. (d) Funds for conduction of examinations can be diverted to authorized private schools for administrative expenses which in returns should reduce at least 30% fees for next academic year.
- Adopt a Village: If every MLA/MLC, MP (both Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha), Industrialists/Businessman’s, Celebrities (Film and Sports) and NGO’s adopts a village for at least three years, minimum 15,000 villages/localities across the nation can be developed and it can be a great example to rest of the world.
Similarly various departments can take measures to handle the crisis in all possible ways, no doubt health sector is priority and shouldn’t be left; every possible support and requirements must be provided. Let’s come forward to support each other in the hour of crisis, to provide peaceful, hatred free and system of justice to upcoming generations.
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