Book Review: Shades of Saffron: From Vajpayee to Modi by Saba Naqvi

‘When a writer writes a book on a certain event or phenomenon; he is not just airing his opinion but judging it.’

Journalists have the privilege to access information that is often not available easily or is not completely in the public domain. This privilege of the journalists often makes them to be better at psephology not just in predicting the election results but also what the people of a country or geography are thinking or where the tide is headed to. For this ability is also very conditional. To have a clear view one needs to have little or no prejudice and should not be furthering a specific goal or agenda. Prejudiced writers often focused on certain specific issues more while ignoring a large part of the event or phenomenon to prove their theory. When a journalist turned writer has prejudices or agenda to further, it is reflected in her/his writings. Their skill and magic with the words opens the slits wide.

The criticism of any phenomenon or event along with the detailing is necessary to judge the relevance and importance of that phenomenon or the event and help the future generations to make proper amendments so that the positive values created by the phenomenon or the event is gracefully put forth while the negative values are criticized so those who pursue or follow such goals have some ideas about how to navigate or opine and none commits the same mistakes which had been committed earlier. Such criticism helps in building a better society; so the nation. So it's a very important task at the hand of the critic at her/his disposal.

Is the Pandemic Over?

The second wave has been devastating for India with very high numbers of daily new infections and deaths from the coronavirus. Even today, the number of new infections from the COVID19 has been hovering around 40,000 for more than four weeks. Numbers of active cases have fallen down to 4.15 lakhs with daily death falling to the 7 days average of more than 750 (excluding 12th July data). There are seven states which are recording more than one thousand daily cases accounting for more than 80 percent of the national total. Of these seven states, five states are recording more than two thousand cases a day and Kerala is recording more than ten thousand cases a day. Around 24 percent of the total population has received at least one dose of vaccine while only 6.3% of the total population has received both the doses! The average of daily vaccine doses being administered in India is hovering around 3 millions for months. This average clearly indicates that it will take more than a year before half of the population in India is fully vaccinated.

Vaccination Drive Must Intensify in India

India started its vaccination drive on 16th January 2021 by vaccinating the front-line workers including doctors, paramedical staff and police officials. As on 13th July 2021 total doses of 38,76,97,935 have been administered in the last 179 days or about six months. This gives an average of 21,65,910 doses every day. Even the 7 days moving average is 37,67,770. However India had One Day Show of vaccination with a total 87,29,3030 vaccine doses on 21st June 2021 when vaccination drive was made open to all citizens of 18 years and above. Many states are again witnessing long queues outside the vaccination centres.

Fatality is lower in the Second Wave of COVID19 in India

Every single death from COVID19 is unfortunate but the second wave of the pandemic had devastating for India. There was not just panic all around but the whole healthcare system of India had collapsed. Every coronavirus related medicine was short in supply and price of sky-rocketed. Thousands of people died just due to lack of hospitalization, oxygen and medicines. All the claimed preparations during the first wave of infection and the lockdown seemed to have completely failed. However the second wave was far fiercer in comparison to other pandemics where the second waves are found to be less fierce.

National Education Policy 2020

The Indian government has formulated and finalized the National Education Policy 2020 which is replacing the National Policy on Education 1986. It will be implemented soon across India which over time aspires to change the whole landscape of Indian education sector from elementary level to higher education as well as vocational education. It aims to bring in qualitative changes in the whole education system making it competitive and at par with international standards! In the new policy there are many changes which will have a long term impact on the whole education system in India in due course. However, there are four important areas relating to higher education which need focus; accreditation of higher education institutions (HEI), funding of HEIs, the choice of language and the scope of online education in the overall education system.

Corona Vaccine for All

Coronavirus has already infected more than 18 crores people across the globe. More than 39 lakh individuals have also succumbed to this deadly virus. These are the reported statistics relating to the coronavirus pandemic. Lakhs of people are left with no family and thousands of children have become orphans. Crores of people across the globe have lost their livelihoods and have been forced into the vicious circle of poverty and are struggling for a square meal a day! World economy is left in lurch and there lies only uncertainties ahead. All this is happening when the governments, non-governmental organizations as well as the citizens across the world have been trying to provide the maximum support to everyone in need in the times of pandemic! Even at this point of time when hundreds of millions of doses of the vaccines have been administered to people, everyday more than 3.5 lakhs of individuals are getting infected with the virus and more than 7 thousands individuals giving their life to this undying virus.

शब्दों के मायने

तुम जिन रिसालों के जानिब
दुनिया बदलना चाहते हो
तुम जानते नहीं शायद
कि लोग उनको अब पढते नहीं।

खबर तुमको नहीं ये भी शायद अब
कि शब्दों के मायने जो तुमने सीखा था कभी
वक्त की सडक़ पर घिसकर
मानी उनका अब कुछ और ही है हो गया!

दर्द दर्ज कर सकता नहीं

जानता हूँ
चुप रहने की सलाहियत
वो यूँ ही नहीं देते।

हर बार रोए हैं
वो लफ्जों की लकीरों पर
जिनकी मात्राओं में
ना जाने किस-किस की कहानी है।

Fatality is Far Lower in the Second Wave of COVID19 in India

Every single death from COVID19 is unfortunate but every media outlet is creating panic by showing the dead bodies but none tells that the numbers of death per lakh tested positive is far less in the second wave than the first wave.

In the first wave, Case Fatality Rate (CFR) was 1.43 per cent but in the second wave it is only 0.57 per cent. That means more than 99.4 per cent of infected individuals are recovering over time in this wave. This clearly indicates that Indian health system has learned a lot in the last one year. And this is a good news that every citizen must know to defuse the panic behaviour which on rise. Media outlets rather all the time creating panic should also focus on this side of the pandemic.

डरी रहती है

वो रह रहकर पूछती रहती है
ठीक तो हूँ मैं?

बहुत डरी रहती है
किसी अंजाने भय से!
कई बार
वो खुद को भी भूल जाती है
मेरी ही चिन्ता में
जैसे बहुत जरूरी हूँ मैं दुनिया के लिए!