Heartbreaking images have emerged over the past few days in India in which lakhs of migrant workers are being seen walking on foot towards their villages over hundreds of kilometers of journey. The movement started when PM Narendra Modi took a sudden decision to effect a nationwide lockdown by calling it “people’s curfew” on March 22.
While the “Janta Curfew” was underway, Modi government shut down the countrywide Indian Railways. The same day, inter-state bus services were also stopped. This led to daily wage workers being deprived of their jobs and resulted with no money to buy food. They were left with no option but to go to their home, knowing that for this, they need to walk hundreds of miles for that. This resulted in chaos, starvation and deaths. Few international observers have called it as the “biggest human migration on foot after Partition”
While few states continued lockdown, Modi came forward and annouced a nationwide lockdown on 24 March which laid down a uniform policy for all states to follow, leading to increased chaos. Nothing from city buses to domestic flights, would function.
Numerous instances were reported of police personnel assaulting and, in few cases open fires were also reported on the people who broke lockdown, just to buy groceries or doctors going to hospitals.
This lockdown is amid the time, when the country claims that there had been no community transmission in the country.