Socialism has been a handy weapon in successfully fighting COVID-19 pandemic -Shah Alam Khan

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published Published on Oct 19, 2020   modified Modified on Oct 19, 2020

-The Indian Express

Countries more successful in curbing COVID-19 are welfare states, ruled by left-of-centre parties. There is a lesson here.

A plea has been filed before the Supreme Court, seeking to remove the words “socialist” and “secular” from the Preamble of the Constitution. But despite a persistent erosion over the last couple of decades, both principles were central to the type of republic our political forefathers had imagined. With the embrace of neoliberal policies in the Nineties, socialism was pushed aside. With the ongoing pandemic, however, socialism has become relevant not only for India but also the world. As the world grapples to find a vaccine for COVID-19, a closer inspection of the backwash of the pandemic reveals that socialist ideals have turned out to be a life-saver. This needs further corroboration and evaluation.

In the neoliberal world, hardly any country can be bracketed as a purely socialist nation. Countries which provide socialised medicine are the ones which have evolved the model of what is called a welfare state — the closest cousin of yesteryear’s socialist state.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the vulnerability of governments, healthcare models and political ideologies. It is thus important to see which countries have done better in this pandemic both in terms of COVID-related morbidity and mortality and the political ideology which governs them.

It is no rocket science to imagine that those nations with good health infrastructure would do better during a pandemic. Having said this, the response and outcome parameters of the pandemic have not shown such simple trends. Besides healthcare management, it also involves political response and will.

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The Indian Express, 19 October, 2020,

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