Karnataka government gets its priorities wrong

The Karnataka government is looking at reopening temples, mosques and churches from June 1, if the central guidelines at the end of Lockdown 4.0 permit. This is even as it seeks to restrict flights from five states and bar road traffic from three. The widespread loss of livelihoods and to businesses makes the resumption of economic activity imperative, even as it has become clear this is not possible with an eccentric patchwork of rules and restrictions and border controls.

Hubbali airport staff spraying chemical on the luggage of the passengers

It needs seamless travel of workers and goods and services. Delaying the repair of losses and hardships that have piled up over the last two months any further would be ruinous.

Read also: Karnataka wants flights restricted from 5 states, bars road traffic from 3

At the same time every effort needs to be made to preserve the gains of the lockdown. It is not going to be business as usual. Offices for example are reopening with new physical distancing designs. Home delivery of groceries remains a recommended option where possible.

Metro services are expected to resume only with much reduced occupancy. When it comes to religion, the past few months have seen the Pope begin livestreaming his daily mass and Sunday sermon while people adapted to offering namaz at home, simplifying shaadi rituals, doing annaprashan with the priest guiding the rituals on WhatsApp etc.

Since Covid cases and deaths continue to grow in India, it is not yet time to return to religion BC style.  Mass religious gatherings have proved super spreaders in various countries and we should not risk this happening in India again.

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