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India Day Celebrations Muted By Corona Virus

India Day Celebrations Muted By Corona Virus
August 13
12:52 2020

Surendra Ullal and Ramesh Soparawala

India Day celebrations not only in India but also across the world will be greatly muted this year and the culprit is no one else but unwanted guest- Coronavirus.  The frantic search for a vaccine is still on and it is anybody’s guess when it will be found. Till the effective cue or vaccine is easily available the community the world over has to stay put with the problem and face its impact.

The global economy is down and India is not an exception. The contraction, in general, is anywhere from 20 to 40 percent. It is in this context that we have put a question to our prominent community activists and thinkers what in their option needs to be down to thwart the negative economies’ impact on the Indian economy.  

The consensus is that the government could do a lot to inject confidence among business houses and entrepreneurs to produce many items locally and make India self-sufficient and self-reliant, reducing dependence on foreign products. The suggestion is also to boost investment in sustainable infrastructure for long term benefits and importantly, ensure low or interest-free loans to small and medium industries to help the survivors in difficult times

Here below we reproduce their views in some details:

Dr Bhart Barai

Dr. Bhart Barai

Dr. Bharat Barai, an oncologist and front-ranking community leaders in Indiana and Chicagoland, said that this is a medical problem and its real solution will come when we have an effective vaccine, or herd immunity develops.

People are scared to do outdoor activities, travel, mass entertainment until the Covid19 situation is addressed.

(1) The vaccine is 3-5 months away and before next summer, the Covid19 should be over. Depending on how long the immunity lasts, people may need repeated vaccination.

(2) Once 50-60% population gets infected and develops antibodies, herd immunity develops and pandemic pretty much becomes a manageable situation. Some areas like Dharavi have achieved that level (57.8% sampled people already have antibody to Coronavirus. The mortality of COVID19 is approx. 2-3% and coming down. 97% get well.

Meanwhile, Govt has to support the economy by providing survivable benefits to the poor and vulnerable population, enough for food and very modest living.

Govt should take care of Health care expenses related to Coronavirus. Like the UK, the affected industries can be supported by wage replacement at 80% of usual salary, up to a limit, like UK has done. PPP in the USA was for 2 months only. I support the move by California to tax Billionaires, who have made money by stock options.

Dr. Kiran C. Patel an Indian-American cardiologist, community activist, philanthropist, and businessman. Observed that all challenges and problems need to be viewed as an opportunity for progress and advancement rather than stumbling blocks hindering progress.

Dr Kiran Patel PM Modi

Dr Kiran Patel With PM Modi

The Corona pandemic is a worldwide phenomenon and it’s not only India but the big wigs among industrial nations are also and would be beset with the problems generated by the spread of this virus, The economic activity is down and it will be down till the pandemic comes to its end- sooner the better – but when it is anybody’s guess,

I do fear a slump but as mentioned earlier this should open the door for self-reliance and economic independence. It should be viewed by the government to shake of its dependence on industrial items or essential ingredients for finished products imported from abroad and not here.

The immediate picture flashing in my mind is that of China flooding the Indian markets with many of its semi-manufactured products used as essential ingredients or raw materials by a host of big and small industries herein order to turn out their finished items.

The import from China runs into Billions of dollars and a full stop to these imports will not only spur the domestic industries to produce them but will lead to huge savings of foreign exchange as well It should also create jobs for many here Besides, self-reliance is very critical in times of war like  situations

I have cited China as an example but the imports could be from many parts of the world. \Generally speaking, the Indian business captains need to have self-introspection and seize this opportunity to widen their horizons and try their hands in manufacturing import substitutes   The government of India would really do well to   create a favorable industrial climate to encourage business houses and entrepreneurs for promoting industrial activities by fiscal and nonfiscal measures and view this as an opportunity to progress rather than a setback to industrial or business structure

Sunil Shah

Sunil Shah

Sunil Shah, founder president of the Federation of Indian Associations Chicago, said that the Corona triggered crisis is a worldwide phenomenon and India is not immune from its destructive and negative impacts.   For a country like India, the relative impact could be much more because we have a huge middle class and many are on borderline poverty levels.

The impact could have been much worse than what is felt now and it is largely because India is blessed by a leader like Narendra Modi at the helm of affairs who took many effective steps like lockdown, enforcing discipline, and social distancing.  He took care of millions of people by proving stimulus money running into 22 lakh crores and this has helped many a middle class and low-income groups of people

What the government could do to get over this crisis is a big question but in my opinion, it would be advantageous in the short and long term if it boosts investment in infer structure development. This will generate a lot of employment besides strengthening the economy. It could initiate steps to   give a boost to small and medium scale industries to fiscal and nonfiscal incentives by cutting red tape Good thing is that it has removed bottlenecks through land reforms Steps could also be initiated for proving clean waters, cutting down air pollution and offering medical help

Most important is to spur Indian scientists and research workers to find a viable cure for the virus and get the people in the country as well as the world over to overcome this problem.

Dr Dayal Meshri

Dr. Dayal Meshri

DR DAYAL MESHRI, the founder, president, and CEO of Advance Research Chemicals (ARC), Tulsa OK said that the Indian economic slumps as feared in the wake of a huge setback in all areas of human action would be difficult to address in isolation as the global interdependence would render all actions of the government rendering somewhat fruitless.

Besides, it has to be seen how long the Corona after effect stays and torments the world. It is also important to note the world will not be the same post-Corona as it was in pre-Corona days. The inroad of Digital phase and virtual meets and functioning may continue to be there and it has to be seen in which way this will have the shape or mold the thinking of the community at large, the economic barons or the government officials

I do feel that the government should be prepared to face all possible eventualities and my suggestion would be, take all possible steps in advance to encourage entrepreneurs and the industry captains in their efforts to revive not only their industries or empire but look around for greener pastures elsewhere to help boost the economic revival

An important ingredient is a workforce. There could have been migration from the cities and those workers have to get back to their original slots. Dr. Meshri felt that the present government headed by PM Modi would prove equal to the task but it also up the people of India and those manning the Stare—regional level centers of power to rise to the occasion and help the Modi government to discharge its duties without hindrances.

Those politicians who are after short-term political gains need to keep their mouth shut at least for the time being and have a positive approach for the sake of the Indian people.

Dr Mafat patel

Dr. Mafat Patel

Mafat Patel, a leading businessman, and community leader often described as the uncrowned king of Devon Avenue said that there is no easy cure for this illness since it has caught everybody by surprise and essentially has become a medical problem with a lot of social and economical side effects.

For India, I could say that the government should cut dependence on imports but at the same time initiate measures to boost exports. My information is that there are unwanted curbs on exports and this has impacted imports here and other countries depending on supplies from India. Increased exports mean the country could not only get more foreign exchange but also generate more employment

The situation now is that Corona has in a way forced migrant labor to go back to their villages impacting adversely impacted the production of many an item and in a way exports too. 

Besides, the government Doles in the shape of unemployment benefits, etc. to has induced lethargy among able-bodied workers who get money for no productive work.  This needs to be probed and get the loopholes plugged

I have faith in Indian government and Indian people and I am reasonably sure that they will overcome this short term crisis and come out of it without much ado or har

Mrs. Santosh umar

Mrs. Santosh umar

Mrs. Santosh Kumar, Founder and Executive Director of Metropolitan Asian Family Services (MAFS) also known as Mother Teresa of Chicago observed that the Indian government headed by Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi is among the first leaders in the world to handle the COVID 19 Pandemic commendably from the beginning of this outbreak and has rightfully earned the praise and admiration globally.

 Shri Narendra Modi Ji’s Mantra “USE MADE IN INDIA PRODUCTS” became more relevant now. India should follow this Mantra so it can be self-reliant cutting down the import of products from China and other places to the minimum. This will create more jobs for the people in India, which will boost the Indian economy considerably by curtailing precious foreign exchange.

 The government has encouraged entrepreneurs to concentrate on increasing production to be self-sufficient.   Mrs. Kumar appeal to the Indian public and people that it would start using “Made in India Goods” and refrain from depending on imported things. This would be one of the initial and promising steps to build the economy gradually.

Anil Shah

Anil Shah

Anil Shah, President World Money Exchange, and a community activist said it is very hard to form any definitive view on Corona or its after affected and the measures to counter those effects.  This is a touch in as much as one could not say with a degree of confidence when this nightmare will end and what impact it can have on social or economic life when it ends.

Still what India or other countries should do stem economic crisis due to coronavirus would largely depend on the government response The Governments should give a break in taxes and offer no-interest loans to small and medium-sized businesses to recover from setbacks for which they are not responsible. The losses are unpredictable and unaccountable, and it would take years to balance the two sides.

Media is making things really worse by constantly bombarding over Corona related news and brainwashing the minds of people with negative coverage of the situation. Is there usually no other news than the only Coronavirus?  Many questions.

Dr. Anuja Gupta, a cardiologist now setting up homes for Seniors- Veranda, said that in her opinion the economy could be revived by the right intervention in jobs & taxes.

Dr. Anuja Gupta

Dr. Anuja Gupta

The topmost priority concerns creation of jobs.

The government needs to offer incentives to business-owners getting more people employed by reducing business taxes. The unemployment benefits crutch needs to be phased out. So much of the economic relief from the government so far has ended up in the stock market.

The next wave of economic relief needs to be targeted to job creation thru tax incentives to business owners. It is sad to see America lose its #1 super-power status before our very eyes. I fear ours is the last generation that got to witness the greatness of America. 

B Dhake

B Dhake

B Dhake, President Industries in Michigan said that one of the sure shots to arrest the feared slump in economic activity in India is toe be among the first nations to develop Corona Virus vaccine

The Indian government could exert its best inducing and cajoling its pool of scientists to develop the vaccine and offer it to the world.

Till the vaccine is developed and used commercially, the problem of Corona will not go and it will continue hanging on as Damocles sword thwarting economic recovery or progress, To me this is the right course and probably the only course in the present circumstances. 

Without Vaccine, any steps for recovery will be moonshine.

Thakar Basati

Thakar Basati

Thakar Basati a Sikh community leader and activist

Corona definitely affected all of us. Isolation became the biggest issue. India has great potential in every field. It is a matter of putting your best effort. So many Indians want to leave India and settle abroad.

India needs to analyze and stop the brain drain. Almost everyone becomes successful after leaving India, the same person different opportunities. One big detriment is corruption; deserving candidates should get the opportunity not a person with connections or bribery. Manual labor is so cheap, so small scale industry should be created at a mass scale.

The farmer produces crops, it ends up with agents, and by the time it goes back with the consumer the price is tripled. Governments or organizations can step in and bring in small shops or cooperative shops.

The issue again is corruption. They have a system that exists but it is mutilated. They need to bring in self-pride.

Religious exploitation needs to stop. The government needs to stay neutral instead of provoking turbulence just for winning votes. For freedom from British, whole India fought together, why religious fights now? People, homes, government properties are burnt and no one is held responsible.

You destroy, you pay. Everyday agitations need to stop. They are a detriment to productivity. People spend more time in agitations than at work. Adulteration is another big slap in the face of freedom and no one is held responsible. You put anyone’s life in danger, you pay the price. There is so much duplication of essential necessities, no one is held responsible. 

There should also be an evaluation system for government employees. In America, when they hire anyone, they have a probationary period, they are evaluated then made permanent employees, and then they are evaluated year after year. In India, once you become a Government employee, you are set for life. No one can challenge your actions. There is no production quota. They have inspectors checking for quality, they get bribes and people suffer. Honesty needs to be brought back in the system.

Iftekhar Sharif

Iftekhar Sharif

Iftekhar Shareef, a Trustee FIA, and a community leader exuded optimism saying “ it is very interesting to see even during the pandemic COVID-19 India’s stock market did not crash Sure there were ups and downs but overall it’s very stable.”

Moreover, India’s major economy depends on agriculture. Because of lockdown and less movement of traffic and people have created nice weather with adequate rains this season. India will survive on its own, indeed it’s taking a hit on export and IT growth, which I feel will be settled early by next year.

People are a little taken back by COVID, but as I believe India would be the first country to launch its Vaccine and most likely from Hyderabad.  This would enable people to resume their normal activities and go back to work and get scared with COVID.

Overall the Indian economy will bounce back soon. Already we see signs of Real Estate and car sales have picked up quite a bit since July 2020.

Nirav Patel, president of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) Chicago chapter, said that the resolution of Corona crises is still uncertain as every country seeking to counter it and that includes India too.

Nirav Patel

Nirav Patel

My strong belief is that in the long run, it should be helpful to India for sure. In international markets many countries in the world are losing trust and faith in China and India is a viable option in more than one way. It has already taken economic measures to boost its economy and mainly exports.

India’s economy is on a solid ground GDP and growth is still not in minus indicative that India is not in rescission at all. Low or no mortgage on housing property make the economy stable Plus the intuition of a joint family helps the family and people to survive in a critical time.

The Indian PM Modi’s Make in India campaign and concept should help to create more jobs It would also create rural empowerment in small and nonspecialty products. Indian population is also very big so local production has been used in for domestic demand. And that is another factor helping the Indian economy to survive in critical times.   The PM Modi leadership is playing a crucial role in stability and survival

Sohan Joshi

Sohan Joshi

Sohan Joshi, a community leader heading earlier   the Federation of Indian Associations locally and nationally, said that he has full faith in reliance of Indians at large and the able leadership of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi is steering the nation and its people to safety and stability during the present Corona pandemic affecting everybody across the world

It was the Indian PM among first world leaders to send the impending crisis and took strict measures to prevent is its spread, It would be unimaginable to see if 130 crores people many living in stark poverty and unhygienic condition would not interact or spread this virus by contacts and indiscipline behavior. The Modi government was strict in enforcing rules and coming out with a measure that would restrict movement and the spread of the diseases. This he did when many other countries found it difficult to enforce the discipline

Modi Ji found that it would be now imperative to encourage self -reliance and hence, is espousing his oft-repeated slogan Use Made in India Products   This will boost the economy by creating more jobs and save a huge amount in precious foreign exchange Heis hugely popular among mass of the people and this is reflected in a recent survey of public opinion by India Today magazine, Kudos to PM Modi and his team.


Vndana Jhingan

Vndana Jhingan

Vandana Jhingan, a journalist, TV Anchor and community activist, greeted all with Happy 15th to each and every Indian American She said that the year 2020 turned out to be one of the most unexpected and a very strange one for the whole world – Pandemic COVID 19 impacting everyone in socially and economically’’

The economy started getting a touch of that worldwide decline and of course, an impact on the economy in India our motherland cannot be an exception.  How an individual can tackle this problem is a million-dollar equation. But collectively,  – “Make in India” would go a long way in getting over this problem It will require help from the People of Bharat involving some sacrifice.

Economies go up to go down – but I am very confident if India and Indians decide they will be able to overcome. Must support the best way one can for one’s own State.Taking pay and income cut so others can have food on the table.

Nothing is permanent – this will also pass. Vande Matram Bharat Mata ki Jai



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