Suparna Chaudhry

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A health worker talks to a woman in a quarantine center for covid-19 patients, in New Delhi on Tuesday. (Manish Swarup/AP)

Four months ago, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared victory over the coronavirus pandemic. Now the country is in a new covid-19 crisis, with more than 250,000 new confirmed infections daily. India has now overtaken Brazil, with the second-highest number of confirmed cases worldwide.

The actual number of cases may be much higher — testing lags are increasingly common, and some states have curtailed coronavirus testing. Similarly, official numbers report a seven-day average of around 1,300 deaths per day, but undercounting and misclassification of deaths is rampant. Long delays and price-gouging at crematoriums — amid reports of makeshift cremations on sidewalks — suggest the death counts are far higher than reported.…  Seguir leyendo »

A child peeps from a window of a special train at Egmore railway station in Chennai, India, on Tuesday. (Arun Sankar/AFP/Getty Images)

On Sunday, India logged more than 90,000 new covid-19 cases — a daily count global record — and overtook Brazil as the country with the second-highest number of cases worldwide. India has more than 4.2 million confirmed cases. Only the United States, with 6.3 million cases, has a higher covid-19 count.

The covid-19 crisis has also led to economic pain, and new pressures on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government. Here are five things to know about what’s happening.

1. Why has India seen fewer covid-19 fatalities?

More than 72,000 Indians reportedly have died from the virus — far fewer fatalities than in the United States or Brazil.…  Seguir leyendo »

Migrant workers walk to their villages through the Mumbai Pune highway during the lockdown in Mumbai and other parts of India on Sunday. (Rajanish Kakade/AP)

As of March 24, India’s 1.3 billion people are in a three-week lockdown in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave citizens only a few hours’ warning before announcing: “Every state, every district, every lane, every village will be under lockdown”.

India had already moved swiftly to restrict domestic and international air travel amid the outbreak of the virus that causes the disease covid-19. The government had suspended visas and quarantined passengers arriving from China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, France and Germany. Starting March 22, all international commercial flights were banned from landing in India until April 14.…  Seguir leyendo »

Police set up roadblocks in New Delhi after clashes between supporters and opponents of a new citizenship law. (Prakash Singh/Afp Via Getty Images)

Editor’s note: In light of the violent protests in India this week, we asked Suparna Chaudhry to update her December 2019 analysis of India’s Citizenship Amendment Bill.

In December, India’s Parliament passed the Citizenship Amendment Bill, fundamentally changing the country’s Citizenship Act of 1955. That prompted protests by people from a wide range of backgrounds, including students across the country.

The protests and sit-ins in the capital, New Delhi, have continued for more than two months and have been largely peaceful. However, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government has used incendiary rhetoric, threatening to shoot the protesters. A local BJP leader issued an “ultimatum” to protesters in the lead-up to President Trump’s first visit to the country on Monday and Tuesday.…  Seguir leyendo »

Soldiers patrol during curfew Dec. 12 in Guwahati, India, following protests over the Indian government’s passage of the Citizenship Amendment Bill. (AFP/Getty Images)

This week, India’s Parliament passed the Citizenship Amendment Bill, fundamentally changing the country’s Citizenship Act of 1955 — and setting off protests in the northeastern states and a curfew in some cities.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government introduced the bill during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first term, but Parliament failed to pass the bill at the time. The BJP reintroduced the bill on Monday, and it cleared both the Lok Sabha (lower house) and the Rajya Sabha (upper house). President Ram Nath Kovind signed the bill into law on Thursday.

Why is there such strong domestic pushback, and why did the Indian government deploy more than 5,000 paramilitary troops and impose an Internet blackout to maintain order in Assam and Tripura?…  Seguir leyendo »