Weekend Reads

  1. Make fun of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s symbolic events through the coronavirus lockdown all you like, writes Shekhar Gupta in the Print. “Modi is winning. Why should he be complaining? Or bothering with usual suspects accusing him of infantilising his voters when they are happy being just that: obedient infants?”
  2. Ajeet Mahale, Omar Rashid and Jatin Anand in the Hindu bring you stories of the migrant workers in India taking the long way home. “The police beat me every time I tried to reach the expressway on both days. I will get on any bus, any vehicle; I’ll start walking from wherever it drops me.”
  3. “We used to spend what we earned daily. Without that, there is no food for my two children. So we must go home where my family is.” Dipankar Ghose in the Indian Express travels across four states to track the migrant exodus.
  4. For middle-class India, the front lines of the coronavirus battle are Resident Welfare Associations, some going so far as to try and kick out those supposed to be in quarantine, while others banding together during the lockdown, as Asmita Bakshi reports in Mint.
  5. Calls to domestic abuse helplines have actually gone down during the lockdown, reports Adrija Bose for News18: “The reason is just one, the monsters are at home.
  6. “From my balcony, I see a cross-section of the world and most of the people who broke the janata curfew were men,” Jerry Pinto in the Indian Express writes about how the coronavirus is forcing us to confront myths about ourselves. “I think this has something to do with the feeling that you are only doing something if you are out in the world.”
  7. “On the other side of this fear is the bracingly humanitarian fact that our entire city (and large swaths of the world) has banded together, in isolation, to protect its most physically weak citizens, even though the health risk to the majority is minimal. We live with these contradictions naturally and without shame.” The New York Review of Books carries brief dispatches from writers documenting the coronavirus outbreak around the world.
  8. Instead of flattening the curve, can we crush it? One expert, says Rachael Rettner in Live Science, believes that is the answer.
  9. “Covid-19 is the fourth major geopolitical shock in as many decades. In each of the previous three, analysts and leaders grossly underestimated the long-term impact on their society and on world politics.” Thomas Wright argues in the Atlantic that we don’t know what the future means for the world order post Covid-19.
  10. And one non-Covid-19 recommendation for the weekend: “The most important technology critic in the world was tired of knowledge based on clicks. So he built an antidote,” writes Maurits Martijn in The Correspondent.