Top economists, intellectuals propose an all-powerful communist regime to tackle corona crisis

Top economists, intellectuals propose an all-powerful communist regime to tackle corona crisis

An economic action plan endorsed by leading public intellectuals suggests India must do "whatever it takes" to boost resources during the coronavirus pandemic, even treating personal property as a national resource.

But for many, that concept is outrageous.

Mission Jai Hind, a seven-point plan of action made public on Friday, urges the govt to supply travel services for migrant workers hoping to return to home, free healthcare for coronavirus patients, compensation for job and wage losses and universal access to expanded rations.

But the source of consternation may be a line saying all resources "with the citizens or within the nation", like cash, land , property and bonds, "must be treated as national resources available during this crisis".

Several Twitter users made their displeasure plain.

But Saturday morning brought a twist: the historian Ramachandra Guha, named together of the intellectuals endorsing the plan, said the statement sent to him contained a special version of the road on national resources:

Guha said the road within the version made public "has become deeply tendentious with...major changes made without the consent of some signatories", diverting attention from the "many sensible suggestions" within the document.

"I haven't and do nor endorse this," he said, pertaining to the amended line.

But Ashutosh Varshney, a world studies professor at Brown University (and a prominent intellectual endorsing the action plan), said the statement wasn't against the proper to property.

“'Nationalization' is adequate to public ownership of personal resources. I even have never been for that. 'National resources', perhaps awkwardly phrased, only means these resources are often taxed to get revenue at a better rate, if needed for emergency needs," he wrote during a serious of tweets.

India is currently within the fourth phase of an extended lockdown imposed in March; it's reported over 1.25 lakh coronavirus cases, including quite 3,700 deaths, consistent with central government data.