Just a couple of months ago before the lockdown started, the dominant political buzz in Bihar was about second-guessing the viable alternative to Nitish Kumar. Three plausible scenarios were offered – a BJP led coalition with local parties; Prashant Kishore-managed third front roping in the leaders like Owaisi, Kanhaiya and others; and RJD-led existing alliance.

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After more than 2 months long lockdown in India which is now termed as the world's most expansive lockdown, we have entered the stage of unlock-1. The Pandemic continues to take its toll and the economy has torpefied. The government now has the dual task to fight the pandemic and deal with the economy.

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The current Covid-19 Crisis has the potential to derail all the gains of the immediate past in Bihar unless the government embraces this chaotic order and uses it as a stepping stone to redefine structural aspects of governance and economy with specific reference to the migrant labourers.

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Children in Patna going to school on auto-rickshaw (file photo).

With complete lockdown in 3 stages there has been a vexing question on the government on how to reopen the economy and the education. The pandemic is still evolving and the government is brainstorming on how to gingerly reopen without the risk of reigniting the infection. There is also a pressing question for us on how prepared are we to work while still social distancing.

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In a recent address to the nation, the Prime Minister asked the country to work towards being “atmya nirbhar” or self-sufficient. The address came in the backdrop of a continuous lockdown which in turn has caused enormous economic losses. This would not be the first time a leadership within the country would have called for such an act.

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In a recent unthinkable move, Trump Administration halted the funding to World Health Organization (WHO) while a review is being conducted to assess its role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of coronavirus and for failing to adequately obtain, vet, and share information in timely and transparent fashion.

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भारत में बोद्ध-धर्म के प्रभाव के कम  हो जाने के कारण पर प्रकाश डालते हुए डॉ. भीमराव अम्बेडकर कहते हैं - ‘जब मुस्लिम शासक बख्तियार खिलजी ने बिहार पर आक्रमण किया, तब उसने पांच हजार से अधिक बोद्ध भिक्षुओं का क़त्ल किया. बचे हुए बोद्ध-धर्मी चीन, नेपाल व तिब्बत भाग गए. बोद्ध-धर्म के पुनर्जीवन के लिए हिंदुस्तान के बोद्धधर्मियों ने नए धर्मपीठ खड़े करने का प्रयत्न किया, परन्तु तब तक ९० प्रतिशत बोद्ध फिर से हिन्दू धर्म में चले गए थे, इस कारण ये प्रयत्न बिफल हो गया.’ [डॉ. अम्बेडकर और सामाजिक क्रांति की यात्रा; पृष्ठ- ३२१]

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We are in global catastrophe and in this unprecedented time, fear & anxiety is prevalent everywhere. It is the most trying time for most of us. Since this ordeal has begun, we are at WAR with the outside world and the world inside us.

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A vegetable shop in Patna.

Let us take an example of consumerism in rural India in the agricultural context. In a village in Bihar, a farmer is not able to transport its tomatoes to even small towns as the truck drivers are not operating because they have gone to their native village.

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As the novel coronavirus is taking its deadly toll on lives and economies all over the globe, the Indian voters at a time are now imagining and expecting that the focus of the government would be on containing the spread of the virus and coming up with the measures to reduce the burden of the people.

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Coronavirus is taking lives of the human beings all around the world and we can all see its effects on our lives. But there seems to be a deeper meaning to that. And this meaning is significant for the man as well as for all other living things on this planet.

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After Mumbai Bandra incident, Bihar was trending at No.1 position on Twitter. Most twitterati expressed concern about the abysmal low number of positive COVID-19 cases amid lack of testing in the state. A detailed analysis of the facts highlights the irony of social media wherein net citizens unknowingly become a part of larger fake news propaganda.

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The most trusted way to curb COIVD 19 is social distancing and washing our hands frequently. Washing our hands frequently can make our hands dry and itchy but can be combated by a good moisturizer.

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Due to worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, PatnaDaily is running in a restricted mode as our reporters and photographers remain indoor due to the recent nationwide lock-down. We will resume full service as soon as possible. Stay safe and thanks for your patience.
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